Archive for the ‘Website Design’ Category

Nov 10

How to Utilize Video Effectively on Your Toronto Web Page

The content on your site needs to be both dynamic and engaging if you want your visitors to come back over and over again. Having video on your site isn’t just to complement your content, but it should actually help to improve your rankings in Google by making visitors to your site stay longer. After all, if they have a video to watch, they will be hanging around your site longer than a site without videos. If you are thinking about adding video to your website, here are a few pointers to consider.

More Than Video Directories

Don’t completely depend upon video directories. It’s fine to host your video on free places like YouTube or Vimeo, however, there is the risk that you could lose your content if the account happens to be shut down. There are times when accounts are shut down without even a good reason and they often time won’t even allow you to appeal it. This can devastate your website. So the solution here is to try and host your own videos on your own server or a third party server that you pay for.

Using Mobile Formats

Consider using mobile compatible formats for your video. If you use a widely compatible format for your video, it is going to be very important to your website. Using something like MP4 is going to make your video compatible to most everything including all Apple devices. Whatever you do stay away from the Flash video format, as it is extremely limited to who can view it and can take an extended period of time to load.

Pay Attention to Load Times

Make the load times of your videos as short as possible on your end. Sure, you can’t control the speed of your users Internet connection, but you can help by compressing your video files to make them load faster. Even though quality might be important to you, if your quality is of at least “good” and not HD version people are still going to enjoy it and it is going to take a lot less time to download. Users of your site want stuff here and now, not 10 minutes from now.

It is important that your video is short and to the point. The shorter a video is the better chance it will be watched. If it is longer, then break it up into a series of videos. Basic rule is that if it’s an instructional video; don’t make it any longer than 5 minutes at a time. If it is a promotional type video, try to limit it to just two minutes. Using professionals like b-MC is the only way to get the right results from a video.

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invision cloud based prototyping tools

Apr 18

Top 10 Cloud-Based Website Prototyping Tools

With more and more people creating both personal and commercial websites it makes sense that web design wireframe tools are on the rise. Rather than using desktop versions of these applications, many website prototyping tools are now cloud based; meaning that they can be accessed via a web browser, shared online and updated by multiple users.

Here are the top 10 cloud-based website prototyping tools currently available for use online.

Cacoo

Cacoo is an ideal website prototyping tool if you find yourself working with developers all over the world, as it currently supports more than twenty languages. As well as being multilingual, Cacoo also supports real time collaboration; enabling multiple parties to work simultaneously on different aspects of your site.

While your SEO guy is using Cacoo to craft your copy, your web designer can also apply the finishing touches to your layout and graphics. Users have the option to make projects private or public, and public projects support comments from non participating users; giving you access to feedback on your new site before it even goes live. Genius!

 

Creately

Like Cacoo, Creately also supports real-time collaboration; however, it only supports seven languages. Creately offer both an online version of their application as well as a desktop version (suitable for Windows, Mac and Linux systems), and the desktop version will sync with the cloud once an internet connection is established.

Creately is a great tool for any developer looking to create wireframes offline (after all, even a developer needs time away from the web!)

 

Gliffy

The brains behind Gliffy claim that it is ‘the most widely used online diagramming application’; and while this may be true, Gliffy lacks features that other apps listed here offer. For example, although Gliffy can support a variety of different diagrams and it will allow multiple users to have access to a single project, it does not support real time collaboration.

However, Gliffy handles undoing changes more smoothly than its competitors. Every time a change is made to a project the last version is saved and archived. Should a collaborator make a change that you are not happy with it is very easy to reinstate one of the previous wireframe designs. Gliffy also integrates with a number of third party applications including Google Apps and WordPress, and it also has its own API.

 

HotGloo

HotGloo claims that it will ‘change the way you create and experience wireframes’, and it can certainly be said that this slick interface includes features that other website prototyping tools do not offer, such as an integrated chat feature; allowing all participants to discuss the project while drafting the wireframe and layout designs.

Like many competitor products, HotGloo supports real-time collaboration, making it easy for multiple members to work on a single project.

 

iPlotz

iPlotz is an unusual tool in the sense that it does not have a standard user setup. Instead, iPlotz offers three access levels; preview, wireframe and manage.

