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Web development

  • Here’s the real rationale behind ‘good enough is better than perfect’

    The ‘good enough’ principle has been around for a few years now, especially in the software development world. It’s part of the agile approach and is one of the secrets behind the successes of giants like Google, Microsoft and Facebook. In many ways, the approach is counter-intuitive. Most of us were brought up to strive for perfection, but the fact is that it takes a lot of time and energy to achieve perfection, and the risk is that by the time you do, the thing you have created is out of date. The quest for perfection the first time round...

  • The whats, whys and hows of building a good inbound marketing site

    Amplifying your impact through targeted content is the cornerstone of a successful inbound marketing website. With consumers actively conducting extensive online research, the modern marketer’s task has shifted from finding leads to helping leads find you. While inbound is a powerful marketing tactic, it needs to be combined with the overall marketing mix to achieve increased revenue, shorter sales cycles and an improved marketing ROI. What is inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is the process of helping potential customers find your company before the purchasing decision, and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and ideally into revenue. Relevant and interesting...

  • 6 top SCRUM tips for wannabe agilists

    It is always delightful to find and work with high performance teams. In one of our recent business endeavors, I met an exceptional web and software development company. Experts in Drupal and related web development technologies; its delivery methodology of choice is Agile, and more specifically, the SCRUM methodology. Anyone involved in the systems development life cycle will confirm that beyond the methodology and tools, and myriad of awesome technologies applied in systems or web development, people are, without a doubt the core focus of the work environment. And people are naturally dynamic and, therefore, a variable...

  • HTML5 gets its final stamp of approval

    It's been a long, hard, winding road for HTML5 but the development language finally has an official stamp of approval. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)has put out a statement recommending the fifth version of the hypertext markup language. "For application developers and industry," the consortium says, "HTML5 represents a set of features that people will be able to rely on for years to come. HTML5 is now supported on a wide variety of devices, lowering the cost of creating rich applications to reach users everywhere". "Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing...

  • Things will never be the same: the shifting role of the developer

    Today’s competitive business landscape is calling for a shift in the role of the software developer as we currently understand it. Increasingly, businesses are looking towards a particular hybrid of software developer and business analyst – someone who can scope and design software architecture while simultaneously considering business and stakeholder needs. The modern business analyst should be able to speak the same language as developers, as one of the biggest of their duties is relaying information between stakeholders, developers and programmers. Somebody with a developer background will most likely know how to best translate a client’s needs into a...

  • Personalisation should always be the number one goal in all your digital marketing efforts

    In a 2013 SAP-sponsored, Forrester thought leadership paper "Delivering New Levels Of Personalization In Consumer Engagement", it was stated that: “Personalisation will enable firms to achieve their future strategic marketing goals.” It's a short message with so much depth. Isn't that the goal of all firms? Of yours? Picture this. You've been invited to the grand opening of the Amazon Rainforest Cyber Cafe, where fresh, hot meals are delivered to customers via drone. After your first 10 meal orders, the cafe's digital servers will have developed a pretty good knowledge of what your dining habits are. As your visits to the diner...

  • Business at the heart of the arts: what we can all learn from the new National Arts Festival site

    Just like the National Arts Festival itself, the new festival website has plenty of colour and personality. The site got a much-needed makeover just in time for the 40th edition of the Festival, held in Grahamstown 3 – 13 July 2014. And, again like the event, under all the colour, images and nifty transitions, there is a business basis making this a site that does more than entertain. Look and feel Blame Medium.com and the one-page app sites, but bold width-spanning images and scrolling central blocks of text are certainly have their moment in the sun in terms of web...

  • 4 reasons why you should find your next designer in South Africa

    Thanks to technologies like email, Skype and Google Docs, offshore outsourcing is easier than ever before. Owing to the ubiquity of sophisticated communications technology, doing business with people situated on the other side of the world is almost as easy as doing business with someone down the street. This means that if you’re on the hunt for a website designer, you needn’t limit your search to web design companies in your own country. There are some instances where you might have good reason for preferring to use a local web designer. Most obviously for South African businesses, one of these...

  • Screw rich media, I just want to read

    There seems to be an assumption among a lot of websites nowadays that their content has to fill of "rich media". I'm talking about animations galore, sound playing, videos auto-starting (really?) -- and I'm having a sort of backlash reaction to all of that. This belief that everyone wants to watch a video, interview, programme, screencast and much more comes from seemingly nowhere. No -- no no no. Yes, at times, but to me at least, the vast majority of the time I just want to read. I want to be able to skim through an article, focus on what I...

  • 5 important ways your website impacts your online marketing efforts

    Most companies today do some form of emarketing, made up of: paid media (like Google Adwords and online banner advertising), search media, social media, email marketing and SMS campaigns. The one thing these various channels have in common? Content – which is all situated on your website, the heart of any emarketing campaign. 1. Your homepage is the glue that holds your emarketing strategies together As emarketing relies on various channels, this will see different sectors of your target market clicking on various links and banners to your content. Some of these “click-throughs” might result in people going to a specific landing...

  • 5 things you need to know about the cost of not doing website maintenance

    Regular website maintenance is non-negotiable and should be an ongoing affair. Over and above adding new pages, your website maintenance should also link to the performance of your website; it’s imperative that you continuously maintain your site to ensure it’s performing at its optimum. The infographic below was created by Smartbear, a company that specialises in software testing. The infographic shows how small things like enhancing the page load speed can improve the revenue you can generate from your website. 1. Site loading speed is paramount Do you know how long your site takes to load? You may have initially factored...

  • 3 must-have skills for young software developers

    Career advice usually comes packaged in experience, but to be frank, my experience as a young software developer was vastly different from the world that faces the ranks of young software developers today. Software development, as an industry, is uniquely fast-paced. What was true five years or even one year ago may no longer be true now. Instead, my advice comes packaged from the other side: these skills are what I look for in young developers. Even more, workers in software development, tech in general, and the workforce at large have become increasingly mobile, and young developers need to cultivate...

  • Getting UX right is like walking a tightrope: here’s why

    Just like walking on a tightrope -- part of the act is about balance, focus and reaching an end point without falling. The other part, the logistical side of the act, is about how tightly strung the tightrope is. If it’s too loose, too giving, the tightrope walker won’t have anything to hold on to or grip. If it is too rigid, there isn’t enough room for the walker to recover if he makes even the slightest mistake. It has to be tense enough to have a predictable boundary and structure, but loose enough to make allowance for human...

  • How to decide if you need a responsive or mobi site: an illustrated guide

    Talking about digital marketing we generally recognise mobile is king, but with the many different options available in the mobile game, it remains an arena where many are confused about what will work best for them. Most recently, when looking to cater for mobile users, the question of whether it is best to switch over to responsive design as opposed to developing a separate mobi site has increasingly come to the fore. Before detailing how best to decide which route to take, let’s start with the main difference between responsive design and a mobi site. A mobi site is developed...

  • 2 very good reasons why a smart designer is essential to any website

    It’s been said that the worst mistake a company can make when they need to build a website is to leave it to a web designer. But of course somebody who designs websites is by definition a website designer in much the same way as a pilot flies planes or a writer writes articles. What’s more we all know that the worst mistake a company can make is potentially much more catastrophic than hiring a web designer. But I digress. If we take it as given that a web designer is somebody who designs websites for a living, here are the...