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Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on culture and commerce. Now, with only a third of the year left in 2014, it’s clear to see that technology isn’t slowing down any time soon. What does that mean for you? A great many things, potentially, but one thing in particular is going to become more obvious as the months and years progress: Your business is going to need to have a presence online, and it’s going to need to look good.

The biggest question is this: Are you online? If the answer is no, without a doubt, you need to fix that. In this market of for-profit healthcare and endless, instant information, not having an online presence means you’re not competing at the level of others in the industry, and that’s something you can’t afford. Here’s some logic on the subject:

KenisisInc.com


It takes .05 of a second to form an opinion of a website. If you don’t have one, you’ve not even been thought about. That is a grim state of affairs, don’t you think? We agree. So, what does that entail? Well, 1) Get a website, if you don’t already have one. 2) Get that website updated, and hire someone who knows a thing or two about web design. 3) Promote it like it’s your job, because it is. Why? Because people like pretty things.

First impressions are 94% design-related. Don’t get me wrong, quality content matters. A lot. But even the best content is rendered powerless when it’s embedded in poor design. Studies of user behavior have found that visual appeal and website navigation have the biggest influence on people’s first impressions of your brand.” –Kat Kocurek, KenisisInc.com

Consumers are fickle, as a rule, and even more so in this digital age, where everything is centered on instant gratification. If you don’t give them “something shiny” to pay attention to before they even get to you, you’ve already lost them by the time they do. It’s confusing, and probably irritating if you’re not used to conducting business at light-speed, but it is, however unfortunate that fact may be, how business is conducted today.

That’s absurd, though, right? People value skill, and hours worked; they appreciate real value. Good looks don’t make a lifetime of dedication and learning, they’re mutually exclusive. Aren’t they? No. They’re not. Not when it comes to this generation of consumers. If your design is lacking, no web-surfing, potential client worth their salt is going to consider you. Just for some perspective, here’s a look at the future.
In 2020—the first presidential election where all Millennials will have reached voting age—this generation will be 103 million strong, of which about 90 million will be eligible voters. Those 90 million Millennial eligible voters will represent just under 40 percent of America’s eligible voters.” The Center for American Progress
Why should you care? Because, what this means is the Millennials are the generation you will soon be dealing with more than any other, and they do everything online. Everything. You’re already dealing with the leading edge of them, and they’re not who you’d think. Cuspers, those born on the very edge of the dividing line generationally, are already in their thirties, and hold good jobs, have families, insurance, and generally don’t have time to go from office to office to learn who’s good at what. They’re online, and they can’t afford to be wrong. Here’s a perfect illustration of that:

…My client, however, was new to her position as marketing director and wasn’t convinced that the printer could provide the high-quality product she expected. Pressing further, I learned that her hesitation wasn’t due to any actual experience with the vendor. On the contrary – her reluctance was based solely on the impression made by the printer’s outdated and poorly designed website.” –Shawn Busse, KenisisInc.com
MIllennials are harsh judges, because they’ve grown up online, and expect good design. In other words, you can’t afford not to cater to that, because at an increasing rate over these next five and half years, your customer base could drop significantly if you don’t put your best coded foot forward, because your presence won’t be noticed, or worse, it could be mocked.

To put this all together, we don’t want people to be left behind in this digital age, simply because they didn’t want to, or didn’t know how to step out, and we don’t think you do either. Take this bit of information, and place it at the front of your mind. Let it stew for a few weeks, if you need to, but do think about it, because without the means to reach the clients you rely on, you’ll quickly be overshadowed by those who can. In other words: Design for the future, because without it, the future will not see you.