At ThoughtMatrix, we believe usability testing should be done early and often. Not only are well-tested sites and applications better from a user-experience standpoint, they save on support, re-design and re-development costs. One drawback however is the considerable time, effort and dollars often associated with testing. A great way to alleviate this resource burden is by utilizing remote testing. Remote testing uses many of the same methods of data collection and reporting you would use in a lab setting but does so more efficiently and often more effectively.
The shift from human support to automated support has become the butt of many comedians’ jokes and the differentiating factor in the advertising of select service-oriented companies. But is all self-service support bad? Personally, I think there are some situations where self-service support can actually be superior to speaking to a live person—for both users and businesses. To illustrate my point, I’ll share a couple of examples with you.
Yes, Pinterest is BIG, but is it right for your brand?
Lately, there’s been a lot of hype around Pinterest overtaking LinkedIn to own the number three spot in the list of top social media networks. In fact, a recent report from Shareaholic states Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. So, it’s no surprise that brands are rushing to figure out how they can benefit from this exploding social channel. But the reality is that Pinterest isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t for every brand. Here, we’ll take a look at what makes Pinterest different, who stands to get the most from using it and how to do it right.
I regularly advise clients as to which hosting provider to utilize for their new website or web application. The choice is wide and varied, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution that I point to every time. If you are currently considering your hosting options, or are looking for a place to start your research, you may well find this brief guide helpful. I’ll start off with a definition of terms, then detail a small checklist of questions you will need to answer, and then finish up with a brief summary of my preferred hosting providers.
Responsive Design May Be Awesome, But It Isn’t a Web Design Panacea.
In our first article, we discussed the amazing flexibility that responsive design offers. But this flexibility comes with a price that might negatively affect your fastest-growing audiences – mobile and tablet users. While offering a flexible layout, responsive design requires the latest browsers, more code, and large images. In short, responsive layouts can be bandwidth hogs and resource-intensive to render. This affects users on the move, where bandwidth is the scarcest, and where processors lack the raw power of their desktop predecessors.
Having the ability to quickly deploy a live microsite is becoming easier and easier. Microsites can be great choices for supporting strategic launches, special events and limited Enterprise initiatives. Microsites allow easy inclusion into existing sites as a portal element or as a jump site. Since the lifecycle of a microsite tends to change frequently, developers need a way to ensure quick and perhaps timed deployments. In this blog post, I’ll cover how to quickly and concisely package and deploy the GAE (Google App Engine) application to create a microsite.
If you did, your company would put other web initiatives on hold and scramble to launch the best mobile experience for your industry.
With mobile smartphone use growing at such an astounding pace, I’m constantly amazed that there are still so many top-tier companies that do not have a dedicated mobile website experience. I believe that this rapid growth seems to be outpacing many IT and marketing executives’ ability to digest and grasp how mobile is going to drastically affect their business growth – particularly in the consumer space.
With mobile, the year 2012 will be a unique parallel to 1996-97, when many industry titans were caught with their pants down by the speed at which web use grew, and were unable to launch a compelling website faster than their competitors.
One of the most important factors in evaluating a website design is answering the question, “What is the average screen size my visitors will use to view my site?” Over the past few years, this evaluation process has become both more complex and more confusing due to the explosion of Internet-connected devices. Website access has shifted dramatically, and mobile/tablet browsing is expected to surpass desktop usage over the next two years.
In late November a truly unprecedented cadre of tech companies with the likes of Google, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Facebook, eBay, Twitter, the Wikimedia Foundation, Microsoft and many others came out in vocal opposition against H.R. 3261 – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Senate bill S.968 – Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (Protect-IP).
ThoughtMatrix is joining Silicon Valley tech leaders in opposing this legislation because provisions in these two bills will irrevocably damage the technically and civilly free internet as we know it, and potentially wipe out the fastest growing Silicon Valley job creators.
Coming up with a mobile content strategy is not as simple as taking your desktop content and making it present well in a smaller format. You must look at the mobile user differently than the desktop user and determine how their scenario might be different while on the go.