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Since 2003 we've been dedicated to creating website for businesses small and large, that are beautiful to look at, and help turn visitors into customers.

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Exciting and Unique Ways to Spice up Content Ideas for Boring Topics


 

Getting ideas before setting about the task of writing a blog can be tough, especially when the topics are dull due to a boring business or industry that a blog writer is called upon to write for. Then the creative juices dry up and the writer is left fumbling for ideas to start writing the content. But the job has to be done and the means to get out of this ‘writers’ block’ has to be found. In this article I’ll examine some ways by which you can discover ideas for writing good content consistently even when the topics are uninteresting.

  • Facebook: Facebook has loads and loads of various groups who cover all conceivable businesses/industries along with many guest bloggers who will provide you great ideas for content writing.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn has precise groups of which you can become a member. The social media platform allows you to post queries to other members. A LinkedIn discussion is a great way to find fresh topics.
  • Twitter: Twitter Search is to search tweets via hash tags and keywords. To get targeted keyword results, add hashtag and remove spaces. Twitter Trending Topics is another great way to produce engaging content.
  • YouTube: YouTube can be used for a lot of things, not just listening to music, or watching videos/movies. On this platform, which is the world’s second biggest search engine, you will also find 800 million+ visitors and plenty of varied videos/tutorials from across industries which will be of immense help to you.
  • StumbleUpon: StumbleUpon tags will help you discover unique as well as popular topics. This is a huge collection of the finest Internet pages which suggest the websites/videos/photos that will interest you. Look under the Discover tab in Stumblers to follow topics of specific interest.
  • Ask audience: You are selling services or products to a targeted audience, right? Then why not ask them what they will like to read in your blog? Chances are your audience will give you the best ideas about what to write.
  • Look and you’ll find many keyword tools: There are many keyword research tools available in the market; use them to get many keyword ideas and to target your keywords according to locations. You’ll get many keywords that will give you new ideas for content and which will be an inspiration to you.
  • Get inspiration: Observe everything around you. Since you are a writer, you need to get inspiration to write some real good stuff. And you can get inspired by almost everything: nature, everyday events, television shows and so on. The list is endless.
  • Interview the business gurus: People at the helm of business and industry are the most authoritative people around as far as your blogs are concerned. So you can interview them and quote them to give your bogs that touch of validity that will get you many eyeballs and larger audiences.
  • Search for answers: Go to question & answer sites to learn what people are looking for in your line of business/industry. Since these sites are public forums, the queries the public post there are serious; so answer them and get ideas in return.
  • Lift from actual news: News events are great happenings to get ideas from. And since they are authentic, you can give them a spin in your blog that will engage your readers. Create a story around an actual event that you see on TV or read on the net or newspaper and then let your creativity flow.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Flat design


 

Flat design is the ‘in’ thing today. Discussions about its soundness are raging in the web design world and everyone in this vast field has something to say about it. Even design that’s not entirely flat is falling into this category. Therefore, as so much hype is surrounding flat design style, it’s imperative that we take a look at both its advantages and disadvantages.

Design style: Mobile applications that are simple stand to gain most from flat design. They can have the most striking flat interfaces/designs. There is no need to zoom to discover links as you have to just tap huge buttons. However, the flip side is that flat design may not be the best thing for complex web designs. Unfamiliarity with the interface style means users may not always know where to tap/click.

Trendiness: It’s trendy. It’s fun and it gets a lot of admiration. So what are designers waiting for? The outpouring of admiration from blogs and all-round recognition are motivation enough for the majority of them to get trendy with their designs. But wait a minute! Trends are, after all, fashions, and fashions come and go – they don’t last forever. Already flat designs was evolving from fully flat to ‘almost flat.’ The disadvantage of this style is that, like all trends, it may suddenly disappear.

Bright is beautiful: Sunlight, bright colors, almost everything bright signifies a feeling of happiness, and it’s the same with flat design. Lots of warm colors are used in a flat design website and they radiate a positive feeling. But many colors mean designers have to cope with the dilemma of matching them properly. And when the number of colors used goes up, the matter gets problematic. Color choice being a subjective issue, there is no real hard and fast rule for matching colors which may lead to difference of opinions among stakeholders.

Well-defined, clean: The beauty of flat design is that it’s clear-cut and clean. The sharpness and varied features result in a design that’s simple and clean. But many experts feel that its very simplicity may be a disadvantage. If it’s too simple it may be unable to put across a complex visual communication. Then, visual hierarchy becomes a matter of concern.

