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Web development

  • 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...

  • 7 reasons a designer shouldn’t take responsibility for your site

    When you need a website, most companies will try to find a graphic designer, web designer or simply brief their advertising agency. This is the worst mistake a company can make as designers have the wrong priorities when it comes to web design. To get the best results when looking at web design you need to get someone in marketing to do your website design. The number one priority of marketing types is to generate revenue, and this should always be the number one priority of your website design. Here are the main reasons why you cannot trust a designer...

  • MyPermissions launches free developer certification programme [LeWeb]

    Recently named one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Tech Websites, MyPermissions, a tool that enables users to have a better handle on their data and how it’s used, announced ‘MyPermissions Trust Certification’ , a free developer certification programme at LeWeb London earlier today. It's taken on a huge task -- taming how app developers use personally identifiable information (PII). An interesting premise considering that “more information is usually better”, at least according to several developers I spoke to at the launch. Olivier Amar, CEO of MyPermissions thinks this won’t be a problem; “...most...

  • 7 ways to ruin your website before it even launches

    In the five years that I’ve been involved in the web development industry, I’ve learnt how to build great websites that delight clients and their consumers alike. Along the way I’ve also learnt how easy it is to sink a website before it even leaves port. In my experiences, the difference between building a great website and building a white elephant is in the planning and approval phases. To help you get the most out of your new website, I’ve highlighted the most common mistakes people can make during the development of a website. Keep these points in mind...

  • 10 exciting ways to learn how to code and why it’s important

    As people, businesses and things get more and more computer-oriented, learning how to program at a young age is becoming a crucial skill. As important as it might be, it’s still a difficult business getting into -- teaching the language of computers. The trick is getting people’s attention in the first place. Schools are generally too traditional or just don’t have the budget for it. So, people have to come up with potential solutions: giving you free or cheap means to learn the ins and outs of programming via the web and other popular interaction tools like games. Initiatives are...