In my job it isn’t always about a swish flash interface, a cool looking site or animation these days – it is about integration, about offering functionality that jumps out from the rest of the competition. The magic word is integration. A client of ours approached us about adding a special sort of travel-blog.
What we would like is some sort of members-only application that allows our users to track their journeys with us and to maybe blog about them, but it should look swish and very easy to use. We would like a similar functionality for our travel guides who would then post information about the tours.
The idea of a blog is a great tool for customer retention, if done right it allows users to post comments about their journeys, maybe with images to keep a log of what they are doing while on that trip. It would allow visitors to see what is going on on a journey with <Company Name> and what you can do or what the user(s) saw and took part in. Obviously, I wanted to offer a little bit more than just a blog. My idea was to work on a map-blog… Continue Reading
A few weeks ago I mentioned a dev-off between the Silverlight-loving developers and the AIR-fanatic design team and promised to keep you guys in the loop as to what is happening in the meantime. As you may remember from a previous article, we are planning to develop an application for users to view a photo gallery of a client’s website, to receive updates, and to give the user the ability to rate and / or comment on these photos. We have now begun working on the first steps for this project and to prepare a base of information for the application to source the information from and to work on.
Following my previous article about Information Architecture and user-testing you we came to the point where we have researched quite a bit into the client’s company: we know the brand, we know the product(s) and its userbase, and we have acquired demographics of the target market. It is now up to us to design and develop the client’s website.
Many of the designers I worked with in the past have then gone and worked on first mock-ups of the home page and a product page – nicely designed and with a bit of flash here or there – which they then sent to the client to get feedback and develop a new or final draft of these pages. And then they went off and started developing the website, without much (or any at all!) time spent on the information architecture or usability (and accessibility) of the client’s website. In today’s article I want to go through a couple of best practice approaches to information architecture and usability for Business-to-customers (B2C) websites. Continue Reading
Following up on the previous article you may have some idea about if the mobile web is something for your company and your products. You have probably looked at your target audience by now, you know what users are going to look for on your website, how they find it, what information they read on your website that is related to the product, and you have a clear picture in your mind what content you want to promote for a mobile device user.
The question is now, how do you begin? What do you need to look out for, and what is a best-practise approach? Continue Reading
Q: What is with you most of the day (and night) next to your wallet and your watch?
A: Your mobile phone!
About a year ago I received my upgrade-phone, an XDA. Nice piece of technology, fairly quick (for a Microsoft OS), it has Sat-Nav and I can sent and receive my emails. Plus, it has WiFi and a nice display size. Plus it allows me to go online quickly to check for information: be it the AA or BBC travel website, order updates or tracking and at times even social networking sites (I know I’m sad). The though is now, how can we use this very personal device for our client’s websites? What are the benefits – and how can you make use of them? Continue Reading
We have just updated WordPress to version 2.5. So far everything seems to work fine!! Woohoo!!
I am currently working on two articles about the mobile web, its opportunities and advantages for our clients as well as how to prepare working on designs and code for mobile websites, stay tuned!
A friend of mine has just gotten his first freelance project: working on a website for a friend of his: the website is about guided tours around Pembrokeshire and the Carmarthen (Wales). Effectively the requirements for him were as follows:
We need to design and build as website for a small company offering guided tours for families or groups going to Wales. The idea is to sell the beauty of Wales as well as the services for either pre-set tours or tailor-made tours based on the client’s wishes.
So in effect he had a very good brief in front of him already. He is a very good designer, and he knows a lot about coding, so he was confident in producing a very good website. The first drafts he made are looking very promising, nice graphics and use of fonts. When I asked him how he was setting the site up and link products and information together he looked a bit stumped. “You know, I haven’t thought of that really, I wanted to come to that when times arises.”… Continue Reading
Looking back at the last couple of years of software development, there are only a few applications that have had a breakthrough in numbers of users: FireFox, Trillian, Skype, Thunderbird, to mention a few. The UGC sites that have grown over the last couple of years (MySpace, Flickr, Facebook, digg, YouTube, to mention a few) can offer a great experience to their users, yet they only work when you are online (and in cases have a good internet connection) and they do not integrate with one’s desktop (other than the “upload file/image” feature).