Terrific typography: Without the hassle of embellishments, proponents of flat design have great space to lay out great typography. They can use great type to make the text stand out and even become a decoration in itself. On the other hand, when it comes to typography you just cannot be content with half measures. Only the best will work and so you have to know exactly what the best font to select and what pairing will give you the finest result.

Uninspiring: Was the designer uninspired when he undertook that flat design work? Sometimes it may appear that this was so, that the designer was bored with the job. Flat design means ‘simplicity’ as well as ‘honesty’ so designers may sometimes have to hold themselves back to ensure that their creativity doesn’t go out of the boundaries of flat design. In flat design you have to restrain yourself. You have to suppress new ideas and fresh concepts to keep it really flat.

Summing Up

In summing up I can say that good design is all about usability and functionality. No one design can fit all web sites. Each one must be distinct in itself – like a good suit that’s cut and tailored for the man who’ll wear it. Flat design is in fashion. So right now it’s best to keep up with the trend.

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Learn Why Your Company Needs a Well Written Blog


 

Customers probably seek out for well-known companies like Apple. But, for companies depending on search to create traffic in addition to leads/sales, new, rich, relevant content is significantly crucial in the algorithms of search engines. Without content, a social media advertising technique is difficult to keep alive till the end, simply because only deals & contests can support social systems before the appeal gets jaded. Therefore, I'd say that the change to content advertising is certain for many companies and online branding has little to do with that transition. The actual truth is content advertising determines branding equally offline as well as online. Let's see what's the worth of personalization of social media today. Here we can go through the significance of blogging in the social media marketing advertising strategy.

Blogging

Blogging is surely a major option! But, we also see some issues with just how consumers are blogging specifically applying microblogs in the form of social media sites or major blog sites as their stage for content advertising efforts. And that is clearly an issue since blogging websites allow it to be tougher to position effectively in natural search. More so microblogging does not give you richer content essential to operate traffic to your site and in turn sell to them. It shouldn't be your central advertising strategy.

Blog advantages

Blogging may be the corner stone of one's social media marketing strategy. Companies generate more prospective leads once they integrate a blog. Blogging raises your client trust. Blogging is the most effective reason customers follow your company and promote your messages. Significantly more than half of visitors see your organization more positively while examining your content. 70% of customers get the consciousness of your company during this content advertising strategy.

Social media

While some people make use of a blog to generate income or counteract different charges, a lot of the bloggers I am aware of make use of a blog within their content advertising strategy to guide their business. Huge websites, like Mashable and TechCrunch, will make an income offering advertising room or performing affiliate advertising, but the majority of us make use of a blog to entice guests to the websites, construct relying associations with clients and prospects, and advise customers about different products. It is a primary component of our inbound advertising strategy. A blog may be the simple greatest component of any business. You'll need perhaps not need to go for cold calling or delivering arbitrary e-mails to prospects in the hopes of developing your business. Be a specialist in social media advertising to have a solid grip in analytics & marketing concepts for creating customers. And guess what? It certainly works.

Blogging enables you to get discovered

Without new, important, accessible content on your own site, it's significantly tougher to gain a position in a normal search. The Google algorithm contains parameters almost impossible to deal with without any content advertising strategy.

Content advertising

What exactly is your blog all about? It is important that your blog points to your audience the important things that covers issues for them. Which means keeping along with traits of Twitter and Facebook and submitting content that is fascinating, well-written, non-promotional, and covers client problems. You cannot put up any rubbish, unless it immediately pertains to your brand.

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How to Enhance The Look and Feel of Your Website Without Any Redesigning


 

Do you think that your website development venture is not fulfilling your business goals? Do you think that your website is not providing enough sales leads from the past few months? Have you noticed any great downfall in web traffic to your website? Well, most of you might be knowing what I am going to suggest you, right? Of course, if your website suffers from all such issues, then website redesign is the only option that can help you overcome from all the issues and enhance your website performance ins search engines as well as help you get enough sales leads for your business.

But, what if you don’t have enough budget or fund to redesign your entire website? In the economic crisis, many small businesses or organizations can’t afford to redesign their entire website as it is quite an expensive task. So, how to enhance the look and feel of your website? Well, you or your website designer can easily give a new look to your website by following some simple tricks mentioned below.

