In Ghana, 75 Per Cent Of Internet Users Use Mobile Phones To Access The Internet
Web Design Ghana Optimised
If you own a business in Ghana and are wondering if it is time to update your website, or are considering investing in an online presence for the first time, you must ensure that you implement the following checklist so that your web design is Ghana optimised.
What to consider when optimising web design for Ghana
A mobile-friendly website is a website that can be used just as easily on a mobile device (phone or tablet) as it can on a desktop computer. It is just as user-friendly and easy to understand/navigate, and the content is as easy to read.
If users who are browsing on mobile devices find your website hard to understand or difficult to use, they will go to your competitor's site that is user-friendly.
A significant problem is caused by lazy web designers who do not take the time to optimise images used on websites correctly. A study by Adobe found that 39 per cent of internet users will leave the site they are viewing if images won’t load or take too long to load.
The correct procedure for optimising images for use on a website is as follows:
Correct File Type -
First, the photograph or image should be saved as the right file type. Typically there are three file types commonly used on websites, being gif, jpeg and png. Gifs for moving images, jpegs for photographs, and png files for images such as logos.
When an image is saved as the wrong file type, the size can be much larger.
Take, for example, the photograph below; the original size is 63.1kb. After optimising it in photoshop as a jpeg file, its file size has been reduced to 8.43kb with little loss in quality. Optimising it as PNG-8 gives an image sized 18.1kb, smaller than the original but with noticeably inferior quality. Finally, saving as a PNG-24 file results in a good quality image but also a larger file size than the original at 66.4kb (almost 8 times the size of the optimised jpeg file).
Image Size -
Second, the physical size of images must be right for the site. There is little (actually, nothing) to be gained from using a photograph that is 2000 pixels wide in a space that can only display an image 500 pixels wide. The file is far larger than it needs to be, so it takes longer for the page to load than necessary and uses up more of your website visitor's bandwidth than it ideally should.
Finally, the image needs to be optimised in professional software such as Photoshop. As mentioned above, using software such as Photoshop to optimise images can result in significant file size reduction. In the example above the jpeg image was reduced from 63.1kb to 8.43kb. When multiplied across all the images on a website, the result can be huge.
Correctly optimising images can be very beneficial to your business, it not only speeds up your website, making it more user-friendly, it is also good for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Use stock images sparingly and make sure they reflect Ghana
Stock images are a helpful tool in a web designer's arsenal if used sparingly. Where possible, it is always best to use your photographs as they are a better reflection of you and more natural for your website's visitors to relate to.
Too many web designers in Ghana and elsewhere fill websites with stock images and, at the same, time forget that they are creating something that users should identify with. Websites in Ghana should reflect Ghanaians, not contain photos of Americans and Europeans unless relevant to the content.
In the two examples below, the choice of photograph for customer service representatives has an impact on how the website visitor relates to the company. The image on the left, a caucasian customer services representative on the website of a Ghanaian company targetting a Ghanaian audience does not feel correct and can alienate site visitors.
The image on the right, a model obviously of African descent will feel more familiar and relatable to a Ghanaian website visitor on a site representing and targetting a Ghanaian audience.
The wrong choice of model for a website in Ghana
The correct choice of model for a website in Ghana
To create website content that works takes time and effort. To do web design that works in Ghana requires understanding Ghana and writing in a manner that connects with Ghanaians.
A content writer must understand his or her audience. If a brand is targetting a young, trendy crowd, the web design must reflect that through the images selected for use and the language used. The same applies to whatever market segment is being targetted.
Web design in Ghana (or anywhere) is about optimising your content for your target audience. It is about understanding how they access the internet and delivering websites that work for them. It is about creating compelling content to which they relate.