Flat UI is a new trend in web design that I am personally fond of if it fits the business image/industry.
It’s a highly modern, stylistic designing technique that I have personally used many times and here’s my advice on when to use it and the reason why you should use it.
Apps are growing and growing and the age range of the audience using them bring new issues with usability. I personally think that Flat UI can be a solution for this.
Like I said, Flat UI design is a very modern, clean, stylish design that works VERY well in the web design / SEO / Marketing & digital industries, not for industries such as dry cleaners etc. This way of designing would go hand in hand with technical & web related websites.
Google+’s status update box
The Flat UI design has been used by Google+, Apple & even Microsoft so this is no ‘fad’ that will effect the way websites, programs and definitely operating systems (Just look at Windows 8) and it is here to stay.
Blogs look particularly great when using the Flat UI design, it keeps things simple and fresh as some blogs can be overwhelmed with graphics and adverts.
Lastly, my favorite reason for using Flat UI, it is a fun challenge for designers. I love creating websites like this as there is no room for error (As I will explain later in this blog post).
First of all, it looks great on all browsers and computers as you won’t have the cross compatibility browser problems you get with gradients, shadows etc and it looks great on lots of different screen resolutions.
An example of Flat UI I have created for TST Web Design
When looking through a variety of amazing Flat UI design websites, I noticed that it makes it a lot easier on the eyes, less cluttered and easy to navigate through. No more issues of poorly designed buttons etc, just flat, easy to use buttons that are easy on the eyes.
To me, the benefits outweigh the negatives but there are some fundamental floors that can not be ignored.
As I said, Flat UI is modern and stylish, this doesn’t mean that the people using your website with be modern and stylish. Some people just do not get it and this puts them off. Could you imagine your grandma using it? Not me.
Obviously this isn’t an issue if your target audience isn’t of that age group, but it is something to bear in mind.
Flat UI Design From Snowbird.com
From a designer’s point of view, it leaves very little wiggle room for error. You can’t cover up imperfections with a simple shadow or gradient, it is clean, crisp and sharp and very visible to everyone. Obviously I’m not saying designers cover up mistakes, this is just another pain whilst designing or coding.
To me, Flat UI design is a great way of creating sharp, clean, modern, beautiful websites and when done correctly, can look truly inspiring. Obviously these designs are not for everyone and I don’t think every website should adopt this way of designing, I do think it is here to stay and it will influence a huge amount of websites, apps, programs and graphic design.
Apple has done it again and just in time for Christmas. Like a magician pulling white rabbits out of a hat, Apple has overcome all of those much talked about delays and released the new iPad mini 2 with retina display and there is little doubt that this is the best 2017 tablet for gaming. We can only offer our apologies to those who took our previous advice and rushed out and bought the new Nexus 7. A side by side comparison clearly demonstrates that compared with the iPad Mini 2 with its sleek aluminium case, the plastic Nexus 7 feels like a toy in comparison. The only criticism we can level at the iPad Mini 2 is its price tag. The basic 16 GB model costs it costs £320 compared to the £199 price tag of the Nexus 7.
Normally we would point out that if your idea of gaming was playing simple games such as Angry Birds or gambling at an online casino, then you don’t really need all the performance that is provided by a top end tablet and that you could get by with one of the cheaper models such as the Tesco Hudl. It is only for the high end console games that you need the kind of technology that you get on fast multi-core processor tablet with dedicated graphics processors. While that holds true, once you hold the sleek 7.9 inch iPad Mini 2 with its smooth machined aluminium case in your hand, and you view its ultra-clear retina display, you just know that there is no better tablet for gaming – whatever kind of games you play.
The only downside with the iPad Mini 2 is the display form factor. Today we are used to 10:6 form factors as found on many seven inch tablets such as the nexus 7. It is a natural for gaming and it is the same as our HDTVs, so it is an ideal one for tablets that we might wish to stream to TV. Unfortunately Apple has stuck to the 6:4 form factor, which seems just a little old fashioned. It is a little nit picking and not a real problem and everything else about the iPad mini 2 with retina display is spot on. If all this talk about gaming has got you in the mind to play some games head over to www.jackpotcity.co.uk/mobile-casino/iphone-casino and enjoy the wide variety of games.
Investing in Android eCommerce Apps is the new way to boost your business and reach out to a bigger audience. With many payment and shipping processes now becoming much more simplified, android app development has become invaluable to small business owners and big brands alike.