Preview users can access the site for free, and they can look at wireframes but they cannot modify them. Wireframe users can obviously modify a wireframe, but they have to pay for the privilege. Finally, manage users can add and remove other users, and they can also manage user permissions.

iPlotz also supports a desktop version, which like Creately will sync with the cloud version when ‘Online Mode’ is selected.

 

Invision

Invision is a great tool for the non geeks; for those who perhaps want to create their own personal website or a small business website. You don’t need technical knowhow to manipulate the drag and drop interface within Invision.

If you are a developer, you can still find Invision useful. Its user management features make it easy for you to only provide access where it is needed, and Invision gracefully handles any dialogue between developer, collaborator and client within the application.

 

Lumzy

Lumzy may be a very young website prototyping tool, but it is quickly making waves with users and developers alike. For a start Lumzy offers an integrated image editor that allows users to perform simple image adjustments, such as cropping and resizing. It also offers real-time chat functionality, much like HotGloo.

Lumzy also offers features that can be considered advanced website prototyping, allowing developers to demonstrate more complex interactions compared to other wireframe tools.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird is one of the few Flash based website prototyping tools on the market. While this is great for Windows systems, it’s unlikely to be so great for Apple based devices. However, like so many of its competitors, Mockingbird does offer real time collaboration, and wireframes can be exported to PDF for use outside of the internet.

Pidoco

Pidoco focuses its features more on the testing of prototype websites, rather than the developing of them. However, the features it does offer for the testing and debugging processes are invaluable. For example, developers can record testing sessions and they can see the user’s screen. Developers can also use the integrated chat facility or the VoIP feature to communicate with clients and testers real-time.

 

ProtoShare

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of website prototyping is trying to represent graphical elements with a simple diagram. Anyone unfamiliar with what the web is capable of may struggle to envision what it is you are trying to portray. However, ProtoShare may be the website prototyping tool for you. ProtoShare supports the use of CSS and JS, enabling developers to demonstrate custom components and complex interactions.

Another awesome feature that ProtoShare supports is the quick and easy conversion of onsite comments into actionable tasks, which can greatly speed up the development, debugging and project management processes.

 

 

Related articles 10 Wireframing Tools for Increased Productivity 20 Excellent Wireframing Tools for Mobile Site9 Releases ProtoShare 8: Faster, Easier, User Interface Prototyping What It Takes To Get Remarkable Content Done UX Online Wireframing and Prototyping tools COMPARED!
pro website

Jan 31

How Can You Give Your Website That Professional Touch?

The online business advertising and promotional strategies are growing more and more advanced by the day. However, the importance of having a fast-working, professional website still lies at the base of any successful online marketing campaign. You might have really attractive social media pages, and can develop out-of-the-world Android apps for business – but if your website sports an amateurish, unsystematic look, repeat traffic figures would remain low. How can you lend the requisite dash of professionalism to your website? Read on and learn:

Select a relevant domain name – First things first – if the domain name of your website is not related to your line of business, potential customers might get a negative impression about the sincerity of your operations. So, choose a name which will justify the purpose of your business. The layout of the pages – A professional website must not be, in any way, too fancy or gaudy. Make sure that your website design plans include the usage of columns, frames and stylesheets. Choose a light background shade, along with easily legible font styles and colors. After all, you have precious few seconds to capture the attention of a new visitor! Use relevant images – Informative pictures should always be a part of any professional website. Select images of such resolutions, which can be seen without any problems on all types of devices. Use image borders around the pictures, to make your web pages look smart. Go for simple navigation features – If people cannot find what they are looking for on your website quickly, they will simply not linger on your pages. Ideally, have clear tabs near the top of all the pages, which would make it easy for visitors to browse to the section(s) that they are interested in. Make sure that all the internal links are working properly. Smooth navigation features are all the more important for mobile website design. Have a search box and a sitemap – This is a direct extension of the earlier point. Your website should be search-oriented – so that visitors can look up information, simply by typing in their queries in a search box. Having a sitemap also eases navigation issues on any website, apart from helping in SEO campaigns. Use smartly-designed logos – Logos can go a long way in strengthening your brand presence. Make sure that each of the pages on your website has your business logo – right at the top. This will also bring a certain degree of uniformity in your website, which, in turn, would indicate greater professionalism. Utilize whitespace efficiently – There are a lot of business details that you wish to communicate to your prospective clients – so you should cram the web pages with loads of information, right? Horribly wrong! Adopting such an approach can make the website look cluttered, lowering its professional appeal. Keep in mind that, having adequate whitespaces have a pivotal role to play to bring a clean, streamlined appearance to your website. Test the website on different devices – It is no longer enough to ensure that your website runs well on a particular browser on PCs. You cannot predict the browser and/or device people will be using to view your website – and that’s precisely why you need to test your website on all the popular computer web browsers, as well as on smartphones and PDAs. For promoting your website in a better manner to the mobile users, you can also get in touch with an expert mobile app developer.