  • Change the color scheme of the website
    It is the best way to start revamping your website by changing its color scheme. You can change the colors of texts, links and other visual elements within your website. If you have used any borders, then you can change the style of the border as well as color in order to give new look ‘n’ feel of your website.
  • Instead of simple background, try to use textures
    The days are gone to use the simple colored background in website design. If your website has a simple colored background, then wake up and get it changed by the website designer. You can use texture instead of simple background. It will give a refreshing look to the entire website.
  • Change the font styles
    Changing the fonts on your website can also do miracles! However, make sure you choose the fonts that are readable and regularly used by the users.
  • Add new images
    A picture worth a thousand words, this is perfectly true in the website design. Adding high definition and relevant images would definitely help you change the entire look of your website. If you already have images, then replace them with the new ones.
  • Change the theme, if you are using any Content Management System
    By making such small changes within your website, you can easily change the look and feel of your website without spending hefty money in the website redesign process.
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Web & Mobile Designing & Programming - Get The Best from UX Investment


 

We all know that the business case for doing user experience work in web & mobile designing & programming projects really pays off investing up front in making products easy to use. It improves, efficiency, effectiveness, and end user satisfaction while reducing project risk, cost, and time.

Behind an under-performing user experience effort into a web & mobile designing & programming there are many hidden factors like a lack of tools to the zombie apocalypse anything can inflict mayhem on your teams, also when UX folks aren’t able to communicate well, they can’t understand business, they aren’t team players, they have such a terrible body odor people stay away as much as possible.

Below are some of the very common organizational behavior patterns that make the best UX efforts ineffective.

Hiring wrong people

As lately the user experience is getting a lot of attention, UX has become the buzzword many want to add to their resumes. Although UX exists under different names the field has been around for several years and is fairly mature. People are generally cannot be considered to be at a professional level if they have done full-time UX work as their job for only two to three years. For finding a UX pro you should look for someone who displays excellent communication skills, a high level of empathy, and lots of curiosity.

A true UX pro won’t push her personal preference or opinion in web & mobile designing & programming & will try to prevent you to do that, instead she would like to go based on the user research, test data, heuristics and UI design patterns. Moreover, she doesn’t prefer to attach to her designs but will start from the scratch creating sketches, wireframes and multiple prototypes before going to a detailed level of the design.

If she is not UX pro she will start with interaction and visual design, but if she is indeed a UX pro she will begin with concepts, structure and information design then go further to interaction and visual designing. She should be interested in measurable success metrics not only verbal and use them to take design direction and test protocol. She also speaks for making something easy and also depicts how she will measure that how it is easy. These are some signs of true UX pro in web & mobile designing & programming.

You are preventing the right people from doing their work

It’s really great if you have just found out the best solid UX pro team and an existing project kicked off. But in many cases the same organization that values UX and hires us to do UX work is also is also knowable or unknowingly preventing the UX team’s success. There are plenty of reasons to do this and mainly the lack of management abilities to deal with technocrats successfully or sometime the rules of engagement which are deteriorating the efforts of the UX team to give its best work. Most of the time the organizations which are hiring a UX designer or a team definitely have financial and other resources to extend helping hand to the UX team but lack of knowledge or bureaucracy don’t let them to do for web & mobile designing & programming.

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Performance Culture for Web & Mobile Software Building


 

Initially to have stunning technologies and functional web or mobile software website or web application were enough to capture the market but with advances in technologies had nullified the feeling of something new to technology's effect and now users are becoming more and more smart and concentrated the good user experiences to choose the products. Thus this is the era of usability and user experiences. Among the all factors for good use experiences the performance of web and mobile software gaining momentum so the web and mobile software building is now performance oriented.

When you belong to the performance field and want your company to performance oriented for your website or mobile applications you need to create awareness among the members of your company who are concerned with this. If you are lucky and your CEO had recruited you to manage the performance issues your way is clean, but your company is not much interested then making the performance a priority in your organization is pretty challenging.

In order to make your company performance focused you need to start with the top level where these persons are the leaders of various groups or departments of the organization. This is important because you need to involve different sections in your performance campaign like engineers know that how to optimize the product so you can speak in terms of reducing the regressions and fewer outages with that folks and convince them. The UX team would like to hear about longer sessions, more sessions per month like user metrics and same the way finance team would be agreed to reduce operating costs in words of hardware, power consumption, data center bandwidth, etc.

Thus, involving various departments in your performance culture for effective web and mobile software building process would be beneficial so spread your words across the product management department. Marketing as well as sales department should not be spared here. This is easy if you can identify the key persons in these departments and can use right vocabularies for them.

If you speak in the language that how performance can improve the numbers of unique users from search engine marketing as a result of a faster website makes happy the marketing and sales persons. Therefore, using the terms that resonate with the department you are addressing is important.

To make more and more persons interested in your performance campaign you should carry out some detailed search on your web and mobile software building project and find out the useful stats and present them smartly drawing charts. Now your next step should be to pick a right product to focus on like the product that is in the list of top ten, but doesn’t catch the number one product since that is a cash cow for your organization and nobody would like to experiment with it.