The way we use computers is constantly evolving – Desktops and laptops have had to make way for the smartphone and so the way consumers shop has changed dramatically. Once upon a time, the television was the main influence over our shopping preferences, but now the internet has taken the crown. However, up until recently consumers were forced to physically visit shops in order to compare prices and purchase. Now, with the advent of eCommerce, the concept of shopping has been completely revolutionized. When Ebay acquired PayPal in 2002 eCommerce exploded, bringing a new way of shopping into existence; buying from the internet. The following years saw the industry grow in leaps and bounds.
Mobile shopping, an extension of eCommerce, has seen an enormous increase in the last few years and with the now highly fashionable use of responsive web design has almost certainly had a positive impact. Going a step further, brands have now begun to incorporate in-app purchasing into their apps, giving consumers even more opportunities to buy. Restaurants, clothing brands and the travel industry really took advantage of this new trend, launching apps where users could browse, compare and purchase with a few simple taps.
While there are many hundreds of thousands of eCommerce apps available, there are a few trends which, if not ignored, can help ensure your brand’s app will be a success:
Coupons have become a hot topic recently, enabling buyers to get great discounts and special offers on their favorite products. Groupon, Living Social and, most recently, Facebook Offers have been topping the app charts. Simplicity is the key to success here – It can be as simple as showing the coupon on your phone screen at the counter when you buy.
Loyalty cards have been in existence since before the internet was even around, although nowadays they are paperless, stored on your mobile phone. They work by collecting points every time you dine at a restaurant, or purchase something from a store. The collected points can then be redeemed for a free product or meal. Squiryl and Perx are popular loyalty apps, which also enable users to share their activities with friends on social media. Lately, however, other apps like Yelp and Foursquare have added to the idea and incorporated location based services into the functionality.
Digital scrapbooks like Pinterest and Instagram have taken the fashion world by storm. These platforms are now often the primary means for bloggers to stay updated with the latest fashion news and releases. In addition, if the store across the road is your favorite place to shop, then ShopSpot is the app to see what’s new. Besides viewing the collections, you can follow, like and comment on the store, and if you want to buy something, a quick text via the app is all it takes.
Though there were a huge number of other successful eCommerce app released in the past year, the ones mentioned above topped the 2013 successful Android eCommerce Applications list. They were chosen mainly due to their simple interfaces and ease of the payment processes, thus putting user experience at the forefront.
Do you think eCommerce application development can boost your business? Which apps have you found useful recently? Share your views with us in the comments below!
Sony recently announced that it was paying over 1.05 billion euros to buy out Ericsson, it’s partner in the mobile phone sector. They also commented that this acquisition would bring a change in direction for the company as they phase out feature phones and concentrate solely on producing new smartphones.
Techi.com claims: “Sony has unofficially declared the death of feature phones…It’s a trend that is likely to continue to hit other manufacturers.”
Meanwhile, Nokia has just released the Asha range – A new lineup of feature phones targeted at the emerging markets. Nokia plans to phase out the Symbian operating system over the next few years and, as a result, this new range of phones run on S40. Despite being advertised as feature phones, engadget states that the Asha phones “will blur the line between featurephone and smartphone”. For example, apps are very popular on S4o – Nokia say that “The Nokia Store does 10 million downloads a day, of which a third are coming from our Series 40 mobile phones.” This looks set to increase as game developer Rovio will be introducing a new version of the massively popular Angry Birds for the S40 platform.
All in all, this does look like the beginning of the end of the feature phone – Despite their popularity in developing countries, smartphones outsold feature phones in the US for the first time this year which can be largely attributed to Android and iOS making the technology available to the mass market.
However, the enormous growth in smartphone sales this year should not distract us from the fact that feature phone sales still outnumber smartphones 4:1 so it will certainly be a while before the feature phone is gone for good.
The deal, made between O2, Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, will come at no cost to the taxpayer and looks to ensure that visitors to the city during the Olympics and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year have fast, reliable internet access which will help to make their experience in London easier and more enjoyable.
The free wifi will be launched in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, but the service will eventually be rolled out to a number of other London boroughs, making wireless internet access available to millions of London residents and businesses in the long term.
The news comes just months after Nokia announced that they were launching free wifi in central London with the aim to eventually provide the service on the London Underground network.
If other networks and companies follow suit, London could have extensive wireless internet access by the end of the year, making mobile web browsing much easier and cheaper. Since central London is the focus of this wifi launch, it is likely to affect major high street retailers as consumers browse the web and compare prices as they shop.
You may have adhered to all the right design and “manufacturing” principles to produce a fabulous mobile application. You may have also ensured that you have told all the right people about the availability of this application too.
However, if you think you can stop at this stage, hoping that your fabulous mobile application will somehow become commercially successful; then you have another thing coming!
Creating a great mobile application is only the first step to marketing it. You have to find space for yourself within the over crowded mobile apps marketplace. There seems to be an app for everything under the sun. You also need to contend with the fact that app development is a global phenomenon.
