The Importance of Reviews

You need to to offer such great service and products that people will go out of their way to say how wonderful you are...

Paris Birthday Celebrations

We have just been to Paris this weekend. It was our eldest daughter’s 21st birthday and we offered her a trip away. This is where she chose. So, after the hotel and all the normal sightseeing trips were booked, we needed to look at where to eat. And this is where the importance of reviews and having lots of good ones came into play. We had no clue where to go, so had to find places online and hope for the best.

We based all our restaurant decisions and bookings on where had good reviews and lots of them! It didn’t really matter where they were in Paris. Everything seemed to be about 1/2 an hour away, either by bus or by the metro, so we were free to go wherever we wanted. And we wanted to choose places that lots of people have been to and liked. To be fair, most of where we booked didn’t even take bookings, so we also had to queue! But what a testament to a restaurant that people were queueing up outside, even in the rain!

Us on a 1/2 hour bus journey!

The first day

We started off around the Eiffel Tower (stunning) but was a bit of a food disaster as we were hungry but hadn’t found anywhere to eat and ended up buying super expensive baguettes from a stallholder.

But then we fancied an ice cream. so we took 5 minutes and “Googled it”. We actually walked about 20 minutes away from The Eiffel Tower to get an ice cream at a cafe called Amorino. They did the most beautiful flower shaped ice creams and were just delicious. We got this from Trip Advisor… Over 1200 reviews left just for an ice cream parlour – got to be good right? And they were!

In the evening, we had booked to go to one restaurant but where Sophie really wanted to go was Pink Mamma. But here you couldn’t book. Well we got the bus for 1/2 an hour(!!) and turned up in the Moulin Rouge district of Paris. Walked down a few side streets and there it was – all pink and tiled outside with a massive queue up the side of the building! We looked up the number of seats it had – 110. We stood at the back of the queue and worked out we were over 100th in the queue – pretty tight but we made it inside. And it didn’t disappoint! One big fat Google review left for them after our meal!

Our 2nd day

We decided to head up to Montmartre. We thought we would find a nice little cafe for breakfast but there were so many people milling around as well as it looked like rain, and we had nowhere to eat! By this time it was around 10.30 and we were hungry. So again, the phones came out and we found The Hardware Société. A little restaurant around the back of Sacre Coeur…with massive queues outside! We left our name and were able to return in about 1/2 an hour (sensing a theme here) where we had jumped to the top of the queue! Well this was definitely worth the wait. Instead of the traditional eggs and bacon, 3 of us were served with pork belly (the bacon bit), eggs on rye bread, leek and bacon potato hash (hash browns). And what a feast! One of us had baked brioche with fruit, meringue (??) and yoghurt. The hot chocolate came in a jug, all such great touches. It was so unusual, but oh so wonderful!

Later in the day, as if we needed to eat any more, we popped into another amazing restaurant called Maison Sauvage for a cocktail and some French chips (classy). And bam – another great review!

Then in the evening, we travelled over to Brasserie Bellanger for the birthday meal. The service in all of the restaurants was impeccable. They couldn’t do enough for us. The food was perfection. The price was high…but hey it’s Paris!

To summarise

And we found all of these wonderful places via either Googling them and checking out the Google Reviews, or through Trip Advisor. The Hardware Société even had a lightbox asking for reviews – so important for restaurants. Obviously we have posted reviews for all of these places, including the hotel we stayed in, The Hotel Residence Europe, which again, was really lovely.

We know how important it is to keep growing your reviews, being in the business we are in. But do you always ask your clients to review you?

There are so many ways now. Google, Trip Advisor, Trustpilot, Checkatrade, Facebook plus all the smaller and growing review websites that are showing online now.

Always ask – people won’t necessarily just post a review if you don’t prompt them. We are always trying to grow our reviews and have recently found out different ways to do it. More of this to come in another blog!

Our weekend away was amazing. And so much of that was down to the reviews online. Vital for any type of business, whatever you do. You need to to offer such great service and products that people will go out of their way to say how wonderful you are!

Why I am writing this?

Hello! My name is Cameron Baird and I am currently doing some work experience at Sokada. I am carrying out some research into what I think are good web design elements, that work well together to create great website designs. I am writing this blog post about what I think are the most effective elements of web design in creating a fun website.

When I’m on the internet, there are many websites that I skip over not bothering to read. Whether that is because it is an overload of sentences or I’m not interested in what the website is showing. However, every once in a while there comes along a website with a great design that really piques my interest despite what it is about. Below are a few elements of great web design that work really well when all used together:

Web design can really make or break a website!

The Use of Colour

Colour is a very important tool when it comes to creating a page that will really stand out. Can you think of a website that has no colour at all? Every major company uses colour to their advantage. Look at Apple for instance. Apple uses the colour white a lot in their website and we often associate it with purity.

However Apple doesn’t just stop there, they also add splashes of other colours. These colours are bold and contrast the white background. Colour is important as it can instantly draw viewers in without knowing what it says. Plus information can be identified up to 70% faster when coloured.

Videos and Animations

I find that when a website has a video or animation to watch, it instantly captures my attention. I can process the information much easier and remember it for longer. The Adidas home page has a clip of different shoes on the screen that are constantly changing and if you scroll down you find another video.

The use of video really helps to cement the viewers attention to the site. Most viewers say that a video is important for a website for showing how a service / product works. Using a video can also simplify complex information into a fun to watch clip. As a result this helps bring them back, once again, to your website.

Bold Original Illustrations

Using a creative illustration to attract viewers helps the website to look much more engaging and professional. The use of a picture can:

1. Help break up the big chunks of text
2. Make the information more digestible
3. Create a fun atmosphere on the website.
4. Instantly grab my interest and make me want to keep exploring the website.

According to studies by Doctor Jakob Nielsen, only 28% of a websites actual content is read by viewers. Using images like this can help the viewer process a website’s information much faster and ultimately help them to remember the website.

Website Simplicity

Another extremely popular design style is minimalism. What is minimalism style you ask? It is a simple and easy to navigate page style. By putting a few elements onto a page it creates the effect of minimalism.

Great Web Design example from Layer Design

A great example of this is the Layer design home page. The home page’s whole screen is filled by a presentation of the designs they have made and has no other information. Most importantly this makes me want to look and see what this website is about.

Minimalism helps create an interest in something as it already has a unique professional look with the mystery of what else the page has to offer. It makes the viewer seek out more information and stay longer on the website.

In conclusion…

These elements of web design, when used together, can create great website designs and make some unique and interesting website pages. Try it yourself and see what you think. Whether the website itself is serious or for fun, you cannot deny that a great website design just feels good!

Click here to get even more design tips to create more conversation!