Responsive Vs. Adaptive- Which to choose?

When working with customers and developing scopes for projects, we often present two options for web design: responsive design and adaptive design. The two are commonly confused, and some may refer to responsive as a subset of adaptive technologies. Therefore, it’s helpful to make sure all parties involved are using the same terminology when talking about site implementation. Understanding the key differences between responsive and adaptive design will keep everyone on the same page and help you select the best approach for your project.

While adaptive design is quicker and easier to implement, it’s generally a bad practice to go about. It caters to today’s devices only and doesn’t make provisions for new devices with different widths that may be released tomorrow. Responsive on the other hand, works with every width between the smallest and largest versions. While this means much more work on the developer’s part to ensure there are no breakpoints within the site, it also means the website is much more likely to work properly on any new device.
Which one to choose?

The correct answer is totally up to you. Both adaptive and responsive designs are great choices to ensure that your site is viewable on both mobile devices and desktops while using only one site. If we had to pick one, we will choose responsive as it is totally flexible and works on both mobile and desktops with the same perfection. Contact us to know how we can make your website responsive today!

The Age of Mobile Websites

The world is using more Smartphones than personal computers and soon (not too soon) personal computers will become the relics of the past. Thanks to responsive web design, now websites can be viewed and are easily accessible on mobiles anywhere and anytime. But with hundreds and thousands of websites going mobile every day, the standards are getting higher and higher.

The first thing that you need to take into consideration is, the load time of your mobile site. One thing that majority of mobile web developers doesn’t take into account is the load time of the mobile websites. A public survey shows that 74% of the users will close the website and bounce away after waiting for just 5 seconds for the mobile website to load on their gadget, where as an average m-commerce site takes nearly 9.86 seconds to completely load. Just imagine the advantage it would give your mobile web over others. So ask your mobile web developer to keep that point in mind when you ask him to make a mobile web for you.

The next aspect that needs your attention is to know the answer to this question, what are mobile users doing online? What kind of mobile websites users visit? Knowing this will help you in creating the website that people actually want to visit. A staggering 490 million people worldwide will be making online payments in the form of mobile ticketing and mobile coupons and these numbers are likely to reach 788 million by the year 2015, which was only 14 million in the year 2010. So making an online mobile payment portal is going to be a profitable idea. If not, then you can go for a mobile shopping portal, because 4 out of 5 Americans that own Smartphones like to shop online through mobile shopping carts.

The growth of mobile e-commerce is expected to reach the $31 billion mark by the year 2016, and if you want to take some piece of that enormous pie, you need to develop a fully efficient mobile website through responsive web designing.

Jees

Responsive Web Design

As more and more people are now turning to smartphones and tablet devices, the need for mobile-friendly websites increases. If search engine optimization (SEO) is an important factor in a particular marketing strategy, it is essential to ensure that a website is mobile-friendly. Mobile Internet will eventually overtake desktop Internet, so whether to choose a responsive website or having a separate mobile website is a critical decision. The best options depend on a number of factors; the website’s purpose, target audience, and whether SEO is an important factor.

To get a general idea of the importance of responsive web design consider the following statistics:

91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone and 56% of those are smartphones
72% of those that own a tablet make a weekly purchase online from that device
55% of all cell phone owners use their cell phone to go online with 17% being “cell-mostly internet users”
62% of all companies that implemented responsive web design showed increased sale

There are three very important elements in responsive web design.

  • Flexible Layouts
  • Flexible Images
  • Media Queries

Responsive web designs create flexible layouts so that fluidity is embraced as browser widths change, and fluid grids will resize and reposition elements when necessary. Responsive web design uses flexible images that are context aware. Consider them floating elements that know where to go when being viewed by a given resolution. The same applies to content (words) and other elements. To achieve scalability, CSS media queries are used to apply different page styling according to certain parameters. The key is in the coding, that allows for all elements to look sharp in every context or resolution, as opposed to shrinking their size (and beauty) to fit a smaller screen, or resorting to the ever-dreaded horizontal scroll.

