Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What Brands Do Not Know About Mobile App Advertising?

Admit it. We all love apps. We cannot do without them. Proof of this lies in the statistics. A report by Flurry states that mobile app users have reached 58 million users mostly centered around the 8 p.m time period. What’s alarming, is that this is the prime-time spot for TV networks too. This indicates mobile apps are stealing TV audience to fill their own campus?
Flurry further states that 80% of the activity has been registered via apps. Users are actively engaged in launching apps (7.9 per day in the last part of 2012 rising from 7.2 in 2010). App users have spread and continue to spread like wild fire. This is great news for app developers however this is not a time for celebration but to work even harder. Why so? That’s because though apps are attracting good traffic what counts ultimately are dollars (that’s what app-investors want). Yes, that’s the hard part.

Besides, a new study reveals marketers must not view TV and digital advertising as a separate entity. Its study found that when companies shift their TV budgets to digital channels the results are far more outstanding. The results are ‘helpful across the board’. Not only was there an increase in traffic, it is cost effective and efficient, at the same time. What more can you ask for?
However, it must be noted that combining TV and digital advertising is not as easy as it may sound. To put it in the words of Peter Farago, VP Marketing of Flurry, ‘the disparity between the reach of advertising via mobile apps and the complexity of the buying process is both a “challenge and an opportunity.”’
Next only to TV are the social media channels like Facebook where you may find huge traffic to throw your adverts on. Unfortunately, only one in 1,000 people only might click on your ad. Strange but true. TV is still considered a serious medium for advertisers to drive traffic and revenue with 98% of users choosing TV services as their favorite type of media. While, 64% users said they visited websites as a result of seeing TV adverts, according to Deloitte.

All is not lost for app lovers. Mobile app advertising is a new industry heading for development. Therefore, it would be too early to hold its revenue accountable for its success or failure. Gartner research states that eventually mobile will rule the world and has started to do so in 2013 overtaking desktop usage.
To Summarize
There is no doubt that mobile ads have far more reach than TV ads. Due to ‘fragmented user base’ mobile ads cannot bank on the full potential of these ads. This is quite a complex problem in itself and calls for action. As for TV it seems to be enjoying this difference but how long can it continue to do so, remains a valid question?
Though, I cannot call it a war between TV and app advertisers as both are unique in their own ways. What needs to be understood here is that advert lovers must take everything with a pinch of salt. As for brands it will be wise to distribute their advertising budgets between TV and app-mediums for better, measurable results.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Stock Photography in Web Design: DOs and DON’Ts

How many stock photography resources are there? Hundreds? Thousands? Got to be even more. But if we take most popular and trustworthy repositories we’ll see that all images they feature are practically the same and can be called raw. Images presented there are good for blending blog posts or as sources for some collages. But for creating website designs they do not really fit.
When you see website with an image like the one featured below? What’s the first thing that comes up your mind? Probably designer who created this website had enough imagination to add stock image without editing it somehow. Looks pretty boring, doesn’t it?

Let’s find some more boring examples. Happy customer service representative: a beautiful girl with a snow-white smile…

I will not dispute the fact that there are such girls in call centers, but as a rule for one beauty there fall ten guys in checkered shirt with two weeks’ stubble on their faces. In most cases it’s better to use a still from some widely-known movie but not to use one face for multiple companies.

Shaking hand on some meaningful background. What does it mean? Who knows, but these images are all over the place…


Seems like such group photos that present team of a company are created with racial, age and sex distribution on mind…but where are the asians? Instead of showing such images wouldn’t it be better to show your real team. It’s always better to work with real personalities but not with stock ones.


Dat graph…looks like they are using one image to show how high the indicators are, when the whole picture can be much more deplorable.


Our products make your life easier…Haven’t I seen this family in toothpaste TV ad, or it was yogurt?
And one more thing…woman laughing with salad.