Your chance of making it successful, therefore, lies in launching a mobile application that is SEO-friendly too. One of the important things to keep in mind is the fact that a mobile app, per se, does not lend itself to SEO. It is the ecosystem that it operates in that is SEO-friendly. Here are a few ways in which you can ensure that your applications are easily discoverable.
Just as websites rely on search engine optimization to become more visible in search engine rankings, you should ensure that you are creating mobile applications that go through an App Store Optimization or ASO process as well.
There are some tools and methods by which you can ensure that your application is optimized. Examples of these tools are Moz and Kissmetrics.
Some of the aspects that are critical to ASO are:
Complete understanding of your target customers
Including the keywords that will make sense to your customers and,
Ensuring that your applications are discovered through in-app store searches.
According to research by Forrester, 63% of mobile applications are discovered only through searches conducted within the application store itself. (Source – Forrester Research Inc.).
Once you know your target audience, you need to create a description for your mobile application that will appeal to this audience. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
1. The description should give enough information to detail what the application can do. It should also have keywords and content that will make it SEO friendly.
2. Creating a website that can support your mobile application is a good idea. You should also ensure that you have reciprocal links between your website and your application’s page.
3. The title of your application is perhaps the most powerful message that you can send out. It need not be too lengthy but it should certainly be descriptive. It should be easy to pronounce, remember and should point to its function.
3. Some experts also recommend the addition of words such as “free” and “lite” to help drive even more traffic towards your application.
4. The other aspect of content when it comes to your mobile application is to name the URL. It is a good idea to keep the name of the application and your URL the same.
5. Finally, you should also be very careful to choose the right category for your application. Most people will not do a generic search for mobile applications. Instead, they will specify exactly what they are looking for.
For instance, if you have an application that helps people book flights and hotel rooms, stating that it is a travel application is a better bet than putting it under the lifestyle category.
Thus, it is critical to remember that it is the “support” systems of a mobile application that make it SEO-friendly. The process begins with creating a great app but it can be taken forward only with the right kind of eco-system
You may be sick of hearing it by now, but if your business still doesn’t have a mobile optimized website then you need to revise your marketing strategy. Going ‘mobile’ is now one of the best ways to leverage the web for your business, so if your site isn’t accessible on a mobile device you are losing out on a large chunk of traffic and revenue. A large portion of Google’s traffic now comes from mobile and tablet devices and, according to Google’s own forecast, mobile internet use will surpass that of desktop very soon.
As well as losing out on additional traffic, having a site which doesn’t work well on mobile will also cause your site to suffer in Google’s rankings. Factors like page loading speed, redirects and usability will all have an impact on how well your site ranks in Google’s mobile search results.
Recent surveys undertaken by Google surmise that 72% of mobile users say it’s important to them that websites are mobile-friendly, yet 96% have recently visited a site that doesn’t work well on their device.
To help you step into the confusing world of mobile, we’ve listed some sound advice on what not to do when building and launching your mobile website.
This is when pages from your desktop website are redirected incorrectly to pages on the mobile site. For example, redirecting all users from the desktop site to your mobile home page is a big no-no. Users should always be taken to the page that most closely maps the one they landed on
This is when sites present content to desktop users who visit a specific URL but that same URL displays an error page to smartphone users.
These are just two examples, but there are number of things that your webmaster needs to know to avoid annoying your mobile visitors. Most importantly though, it is imperative that you pay attention to the content on your site and make it accessible across as many devices and screen sizes as possible.
Some pointers to remember for a great mobile site:
Simple is beautiful
A search bar that is easy to locate
Pages that work with the minimum of clicking and scrolling
Faster page loading times
Thankfully, if you have a WordPress or Joomla website, you can download a number of features or plugins that will display your website on mobile devices. However, if you would rather have a separate mobile site, then you will need the help of a professional web development service who can create one from scratch.
The initiative was trialled at Charing Cross station in November 2010 began in November 2010 and the WiFi was made available by BT Openzone. Travel information could be viewed for free, but non-BT customers had to pay to access all other sites. It is not yet confirmed whether or not the proposed new WiFi network will be free of charge, although it is likely that a basic level of service will be provided for free to all users.
Gareth Powell, Transport for London’s Director Of Strategy and Service Development, said of the plans: “London Underground is continuing with preparations to install the necessary infrastructure and is on schedule to complete the project as planned. An announcement of the chosen service provider will be made in early spring leaving plenty of time for this to be delivered to customers in time for the 2012 Games.”
The contract for the WiFi service provider will run for five years but is likely to be extended if the WiFi is a success.