Responsive Website Design is rather important for any business owner who has a website. With a known statistic that suggests that approximately 50% of Internet browsing is being done from mobile devices, there is a pressing need to deliver positive and enjoyable user experiences regardless of the device being utilized.

 

Jees

How to build traction on your website?

When someone lands on your website for the very first time, exactly what happens?

That’s the most crucial point of conversion for any website: That moment when a new visitor takes their first look into your page and makes a decision whether or not they’ll stick around a little longer to learn more. I hope that they do. But what then? Are they totally absorbed and compelled to go deeper and take the next step to subscribe, get in touch, or even purchase something?

The goal of any kind of website you design is always to build traction with your target audience. Whether you’re designing a site for a client, or you’re designing one for your own startup — whether it’s a site for a product, an event, or a service — if it’s not building traction, then it’s not assisting your business move forward and grow. In this article, I’m going to share a few simple, but important tips to help you design a site that performs its primary duty: Build traction with your audience and also convert them to customers.

Know your target audience

Hopefully, you know who your website’s intended target audience is. And hopefully it’s very specific. For example, rather saying your product is targeted at small business owners, narrow it down even further: “It’s a product for small business owners with 10 to 20 employees working primarily within software as a service.” Don’t be afraid to niche down to the point you’re excluding periphery users. You’re better off focusing your message on your primary audience, as this will allow you to resonate with them. The others will discover ways to fit your product to their use if it really provides the solution they need. But knowing who your audience is only the first step. You also must know them. What do they care about? What is challenging them? What are their goals? How can you produce a “win” for them?
Through in-depth audience interviews, and keeping tabs on the common questions that are raised — either through support, your contact form, or in person — you can get to know your audience on a deep level. This helps you craft a website and message that cuts straight to the things that matter most to them.

 

Speak to one person (not many)

We all want to design websites that receive a large number of unique visitors per day. So the common mistake that I see website owners make is they write their copy as if they’re speaking to a crowd of individuals. That might make sense from your perspective as the website owner who sees thousands of hits in analytics. But to each individual visitor, your message feels impersonal and bland. A much better approach is to speak to one individual person — your target customer — and write as if you’re having an intimate one-to-one conversation. This is how you develop a deep relationship and build trust with your audience.

By speaking in terms they relate to, and talking about things they care deeply about (you know what those things are, don’t you?), you’re setting the stage for a successful visit or transaction.

Focus on a single call-to-action

You’ve seen those sites that bombard you with popups, slide-ups, sidebar opt-ins, bottom of page opt-ins, and oh-by-the-way — like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and while you’re at it, would you like to chat with us live right now? If your visitor’s attention is pulled in too many different directions and none of those are the actual content of the page, you’re in bad shape. Very few people will decide to opt in or buy right away without reading something of value first. And those that do are not highly qualified and likely won’t ever purchase from you.

A more logical approach is to keep the focus on your content first. Clean, unobstructed views, with a limited number of callouts, links, and action buttons around. With highly compelling content comes engagement. That implies that once a visitor reads something thought provoking from you — it could be an article, an overview of a product’s benefits, a video, whatever — then they’re ready to take the next step. In fact, they want to.
That’s when you present one single, relevant, call to action. For example, if it’s a blog article about the latest CSS3 technique, the single call to action on that page could be a newsletter opt-in with a free email course about CSS3 essentials.

Prioritize your navigation

If you’ve put together a site map, prior to designing and building out your site, you may find there are many different sections, with many pages within each section. From your product tour pages, to pages about your company, contact pages, and so on. Don’t try and include every page in your main navigation. Split up your navs and prioritize. In your main navigation, I like to include what I call “mission critical” pages. These are the pages that contribute to making the sale. For example, I consider a page about the product and its benefits a mission critical page. The pricing page is mission critical. A contact or signup page is mission critical. The goal is to tone down the number of pages included in that primary navigation. Why? You don’t want your visitor scratching their head, asking themselves “where should I go next?” Make that decision easy and give them only a few choices.

The rest of your pages, such as your About page, frequently asked questions, and team bios, can fall into a secondary navigation, somewhere out of the way. Sure, these might be necessary pages to include in your website, but they don’t need to be front and center.