Picking the right product alone is not important to assure success but the persons who work on the web performance optimization for a web and mobile software building project are more important so try to choose the team which can devote you more time and willing to help you so you need to revisit this team each time in the future.

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Useful Tips to Make the Potential Users or Visitors to Take Action on Your Website


 

After the months of efforts and dedicated work finally your website is ready and doing well over the search engines. You may feel proud of your web development venture, but certainly you have realized that your visitors are not taking any action even though your website ranks well and have every element of a successful website.

What could be the possible reasons for that? You may start reviewing your website to find out the main problem and what you have found is the poorly designed call to action by the website designer. No need to afraid of it, this happens many times in many web development ventures. There are many ways you can improve the effectiveness of the call to actions within your website design.

So, let’s check out some of the most useful ways through which you can enhance the call to actions within your website and make the users take action whenever they visit your website.

    • Make it more specific and clear
      Design call to action that clearly defines what they are offering. Make them more specifically in order to help users to know what is in it for them.
    • Clearly define the actions
      Many web designers often fail to design call to action that easily convey or define their actions or what they are meant for. Users feel tempted when they prompted what they thought to be doing now.
    • Always keep it above the fold
      Make it easy for users to locate or view the call to actions within the website. Place the CTA in a column on the right or left side of the page to avoid scrolling.
    • Make it compatible with the content of the page
      It is essential that call to actions match with the contents of the page. For example, if the page is all about the benefits of getting a membership, then call to action should be about becoming a member. So, remember that call to action should be in context with the content of the page.
    • Design it to stand out differently
      Always make it stand out differently from the rest of the buttons or links within the website. You can use contrasting colors to make it look different.
    • Place them in the same location on every page
      Many times designers place CTA in a different location or place in different pages, which at the end confuse users and make them leave the website. So, always place them in the same location on every page.

Following the above discussed guidelines or tips will definitely help you make the visitors to take action and enhance the conversion rate for your website.

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Role of Business Model Canvas Template in Website & Mobile App Designing


 

In website and mobile app designing UX is at its heart. When you create a product with robust graphic designing and offering awesome usability you assure that the product will perform the tasks to help users to achieve their goals to reach at the desired products or services on the website or in the mobile app and you conduct a series of tests and based on finding you iterate the product on the best solution. But when you think of UX design you want to see that the users should be encouraged using product again and again with same enthusiastically as were before. At this point you will again run the user tests as you did in case of usability but this time your approach would be broader and metrics would be focused on the behaviors of the users not the comfort only.

The optimization is the center of the UX design, the optimization of the iteratively improved solution to a general problem. You have to think about the problems of the future users along with the present and learning through the past. Your duty is to spot the problems, define in your metrics, feel the pain it gives and create solutions to eliminate them-this is the highway to great UX designing in any website and mobile app designing project. If you want to stay on the right track of UX designing you’ll need a lot of empathy and analytical skills, because the tricky thing with problems is that the difficulty in defining them even if they trouble us.

Alex Osterwalder has explained an amazing method of describing any business idea: the Business Model Canvas (BMC), in his great book Business Model Generation. This method revolves around the Unique Value Proposition where a single, clear sentence describing the way you’re different from your competitors and why you’re worth buying and the canvas depicts your idea, key partners and resources, and your model of revenue.

But you may think that how it all is connected to user experience design into a website and the mobile app designing project. Let’s go in depth of the UX where we are taking care of the whole product and its end-to-end experience is what we’re aiming at. A BMC template at other hand enables you to grasp the whole product in one place and understand at a glance both the business and users’ side and this is the thing we are doing in the formation of UX strategy therefore it is absolutely crucial for a UX designer.

As a website and mobile app designing person we can’t separate us from the business model of the product as we are designing for a business itself not for us or for our satisfaction to show our technical or designing capabilities. Therefore, at the end of the day we have everything needed to see our design or product at the business side of the product where we need a success to get some bucks not only verbal awards otherwise it will prove a big waste of time for you and for your client's money. Therefore, a Business Model Canvas template in your website and mobile app designing model is crucial and inevitable as we have to make it part of our process and our users often use a BMC as a basic description of just about any project.

When BMC is more focused on a product and its users it is a Lean Canvas, created by Ash Maurya to describe Product and Market. Both a Business Model Canvas (BMC) and a Lean Canvas should be used as a collaborative tool to encourage your team to discuss canvases and question all your assumptions every repeated effort in every project of website and mobile app designing. The great UX design stands upon efficient collaboration.