Until now, the absence of internet connection has been a stumbling block for many brands who advertise on the London Underground. QR codes and posters directing users to websites have obvious problems – Users currently need to save QR codes and remember URLs in order to follow them up at a later time – The introduction of WiFi will now enable users to go directly to websites and purchase items whilst on the station platform.
Will we start to see a rise in the usage and adoption of QR codes, augmented reality and other mobile marketing techniques now that there is a greater opportunity for them to drive sales on the daily commute? Will we start to see virtual supermarkets on the London Underground, as pioneered by Tesco in Korea? Let us know in the comments what changes to mobile marketing you think we will see in London from this new WiFi initiative.
artner have released data showing just how much mobile sales have increased this year so far, and gives great insights into how Q4 and 2012 will look in terms of which operating systems and devices will come out on top.
In the third quarter of this year, 115 million smartphones were sold to end users, up a massive 42% from the same period in 2010.
Smartphone sales accounted for 26% of all mobile phone sales in Q3, which is up only slightly from 25% in Q2. It is likely that the slow growth between Q2 and Q3 is due to consumers waiting for newer models and price drops before purchasing, the iPhone 4S being a good example. Therefore, we should expect to see an enormous increase in mobile phone sales in the last quarter of this year.
Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, states that China and Russia saw a large smartphone growth “which helped increase overall volumes,” whilst in more advanced markets, such as Europe and America, demand for smartphones stalled “as many users waited for new flagship devices featuring new versions of the key operating systems.” Latin America, the Middle East and Africa also saw sales of smartphones slow down.
The Android OS made up 52.5% of all smartphone sales in Q3, more than doubling its market share from Q3 2010. It is believed that Android benefited from “more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems.” In addition, Apple’s market share suffered in Q3 as many customers delayed their purchases as they waited for the new iPhone 4S, and price drops to the older iPhone models, to arrive. Microsoft should see a small increase in market share in Q4 and Q1 2012 with the release of the Nokia Lumia range.
Nokia devices account for 23.9% of global mobile phone sales, meaning that they hang on to their top spot in terms of device sales. Although smartphones are not the reason for their success – “Feature phones generally, maintained Nokia’s momentum in emerging markets.” Further improvement for Nokia is expected in Q4 as both them and Microsoft market the new Lumia devices leading up to Christmas. Apple comes in fourth place with 3.9% of total mobile phone sales, although Apple should expect to see a large increase in sales in Q4 this year with the release of the iPhone 4S in October and Christmas making a positive impact.
All in all, it looks like the end of 2011 will bring a surge of mobile phone sales, particularly for manufacturers who have recently released new models and updates. 2012 looks set to continue the trend, as the late adopters follow suit. If Nokia’s Lumia range manages to successfully breathe new life into the Windows mobile operating system, we could see a large market share increase for Microsoft next year. Android will no doubt continue to grow with so many new devices on the market running the OS, the big questions being can anyone else realistically catch up and who will suffer the most?
The development of mobile apps has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. As a result, a wide range of innovative tools can help companies develop apps have appeared.
There are now a huge number of different mobile phones available on the market. What was once the standard in mobile phones has now become the ‘dumb phone’, which has made way for smarter, more advanced phones which are now ubiquitous among the majority of young people. These ‘smart phones’ are essentially small personal computers and can now store countless applications, or ‘apps’, which aim to help consumers in their day to day lives. Types of apps include games, services from companies such as mobile banking or informational apps such as train times.
When it comes to mobile applications, there are several mobile app stores where users can choose among a wide range of apps. The most famous app development platforms available today are considered to be Blackberry, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, J2ME and iOS (iPhone).
What mobile applications really do is create a link between businesses and customers who own a smart phone. This means that every mobile app developer has to identify the goals that his/her mobile application should achieve, as well as the customer’s needs and attitudes. You cannot create a mobile application if you are not familiar with your target market and since so many everyday tasks are now performed using mobile phones – paying bills, making purchases, social media – it is imperative that you are aware of what your customers need, how they are currently performing this task and how you can improve on the existing method.
In order to ensure the successful development and launch of their mobile apps, most businesses and brands hire specialised mobile application developers who are in charge of designing and creating unique and user-friendly applications. However, what business owners need to understand is that there is a wide range of developers available and competition is tough, but not every developer is talented enough able to take a business’ app to a whole new level.
If you are a business owner who wants to make use of a mobile app developer, it is recommended that you do your research and make sure that you hire someone who is fit for the job. Mobile developers have become more and more numerous in recent years, which is a great in terms of choice, but may leave you confused as to who is the best choice for your app. If possible, find someone who has recently had an app created for them and get the details of the developer involved. A personal reference is way better than a top ranking in Google or a few online reviews!