Categories
web development

Best practices for the creation of corporate websites – the pre-project interview

The early stages of a web project are very important. Whether we are dealing with the creation of a new company website, the restyling of an existing website, the development of a new mobile application, or simply the modification of something already existing, it is in the first moments that are defined together with the customer technical-functional requirements of the new project, identified the referents, formalized the functionalities, the management methods, defined the platforms and integrations.

Content index

It is clear how a correct acquisition of all this information is a crucial step for the correct success of a complex project. The creation of a company website often involves a series of very different company figures across the board. The company’s top management is involved in the definition of the strategy, the marketing offices in the definition of the tactical aspects relating to communication, the technical offices (CED / IT) for the requirements of the technical infrastructure or the integration with other platforms, the commercial areas for information on products and services and many other figures.

In order to facilitate the acquisition of all the strategic information necessary for an optimal development of the design part, we have prepared a questionnaire, a sort of preliminary interview to the project, which we regularly use for all new projects that we are going to deal with as web and digital agency.

For the success of a web project, the correct acquisition of preliminary information is essential.

This questionnaire is administered to new customers (and every time you intend to make a change on the communication methods) to facilitate the description of the company and the objectives that are expected from the communication point of view of the material that will be produced.

The exhaustiveness of the answers and providing as many ideas as possible (even outside of the questions we have entered) is fundamental at this moment, because it allows us, as a web agency specialized in company websites, to be in tune with the Customer and its Goals. In fact, it becomes a useful track to follow, in the phase of the creative process, which is integrated with the needs that emerged from the meetings and from what was viewed directly in the company.

The questionnaire is divided into two parts:

1. The first part concerns a general description of the company, its values, its mission and the way it has communicated so far and how it intends to communicate in the future.

2. The second part is more technical and concerns, in particular, the aspects that concern the creation of the website. Finally, if present, examples of past communication (own or of competitors) from which to take a cue or distance themselves substantially are very useful.

Below we list the main points covered in the questionnaire, however we invite you to download the complete pre-project questionnaire for a detailed analysis of the document.

• Corporate communication

General information on the company’s core business, products and services, strengths and strategic aspects to convey in communication

• Analysis of the current situation

Acquisition of information on the current situation, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses

• Analysis of the requirements for the new website

Acquisition of all the relevant information for the design of the new website, from the definition of users to technical and functional requirements

• Competition analysis

Collection of data on the reference competition, regarding strengths and weaknesses and reference material (websites, brochures, communication examples)

• Use cases / users and functionality.

Discussion of use cases regarding the possibility of interaction of the different users with the new web tools

• Integration of multimedia material

Collection of information on multimedia materials (audio, video, photos, documents, etc.) to be integrated on new websites

• Integration of external databases / corporate ERPs

If you want to integrate external databases (for example with company ERP) analysis of information requirements, data structure, technological aspects

• Security and privacy requirements

Compliance with the laws on privacy and the management of cookies, acquisition of company contacts and procedures related to privacy and security

• Production and content management

Who will manage the content and any translations, both regarding the first body of content and subsequent updates

• SEO strategies and online visibility on search engines

Analysis of the requirements / objectives in terms of online visibility and availability on search engines. Possibility of access to services dedicated to SEO / online positioning and online campaigns with PPC / AdWords

• Social channels

Analysis of the integration of social channels in corporate communication and possible integration on new digital tools and websites

• Hosting and technical infrastructure

Acquisition of all necessary information regarding the technical infrastructure that will have to support the online publication of new digital tools and websites

From the above, you see that the information that makes up a structured web project, whether it is the creation of a corporate website or the restyling of an existing corporate website, is many and varied.

Do you have questions and suggestions to improve this document? Leave us an enquiry now!

Categories
web development

4 ticklish questions when designing a website

Web design is a constantly evolving field in which professionals are constantly looking for new solutions to improve the user experience and increase the competitiveness of their customers. The creation of a unique website is usually done by a whole team, and it often happens that ideas and views collide. Here I will look at four of the issues that are most often creatively debated.

How detailed is the study of consumer behavior

When creating a website, the team aims to create significant and pleasant moments that involve users in the world of the brand, as well as the highest level of accessibility and usability. The question is how to create these moments and a truly unique experience in general. Here it helps to study user expectations and behavior, usually by directly observing how people use the prototype site created in a real or near real environment. This is the key to evaluating the concept and its components. The next logical question is what part of the team’s efforts should be concentrated at this stage of the website development process.

