Uncategorized

how to recruit the best staff for a design studio - whatwasithinking.co.ukHaving your own design studio – now that is a nice thought, isn’t it? You’re the boss, and your creative knowledge and skills are steering your career and popularity within the industry.

There comes a time though when the work-load is too much, or where you and your partners want to get more hands on deck to help with the creative process or managing the projects or even manage your bank account. It is difficult to decide when and how to grow your own business. There are many factors to consider, client relationships, economic climate, location or size of the office, costs for staff and hardware,…. the list can go on! Getting the balance between “running at or over capacity” and “part-time idle staff” right can be daunting, so let’s have a look at what you could do. Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility, Web development

the trouble with supporting IE6 - whatwasithinking.co.ukOver the last week or so, the discussion “should we continue to support IE6” has been gaining more and more momentum. Digg, Mashable, Techcrunch and other websites ran features about why IE6 should be given the boot, websites like facebook and youtube are starting to phase out the browser, hinting users to upgrade their browser.

This sparked a long and heated debate in a number of web design agencies and clients I am working with (or have worked with / for), whether it would be worth just dropping the support for Internet Explorer 6 and ask users to upgrade their browsers so that they can enjoy the website to the fullest.

Coming from a usability, accessibility, SEO and web dev background, I thought it might be a good idea writing why I would recommend supporting (or not supporting) IE6 in the industry I am working for. Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility

10 ways to improve the usability of your e-commerce websiteWith more and more consumers spending time on the web looking for online bargains (let’s be honest, if I see a game for £27.99 online but £34.99 in shops then I wouldn’t be thinking twice either) instead of shops, companies must ask themselves if their website is not only showing the right prices, but is also usable enough to order items from.

In 2005 there was a huge wave of online shops reworking their ordering processes to make them more usable and accessible to people, which was a sounding success for many companies. These days however more offline stores are trying to expand to the web and are asking for advice. Here are ten ways to improve the usability of your e-commerce site to maximise your conversion rate and help convert ‘browsing your wares’ into ‘placing an order’: Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility, Web Design

5 steps for improving website usabilityUsability is a serious concern for many websites – what does the customer want when he arrives on your website? Does the user know where to go, what to do and how to ask questions or enquire / purchase?

Knowing the usability heuristics is already a very good start, but how can you make sure your website can be enjoyed by as many people as possible without causing headaches or frustration? Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility

Usability Heuristics Explained - Whatwasithinking UKI bumped into a former student of mine this evening – pleasant surprise. We had a quick chat about work and life, and he asked me if there was a quick way to explain the Usability Heuristics to someone in his company that would not involve a lot of reference material.

“Heuristic evaluation” means identifying usability problems with your website by checking the website (layout, design, outer template, content) against 10 so-called best-practice guidelines published by Jakob Nielsen. Even after reading these “10 commandments of usability” you may end up a little confused as to what they mean and how to relate to them in the real (web) world. So let’s have a look at them… Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility, Web development

10 reasons to learn web standardsI was just talking to an acquaintance of mine (a php developer) about website design when we started discussing accessibility and usability. His response was:

Accessibility and Usability? Is that this web standards stuff people are all so afraid of? Nah f*** that, who needs to learn those anyway.

Well, so why are web standards beneficial, here is my top 10… Continue Reading

Information Architecture, Web Design, Web development

Strategies for working with developersWorking in a busy office is one of the best parts of being a designer or information architect – you can bounce off ideas, discuss projects with others and get their input, and you can generally have a good laugh.

That is until the time comes where a new project is being started or requirements are being updated. Usually then some sort of “rivalry” will ensue, and in 90% of the cases it will be between a designer or information architect and a developer or development coordinator. Scope was not fully explained or defined, the design is too complicated to build, or data is not coming from the sources it was meant to.

In those times frustration can quickly result in stress and lack of commitment to a project. Let’s see what we would do to remedy that…
Continue Reading

SEO

How to sell SEO - whatwasithinking.co.ukToday I closed my 11th SEO proposal. This may not sound very impressive (and it isn’t a high profile client either), but it does to me, not only because it adds a few more numbers for the account handlers, but because it means that my sales strategy works (11 out of 11 closed) and that the data I am showing and preparing is useful.

One of my followers on twitter asked me what my trick is, so I thought I’d write down what is helping me close a sale, in the hopes it might prove useful for some of you.

Continue Reading