The picture is supposed to represent health, joy, fertility lastly (healthy-looking woman eats healthy food). But the only effect it makes is wonder…why the heck is she laughing with salad? Similar photos can be found in diet related websites. Why not to look for images denoting healthy food? Instead of searching for diet related images, cooking and cuisine related images will perfectly work. Use keywords like culinary, cooking, or groceries. You will get images of people enjoying food in related activities like chopping fresh vegetables or picking out the ripest fruit at the grocery store. These are much better images to make your reader think of healthy food in a fun, joyful way.
NB: When you’re using these images, your designs not only become boring, they make your visitors taunt you and take lightly. So how to avoid looking foolishly?

Use illustrations

Don’t get me wrong, stock photography isn’t all that bad. We’ve all used it, but it’s not something to be used often. There are tons of cool vector illustrations out there, you’ll definitely be able to use them instead of those boring stock photos. Just look at these images, aren’t they nice? Abstract images will also work, but don’t overuse all those sunsets and beautiful landscapes.

Aside from vectors you can use photos of real people and real situations. All you need is to take pictures of your friends  With a little bit of Photoshop pictures you’ve taken can give an absolutely new touch to your resource. Since these photos will belong to you there will be no licence restrictions.

Customizing Magento Shopping Cart – What and How to do

As the heart is an important aspect of the human body so is the Shopping Cart, the heart of eCommerce platform. Magento Shopping Cart is the interface between an online website and its infrastructure. This software allows your consumers to choose merchandise, review their choice, make necessary addition or modification and finally purchase the merchandise. Isn’t this piece of software a great solution for your eCommerce venture? Since its discovery in 2008, the expansion of Magento Shopping Cart has proved to be one of the dominant interactive web application developments with dynamic functionalities.
Magento Shopping Cart assists the online entrepreneur to run a smooth web store functioning. So, how about customizing this influential software? (I am sure; you are quite excited with this idea). Well, you must be wondering ‘oh! That’s easy; I can change it right now’ but somehow end up spending more time than expected in the process. Let me inform you that changing ‘Shopping Cart’ to ‘Shopping bag’ needs a lot of effort. However, it is not as difficult as it sounds.

Before providing an insight into the custom Shopping Cart, I want to quickly share my experience while integrating customized Shopping Cart in my online store.
‘As I was a little hesitant to develop my own shopping cart, a few striking features completely changed my outlook. Customizing my Magento Shopping Cart saved my time while I had custom requirements. The new cart is flexible and is easy to extend. It has allowed me to directly import modules from my existing code library without implementing any dual template for the cart as well as custom website.’
The main aim of customized Shopping Cart is simply to augment the rate of conversions. Just think about this- how many of your conversions have come directly from your website and how many from other websites directly in the Shopping Cart? You will observe that most of the purchase leads will enter directly into your Shopping Cart. So why not integrate it with your online website? You must provide your consumer to view certain important features like a ‘CONTACT’ button or a visible link to the ‘HOMEPAGE’.
By this time, you must be already planning to use your store logo and images to enhance your customer experience while they purchase your products. Therefore, let me help you to go through the steps required to personalize your Magento Shopping Cart.

How will you customize the Magento Shopping Cart design?

✔ Log into the Shopping Cart account and click on ‘setting’ and Design setting’.
✔ The default graphics and color when anyone goes through the checkout process will be under the ‘Default’ link. You can see ‘Background Graphic’, Background Color’ and ‘Header Graphic’.
✔ Click on ‘Choose File’ under ‘Header Graphic’ and select an image. This selected image will be seen at the top of the shopping cart when a customer is viewing their shopping cart.
✔ Click on ‘Choose File’ under ‘Background Graphic’ and select an image. This selected image will be seen in the background of the shopping cart when the customer is purchasing your product. If you do not wish to use an image, you can go to the color section and choose that as a background. Under the Background Color section you can type the common color like ‘Black’ or ‘Blue’.
✔ Click ‘Save’ and click ‘View’ to check what the customers will view while they are shopping your products.
I know you are exactly thinking about how to add a thumbnail or custom picture to any specific product. Well, you have a solution to that as well. Take a look at the following instructions:
✔ Log into the shopping cart account and click on ‘Product’ tab.
✔ Select a product and then click on the edit icon option next to it. Now click the ‘Catalog’ link for your product.
✔ Type a description of your product and click the ‘browse’ button next to the Product Thumbnail and Product Image. The thumbnail will appear in a smaller version and the images can be obtained in full size. As soon as you upload all the images, click on ‘Save’ button.
Besides, you will be certainly interested to learn about a set of parameters required to modify various aspects of Shopping Cart’s appearance and behaviour. So, how about learning a few of the important parameters? Well, here we go….

