Shopping in the Digital Age

Website design has changed over the 25 years that the Internet has been a part of everyday life. The first websites were rather rudimentary, and the exciting part about designing a site was being able to change the colors of the fonts. That led to websites with black backgrounds and neon yellow or green lettering. It led to many very ugly websites that people really did not visit. The websites were more along the line of vanity sites, and very few businesses really understood the future. Many of the first sites were academic, and they posted data that was relevant to their readers. The first community bulletin boards were beginning to develop.

Originally, the bulletin boards were associated more with those academic sites where colleagues and students discussed various problems and procedures relevant to their fields of interest. A bulletin board may develop around the use of software as well. There were many very active Photoshop community bulletin boards where people discussed the software, made suggestions about new features and developed third-party plugins for the photo editor. These were useful sites, and many people learned more from those sites than they did by reading a massive manual published by Adobe. Creative minds worked together to fix real user’s problems.

Thankfully, businesses have finally grasped the need to use the Internet to present their products and offer the public ways to purchase them. There were no shopping carts in the beginning. The order forms could be printed and then mailed with a check to the business. It was catalog shopping in the digital age. While the idea of catalog shopping is not a bad thing, there are too many ways to shop now to go back to filling out an order, writing a check and mailing it to the company. People want to shop online, pay for their item with a credit card and go on to the next thing on their list of things to do.

They shop from their laptops, desktops and cellphones. Since shopping by a mobile device is relatively new, a business would be well served to hire a small business ecommerce solutions professional to design their site for the mobile community. Much like the time when businesses did not understand how the Web could help them, businesses who neglect mobile devices might as well be asking people to print an order form and mail a check all over again.

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