Designing websites for mobiles

Posted by on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 in Blog, Instructional (how to)

Due to significant inventive improvements on mobile phone’s hardware, designing websites for mobiles is now common and part of our age. With full browser functionality and high system performance with dual or quad-core processors, mobile phones are now comparable to PCs. Society has become adapt to skip buying PCs in favour of the more portable smart-phone. People are now using mobile phones instead of computers. According to Google some 60% of web-based transactions now start from mobile devices. Accessing web sites through smartphones is less time-consuming and infinitely much easier and convenient hence the need to design websites for mobiles is crucial in order to make the visitor experience enjoyable. We earn our living from the web, and so we must ensure the user experience is optimal. People connect to us through our website. Websites designed for desktops can get the attention of large-screen users only, so we need to design websites that are also accessible through mobile phones. A mobile website designer should at least notice these facts. The target market, not everybody has smart phones, tablets or mobile devices. For the elderly for example, mobile reach is limited. So research is required to know how your customers shop, what type of devices they use, frequency of use, etc, Fundamental issue in design all lie upon interest of your customers, hence understand their needs optimizes a website for conversion. They like user-friendly, interactive and dedicated websites that is relevant to them. Functionality required, fun-factor, entertainment material, or useful information Browser and device compatibility Visitors also care how your website looks. A very nice color combination and style of display, how you have managed your content on your web page is one of the leading factor to design a website for mobiles. We all prefer a fast loading website. Mobile phones will have issues loading large web pages, not just the volume of data but cost also, avoid creating heavy website. There are many different type of screens and sizes, some full browser some part. Need for touch-screen or mouse? Another very important point when designing websites for mobile devices – smartphones have small size screens and not always full browser support, so the need to ensure responsive layout in your...

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How much is social media worth to a brand?

Posted by on Saturday, 27 April 2013 in Blog, S.E.O.

Social media worth According to a recent article, a simple facebook “like” is worth around $174 to a brand. We all knew the value in terms of link-building and loyalty, but now a new study has quantified the value of social media’s worth. Each social platform and business would have a unique value, but the main point is Yes! Social bookmarking does work. Branding One of the reasons it works so well is due to branding. People like things which are popular, so as one person “likes” your product and sees other liking it, it catches and builds up a certain momentum until within that circle of friends (and beyond) the brand has meaning and value. So when they need to purchase an item related to the product/service type, the brand name which they already “liked” comes to mind. How much is social media worth, well work out the advertising cost to establish similar branding using conventional means. Loyalty Social intelligence company Syncapse conducted the research using over 2000 Facebook users who had liked a brand. They found the following results facebook fans spend more money not only on the brands they fan ($116 more per year than non-fans), but also within the brand’s sector — 43 percent more, despite not having a higher income than non-fans those fans are also 18 percent more satisfied with their brands than non-friends, and 11 percent more likely to continue using the brand than non-friends Conclusion This means your social media circles/friends/groups are your evangelists. The study recommends prioritising social media marketing to get feedback and make sure they’re happy, they feel appreciated and nurtured by providing attention and value through activity or promotions, and to find ways to discuss your brand with them in a mutually beneficial environment. The report said “The increase in average fan value is driven by fans’ tendencies to be super-consumers,”…. “Not only do they tend to be brand users first, they spend more, engage more, advocate more and are more loyal. The significant and increasing value of a Facebook brand fan affirms past social marketing investment and mandates deeper commitment and accountability in the...

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Tradeoffs in website design

Posted by on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 in Blog, Instructional (how to), S.E.O.

Website design tradeoffs There are two primary objectives in web design which cause tradeoffs Usability, appeal or the ability to convert a view into a sale Discoverability, that is design according to what search engines like A typical example is our front page. It is  way too big in terms of download size, typically we should aim for 100-200Kb total. Ours is more like 350Kb total. So, one very important criteria in the search engine algorithm (page load time) will penalize this site and potentially demote it compared to equivalent sites. This is a typical tradeoff in website design. To overcome this we had to heavily optimise the images and modify the fonts, the end result was an A for page load, typically at under 2 seconds.  Again, in doing so meant the image quality is not crystal clear and the fonts are ordinary, but at least its a compromise we are willing to accept to minimise any penalty for having too many images. However, because the site is new with few links and a viral campaign will be started, it was considered better to be impressive and have a higher conversion rate that pure rankings, for now. When designing pages these are the sort of tradeoffs we must always consider. Another example is this our blog page on the 10 steps to building a website. As you can see it is listed sequentially down, originally it was a table made for easy human reading. The problem is that search engines don’t see all the pretty formatting and graphics that we humans see, they like text. And so, as it was still attractive to a human, we made the decision to design it for the search engine. These sort of tradeoffs in website design is happening all the time. The general rule is to design and write content for humans, after all that is the target market. But at times we must consider what is good for optimal SEO.   There is no such thing as the perfect site It is easy to design a beautiful site with high-resolution photos, lots of flash animations and heavy on multi-media. But, is it really functional? The reason search engines demote sites with poor performance is based on legacy considerations. In a land far far away, we all use to have modems running at 56k baud…compare that to our optical fibre 100Mbit lines now and it seems like a different lifetime. But, in many countries (especially developing nations), they still have low-speed lines. And so, the internet should cater for both low and high-speed. Our site is designed for high-end users, but still, the search engine will lessen its rank because the user experience is too slow. The general rule of thumb is a bit of a compromise. The front page can be flashy, but the individual pages should be around 100-200Kb...

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