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…
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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.

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Information Architecture, Usability & Accessibility, Web development

FireFox extensions for Usability, Accessibility and SEO expertsMy day to day work consists of a lot of time spending on the internet, looking at web presences of current clients, prospective clients and their (and our) competition. My tool of the trade being FireFox 3 (especially considering that IE seems to have a little problem). I am using a number of addons which really help my work-flow in the fields of usability, accessibility, SEO and occasionally information architecture.

I was asked by a couple of fellow twitter users to divulge my plugin list, and since I keep track of them myself at times I thought this post would come in handy for everyone.

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Information Architecture, Usability & Accessibility

It has been a couple of weeks since I last wrote about Information Architecture, be it IA and user testing or designing for the mobile web in mind, and I want to talk about a topic today which relates somewhat to a somewhat new-ish step in Information Architecture, namely the integration of user retention and user interaction.

It is not news to anyone that I – like so many – enjoy video games, come on, it is a multi-million pounds industry. Game publishers have sought to expand their marketing influence in a number of new ways, some of them have started using social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Digg, etc to promote their games either via their own channels, or via publicity stunts (Wii Fit girl anyone?). The message is clear – generate interest, generate sales. Since the company I work for has just signed a deal with a UK-based games publisher with Japanese roots and a European charm I have been looking more into the information architecture of this (still rapidly growing) market, which in turn has opened another door or two for additional potential clients.
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Web Design

I am happy to announce that the new site of Melon Design & Marketing has gone live today!!

screenshot of Melon's new site

Melon Design & Marketing is a creative communication agency based near Milton Keynes, between Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, specialising in a number of sectors such as branding & corporate identity, graphic design, website design & development, advertising and e-marketing, print management, photography and copywriting.

You can read more about all their services here, and about their in-house CMS Engine on this page.

Web development

On Google Chroms - the new browser for the masses - Whatwasithinking.co.uk Google just launched its beta of Google Chrome, the in-house browser that is said to “combine a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.” The browser comes with a lot of interesting features such as a new tab look, a neat address bar giving you the options to search for keywords or auto-completing (even partial) web addresses, anonymus web surfing, web application shortcuts and the ability to isolate browser tabs in case anything goes wrong.

So let’s have a closer look at the browser compared to the competition… Continue Reading

Web Design, Web development

On outsourcing work in the design industry - whatwasithinking.co.ukNot so long ago I received an email from a former student of mine who has just started up his own design studio asking whether or not outsourcing work to contractors, freelancers or studios makes sense and what to look out for.

Especially for upcoming design studios or companies / agencies who are lacking in a certain area (such as developers or Flash animators) it makes sense looking to outsource work to keep employment costs low and not having to worry about whether or not there will be enough work to keep someone (or a whole team) employed.

Read after the fold what to look out for… Continue Reading