Schools Training

Concepts in Web Design School – Choose Your Social Media Links Wisely

14 AUG 2012
Career Path : IT Training

Students currently enrolled in web design courses will have to be able incorporate social media strategies into their designs. One of the most basic elements of a social media strategy is the social media icon. Choosing what kind of icon to put where is a major part of the job for graduates of web design school. There are many factors that can influence the choice, but let’s focus here on just a few:

 

-          showing the user why they should click

-          keeping track of who does click

-          not overloading the user with too many icons in the first place

 

So tell me, why should I click?

 

Graduates of web design courses who get it right know that it is the job of their creations to convey their benefits to the users. Sure, it is possible to add a generic icon to the home page of a website, but that doesn’t make it right.

 

Recent graduates of web design school may have participated in group exercises where they were asked to brainstorm user motivations. Why might someone click on a company’s social media icon?

 

-          out of a desire to connect (Facebook, Pinterest)

-          to hear the most recent stories (Twitter)

-          to hear stories in narrative form (WordPress, Tumblr)

-          to watch stuff (YouTube, Vimeo)

 

In design programs at computer schools, students learn how to personalize social media icons.

 

-          Instead of adding a simple “f” for Facebook, a savvy graduate of web design school might invite users to give their opinion.

-          Instead of adding a simple “t” for Twitter, a designer may appeal to the users’ desire to hear the “latest” stories. (Could there be a more up-to-date medium that Twitter? Some organizations have a goal of one tweet per hour during peak social networking hours.)

-          Instead of inviting the user to YouTube, try explaining in a few words what they can expect to find there.

 

The only way to know if it works: test, test, test

 

In web design school, students learn the theory of web design. But, in the field, they will always need to test their results. Graduates of web design courses have one major tool for this. It is called web stats or web analytics. This is a read-out of all the visits to their website. It shows a visitor’s trajectory (what pages did they visit, for how long, in what order).

 

If you have chosen your social media icons with care, then they should be attracting traffic, i.e., visitors should be clicking on them. Remember the lessons learned in your web design courses: it is important to validate your performance by checking the stats for the pages you’ve designed. Are people using them in the way that you hoped?

 

Too much of a good thing?

 

Computer schools must teach their design students to make careful choices. Which social media icons should you include in a website? Hint: more is not better. Any point at which you present your users with too many choices, you risk losing them altogether.

 

In web design school, students must learn to evaluate the importance of each social media tool on a case-by-case basis.

 

In conclusion, integrating social media icons is not as simple as it may look at first glance. But then any student with a few web design courses under his or her belt could tell you that.

 

 

Visit Academy of Learning for more information on web design school.