Jees

Going mobile- The new age of mobile web design

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The new age of mobile web design

 

Today there’s no doubt that mobile devices are having and will continue to have an impact on web browsing, especially when it comes to online interaction between businesses and consumers. For your site to work well on a mobile handset, it must follow the accessibility design guidelines for building mobile Websites which are set by the W3C. In mobile phones, the technology called the WAP is used for browsing. Because of the limitations of WAP browsers in terms of screen size and allowable download, you will need to strip down your current design. The easiest way to build your mobile Website is to modify your existing Internet site to make it compatible for mobile handsets. If you decide to do so, expect that there will be big changes in terms of layout, design and construction. Some of these are-

 

Design, content and more-

Leverage the intuitive power of touch UI by minimizing interface chrome (buttons, tab bars, checkboxes, sliders and so on) wherever possible and putting your content on the space available. Responsiveness is of prime importance when dealing with design for a website based to be run on mobile devices. If your user does something, your app needs to acknowledge the interaction instantly.  Avoid scrolling. I can assure you that ‘below the fold’ exists for mobile. Also, having a non-scrolling screen has a more solid and dependable ‘feel’ than a scrolling view because it’s more predictable.

Size

As for general website design, you can have a large screen size of 14 or more bur for mobile, you have limited size which users can see to view your website. So designing mobile website, size should be the main concern and you must arrange and placed things which are most important and which are most needed.

Platform

You must have to consider mobile device properly. What resolution, common screen size, the way they can access the website. Touch screen phones doesn’t have much problem viewing website from different view whereas for mobile devices with keypad, it has one single button to access and view different portion of website. You must think about this while designing the layout.

Accessibility

The file or object you use for mobile websites, must be compressed one and can be loaded quickly without making the extra load on the viewer’s GPRS plan.  The website should be prepared in a way that promotes thumb use. According to a recent survey, mobile internet users use their thumbs for browsing through websites. So create a website that is “thumb friendly”. Also, typing stinks even on the best devices, so you should do what you can to make it easier for your users.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before designing and building a mobile website. The principles of mobile design are different than those of conventional Web site design. If you do not have the time or patience to learn new coding practices, then consider hiring a firm that specializes in mobile Web site design. ColorCuboid offers complete mobile web design and development solution to clients across the globe. Contact us today!

Jees

The importance of Web development

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Nowadays, no company can think about making it big without having its very own website to get in touch with the global client base. While bigger businesses and MNCs can afford to have their own web development team to meet the needs of internet marketing requirements, small businesses cannot go for it. In such type of companies, the work associated with Web Development is taken care of by webmasters or graphic designers. Majority of them outsource their requirements for such type of services on a contractual arrangement. You will discover a lot of web development companies and qualified professionals who have been into Web Application Development, Software Development and Website Development for several years. Such type of companies enjoys an outstanding status as a reliable service provider. One has to communicate with dependable Web Development agencies to generate the perfect type of website to publicize their business. Contact ColorCuboid today for your website requirements!

Right from the development of world-wide-web by Lee Berners in the 1990s, the entire world has now been minimized to a marketplace in which all of the nation’s regardless of dimension as well as spectrum of operation are participants in the internet marketing discipline. With the surge in the amount of web development firms this sector now produces revenues in billions of dollars. Owing to the most recent technical advancements in IT, Web Development is now ever so active as well as demanding market. Pros associated with crucial areas for example Web Application Development , Software Development or Website Development have the option to either work as a freelancer or alternatively, be employed in reputable companies to earn substantial earnings .

In the future, the range of web development services will certainly spread out to modern horizons with customer orientated strategy as well as cut throat levels of competition. Round the clock customer care support, outsourcing, online banking, payment of bills, online sales and purchases are the result of customer needs and comfort .Financial transactions are performed within just minutes be it, payment, receipt or simply transfer to and from any region across the world. Automation and swiftness are paramount to the triumph of Web development in promoting internet business. Customers are able to log onto the website and browse through variety of stores, products and solutions within just an hour or so and also get a lot more value for money spent.