There are experts in web design who say this is not necessary at all. They claim that the developer team can be an accurate measure of what users want and expect. Steve Jobs’ remark that customers don’t know what they want is well known, as is his work, based on his own intuition, in which he and his team have expressed what they think is good product design. Given the revolutionary technology solutions created by Apple’s team, can we say that it’s helpful for website developers not to look at the target audience at all? The answer is no. However, not everyone is a genius in their field.

It turns out that the time and effort invested in studying consumers has increased over the last few years and this is considered an effective direction of development. However, it is observed shifting the focus of the study from the final product to the conceptual design. As already mentioned, testing the prototype of a website with real users is already a widely used practice. Through it, the developer receives valuable information about the attitudes of users even before the actual programming begins, thus making changes faster and cheaper. Also, the flexibility is much higher, which allows to achieve full perfection within the time and budget of the project to create a website.

How minimalist web design should be

The maxim that less is more devoted has become a postulate in the field of web design. Minimalism brings many benefits, including faster page loading, clearer navigation and easier familiarization with the main products, services and features of the brand. How is this achieved? The goal of minimalism is to improve the user experience by eliminating unnecessary details from both the design and the content. The layout of the web pages is such that the user naturally focuses on the message sent by the brand without being distracted.

The main tool in this type of approach is the use of empty spaces which eliminate clutter and make each element stand out. The question is how to use it sparingly so that the website does not become too scarce, as well as “lean” and boring. Balance can be found by looking at the components of good communication with visitors. What does the user want to learn from the website and in what sequence? What information has the greatest value for him? How aggressive should page marketing be? The answers to these questions will lead to the optimal use of empty spaces in the design of the site.

What kind of menu to make

The so-called hamburger menu is becoming increasingly used in adaptive web design (responsive design), due to the small available space on the screens of smartphones and tablets. It is represented by the characteristic icon with three horizontal lines, pressing which opens the vertical menu. It is interesting to note that it is not new – it dates back to the early 80’s. Its qualities are indisputable – clean, elegant, easy to use and well organized. The problem is that when it appears, the burger menu blocks all or part of the screen content.

There are several possible solutions of this case. Perhaps the most commonly used is to keep the traditional menu for desktops and laptops, and to keep the “hamburger” for smartphones and tablets, simplifying its contents as much as possible and making it thinner and more elegant. There are also alternatives to this type of menu, such as the so-called navigation at the bottom of the screen. In it, the menu automatically appears at the bottom when the user starts scrolling up, which is considered an indicator that he has viewed the necessary content on the relevant page of the mobile website.

Pop-ups and their role in the website

Pop-ups are often described as annoying, but still remain widely used for marketing purposes. How to find a balance between the user experience and marketing generally speaking? To begin with, you need to consider exactly what role pop-ups will play. It is best for them to present an offer with specific benefits for the user related to the content of the respective web page.

Second, you need to determine the location of the pop-up window within the screen. The two main options are in the middle and in the lower right corner. In the first, the window is immediately noticeable, but actually blocks the content. The second option is much more elegant, and the chance for the user to pay attention to the proposal is not small, given that this part of the screen traditionally displays notifications from various applications, as well as system ones.

The third important step is to decide when the window will pop up. The most effective in this regard are the windows, the display of which is regulated by the user’s behavior. When he intends to close the page, for example, then in the middle of it can pop up a large window with a tempting offer, which will make him stay.

How to make the right decisions

When designing a website, testing is of paramount importance. Ideas collide at the concept level and are evaluated using prototypes. Thus, in the actual development phase, when the design is done and the code is written, the team works with a clear and detailed concept that is the best possible. This is the way to create working online business solutions.

Do you want a new website that works reliably and tirelessly for your business success? Contact our team with an inquiry now.

Categories
web development

10 questions to ask before hiring a web developer

Let’s make a clarification that is directly related to the title. In the phrase web developer we put a large team, and each member contributes through their competencies to get a well-oiled machine, a whole.

A common interpretation for a web developer is a prodigy who can do anything. This view is far from reality, as web development is a wide field of expression, saturated with different technologies and levels of competence.

Once we have made the lyrical introduction and found that the target is a web development company, we can move on to the essence.

What to ask to hire the right company?

1. Where can I see your project portfolio?

This is the main issue with which the dialogue must be opened. The portfolio will immediately shine the skills, expertise, achievements of each web developer. At the same time, there will be shortcomings that signal that you should not engage with non-professionals. Examine carefully everything they have built for their customers. Don’t just look at the colorful pictures, deepen the research, read all the explanations, challenges and suggested solutions. See our portfolio.