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Situational Performance Optimization - Web Developers’ Dilemmas Part 2


 

In first part we defined that what is situational performance optimization and taking that further we will evaluate the traits of the situational performance optimization.

Sometimes web developers can’t be enumerating by every possible variable but we can try to identify the primary ones. To get us started down this path below is a list of common traits that can truly affect performance. I tried to give an example for each of those of what Situational Performance Optimization could mean for it.

Content & Structure

The most important thing to remember is that no all the sites are same. Some of the sites are visually light, while some are extremely complicate. Some websites regularly keeps on updating and changing while some are just static. Some of the sites out there have independent pages, while the rest of the other just use self-modifying page.

The differences between these sites have a great impact on which optimization techniques should be applied by the web developers. There are various number of resources on a page that are affecting due to techniques you use like Domain Sharding, but need to pay more attention to lazy loading images for long pages, and pages with few images should be treated by deferring CSS & JavaScript.

Browser Capabilities

Every 6 weeks Firefox & Chrome ship new versions while some old browsers retain for somewhat long. Let’s take a very common example; most still support IE 7 while some sites deprecated IE 6 support and the 6-years-old IE 8 still accounts for over 15% of web traffic. Mainly the older versions of the browsers lame web developers’ ability to use data URIs, CSS media queries and the like, resulting in less optimized pages for all clients. It has been seen that some browsers introduce new capabilities and that we want to tap into. With recent examples in case of Chrome such as pre-render and WebP image format, what it is good if all rest of the browsers follow these trends!

State of Network Conditions

It’s an undeniable fact that is never going away is that some networks are awesome, and others make web developers want to pull your hairs out. Treating a new Google Fiber link same as a poor reception cellular connection or a congested Starbucks Wi-Fi network makes no sense. Reduce image quality when the latency of the connection is bad. High quality images improve the user experience. Sometimes under certain conditions even your designers would agree they hurt more that it can be bearable.

Cache State

Today most of the web developers are optimizing for a clean cache scenario. For the vast majority of measurement tools today cache is the default option – and sometime you have only one as simulating a “correct” cache state is really very tough. There’s little advice around how to optimize your cache, particularly when cache is not scriptable and this is become awkward when you are using your cached performance. I believe there’s a lot that can be done if we put our minds to it while browser cache is not scriptable. At the least move all uncacheable at the bottom of the page or make them sync.

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Situational Performance Optimization - Web Developers Dilemmas Part 1


 

With more and more companies using, advocating or offering RUM solutions there’s no doubt for Real User Measurement 2012 was a big year. A better understanding of the complex world comes with these new solutions for our websites live in. Average load times mean very little, and load times differ dramatically between different situations RUM usually shows load times that are double or more what synthetic tests indicated. Taking simply means it’s complicated for web developers.

Unfortunately to handle this new granularity, our optimizations have not yet evolved. Speaking in black and white terms about what you should do, and offering little situation-specific advice current optimization best practices are defined as one-size-fits-all almost without fail. From our rich RUM data we get primary optimization advice that states “you’re not as fast as you think so it is better you as web developers try harder”.

In this article here we are going to discuss about what we see as the next frontier for optimization techniques – Situational Performance Optimization (SPO). Let’s see some insights into what’s available today, and point out some areas we – as a community - should work on improving.

Situational Performance Optimization (SPO)

Why don’t we start with what is a Situation? Here’s the answer to it; a situation means a specific interaction between client and server – in each case where a browser loads a web page. Including the structure of the website being browsed every situation is unique in many ways the browser’s cache state, and the current network conditions.

While tuning the page for each situation the goal of Situational Performance Optimization is to make our optimizations aware of this context. Through the RUM solution we already are having the measurement tools in place what we’re missing is using the best practices and the tools in our web development.

By best practices we can know what situation we should consider, and what we should do about them. For instance they can tell us about not using the domain shading for Android browsers, or of serving lower quality images when the latency is high. With a reasonable cost the tools are required to help those things.

Today more and more websites are serving a single version of HTML to all their clients with the common expectation of redirecting Smartphones to a mobile site, and so we do not boil network conditions to the application layer. For reducing the level of expertise required of the web developers, we need tools that at least provide situational awareness to the code generating the page, and at most perform the actual optimization.

Sometimes it happens that there are so many Situations and just a little time for them. But we can’t specify every possible variable, but we can try to identify the primary ones. They are Network Protocols, Cache State, Network Conditions, Browser Capabilities, and Website Content & Structure. So we will discuss them in our next episode I mean next part of this series for renowned web developers.

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