Lowered price of web hosting as well as web development seems to have opened up business locations for everyone i .e. It no more remains the right of large businesses. Anybody can find web development sites who provide free of charge platforms, web development resources as well as other systems to novice as well as skilled clients.

With over 13 years of expertise in the IT Industry, we have carved out a niche for ourselves to become an enterprise class solutions provider.We started providing Ruby On Rails development and ruby on rails consulting services through Railscarma in 2006 when it was still in its nascent stage. We also provide web design and development services through QatarCarmatec ( web design Qatar Company).

Jees

Some opensource alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop provides a host of features for photographers, graphic artists, and web designers providing professional solutions. However, the price can be a big hindrance while opting for Adobe Photoshop. ROI of a Photoshop License is given a lot of importance by people opting for it. Alternative options for Photoshop are mostly opensource and provide many of the same functionalities of using Adobe Photoshop.

GIMP

GIMP stands for “GNU image manipulation program”, and it is one of the oldest and most well known alternative option to Photoshop in existence. Although it doesn’t quite have all of them, you’ll find most of the features included in Photoshop somewhere in GIMP. It works on any operating system and focuses on photo retouching, image authoring and image composition.

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint offers users a powerful range of tools and features for adjusting images and creating unique images. Users of offline pixel based image editors like Photoshop will very quickly feel at home when using Sumo Paint.

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Editor is a web-based photo-editing software that has a similar Photoshop CS user interface with functional features such as layers, filters, magic wand, styling, texting and many more. Pixlr Editor works with a Flash plugin in your browser.

PhtoScape

PhotoScape is highly user-friendly and has an endless choice of projects to select from, like for example, image editing and GIF creation to a wizard to combine pictures together or take screenshots. It can do many things with a single click or two, many of the same things that Photoshop user will require several clicks to do.

Splashup

Another very layer friendly site, Splashup comes in two flavors, one for more advanced editing including working with multiple image and pixel level control and light flavor for casual editing.

Aviary

Phoenix from Aviary is an excellent web based tool. Aviary also offers several other image tools. It has some really cool collaborative features and the ability to import and open an image from a URL, which is a pretty cool feature. It also supports many keyboard commands such as Command+D to deselect, etc. Overall it is pretty easy to use.

The race to become the best open source image editor is getting tougher as more and more options are coming into the market offering much more functionalities then the last release. If your favorite isn’t on the list – why don’t you tell us about it in the comments?

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees

Some hard hitting facts about HTML5

HTML5 is the hottest topic in web development! As we have already discussed the advantages of HTML5 in the blog “HTML5- The new era has arrived“, it is time to discuss its shortcomings.

Browser compatibility issue

A comparative image showing HTML5 compatibility for different browsers.Image courtesy-http://shabirgilkar.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/html5-tags/

A comparative study image showing HTML5 compatibility for different browsers.
Image courtesy-http://shabirgilkar.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/html5-tags/

If we say that it is meant for modern browsers, it won’t be a wrong statement. There are few legacy IE versions which do not support the current HTML5 standard. However, the major browsers like the recent versions of Internet Explorer have HTML5 support.

No URI

URI was introduced to display the web pages properly even if the browser was having a hard time understanding a few elements of the coding. HTML does not have any URI which means that it won’t work with the browsers that are not compatible with HTML5.

HTML5 is a spec

Although parts of the language are very stable, the language itself is considered a work in progress, so there is a chance that any of the elements may change at any time. The language is not expected to be completed for several years, which complicates matters further.

Some old elements are retained

HTML5 retains a few old elements such as presentational elements which is not a sensible idea for practicing coding as it can appear very sloppy.

HTML5 is considered to be a great enhancement in the web development world. Obviously it consists of a few weak points but they are being worked on to make HTML5 perfect and compatible with the modern needs.

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees

UI design tactics for 2013!