2. Can I look at a list of customers?

It is important to see who the web developer has worked with and continues to work with. This will give you information about his level and scale of thinking. A quick look at our customers.

3. What is your favorite project?

This question is important to check the level of connection between the web developer and the projects he creates. You will easily find out if he loves what he does or beats things up to get home earlier.

4. What technologies will you use to create my site?

Here the web developer must be able to describe the technological solution he offers, as well as all its specifics. It is good to point out the advantages and disadvantages if it offers different options.

5. How will you optimize my site for search engines?

Learn about the level and know-how of the developer in terms of search engine optimization. Your site needs to be indexed well to make sense. Discuss the types of strategies for pushing the newly created site to the top positions.

6. What else can you put on my site?

This is a question that aims to test the proactivity of the web developer. Solutions for connections with social networks, chat systems, banner systems, forums and many others should be made here. Additional modules that are relevant to your specific case.

7. What happens after the creation of my site?

Inspect the after-sales service offered by the developer. Whether it provides monthly maintenance, warranty service or entire one-time sales. Ensure the operation of your site by making backups, as well as the mandatory presence of an administrative panel.

8. What about the content?

Take up this topic from the very beginning to know what is expected of you, what the developer takes as a responsibility. Each site has images, they must have licensed rights. The content is also a serious commitment. Have a discussion about who will get them and who will introduce them on the site.

9. Who owns the site?

Look carefully at who owns the website. Whether it remains in your possession or you use a “rental site”. Clarify this part of the contractual relationship.

10. What are the payment terms?

Get acquainted with the payment scheme for the construction of the site, everything you need to run it, as well as subsequent maintenance. Ask what is included in the creation price, whether there is an administration, service fees and so on.

With all this information you will be able to safely vote of confidence in the other party. Or vice versa, redirect your attention to another web developer.

How about we discuss your site? Our team will answer all your questions. Send an inquiry now.

Categories
web development

What is the Role of a Full Stack Developer?

Full Stack developers have wide knowledge base, though their knowledge may not be deep, but they can handle all the work of technical stack. In simple words they are “Jack of all trades”. From conceptualization, designing, coding and database management, Full Stack web developers can handle entire range of work of website development services.

What are Full Stack web development services?

To understand full stack web development services firstly you need to understand what term ‘Full Stack’ actually means. The term ‘Full Stack’ is not related to just IT or software/web development. Full stack companies leverage their experience and expertise in extending services that are beyond traditional marketing, commercial and technology skills. See for example the companies that are categorized as Full Stack companies and you find names of Netflix, Uber and Airbnb prominently in that list. These are not technology companies, but these have changed the way people watch TV programs, travel or go on vacations.

So, Full stack website development services mean use of frontend tools like Angular.js, Ember.js or React and backend tools like Netstack, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Java, PHP etc. Full stack website development services use databases like MongoDB, MySql, and NoSql etc. and do not stick to just one like SQL. Full Stack web development services mean delivering a product or service that covers entire value chain, does not rely on one technology or third party services, innovate with velocity and develop absolute luxury.

Expectations from Full Stack developer

Companies while hiring full stack developer expect him to take over responsibilities from concept to ideation and delivery. Full stack developer would be expected to do following tasks in the best web development company.

  • Gather requirements, create technical specification and architecture document, and giving project timeline.
  • Work with system infrastructure, choose OS and hardware.
  • Create and manage APIs
  • Write front-end code and should have knowledge of one or more technologies.
  • Write back-end code, and create, manipulate and query database.
  • Should have knowledge of SCRUM/Agile/Kanban etc.

Skills of Full Stack Developer

Many industry experts believe that Full Stack developer is nothing more than a linguistic jargon that has surged and will vanish soon or will get replaced with another fancy term. These experts say that people before rise of this term were Full Stack Developers as they touched every component of website development.

However many believe that Full Stack development signifies better product and services in lesser time and efficient use of ever-growing and ever-changing world of development tools, services and databases. So, here are the skills that distinguish a Full Stack developer and normal programmer.

