QCon Conferences

The story

QCon is an international software development conference designed for team leads, architects, and project management and is organized by the community, for the community.
The founders of QCon – C4Media – approached us to design and code a landing page that will overview briefly the conferences. Due very specific technical and organizational demands each conference has it’s own separate website so the purpose of this landing page is really to provide a central entry point for each conference website.
QCon runs four times a year in London, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Beijing.

The results

We produced the design to behave as a simple landing page, using just plain markup and some JavaScript. The QCon staff was really amazed by the result and so far testing with community produced outstanding reactions.

Rentila Characters

The story

Rentila is a french based application that intermediate the gap between landlords and tenants, allowing you to manage your properties as a landlord and to pay your monthly rent bills as a tenant. Rentila approached us to design two custom characters to be used on the application homepage and eventually on additional promotional materials.

The results

We produced the requested characters – vectors as they were requested – and not only the Rentila owners were thrilled about the results but their users also instantly loved the look of the mascots. Afterall an image worth one thousand words, isn’t ?

Centrasite

Centrasite’s story

Software AG, the world’s largest independent provider of Business Infrastructure Software asked for a face-lift of their old product website – Centrasite.

What is CentraSite?

Build the right services, the right way. Give developers and business analysts one place to store, find and re-use all your service and process assets. Guide their development of new business processes and services-faster-while improving collaboration between business and IT.

CentraSite is the Business Service Repository for SOA and BPM that eliminates re-work, assures consistent quality and keeps your services aligned with business needs.

Imagine being able to build repeatable solutions-faster and at less cost. You can do that with CentraSite. You can catalog dozens or even thousands of processes and services in one place so developers and business analysts will know what assets they can re-use. Plus, you’ll have the assurance that services perform to the high standards you’ve enforced with CentraSite.

A little structure like this can have long-lasting benefits. Learn more by exploring CentraSite’s capabilities.

The website was developed by C4Media, which is tracking change and innovation in the enterprise software development community through their InfoQ portal.

Having a website that performs, achieving remarkable results

I am more than sure that every website owner asked himself at least a few times if not several times questions like “How do I get my site to work better for my business”, “What can I improve at my website” or “It’s pretty obvious, why people don’t get it?”.
As soon as you understand some basic principles everything will come together more nicely and comprehensible. Here’s a list of things you might want to think about and consider : People come always on the first place, Keep it simple and usable, Build for findability, Everything serves a purpose.
Now that the main ideas were spoken, let’s try to detail them a bit more.

People come always on the first place

Like it or not, your website it will be always designed for your buyers and not for you. Design it for interaction.
No matter how much you would like to argue about this there’s no place in the online world today for “I don’t like it”. Even so designers and web companies heard this a lot from their customers and not only from small or mid-size customers but even million dollar companies. Well, guess what, it’s not important if you like it or not. The fact that you might like it is a very hoped conincidence but in fact like it or not for the purpose of your website that’s completely irrelevant. You’ll ask yourself how’s that comes? It’s pretty simple in fact, your website is built for your customers or prospects and the main focus of the website should be on them as well on properly presenting them whatever you are trying to sell to them.

Keep it simple and usable

Usable websites as well as usable designs don’t need a map. User interface design is meant to guide people not to confuse them.
Here’s a lot of talk. What simple means ? In our opinion simple means effective, means presenting your information ins such a way that it looks presentable, it is comprehensible and most important it brings your message quickly and clearly in the fastest possible time. There is no secret that people that are looking for something over the internet – whatever they are looking for – are in a hurry and have very short attention spans.
Your website should present to them what interests them. They’ve most probably got to your website by doing a search. Considering for example they searched for “professional writing” don’t let them read two paragraphs of text until they will finally reach relevant content. If you can’t achieve their attention in a very few seconds they are likely to hit close window or to return on the search page looking for a more relevant result.

Keep it briefly, short and if it’s possible to even illustrate your message somehow using graphics, illustrations, pictures then you already got them.

Build for findability

Building a findable website is not extremely hard but it requires a lot of patience, attention and one of the main keys is Information Architecture.
Without any doubt being found is essential to any business and no one can argue that this can play a major role in evolution of a business, both offline and on-line.
Having an extremely clear code, using proper tags and clearly marking in code several parts of your code makes it search engine friendly which is a major advantage. Going forward use proper page descriptions, keywords and so on. This way you can be sure that web spiders will love your website. Most of the internet traffic comes from search engines, so whatever you can do to make this properly it’s definitely gonna pay the effort.

Everything serves a purpose

What doesn’t make any sense to be there it shouldn’t be there. Information architecture along with usability serves the purpose of making things easier for the people that visit your website.

Being brief and concise is not only a concept, is a goal. You don’t need to build a large number of pages just for the sake of being indexed or having more content available. But creating proper pages and website structure keeps things clean and organized. If people are gonna ask on your website “how did I got here?” you have a problem. Remember that people don’t usually order from start. It is possible they will not buy anything for the moment but to keep in mind or note a product for later reviewing. Being sure they can find the way back to that product later is essential.
Think about it, you’ll never buy from someone if you return on their website and you can’t find again the product you’ve just seen yesterday. If your website is presenting a lot of services/products group them and be careful not to look overcrowded.

I think that this article really covers the basics about having a website that performs. Further than that trying to write proper requests is another major step if you’re trying to get a request for proposal ready. As much as you can detail your concept and idea about your business you will just shorten the time needed to get an effective proposal.
Always try to keep in mind that nothing just happens. It has to me made to happen as well as your website has to be properly built in order to achieve remarkable results that everyone’s after.

I am keen to hear your questions about this article and I’d love to see in your comments what you consider essential for a performing website. Don’t hesitate to comment and address to us your questions about this topic.

Web Site Usability – Portfolios and Resumes (Krop)

portfolio-and-resume-builder-krop-creative-databaseKrop recently launched a new service called Creative Database. Creative Database takes web site usability to the next level by offering designers a way to build a modern resume as well as an online portfolio.

Initially I thought “Holy biscuits! Not another resume website! …” For Krop, this move made perfect sense as they already have a popular job board for creative professionals like myself. So while allowing users to search for jobs, why not allow companies to search for people using their online resumes and creative portfolios? Nice and a smart move for Krop. Continue reading

OpelGTT

Supraelastic is a very professional organization that puts the customer first. The service is superb, fast and accurate. We have been with them for several years now, used them for all 8 websites our company own, and would not think of going anywhere else.

They always did what they promised, when they promised, all at the right price. We are more than happy being with them.