A thorough idea of the nature of the targeted customers is also essential, to frame the correct, professional website design plans. Update your website content regularly, according to the latest search engine updates. You wish to publicize your business through your website – and the latter needs to have a corporate look and feel about it!

Jan 21

Importance of Design When Promoting an Ecommerce Business

If the first taste is in the eye, an impressive e-commerce website design is extremely important when promoting an online store. It conveys the unique character of the brand whilst reassuring visitors to shop online. When designing a new online store, designers should take various factors into consideration such as strategic online selling principles, and even on-site SEO. Web development services will differ from one company to another depending on their services, their experience and cost.

Although you might thing that designing an E-commerce website is pretty much similar to that of other website designing with respect to attractiveness, color scheme, and organization. It employs a different skill set as its not about looks but functionality as well.

Certain specific principles are unique to e-commerce websites that make it different to regular brochure websites-

An e commerce website must provide seamless shopping experience to the users from homepage to checkout. It must provide all the necessary information and answer any questions about the product to the customer to enable a confident buying decision. The website should be easily accessible for the visitors (both able bodies and disabled) to use in order to avoid any legal issues. It should be SEO friendly from the outset, so that the crawlers may be able to access and rank all its sub-pages effortlessly. Map and have a full understanding the user journey through the site in order to see where users might leave the buying cycle Be aware that e-commerce website need a great deal more pages in order to cover terms and conditions, FAQs, delivery information etc.

These are just a few of the common principles which play a key role in e-commerce website design. In the online shopping world, success is the responsibility of the web design company, the SEO specialist, the content writer and the sites owner.

 

Navigation is Extremely Crucial

Every business likes to have a unique and individual design but there should be some consistency when looking at website navigation in order to make all web pages accessible to the visitor with great ease. When users find it hard to navigate, they tend to leave the website very soon.

E-commerce websites usually lead the visitors to an appropriate sales page with a click or two. Experienced web design agencies employ a few techniques that are not usually used for non e-commerce websites. Most of the websites allow the designer to employ the one-click principle and make most of it. You can see a lot of facts about the product, given in a detailed manner and user is directed consequently to order page or to the purchase option.

You can also see user feedback, and testimonials to reassure the potential buyer that you are not only selling quality products but you listen to you customers if any issues arise.

 

Personalization Options

Many E-commerce website includes different personalization technologies as many sites require sign up in order to process personal information.  These technologies also include user specific options that are incorporated within website, in order to establish the best product selection for their customers. Personalization technologies are the major part of the advanced e-commerce websites, and it has a major impact on the website’s design.

 

 

Website Layout

Website layout is hugely important and like the other websites, e-commerce websites should be attractive, striking, and eye catching. Designers have to do enough research on this to attract the customers and grab their attention. Website layout can be categorized as the walking path to attract visitor’s eyes. Both user experience specialist and search engine marketing professionals know various techniques in order to turn browsers into sales.

Conclusion

There are several numbers of factors to take into consideration when designing an e-comerce website as it can be extremely complex. Most of the large E-commerce websites make use of the personalized techniques for determining the best product selection to offer the visitors as well as employing a simple and easy to use design. All these technologies are the basis of advanced e-commerce websites, while online mega stores like Amazon have their own special techniques for luring the visitors.