Cart-opening time:

This parameter identifies the time it takes for the Shopping Cart to open and close in milliseconds.

Hide cart when empty:

This parameter is set to ‘TRUE’ to indicate that the Shopping Cart widget is empty.


This parameter will indicate whether the Shopping Cart will automatically open and expand when the users add any items to the cart.


This parameter indicates the Analytical tracking code for your website if you are facilitating Google Analytics tracking for Shopping Cart orders.


This parameter states the currency that Google will use for product prices, taxes and shipping costs for your shopping cart orders. The default value is USD.


This parameter will indicate the type of name you want to exhibit for your standard shipping option.

“Short Film Festival” – Websites with Video Backgrounds

The history of movies started in 1880s when the first movie camera was invented. In those years movies were exhibited as a carnival novelty and extremely important tool for communication and entertainment…so they remained due date. Only there is one ‘BUT’…back in those days movies were some sort of a privilege and today everyone may have a movie uploaded onto smartphone, and even not a single one.
Movies found their way in our daily life we watch sitcoms while cooking, eating or doing anything else. And quite recently movies found their way into website design, not quite movies but some short video clips that play on when you load this or that page. These clips cover the whole background from to side of your screen. An .mp4 optimized video with continuous playback creates an outstanding effect and captures the attention of visitors for a long time, in case there is something worth watching.
This design technique captures minds and souls of users and designers becoming one of the most popular trends of 2013. Todays blog post reminds some sort of a Short Film Festival. Grab your popcorn, take a comfy seat and have a pleasant viewing.
Please note: the screenshots may not reflect the effect produced by the video itself, you’re welcome to click through the examples.

Yco Yacht


Rich and Drew



Inspiration Raymond Weil

Sagmeister Walsh

Various Ways



Working Element

Random Romance

Gudrun Gudrun

Bas Janader


Sunday, 12 May 2013

“Editorial’s Pick” Tech and Media Conferences for the Upcoming 4 Weeks

Today we are going to continue our new rubric Editorial’s Pick: Best on the Net. Here we are going to collect most interesting stuff united within single topic. This issue is dedicated to Tech and Media Conferences for the upcoming 4 weeks.
What’s the most important thing for every technogeek? Of course that’s knowledge! Here is a list of 15 conferences and meetups specifically for you. Don’t waste your time hit the link to register.

May 15-17, 2013 – Moscone Center, San Francisco
Google I/O

Be inspired by the tech world’s latest web, mobile and social breakthroughs to create simple, life-improving technologies and viable businesses among a rich and diverse community of cutting edge developers.

May 19-25, 2013 – Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, Canada. Exhibition Dates: May 21-23, 2013
Display Week

The annual Display Week Exhibition is the best event for the sales and marketing of displays and related products to the North American market, because it attracts the top companies and senior business and technical staff who make product management and purchasing decisions, shaping the industry.

May 20-21, 2013 – Los Angeles
Citrix Summit

Citrix Summit is the premier learning event designed exclusively for Citrix partners. In just two days, uncover the power of the mobile workstyles movement and how its enabling technologies – cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization can bring new and exciting opportunities for your business.

May 21, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV
The App Summit

Join us at the world’s longest running event dedicated to apps, mobile web and new media strategies. Hear from industry leaders as we discuss the next generation of applications and platforms. We are the Official Partner of CTIA 2013 – One of the worlds most important mobile events.
Contact Larry Lockhart for $99 developer rate

May 22-23, 2013 – San Francisco, Ca. San Francisco, CA
Under the Radar: CoIT

Under the Radar is Silicon Valley’s most effective innovation showcase and business development conference. We bring leading decision makers together with pre-vetted startups that are disrupting the way traditional business is run.