  • Full stack developer should be able to build front-end from static prototype to high performance attractive UI. Full Stack developer is expected to be expert in one or more technologies like HTML, Javascript, AngularJS, React etc. and capable of developing flawless appealing UI. The UI creation has to be compatible with web and mobile environment which means designs need to be responsive. FS developer should be an expert in designing web and mobile app UI. 
  • FS developer should possess ability to create, manage and integrate REST APIs. Should also possess expertise in one or more technologies like .Net Stack, Java, Ruby etc. Knowledge and expertise over back-end programming languages adds another flavor to the skills of FS developer. Like .Net Stack may have advantage for custom development where as Java may gain for products that may run on single server or distributed over multiple servers.
  • FS developer should be proficient in database management. Capability to create, understand and manipulate database queries, knowledge to differentiate between relational and non-relational database with expertise in syntax of XML/JSON, is a must. FS developer should also be well-versed with reporting tools, knowledge of peculiarities of relational database, and should have sound expertise to connect database with back-end programming language. Developer is also trusted to choose most suitable database for specific projects.
  • Web architecture is another essential skill that a FS developer should possess. Companies hire Full Stack developers to handle complex and lengthy project which is possible only through well-structured and planned code, database and file system.
  • Knowledge of creating documents and understanding of development methodologies like SCRUM/Kanban etc. is actually the skill which differentiates FS developer from normal programmer. In old team hierarchy this job was given to project managers or SCRUM master but with Full Stack developers in the game this is a necessary skill for a full stack developer.
  • Git is web-based open-source repository hosting service. It is version controlled system that lets developers see the modifications made by joint coders. It also helps in maintaining architecture and structure, and also testing and removal of bugs. Knowledge of Github and other services is another skill which FS developer should possess.
  • Knowledge of basic algorithms and good grip on data structure helps in improving code quality. One should be master in handling in branches and hash tables and stack, heaps and procedures.

How Full Stack developer is advantageous?

Know why there is so much buzz about Full Stack developers or development. Even the best web development company would boast of having team of FS developers over their website and social media posts. There are few advantages that FS developer carries with his profile. Here are few top ones that give clear picture why such developers are in demand.

  • Can take charge of project and ensure fast and timely delivery.
  • Exceptionally fruitful for creating MVPs.
  • Expertise in Front-end as well as back-end programming and in handling database.
  • Knowledge of cloud-computing solutions and services and is able to utilize most efficient services.
  • Capable of creating documents caters to design structure as well.
  • Phenomenal in support, maintenance and updates because of complete knowledge of project.
  • Can handle team working as SCRUM master and ensure smooth development.
  • Proves cost-effective. With knowledge and expertise of entire technical and management stack full stack developer proves cost-effective and increases profitability.

There is no doubt, that skills of Full Stack developer can be decisive in starting and seeing through development of project. It is one resource with multiple skills with few deep ones and is best option to save time, avoid errors and make best use of investment.

Categories
web development

Key features of successful website development

1. Not major but main key feature of successful website development is captivating design with strong aesthetic appeal and message.

It is the first glance over website that forms an opinion for more than 80% of users. In such a less time what it can be that can compell a user to stay on website and check it out further. The design and aethetics of website is what that leaves the first impression. In many surveys it has come out that first appeal of any website improves or shatters image of the company. Full stack web development is preferred these days because of catchy looks of design which captures user attention.

2. Website design that fit in different screen sizes and appeal to user is another key feature of successful web development. Here again, full stack web development is what is preferred to create designs that make website appear worth surfing.

Most of the users if not all, prefer websites to look good on mobile. More than 60% of retail websites are approached through a handset. This is massive number that makes responsive design a necessity and its strong appeal as valuable as gold. Responsive design with modern aspect ratio is telltale sign of quality website development services.

3. Loading time is vital sign of quality website development services. Shorter loading time impress users and prevent high rate of sudden abandonment.

If images take too long to load, or website itself takes more than 2 seconds to come on screen it can turn off the visitor. Nearly 45% of total visitors do not turn again to website after any such bad experience. It is vital to maintain images, loading time and links for a good user experience. Work of best web development company would reflect through short loading time and smooth image uploading.

4. Click to action or CTA over homepage is part of good design and well-laid out website that leaves a very positive impression over user.

Any user would like to get straightforward directions on any website. Searching for what to do in order to use the website can be a big turn-off. One would like to see clear instructions about next step after landing over website.

5. Content quality and its presentation.

Approximately 6 seconds is the time that user gives to content. The best web development company always pays due attention to content and its presentation. Placing content that explains the site content in summary in most compelling manner at right place. Supporting content with images and illustrations and use of sophisticated methods to make site interactive is extremely important feature of successful website development.