Because the Web design industry is now flooded with a lot of raw talent, and because virtually anyone can create a “beautiful” website, recognizing a truly beautiful website experience is becoming increasingly difficult. What appears beautiful to the eye might in fact be more of a hindrance. Good UI design is, in many ways, similar to good web design. Principles of color theory, negative space, and layout all still apply. But UI design requires a bit more thought in many cases due to the interactivity it requires. Visitors won’t just be looking at your site; they’ll be interacting with it, sometimes in ways you didn’t expect. It’s vital that you take the time to really explore UI design prior to embarking on a web app design.

Sometimes design agencies are brought in to fill the usability void. And, while not all agencies are evil, a great many follow a business model that depends on getting their teams to bill as many hours as they can and as soon as possible. Diagnostics can slow the work down so, many agencies move to make a quick, tangible impression (and make their clients happy) by delivering redesigns that are mostly cosmetic. Let’s take a look on current trends in user interface design-

Going back to the basics

User interface design is going back to basics, at least according to some big name companies! Glossy icons are replaced by simpler one-color versions or text-based buttons, rich gradients with simple solid colour combinations. The ‘going back to basics’ strategy is a great way to design a web application which focuses on user generated content – if done right, users will rarely complain about it. However, keep in mind that many clients will find this approach too simplistic for their taste, so you might want to check their preferences before starting your project.

 

Real Life Appeal

Basically, this design approach relies on imitating the look and functionality of traditional and familiar objects to make the interface more intuitive. For example, a popular app on Google, OmniNote uses bookshelf racking system kind of UI to depict the ‘real life aspect’ that many people relate with, and find extremely ‘life like’.

 

Speaking out of context- A big NO!

Context sensitive navigation can be used in almost any project. Carefully target buttons and gadgets that can be hidden until the user performs a certain action, such as hovering a link, selecting an entry and so on. For example, Gmail shows message action buttons only when you select the message. This way, these applications visually appear much simpler than they really are. Similarly, when you hover over an image in Facebook, the ‘like’ button becomes visible.

 

Easily Digestible Content

Using a technique of presenting a large amount of content in smaller visual chunks, so it’s easier for people to read and mentally digest is of great importance. For example, articles can be written in smaller chunks of data, with bold heading and catchy phrases accompanied with visually appealing pictures to make it look more readable and digestible!

 

Keep it LONG, silly!

It may be hard to digest but long pages which require a lot of scrolling are now all over the web. One explanation is that users are so accustomed to vertical scrolling (assisted by mouse wheel) that it’s actually worse to split the content on separate pages – it requires more effort from users to find it and reach it.

 

Remember one thing; the best interface designs are invisible. They do not contain UI-bling or unnecessary elements. Instead, the necessary elements are succinct and make sense. Whenever you are thinking about adding a new feature or element to your interface, ask the question, “Does the user really need this?” or “Why does the user want this very clever animated gif?” Are you adding things because you like or want them? Never let your UI ego steal the show!

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees

Dashboards- Reliable, useful and all-in-all awesome!

Dashboards provide IT organizations real-time visibility and greater insight into their data. Dashboards are customized for each organization and department taking into account their data sources, business metrics, KPIs and the goals of the organization. A database can connect to multiple databases and data sources and can be implemented in days or weeks rather than allocating resources to a large BI solution. The various aspects of dashboard are as follows-

 

  1.  A software that organizes information so that it is easy to read and interpret.
  2. Provides up-to-date status information on Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
  3. Presents information visually through graphics – charts, gauges, maps, tables.
  4. Information is simply presented, easy to monitor, and indicates where action needs to be taken.

Dashboard is not a report. Its much more!

Is a dashboard just a collection of reports on a single screen? NO, not at all! Dashboards can be utilized as a very effective means of communicating information for which spreadsheets or reports are ill-equipped. Reports are effective in providing raw data, but fail to deliver a dynamic insight into the data. A well- designed dashboard uses color and graphical symbols to create a whole paradigm of information portrayal, next to which the reporting paradigm pales. Such dashboards require very little user training and have a much higher adoption rate. They engage the user in an interactive and media- rich interface, and deliver information empowerment to business users. Moreover, one of the greatest benefit of a dashboard is its ability to enable root-cause analysis. Such ready access to accurate and reliable information far out-performs the reporting paradigm to which we have, until now, been accustomed.

