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How COVID-19 Transformed Website Design Priorities

The global pandemic brought on by COVID-19 changed our lives in many ways. Among the most notable shifts for businesses and organizations was how they used their websites.

Before the pandemic, and for many, their website worked like a digital business card, often containing barebones information.

Many businesses or organizations adapted to meet the demands of the time and adjusted their operations to follow cautionary restrictions. The circumstances moved many to an online-centric approach to living and working.

Let’s explore how this shift redefined website design priorities for companies and organizations in Boston and beyond.

The Rise of E-commerce

With physical stores closing or reducing hours, businesses quickly realized the importance of selling online. Many businesses updated their sites from informational brochures to dynamic e-commerce platforms.

This movement was more extensive than adding shopping cart capabilities. It often meant rethinking the user experience and ensuring customers could easily find and purchase products. Secure payment systems, clear product descriptions, and easy navigation became top priorities. Having this agility helped businesses keep their doors open while expanding their reach to customers beyond their traditional local markets.

Virtual Consultations and Services

The pandemic made it clear that consultations, classes, and meetings do not always need to take place in person. Healthcare providers, educational institutions, and even personal service businesses like fitness coaches began offering virtual consultations and services to pick up for in-person meetings.

Business owners incorporated new website functionalities, such as booking systems, video conference integration, and secure, private membership areas for clients to access premium content or take advantage of membership perks. These feature upgrades increased accessibility, broke down geographical barriers, and made it easier for people to connect when meeting in person posed potential health risks.

Enhanced Communication Channels

As uncertainty grew, the need to provide timely and clear communication increased. Websites became the go-to source for up-to-date information. This shift emphasized the need for easy-to-update content management systems, even for those without technical expertise. Live chat features, updated FAQs, and dedicated COVID-19 information sections became common.

These website features provided vital information and offered a way for visitors to connect and communicate directly with businesses and organizations, even with real-world disruptions.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

As everyone leaned more toward digital platforms, improving website accessibility and inclusion took center stage. With the right technology, website visitors with disabilities became empowered with the user tools to adjust their preferences to meet their needs. Here’s how websites became more welcoming:

  • Screen Readers
  • Seizure-Safe Profiles
  • ADHD Friendly Profile
  • Vision-Impaired Profiles
  • Motor/Keyboard Navigation
  • Cognitive Disability Profile
  • Display Personalization Capabilities

Website owners improve the user experience for people with various capabilities and meet compliance requirements, which is a win-win for everyone!

Optimized for Connection and Speed

Nobody enjoys a slow-loading website. And with more people accessing the internet during the pandemic, optimizing website speed and performance became crucial. To stay competitive, websites that loaded quickly and ran smoothly, no matter the device, delivered better results.

Optimization strategies, including image compression, responsive design, and minimalistic layouts, helped improve site speed and user experience. This focus on performance encourages visitors to stay on the site and can influence search engine rankings, lifting businesses with higher online visibility.

Embracing Change for a Connected Future

The pandemic showed us that change is constant and flexibility is critical. Businesses and organizations must embrace new technologies and rethink how websites can serve as information portals and dynamic, interactive platforms that connect, serve, and support their communities and overall operations.

This shift towards more functional, accessible, and user-centric websites has not only helped businesses navigate the challenges of the pandemic. It helped set a new standard for website functionality and online engagement.

As we look forward, it’s clear that the transformations in website design brought about by COVID-19 are here to stay. These changes have paved the way for more resilient and inclusive digital spaces, allowing us to stay connected, informed, and supported as we progress from the pandemic.

Get Ready For Whatever the Future Holds

The message is clear for businesses and organizations: a responsive, fast-loading, and inclusive WordPress website is the most powerful tool for staying connected, streamlining operations, and managing a successful and profitable digital presence.

At Interactive Palette, we help clients create strong and meaningful impact online, ensuring their website meets today’s needs and is ready for tomorrow’s opportunities. If you would sleep better at night knowing you have a WordPress maintenance team behind your operations or it is time for a complete website overhaul, please contact us to start the conversation!