Categories
E-commerce web development

Ecommerce website development trends 2020

Ecommerce, ever since it started, proved repeatedly that this is future of doing business. Even after skeptical and precarious response from many enterprises the E-commerce solutions gained trust and popularity as viable, economical, and efficient way of reaching buyer and increasing sales. Right from its onset and till today there have been regular changes in ecommerce website development and even in future these changes will keep coming thick and fast. Market is never static the forces that affect market keep it ever-changing bringing forth new patterns in behavior and trends. The advent of ecommerce is now unanimously heralded as major turning point that changed the game entirely.
Since market keeps on changing even if it is online market, the ecommerce website development services need to stay a step ahead to cater emerging trends. The emerging changes in buyer’s behavior, taste and choices eventually demands development of new features and sharper ecommerce website development services to match the expectations of businesses and customers. Let us have a look what new 2020 may bring in ecommerce websites and what their implications would be.

Augmented reality

This should create biggest wave of change in ecommerce websites in 2020. Right now AR is important feature of B2C websites of enterprises and companies dealing in certain types of products – the products that can sell easily and better if website can create a real-like visualization in buyer’s mind. But AR can be most efficient tool for increasing sales and convincing buyer online for companies dealing in different types of products as well.

Companies have already sensed the capability of AR and its significance in turning visitor into customer. Companies in large numbers are gearing up with readiness to invest extra which shall see more number of websites using AR in 2020.

Artificial Intelligence

More use of AI for personalization strategy and identifying market patterns is another trend which will be in forefront in 2020. Companies are investing on having a well-laid AI strategy for customer segmentation and offering products and services based on customer segment. It is giving more personal feel to buyers and also generating stronger trust over online selling. AI can play a vital role in other areas as well like stronger customer relation and brand identity which were solely dependent on email, text messages and targeted social media campaigns.


Voice commands

Ecommerce solutions taking instructions through speaker will become more prevalent or rather expected to become essential in 2020. The Voice control feature itself is also expected to become more efficient capable of handling long narrations accurately. This feature is expected to become more common because people are becoming more habitual of using phones every day. The smaller screen and using phone on the go can be bothering if they need to type. Hence voice commands are handy if they can search items even approximately correctly. Using any B2C website with voice command feature is far more convenient and it will bring more enhanced versions of the feature in 2020.


Options for social payment gateways

Today social media platforms are coming up with their payment gateways as well. Initially it was just Paypal that was providing an option to make online payments but now google and facebook are also providing their payment gateways along with whatsapp, Applepay etc. These online payment gateways with better offers and extra offers over transactions will encourage B2C websites to incorporate their APIs of payment gateway to attract more customers. Social media gateways also make website more popular as market reach of social media handles also adds-up and increase their popularity.

Shipping

Although not every enterprise may start this quickly but this is certainly a trend if not for 2020 exactly, than for future. Amazon is offering shipping of products through drone. Drones through google maps can identify shortest routes and ecommerce companies offering any such or similar shipping options can become first choice of buyers who value time of delivery over other factors. However as mentioned this may not see any substantial growth but is certainly a trend for future.

Design

Full stack web development is currently buzzword for IT companies and professionals. Use of enhanced technologies, software and tools in designing is emerging strongly and is expected to grow faster in 2020. Use of attractive fonts, illustrations and images, and colors will become trend in 2020. Better designing tools may improve screen space management and developers can leverage efficient designing for providing more options. Presentation of products will become better substantially which will boost-up use of online B2C website even more. Responsive designs capable of handling foldable screens will be trendy in website designing.


Blockchain

Ever since its advent this technology is no less than storm and its sure to trend more in 2020. Blockchain provides free flow of information that has proved bliss for supply chain management. With every participant having access to real time information of every point this technology will share more responsibilities in ecommerce. Any best web development company would extend its efforts to provide blockchain in its service range for websites dealing with variety of products. Full stack development with blockchain and AI in place is formidable combination for users and most attractive USP for IT companies.

Online support

Better options like chatbot etc. would surge for providing better online help and support to users. In case of ecommerce websites this trend will be on a steep rise to accommodate users from all walks of life with ease. Online support in local languages is also given a thought. Our company is working untiringly to bring out online support system beyond chatbot. The major aspect that may change in near future or in 2020 is making online support system more effective than just hi-tech. Companies may not get fancied by a real techhie solution straightaway, but would stress more for a solution that is effective, even if it is with use of traditional tools.

Along with development there can be immense change in designing as well. Web-apps already in trend since 2015 may see more upward movement in terms of technology and also numbers. These are browser based hence no downloading and provide functionality and speed of an app. With more ecommerce sites security features will also trend in 2020 providing secured transactions and safety of information.