12th September 2018
UX Design – What is it and Why Does it Matter?
First of all let’s have an overview of the construction industry in the UK. in 2016 research showed there were 296,093 construction firms and as of 2017 the industry was worth an astonishing £164 billion, covering three main sectors; commercial, residential and infrastructure. As if that contribution to the economy was not already huge the global construction industry is forecasted to grow by 3.6% in 2018.
Despite a slow start to 2018 with overall work in the construction industry decreasing by 2.5% in the first quarter, likely due to the bad weather experienced, reports suggest that june was stronger than expected for the industry and growth is back on track. This is also only likely to increase with public spending set to increase with the announcement of plans to infrastructure such as Crossrail 2, Thameslink, HS2 and Hinkley Point to name but a few.
We can’t forget to mention Brexit of course, it currently looks as if this will have a negative impact on the construction industry. Currently, 60% of materials for construction are imported from the EU and with tariffs likely to increase and a limit on quantity of goods imported to the UK this could be seriously affected.
But let’s not dwell on Brexit now.
This means that the construction industry is large, it is competitive and, if growth continues as predicted, it’s only going to get more competitive. You can’t help that and nor can we, we can however make sure you stand out within this busy industry and get seen.
Despite the obvious competitiveness of the industry there is still a lack of perceived need for a strong online presence or any online presence at all. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) there are over 123,000 construction firms made up of only one employee. As a stereotype, it is these sorts of “one man band” firms that often rely on word-of-mouth marketing or an advert in the local paper with only a phone number.
This sort of marketing may have worked well in the past and potentially may continue to hold some value for small construction firms in the future but at the same time, as mentioned above, the industry is only going to become more crowded and competitive so making sure you’re reaching your target market is essential.
As humans we are naturally suspicious and cautious especially when it comes to spending money. We want to be really sure we are getting value whether that be the best product or the most reliable service.
Okay so it isn’t exactly related to the construction industry but it’s still relevant. If people are going to check the menu is good enough for them in a restaurant the chances are they’ll do the same when hiring a tradesman too.
There is a very common misconception within the construction industry that firms are unprofessional or unreliable, we don’t believe that and we don’t think your potential clients should either. A website could potentially make the difference though, they say not to judge a book by a cover but you will because it’s what we do naturally. When building the Walker Construction website for example, we wanted to be sure that when a user entered the website they would automatically feel that Walker Construction are professional, reliable and serious so the users immediate, subconscious, perception was that Walker’s are a firm they could work with.
Your potential clients will also want to be sure that the service you provide is actually going to be good and will be worth them pulling at the purse strings. Case studies are absolutely essential, especially image focussed case studies. Due to the rise in social media and all things digital humans are becoming far better at scrolling at a high pace and not really slowing down to read anything. Creating case studies on your website that are easy to find and provide powerful imagery of your best work will catch the eye of any potential customer. Obviously don’t cut out text altogether as people will still want to read about how you converted that loft or built that bridge but the images will draw them in first.
Social proof is one of the most powerful tools in anyone’s marketing box. Including testimonials from previous clients, this can be one of the greatest ways of building confidence in your firm with a potential client. Make sure that all your testimonials are as prominent as possible, preferably on the homepage, along with awards or accreditations you have received to reinforce the confidence.
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