May 23, 2013 – London
Social Gaming 2013

With a focus on both social gaming and social gambling, the conference will tackle issues including: the commercial and legal challenges that the social gaming industry faces, regulatory conundrums, the monetization of social games, the case for and against self-regulation and what the future holds for this ever diverging industry.

May 28-31, 2013 – Boston
Android Developer Conference

AnDevCon is the technical conference for software developers building Android apps. Offering mobile app development training and Android app development tutorials, AnDevCon is the biggest, most info-packed,most practical Android conference in the world. Choose from more than 75 app development classes and in-depth Android development tutorials designed to take your Android development skills to the next level!

June 2-4, 2013 – Scottsdale, AZ
Autotask Community Live

1. Best peer-to-peer networking event you’ll attend.
2. Training and education with ROI to spare.
3. Access to the best solutions in the world-wide cloud.

June 2-6, 2013 – Orlando
IBM Technical Summit

Join Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, The Lean Startup author Eric Ries, and TV producer and tech host Katie Linendoll. With over 450 outcome-driven sessions, a cutting-edge Expo, labs, certifications and evening entertainment including a night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this five-day event promises to be THE technical education event of the year for software and product practitioners.

June 3-6, 2013 – New Orleans, LA
Microsoft Tech Ed

Microsoft’s Premiere Event for IT Professionals & Enterprise Developers. Hands-on learning, deep product exploration, & countless opportunities to build relationships with a community of Microsoft experts and your peers.

June 6, 2013 – London
Big Business Meets Startup

Big Businesses can learn a lot from Startups who work on state of the art technologies and on breakthrough concepts. A lot of these Startups’ innovative solutions are very viable for Big Businesses today. Taking the traditional route of waiting for technology to mature or IT partners to understand it wastes precious time and gives competition the edge.
Code TNW takes 10% off your purchase.

June 6, 2013 – New York, NY
Marketplace LIVE

Telx leads the industry in making connections – both physical and virtual – that help companies grow quickly and cost effectively by reaching new markets. Join expert discussions on industry hot topics designed to enhance relationships with customer, partners, prospects and industry influencers.

June 10-13, 2013 – New York, NY
Cloud Computing Expo

As at every Cloud Expo, we are offering in New York City a vast selection of technical and strategic breakout sessions, General Sessions, Industry Keynotes, our signature discussion “Power Panels” and a bustling Expo floor complete with two busy Demo Theaters so that as a delegate you can kick the tires of solutions and offerings, and discuss one-on-one with all the leading Cloud and Big Data players what they are offering and how to make use of it in your particular situation.

June 10-13, 2013 – Boston, MA
Red Hat Summit

The Red Hat Summit is the premier open source technology event to showcase the latest and greatest in cloud computing, platform, virtualization, middleware, storage, and systems management technologies.
By attending, you’ll gain the best knowledge in the industry through:
technical and business sessions
hands-on labs and demos
customer panels and presentations
visionary keynotes from industry leaders
networking opportunities and events
direct collaboration with Red Hat engineers

June 14-15, 2013 – Bombay
Bombay Convention & Exhibition Center

Giving Back – NGO India is a large scale exhibition supported by a high-content led conference designed to bring together NGOs in India to share best practices and engage with key stakeholders including local and international corporations, foundations, government and the general public. NGOs can exhibit at the event for free. The year 2013 will host the second edition of the event after the grand success of the launch event in 2012 at Gurgaon, NCR, India.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Design Concepts for Building a Usable Website Footer

When putting together a solid website layout there are a number of factors you need to consider. The header section above-the-fold is always a key portion of the webpage. Along with the common user navigation and basic typography styles. But the footer is an often overlooked area of your website which can add tremendous value to the user experience.
I want to present a few examples and ideas for building a usable footer interface. The modern day website layout is constantly changing and adapting to new trends in the market. This also means generating feedback from visitors and putting together an idea of what works, and also what doesn’t work. I cannot say that I have all the answers but I do hope to address many common ideas for laying a foundation of design precedents.

Easily Readable Links
A big concept in user experience is readability and obviously within hyperlinks. This idea should become an ingrained asset for all areas on the page. But obviously in the footer it will greatly affect how users traverse your link structure – regardless of how many links you have listed.

