Tag Archives: Customer Relationship

Web design trends come and go the same way like fashion. With businesses and individuals wanting to look better at the eyes of their audiences, many websites change the way their websites look on regular intervals while incorporating new functionality.

The most recent facelift has taken place on Gmail and other sign in pages of Google products.

If you don’t remember, this is how Gmail looked earlier.

The trend today for web layouts is clean and uncluttered. It makes a lot of sense when you consider the information overflow that we are seeing today across many platforms and media.

Research shows that most people scan web pages before settling on an element for further exploration. Therefore, a lot of emphasis is put on optimizing important web elements that a webmaster wants to promote. However, this is a hit or miss thing. Your audiences may like or hate your user interface (UI) elements depending on their preferences, gender, etc. This is not an easy thing to overcome and on top of that, getting UI elements right is a huge affair. Have you ever heard of the $300 million button? If not, that article should be the first thing for you to read after reading this.

One of the biggest challenges in web usability is keeping people on a web page. The balance has to be perfect on content, usability and interactive elements. At the best of times, this is a tough task. Since it is very challenging to strike a good balance, what most designers tend to do is crowd too many elements on a web page. This leads to a web page that looks very busy. A busy web page is not one of the best places for conversions.

The new way of design thinking is driven by wanting to make a website look simple. This involves a lot of things. For example, some web pages have multiple objectives to achieve. In such instances, ‘simple web process’ calls for re-evaluating and prioritizing these objectives. The design process is driven by these re-evaluated objectives.

The Gmail sign in page is a perfect example for the ‘simple web process’. When you compare the two layouts it’s perfectly clear that Google evaluated what’s important for their audiences. In fact, the number of elements on the page has increased; yet it’s hardly noticeable. A good design should be like that. People have to see it only when they want to see it. This design philosophy is something that’s going to drive our web design work in the future. :)

If there are any websites that you like, share those on the comments section. We’d love to see those websites you like and get your feedback.

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media tools. Loved by millions who use it for its simplicity and shortness, Twitter is a far more effective way to communicate with a peer group than Facebook or any other social media.

Twitter’s simplicity should not be underestimated, the real power is in harnessing ones followers. Hypothetically speaking, if Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) were to retweet one of your tweets about your product to his 6.5 million followers, chances are they in turn would retweet the same to their followers. Before you know it a tweet can go viral and be noticed by millions. If a company were to try to reach an audience say of 6 million TV viewers, they’d have to spend some real money. Twitter is free. Unlike many other social media, Twitter is always on the go, things are constantly changing by the second.

The good news is that it is easily accessible. It’s supported by almost all the smart phones and almost any internet device, so keeping your followers up-to-date is easy.

In some cases, Tweeps, as the Twitter users are known, tend to think out loud through their tweets. In fact there are many well documented instances where brands, famous people, journalists, sports personalities among others found themselves saying things that they shouldn’t be saying in the first place. Therefore it is a good idea to read up on twitter etiquette and establish a companywide protocol for tweeting.

So how can a small company find its way in this tweet-maze? It’s not difficult to start, start with meaningful tweets about your industry. No one is going to care if you just picked up Starbucks for the day, so keep the personal stuff away. First it would help to have a good idea what Twitter is and how to use its many unique features. For example, Twitter hash tags and lists are two of the most important weapons in a good tweep’s armory.

Let’s say that your company rents out party equipment. You could tweet about a new line of Gazebos that just came in and tag the tweet with a #gazebo hashtag. So let’s say a user in Miami is searching Twitter for a Gazebo rental in Miami. The tweet could be something like this: “Nice #party by the Virginia Key Beach #Miami under a nice blazing red #gazebo by www.sample.com”. The hashtag gives the user an opportunity to tap into more interesting tweet streams.

Start off by following people in your industry. Always try to keep the Followers and Following ratio close to each other. It is sometimes suspect if someone is following 5000 people but only has 2 followers. Keep posting meaningful content and you’ll see your follower count rising on its own. Share things about your area of expertise; answer general questions on your field; follow hash tags which have a good focused following; (This however does not necessarily include the trending topics!) and be a good tweep in general.

There are a few tools you can use to increase your presence in the Twittersphere. Start with the Twitter business section. It can give you really nice pointers on what you can do on Twitter to promote your business effectively on Twitter. Read this case study on moxsie available on twitter business section.

Take some time off to think through your twitter strategy. It can help you a lot with taking your brand to the next level of online visibility.

Join the team at “The Groove Spot” on Thursday at 7:30pm for this month Refresh Miami where they will have two great presentations that will help to be iPad-ready.

First Damian Montero will present “How to Make Your Website iPad Friendly,” showing how to leverage HTML5 in order to play videos and more on the portable device.

The second presentation is by Luciano Ibias, COO of Zila Networks, the company behind the successful Friends Around Me, who will talk about “iPad App in a Week: How To Port Your App From iPhone To iPad.”

Follow the April speakers on Twitter:
Damian Montero @damianmontero
Luciano Ibias @ibias

Please RSVP Via Facebook
iPad Crash Course

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Grove Spot
3324 Virginia Street
Miami, FL 33133

Time: 7.30 PM

Web Design: Go Local

If you are considering hiring a web design company to assist you in setting up your space on the internet, you should consider hiring a local web designer. There are so many design companies today to choose from and they are located all over the world. While it is fine to use a design company located far from you, it could become a problem if a face-to-face meeting is necessary in order to go over some fine details concerning your website design. Continue reading

Open Source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

There are many commercial CRM packages out there. Our favorites are Sugar CRM and Tiger CRM, both very comprehensive and feature rich. The best part is the basic editions are totally free!

Over the years we’ve done a few Sugar CRM installations and things can get a bit hairy when it comes to getting all the SW requirements in place. However the installer in the latest version is amazing. All opensource software programmers should take a hint from Sugar. My favorite part is how it automatically creates the database and tables in MySQL.

For those interested in quickly installing one of the above CRM’s I would recommend a using an bundled Apache, PHP & MySQL installation such as Apache2triad. With Triad you only have to worry about one installation file.

I would love to hear about other opensource CRM’s out there.