Ah Millennials, the generation that everybody is talking about. If you had a secret formula that would make any Millennial purchase your product and promote your brand, small businesses everywhere would pay a pretty penny to get their hands on it.
So why is this generation so important to the general business today? Because this generation is all about loyalty. They love standing behind things they believe in and telling all their friends why they should too. A Millennial supporting your business is like hiring a new person on your marketing team. When it comes to our websites, we have to remember they are often the gateway to our business and our products and services. Being intentional about your design for your target audience is key.
We are not trying to generalize all Millennials or put them in a box. Your design should be further tailored to your specific market. However here are some tips when it comes to a design that will keep Millennials interested in browsing your website:
Let Them Serve Themselves
Bottomline: Millennials hate waiting for anything. You have to remember this is a generation who has witnessed the rise of technology and rarely lived a single day without some form of it. The whole point of technology is convenience, so this generation isn’t accustomed to what it’s like to have to write a letter to contact someone or actually pick up a book or magazine to learn something new.
With this being said, Millennials aren’t going to make a phone call and sit through a string people passing them along to another person just to receive an umbrella answer to their question. If they’re stuck or need help they want help now. They don’t want to wait for someone to serve them the answer on a silver platter. They want to grab their plate, head for the buffet and help themselves. This generation will appreciate “self-help” elements on a website. Examples include: how-to blog posts or tutorial videos or even a simple FAQ page will go a long way. This way Millennials can get their answers quickly by simply watching a tutorial or finding their question on your FAQ page.
Integrate Social Media
Mass majority of Millennials have some form of social media and are on their accounts frequently throughout the day. Standing in line, sitting in a waiting room, or dare we say, even at a red light, if there’s any sort of waiting involved, this generation is likely to whip out their smartphone and start scrolling down Facebook.
Integrating social media is a must if you’re designing a website targeted for Millennials. Make sure you have social share buttons that are plainly visible. Put them at the bottom of all your blog posts and even include them on your team page for each individual staff member. Why? Because if they like you, they want to follow you. A Millennial is more likely to keep up with your business through following you on Instagram than by checking back on your website every single day. Having social media accounts for your business and integrating them onto your website opens up another personal layer that these people can relate to. Plus it goes back to the brand loyalty. Millennials have no problem liking brands on Facebook they are a fan of.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
This is huge when it comes to your website design. There aren’t many Millennials out there who don’t have a smartphone. And as we have established already, they’re constantly on their phone. A Millennial is more likely to visit your website on their mobile device than on an actual desktop. Having a website that doesn’t translate well on mobile means losing out on the patronage of this powerful generation.
Here are some tips for making sure your website is mobile-friendly:
- Everything needs to load quickly. It’s hard enough for a robust website to load quickly on desktop, it’s even more difficult when it’s trying to load on the smaller screen of a smart phone.
- Make your design optimized for smartphone usage. When you are designing elements for desktop think about how it will look on a smartphone too. Elements that are swippable or tappable translate well on a mobile device.
- Your navigation should be simple. There’s nothing worse than pages within pages within pages on mobile. While this may work on a desktop, it’s a huge headache on a smartphone. Make sure your navigation is easy to use and straight forward.
UX is EVERYTHING
We saved this for last because it’s perhaps the most important element to remember when designing… any website for that matter, but especially for the Millennial generation. Millennials are always on-the-go and easily distracted. With the wellspring of technology they have at their finger tips and the expansive knowledge in how to use it, it’s difficult for them to keep at the task at hand.
With this being said, if your user experience is at the least bit complicated, they’re going to pack their bags and head to the next website. Simply put: if you want their loyalty, their money, then you have to make your design work. It needs to be intuitive, yet simple; image heavy, but fast. If they have to wait longer than 3 seconds for a page to load– they’re gone. If navigating your website is an equivalent to breaking the German enigma– they’re history.
True your website needs to show that your an innovator, but there’s ways to do that without destroying the UX in the process. One massive way to streamline your user experience is to optimize your images, especially for a website targeted for Millennials. This generation isn’t going to sit around and read big chucks of text. They’re all about defined headlines and images for days. If you aren’t scaling down the size and resolution of all those images, that’s going to kill the speed of your site. Optimizing your images and being brief in your text are two monumental ways to help better your user experience.
Earn the Support of a Millennial
Contrary to the stigma that’s out there: Millennials aren’t self-centered and lazy. They’re dreamers who believe in good causes and are ready to support and give their money to something they believe in. This is why small businesses love this generation. More than ever before Millennials are ready to be loyal and connect with brands. Getting them to get behind yours doesn’t have to be difficult. If you have a website design that speaks to them, it’s going to go a long way.