The footer design of GiftRocket has a clever swing to colors and design influence. Above the links you can find a list of companies which have written articles on GiftRocket. Then a follow-up section of related website links and popular cities. But even more interesting is how the links are split up by headline titles. You should notice a myriad of topics from user information to legal jargon. But the important piece is that all the text is legible.

Similarly the website for Rdio has been online a few years, and the service performs very well among users. This footer is split into sections much like GiftRocket where you have a chunk of reviews and article quotes discussing their service. At the very bottom is a long horizontal list of links about the company, blog, and social networks.
Placement and organization of links in your footer will greatly impact clickthrough rates. Ensure that you have optimized the text colors and font choices so they are readable to the majority of users. Not everybody will have an interest to click links so far down in the page. But you would be surprised how many visitors will, and it helps if the links can stand apart from regular text.

Space and Structure

Think about scaling your footer design to include plenty of space for new resources. There is obviously a limit to this task, since you do not want to cram everything back into the footer. But you also don’t want a small 30px bar of links which visitors are straining their eyes to read. Additional whitespace and a proper structure for your content will be of the greatest design traits for a usable footer..

The website design agency Florida Flourish has a great example footer. Many of the very bottom links have been sized and fitted into a smaller section for convenience. The links have been repeated elsewhere on the page so the content isn’t anything new. Plus the design holds direct links out to resources for designers and web developers.
You can tell how the categories and sections have been organized based on their inherent design qualities. The manilla envelope carries a list of the latest blog posts with news on the company. Then similarly you will find a brief content section with some icons for differentiating the list ideas. Their link styles and color palette blends so nicely together that the footer adds more benefit and structure to the webpage, rather than becoming an annoyance to the reader.

Including Related Content

If your layout does not have enough room to include related code snippets then you can always squeeze this content into your footer. These types of link lists may include a blog RSS feed, recent Twitter posts, user comments, or even just links to other similar websites. These types of links may garner more attention compared with standard company information.

The overall design influence of Stone Bake Oven Company is beautiful. There are lots of unique textures and gradients among the navigation, page headings, and other small elements. The footer is just as equally dynamic with plenty of great information for typical users. They have a list of news updates along with latest recipes and direct contact information. All the important details can still be found with more relatable content positioned in its place.

The footer design on YoDiv contains more illustrations and branding for the website. I enjoy seeing designers include some branding and connected artwork as it joins all aspects of the website together. The YoDiv lists are more focused on designer-friendly resources. All the links point towards external websites related to free icon sets, web design magazines, inspiration galleries, and freelance job listings.
You can tell this is a bit more complicated than any run-of-the-mill website layout. But I want to show how creative you can be with the footer area to still draw lots of attention. And most(or all) of the content does not even have to be your own! Understand what your visitors would be interested in reading, then craft a structure for links and be willing to change the stuff that doesn’t work.

Responsive Designs

Mobile responsive website layouts have become increasingly popular with the rise of smartphones and tablet PCs. And as more people start using these devices around the world it will make Internet access that much more commonplace. So why not build your footer to scale properly along with the entire layout?

The website marketplace Ackwired has a brilliant responsive design for containing so many page elements. The footer area initially holds a series of links and social icons. As you resize these will restructure themselves one on top of the other. This technique is common when using CSS3 media queries and it allows mobile users more space for tapping links. The responsive setup works well because you do not need to redirect users onto a mobile site, or force them to pinch and zoom into your layout.

One other tight responsive example can be found on Hummingbird which is a startup for discovering new anime TV shows. Their design is a bit minimalist, so it is a good display of how designers may still craft usable footers with a small bit of content. It can be interesting to watch how all the areas on the page transform into responsive position. Their footer section merely drops links below the logo icon. Certainly nothing mind-blowing, however it goes to show that any typical layout – complex or minimalist – can often be crafted around a mobile responsive design.

Final Thoughts

Footer design is no easier than imagining an entire website interface. All of your typical design senses will be required as with most web projects. Keeping these tips in mind will forge a path towards more sensible footer and website navigation. But the trends are always changing with new ideas coming to fruition and growing in popularity. I would love to check out related ideas and suggestions on footer designs within the comments discussion area.