Human-centered web design: A Czech firm is helping small businesses achieve big success

We spoke with the founder and CEO of Net Magnet about why some minor mistakes that can add up to major problems for your business.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 12.10.2021 14:33 (updated on 13.10.2021)

The Czech Republic is among the top 30 countries with the best conditions for online business according to a study published by the American consulting firm Best Accounting Software. The country ranked 23rd in the poll comparing 20 different factors in 99 countries.

With people spending more time (and money) online than ever before, there's no better time for savvy entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic to do business online. But first, they should consider how optimizing their apps, websites, and e-shops can impact the bottom line and the future of their company.

Tomáš Kouba CEO and founder of Net Magnet, based in Český Krumlov, has been creating websites, apps, and e-shops since 2007. He was also a finalist at the Y4PT hackathon, held in 2017 in Montréal, Canada.

In many of his interactions with his client base, which extends to Prague, Plzeň, and Brno, he sees the same common problems: business owners who insist on taking the role of the designer.

He said that many business owners zero in disproportionately on their website's graphic design which, for those who don't have a strong skill set in web design or online marketing, is the one factor they can subjectively evaluate.

"So they ask website builders to create something ‘sexy’ and ‘modern.’ They want to build a website for themselves. However, they should ask them to build a website for their customers instead. This change of mindset is the key,” Kouba said.

Net Magnet helps its customers take the important first step to find what the customers want from the website, which can be determined with web tools that analyze visiting traffic and behavior and, Kouba said, by asking customers good questions.

A website's structure and content should be built around this analysis, not graphic design, he adds.

“Good website builders should first design user flows, then a content structure, then a wireframe (prototype). Graphic design is then pretty much just decorating the wireframe," he said.

Often times he finds that when a graphic designer designs a website without any analysis just to please the client, it ends up needing a complete website redesign the following year -- which can hurt a business.

Net Magnet, which counts among its successful projects the website for metal detector seller LovecPokladu.cz, which is now the number one firm on the Czech and Slovak markets in its sector, creates web design with long-term sustainability.

Kouba has also found that another common problem for small businesses is that much of their marketing energy is wasted because they don’t build on the analytical data that can be generated from their websites.

“Most small and medium-sized business owners do online marketing blindfolded so it has little effect. They target their customers only very broadly because they don’t know them well because they skipped the analysis. They also don’t measure the results of ad campaigns and other marketing efforts so they can’t tell when they made extra money and when they lost it,” he said.

He gives an example of a newly opened tea shop trying to sell online. The owner randomly posts to Facebook and Instagram the shop’s offerings and sometimes pays for the posts. She doesn’t sell a single tea bag online. One day she does keyword research in Google Ads and finds out people are Googling starter kits for different kinds of teas.

"So she combines her offerings into starter kits and advertises them on Google Ads. After a month, she checks Google Analytics and sees that a campaign for the Yerba mate starter kit made her revenue of $1000 and cost only $100. Other campaigns didn’t perform so well. So she focuses on Yerba Mate. She calls customers to ask why they bought it, optimizes keywords, adds extra targeting to students during the exam period, etc."

After the owner then checks important metrics she begins a tea subscription to gain recurring revenue. "Her shop became profitable and she can now expand to other tea segments," he said, illustrating the importance of analytics, SEO, and PPC campaigns.

Kouba's team of web specialists, which has a portfolio of clients that include the tourism and hospitality sector thanks to their beautiful South Bohemian location, has been offering what he calls "human-centered design" since 2007.

"We use the latest web technologies (PHP, React, Flutter, Node.js, Foundation CSS, Tailwind CSS, and more) which will prevent your project from becoming outdated. Our design is future-proof and our code is easy to maintain for years to come," he said.

This article was written in association with Net Magnet s.r.o. To read more about our partner content policies see here.

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