Discover Adobe’s Experience Design CC for your UX designs

adobe experience design cc

You can now download what will initially be known as Project Comet – Adobe Experience Design CC, thanks to the free version released today. This new tool will allow you to make web and application designs quickly, switching between the view sketch and prototype in a highly agile way. The application also offers the possibility of generating animated models that can be created from the application itself or be imported from third-party ones. You can then interact and share projects with teammates for possible modifications thanks to live preview mode.

With its simple and intuitive interface, it is possible to learn to use it in no time. Despite only being currently available for Mac, it will soon be available for Windows users too.

You can follow any changes about Experience Design CC on Twitter @AdobeUX and talk to the team by using the hashtag #ProjectComet.

Source: Adobe’s Blog

Single page Websites – are they right for me?

One of the recent trends in web design is the single page website. We are often asked for single page websites from people who merely need what they call ‘a placeholder on the web’ or an online business card.

But these are merely a single static page with a limited amount of information available to the end user.

Although valid, this is the old perception of a single page site, often driven by budget and the desire to gain a web presence sooner rather than later.

Now, a single page website can mean something else altogether. More of a halfway house between a fully featured multi page site, and a single page.

A search on Google will reveal many engaging and highly attractive single page sites, but is it right for your needs? They are not for everybody.

Plus points being that it keeps the site simple and content is easy to access. Design can be focussed on just the one page rather than having one fantastic home page and then several other bland and boring ones. It makes it easier for customers to access information and thus engages them with your site. Old school thinking used to shy away from having to scroll down to access information, but with user habits changing due to the increased usage of social media, users are now far more used to scrolling to access information and would almost rather do this than click to access another page and wait for it to load (albeit only a nanoseconds wait!).

Negative points are that site/page architecture is more difficult to get right when you only have one page to do it, particularly if you have a lot of text and images.

SEO is more difficult as it is hard to optimise multiple keywords on one page coupled with the fact that one page, with a lot of information is likely to be ‘weightier’ and take longer to load.

Subsequent changes to the site can be more difficult as effectively there is less room to move.

The above is just a few considerations to make but maybe it’s worth changing your old perceptions of a single page site and either ‘trading up’ or ‘trading down’ from your existing solution.

Paul Cox

Technical Consultant

Does my business need a mobile optimised website?

Does my business need a mobile optimised website?

A hot topic of conversation these days seems to focus on mobile optimised websites – but what does that actually mean for you?

A mobile optimised website is a website that has been designed to be viewed more easily on either a Smartphone or Tablet device.
As these types of devices have a very different sized viewing area to a traditional PC, a site that is designed to work on the latter will not necessarily be as visually pleasing when viewed on the former.
In order to look pleasing on all three types of device, (Mobile, Tablet, PC) your site needs to react accordingly and present the relevant size and type of images to the device being used to view it.

Up to a third of current internet traffic is now from mobile devices, with this figure growing fast year on year, at face value it would seem that options are slim when deciding whether you need this kind of site for your business. But are they?

Statistics could prove either way, depending on how you interpret them. One of the most important things to look at to start with is your own website statistics, they can help you glean when and from where your traffic is coming from. Armed with these facts we can continue to look at the following.

Are you selling B2B or B2C? A major consideration

Other recent statistics also show that tablet use reaches it’s peak between 8 and 9 PM and is largely focused on ecommerce sites. For want of a better word ‘Fun’.

So, with the above in mind, we could say that if you are a B2C business with an ecommerce function and peak website usage outside of office hours then a mobile option is definitely for you.

Conversely, we could say that if you are a B2B organisation with no ecommerce function and peak usage inside office hours – then why bother with a mobile site?

Smartphone’s have a spike of usage during the morning commute and seemingly support more of a ‘research’ role with less actual buying happening via this kind of device.
Although lower during the day, tablet’s are still in use during working hours. But who is most likely to be using them in this window? My guess is the CEO’s and decision makers taking the opportunity to checkout your business before contacting you, or even on the way to visiting you – they may well grow bored of struggling with a non mobile optimised site and move on to the next which provides them with a more attractive experience. This group may represent a small percentage of your web traffic, but also a very important percentage who you cannot afford to ignore.

Armed with the facts, it would seem that it may be shortsighted to ignore the mobile web community, whatever your type of business. Especially considering it’s current and predicted rate of growth.

Paul Cox – Technical Consultant

How to get the most out of your website

There are countless things you can do to improve your websites online status, in this article I will outline some of the more important factors which may aid you in developing your online presence further.

The most important factor must the Search Engine Optimisation, optimising content without negating its importance and clarity is paramount. Anyone can repeat words over and over to try to fool many search engine spiders, however this no longer works and in-fact works against you! The source code of your website must also be as streamlined as possible to ensure that page loads are kept low and furthermore the website is error free (W3C Validator). Some businesses use software such as Website Auditor to manage and maintain page optimisation.

Blogs are a great way to provide useful content and bring internet users back to your website. If you write your articles and provide links pack to relevant pages within your website this certainly will boost your traffic. Just as important due to the search-ability of certain social networks, is to utilise social networks such as Facebook, recent studies have found people do indeed look on Facebook for companies. Also when searching within a search engine, companies Facebook pages are displayed, it’s simply another outlet to deliver information and social mentions for your business.

If you create a beautiful design for your website and adopt great mechanics you should submit your site for an award, this can drive traffic to your website and thus boost its rankings. Adopting a new design annually can also keep this traffic coming and provide continuous awards. Additionally you can add competitions to your website and attract visitors who then turn into repeat visitors to check on their progress. This is a great traffic boosting tool. You may also find releasing e-cards for each seasonal occasion useful as long as they are sent via email with a link back to you website where you can promote your services. This will bring lots of traffic to your website and work well in conjunction with all the above.

This brings me to the second most important factor after great SEO, fresh content, clean original content is king, no repeated paragraphs, plagiarised content or dynamically included content from other sources should be used as it is highly likely it has been indexed within other websites and smart search engines know the original authors.

That being said, if you establish yourself as a great author you may utilise the “author” META tag. Which can give your posts great “weighting” with search engines that are actively collecting author data where the authors are writing concise and useful materials.

It’s important to note that creating useful materials, content, awards, SEO are far more important than other outdated techniques for driving traffic such as business directories and other link building activities. These inbound links are no longer as useful and should only be utilised if everything else has been exhausted. Focussing on what’s important and listening to what search engine developers / marketers state is a much better way to deliver the right material that will elevate your website within search engine results.

If you provide a range of products, affiliate and reseller schemes are a great tool to build your business, giving the opportunity for other s to make their own money from selling your items is a great way to build a reputation especially if you can provide white label reselling to allow others to build a brand from your products. This benefits both parties and you can bet your established brand would already be well ranked, so when people do “shop around” you will receive traffic and potential conversions.

I wish you the best in your website promotion and hope you get the most out of your website(s), time to put ideas into practise.

Dan – Software/Web Developer