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Sunday, 16 June 2013

Video: Your website vs. user experience




A short video that explains the importance of knowing your users and what questions they might have when coming to your site. These questions will form the base of your website content. But what is also important is predicting the scenarios of how they will interact with your site.

This video was made with Videoscribe tool for creating animated videos. They offer a 7 day trial so that you can see whether that's something you will be able to use on a regular basis. It's really easy. You can either use images from Videoscribe Library, upload images from the web, or images of your own. Each image can then be either drawn by the hand, moved onto the canvas by the hand, or morphed from a previous image. Morphing is when an image is transformed from another image. You then set the time and the sequence you want each image to be drawn. The tool also allows you to use upload background music either from the library or your own computer and also do a voiceover.

Overall a great tool that allows you to convey your message visually!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Yahoo! buys Tumblr: The implications

The recent announcement of Yahoo! buying Tumblr has sparked heated conversation between the supporters of the deal and those that predict nothing other but the faith of Geocities, the website which Yahoo! bought for $3 billion dollars in 1999 and which was eventually shut down in 2009.

The opponents of the deal cannot see how Yahoo! can monetize Tumblr on large scale without its young and, let's be honest, already rebellious users turning away from the blogging site due to an overload of adverts. Many also point out the challenge of dealing with the porn sites that have taken large slice of Tumblr's pie.

Above all, however, it is hard to look at the deal and not see the similarities between what Yahoo! wants to be and what Google already is. Part of it could be caused by the fact that Marissa Mayer is an ex-Googler herself and Google's influence and way of thinking in her work seems almost inevitable.

However, another reason why Yahoo!'s direction could be considered similar to Google is Yahoo!'s current  services and technology, particularly personalisation technology. Yahoo! has a Search Engine, Mail, Yahoo! Newsfeed and many other services under its umbrella. And Tumblr could act as a social layer that glues all of those services in the same way Google+ glues Google's products.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

7 examples on how to integrate social media into your online presence

The integration of social media into your online channels does not limit to simply including social media widgets on your website. Although, that is a good start.

True integration of social media occurs when you utilise the principle of social online interaction in the way that serves the purpose beyond just sharing your content for others to see. 

It is also important that you think of your website, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter not in isolation, as separate platforms, but as integrated media which only when combined together will really maximise your audience reach and ultimately conversion. Sometimes we forget that in the good old World Wide Web everything is interlinked. 

If you have a website and are present on Facebook and/or other social media platform then each one of those online channels should promote the other.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

3 steps to planning your website design or re-design

Before you start developing a new site for your business or re-designing a current one, there are three steps you should consider before the actual development of your website commences. Step one is creating user personas; step two is identifying the possible scenarios of the way the users will interact with your website; step three is creating the wireframes for your website which is nothing other than a skeleton of your website's layout, pages, and sections that reflects the online journey of your website's visitors. Once you've completed this process you will have created the foundation for your website so strong, that its actual development should be smooth and see no major drawbacks.

To illustrate this step by step approach let's plan a 'fake' website for an online art gallery.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Simon Cowell launches first global audition online, but still has no website of his own

Simon Cowell has launched the first global audition on YouTube, +The You Generation. It gives the opportunity for anyone to enter by simply uploading a video and showing off their talents. The competition changes every two weeks from tv presenting through cooking to singing and is set to run for a year. When you think about it, it's only a natural next step from the way YouTube has been a break through platform for the likes of +JustinBieber.

Hearing about it for the first time, I thought Simon has finally realised the existence of the internet! Why? When writing Is Celebrity Online Presence Reflective of Their Celebrity Status? I researched few of the most powerful celebrities and so far, there has been no sign of neither Simon Cowell's own official website, nor his company's Syco Entertainment which he formed as a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Victoria Beckham's new website - Review

Victoria Beckham has recently released a brand new e-commerce website victoriabeckham.com. The design, look and feel of the website is stylish, fashion oriented, and minimalistic. Victoria herself calls is 'true to her own vision' (Grazia, 1st April 2013).

The website is split into two sections: 'Shop' and 'Look' presenting the user with two options as soon as they enter the site. It's clean, self-explanatory and immediately directs you to the two major goals that you are meant to accomplish here.

The e-commerce (Shop) part of the website has clear categorisation of items to buy and the presentation of the items is informative and accompanied with very good quality photography. The purchase process itself, including the 'Add to bag' functionality, is smooth and user-friendly.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

8 Google+ cover images you should take an example from

The new dimensions of Google+ cover image, open up new possibilities for companies to make a first impression that really sticks in your mind and stands out from the crowd. It's a hugely powerful tool which businesses can utilise in the almost never ending number of ways. Here are some of the best uses of Google+ cover images, and why you should make yours informative, promotional, bold, current, and regularly updated.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Forget social networks, get ready for the social web!

Google+ is often compared to Facebook. It is also treated by many as just another social network. Well, it is not like Facebook and it is not just another social network. It can be, however, the beginning of the social internet.

It is not about Google+ features, but about the implications that Google+ has beyond the social network platform as we know it.

Social network platform could be defined as an online destination, a service to which users 'go to' usually by logging in. If YOU want to interact with ME then we both log in and view, share, post, comment, and like each other's content. Purely looking at interaction between the users within Google+ platform, on the surface, the differences between Google+ and Facebook are minor. Both offer wall-posting capabilities, with the opportunity to like, share, and comment. You could ask why use Google+ if you already keep connected to your friends on Facebook? How much more connected can you be or want to be, right? The thing is that Google+ reaches far beyond the social network itself. It allows you to have a social experience regardless of what you do on the web, whether it's search, email, creating documents, or collaborating with your co-workers via Google Drive.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

How I re-designed my blog with no skills and no money!

If you've been struggling with your blog's design, and like me have no  graphic design or web development skills and, let's be honest, no money either, then I've discovered few simple ways you can spice up your blog's design for free. I tried to apply some ready-made templates that Blogger offers, however am just not comfortable with simply applying them to my blog without customizing it here or there. It makes it look lazy, unprofessional, and there is always a chance of coming across somebody else's blog looking exactly like yours. Ouch!

But then, a miracle happened and I came across this Hubspot article: 13 Free Design Tools for Visual Marketers on a Budget. The tools listed cover everything from Google Fonts, where you can choose from hundreds of font styles to various colour and photo editing tools. My immediate attention was drawn to two of the listed sources: Vecteezy and ColourLovers.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

5 reasons why Google+ can help you communicate at work

If anyone wants to REALLY understand Google+ they REALLY need to stop thinking about it as just another social network. There is much more to Google+ than that. And if you're not convinced to Google+ yet, listen to this very interesting podcast on SocialMediaExaminer.com. In this podcast +Michael Stelzner interviews +Jesse Stay, the author of Google+ for Dummies and Google+ Marketing for Dummies. Jesse has a very holistic approach to the platform. He explains how Google+ creates CRM experience for anyone using any of Google products such as Gmail, Google Events, Google Calendar, YouTube, and more.

"Google+ is like a glue that connects all Google products together, socially." 

Apart from its social features, its effect on search engine ranking, and integration with other Google products, Google+ can be an easy-to-use, efficient, and collaborative tool for any business, big or small.