 

 

Dashboard users- Who are they?

Dashboards are not only for top-level executives, even though it is the traditional perception of dashboards. Administrators, directors, managers, executives and IT personnel will find dashboard extremely helpful. Each user with access to a dashboard will have permission to view metrics that he/she owns and will not be able to obtain/view information that is unauthorized for that individual. Each role has a different set of functional goals and objectives, requiring specific and tailored information to support their efforts. For example-

 

Executive

The information required by the executive team is critical and is capable of assessing the overall health of the business. Annual contract value, monthly recurring revenue,customer churn analysis, and renewal rates represent a few of the KPIs important to them. Executives need to make decisions quickly and with the in-sight they get through the use of dashboards they get the tools to drive decisions quickly.

 

 

Marketing Manager

Today’s marketing managers make use of a host of analytical platforms to analyze ROI derived through the use of online channels. Clear visibility into performance is essential and critical in finding out the trends in plan success and the promotional programs that drive adoption and revenue growth per account.

 

 

 Sales

While pricing models, territory plans and customer or account strategies are the main pillars for Sales Management, the best Sales Managers ensure the Sales team is working on Marketing’s “upstream” programs such as promotional, cross-sell and upsell plans and tactics, so that the funnel is robust and revenue goals are met. Based on the data derived within dashboards, the Sales Manager can proactively make adjustments needed in the sales process in an easy and effective manner.

 

Customer Service Manager

The customer service manager has to frequently “switch hats” in fluid precision, between that of a growth-driven and of cost-cutting specialist, with tremendous skill and swiftness. An easy-to-use dashboard will drive quick adoption, thereby giving the CS Manager ample time to concentrate on other high-value projects.

 

Types of information that could be included in a dashboard report

 

Sales

Sales information can be reported as an individual dashboard report or included in the overall business report.

 Examples of information that could be included are:

• Sales for the period (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually)

• Comparison of sales for same period previous year

• Comparison against budgeted sales

• Cumulative sales for the period

• Total discounts applied

• Total discounts as a percentage of sales

• Number of sales

• Average value of sales

• Percentage of sales that are:

* Cash

* Credit

• Sales by employee

• Sales by item

• Top selling items

• Sales growth rate

• Number of new customers

 

Work in progress

• Number of orders taken

• Orders in progress

• Orders completed, not invoiced

• Outstanding deliveries

• Production issues

 

Gross profit

• Stock purchases for the period

• Stock on hand

• Stock ageing

• Stock on order

• Gross profit value

• Gross profit margin

• Mark-up

 Net profit

• Total amount of variable expenses

• Variable expenses against sales as a percentage

• Total amount of fixed expenses

• Fixed expenses against sales as a percentage

• Monitoring variations to individual expense items from previous periods by setting appropriate trigger points, such as an increase by 5% or by dollar value

• Net profit value

• Net profit margin

• Breakeven calculation

 

Business efficiency

• Debtors days

• Creditors days

• Inventory days

• Work in progress days

• Stock turnover

• Stock on hand to total assets

• Aged debtors report

• Aged creditors report

Cashflow/liquidity

• Cash balances, including investments

• Financing facilities, including amounts drawn, available term and interest charges

• Cashflow forecast

• Working capital available

• Current ratio

• Quick ratio

• Leverage ratio

• Debt to asset ratio

 Balance sheet

• Total sales to total assets

• Return on assets

• Return on investments

Business planning

Key metrics developed to monitor business performance against business strategy.

Other key performance indicators

This is dependent on the nature of the business, the goals of the business, business drivers and risks.

The use of dashboard will assist business owners and managers in improving their decision making process and hence business performance. When used in conjunction with business evaluation, the key metrics can be set to monitor all important business drivers and risks. This should encourage regular review and action where required. Successful dashboards convey a great deal of dense necessary information with clarity and immediacy. Over time, a successful dashboard will improve an organization’s decision-making based on assisted goal-setting, help monitor negative trends, and improve workplace productivity.

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees