Saturday, December 2, 2017

Emerging Web Design Trends 2018.

Simply having a website isn't enough in 2018. Take a look at the web design trends you'll need to stand out this year.
Web design's a fast moving industry. With so many factors at play, from new tech to changes in consumer tastes, there's a lot of moving parts to it.You need to know what you're doing before you dive in if you're going to create something you and your users can get any value out of. In today's article, we'll be looking at some of the biggest web design trends of 2018. With these in your arsenal, you'll be at the top of your web design game.
But why take our word for it? Get in touch with us, today, for more on how you can take your online presence to new heights, this year.
In the meantime, join us, as we look at what's going down in web design trends for 2018!

Mobile-first


In April this year, Android has officially overthrown Windows as the primary web-browsing trend out there. While it is true that tablets and desktop devices still have higher conversion rates, smartphones dominate the Asian market, which is currently becoming one of the greatest trading hubs in the world. Therefore, in order to approach the ever-growing demographic of mobile users, you might want to further invest in making your website mobile-first.
On the other hand, it is a known fact that about 90 percent of the time on their smartphones people spend on apps, rather than on browsers. This is what made some people question whether investing in mobile-optimization is even worth the effort. Still, considering how little effort and investment this idea may yield, as well as how great of an ROI it brings, going with mobile-first design indeed seems like a win-win scenario.

Authentic content

Another thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that the online audience values authenticity above all else. This especially takes prominence when it comes to the issue of images and illustrations. You see, using a generic image to back your content may be fairly successful but it will never have the impact of an image taken especially for that situation. With about 1.3 billion websites out there, it is getting harder and harder to appear unique, so tailoring your content to appear as a single-purposed might just be the tool that can win over your audience.

Hand-crafted design

Earlier on, we addressed the issue regarding the ever-growing websites out there. With the number constantly on the rise, it is getting harder and harder to distinguish yourself in a positive way. Sure, going for a free template might seem like a more frugal choice but how can you quantify losses you will endure due to the fact that your website appears generic? The truth is that when it comes to web design there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. This is also why web design veterans from Bapple focus on hand-crafting high-performance business websites, in order to create a unique impression on your audience.

Homepage videos

According to one conversion-rate statistic, including an introduction video before offering your audience a CTA (call-to-action) button can increase your conversion rate by 144 percent. This is why so many companies nowadays decide to use this tactic on their very homepage. One major drawback of this tactic is a fact that the video needs to be of a high-production value, which makes it quite costly to produce. First of all, you need a great script, an adequate gear and someone with either great editorial skills or at least a naturally gifted orator on your retainer. This is also what makes so many websites outsource this function, which is also quite expensive.
Check out two of our latest clients who use home Page Videos

RhythmHealth Clinic
MasalaMantra

Daring shapes and colours


Finally, even in the era where minimalism and flat design seem as predominant forces, going with daring shapes and colours does have its advantages. The perfect example of this is the trend of brutalism which draws inspiration from the Soviet-era Eastern Europe architecture. Odd and unpredictable geometrical shapes dominate the landscape of brutalist web design, as well as colour combinations that even some of the most experienced web designers wouldn’t even dream of.
The key here is to attract the attention of your website’s visitors at any cost. Surprisingly enough, this design trend which so many professionals deem as ‘ugly’ manages to succeed where all other trends have failed. So, if we are speaking of results only, brutalism is definitely not a force to be reckoned with and not an idea you should outright dismiss.
As you can see, with these few revolutionary ideas at your side, you have all the tools necessary to start making your mark in the digital world. Keep in mind that even though some of these trends may give you great immediate results, there is no guarantee that they will still be valid for several years or even months. The key to survival, therefore, rests on your ability to adapt to the newly changed circumstances in the world of web design. Luckily, succeeding at this daunting task will be more than worth your while.

Typography

Where and how to use your lettering. Just because it's a classic design issue, doesn't mean it's not still incredibly important. The size and shape of typography are as big of a concern in 2018 as they've ever been.Companies the world over are incorporating bold fonts that make a statement into their home and landing pages.The idea is to balance this out with simplistic, clean content. The bold typography serves as an anchor, instead of pelting the user with giant letters, with the smaller font toning it down, nicely.
If you're looking for web design trends to help you stand out in 2018, start with typography.
Micro-interactions
As the user experience becomes more sophisticated, people need simple functions, more than ever. They also want to know, quickly, when something changes On desktops and mobile, we see micro-interactions as web trends becoming increasingly popular.
These are single-use animations, buttons and design elements that affect the way users interact with a website.
Examples of micro-transactions include:
  • Drag refresh, which allows mobile users to pull down on your site to refresh it easily.
  • Like and unlike buttons, which give users a short, easy window in which to comment on your posts or features.
  • Hover animations, which display information about different sections of your site.
  • Scrolling graphs, which allow users to see whatever piece of information they want to look at right now, without taking up the entire screen.
  • These micro-interactions help to make your site more intuitive for the user to navigate.

    Improved Navigation

    As we move into the end of the year, we see web design trends of 2017 starting to drop off the design elements of their past. One field where this is quite obvious in navigation.
    Specifically, the hamburger menu. Originally introduced to remove information off of a website's homepage, the hamburger menu has been around for years.
    The three-lined menu icon found in the top corners of many mobile websites are a great space saver, but they have one very obvious drawback:
    They add to the number of clicks a user needs to get to whatever it is they're looking for.In website design, more clicks are almost always worse. Many websites are starting to shift over to a single bar menu at the top of the screen instead of this classic design element, and have been for some time.
    Expect to see fewer hamburgers in 2018, but, also, new takes on the classic design. After all, the hamburger menu was designed to save space, and it does that well. It makes sense that designers would want to keep it around, albeit with some improvements. Navigation doesn't need to be kept in the foreground of a website, either.
    It's become popular to use pop-out toolbars and hidden menus for maneuvering around a site. This keeps the site clean, showing off all the hard work you've put into your design while giving the user a full range of controls over what they want to do.
    A word of caution on this idea: make sure you keep your tools obvious, even when they're hidden. It doesn't help to tidy up your landing page by moving the buttons out of the way if nobody can find them.

    Conversational Interfacing

    AI's not exactly a new concept. Everything from operating systems to video games has been aping the idea since before the turn of the millennium. What you need to know about AI web design trends in 2018, though, is that they're slowly becoming more common than they've ever been. It all comes down to communication. People are using websites like Facebook and Slack to communicate via text more and more.
    And, with bots becoming more realistic every year, sales automation is set to become fully automated sooner rather than later. What does this change about the design of your website? Not much, practically, but it should influence how you think about what you include in that design.
    Conversational bots are a useful tool for setting yourself apart, especially if you use them to address the actual needs of your users. Incorporating machine learning into the way these bots operate is a great way to give yourself a competitive edge, design wise.

    360 Videos and VR

    2016 was a good year for VR. Hemingway Editor Increased virtual reality development and marketing saw sales of headsets and apps skyrocket. More people began using this tech than ever before, bringing it into the mainstream. With the launch of the refined Hololens in 2017 and improvements in WebVR support, 2018 doesn't show any signs of slowing this trend.
    And then there's the question of 360 videos. With big name sites like YouTube leading the way in VR and 360-degree video support, the tech still hasn't reached a lot of the lower-rung websites. Browser-based VR experiences are set to become the next big thing in web design trends, this year. Make sure you're ready for when it does.

    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Resize the label column in Gmail




    By default, Gmail doesn’t offer a lot of customization options aside from its themes, display density and inbox tabs. You cannot really adjust or resize some of its elements like its label columns and message details panel. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these limitations.


    HOW TO RESIZE THE LABEL COLUMN IN GMAIL IN CHROME

    • To get started, simply download and install a free browser extension/Gmail add-on called “Gmail label column resizer”.
    • After installing the said extension, just go ahead and open a new tab and then log in to your Gmail account. If you’re accessing Gmail via Chrome Incognito, then you need to make sure that the Gmail label column resize is also allowed to run in your browser’s Incognito window.
    • After logging in to your Gmail account, take a look at the divider that separates your inbox or email messages from your email labels.

    • Place your mouse cursor over the divider. To adjust the size of the left panel, simply left-click, hold and drag your mouse away or closer to your email labels.

      Adjust away !

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

    How we work and Deliver at 2Create360: Web Site

    How we work


    The way we work defines what we produce. That is why we work within a framework that ensures high quality. These guiding principles are built on years of experience and best practice within the industry. If you choose to work with us, these will be the principles we follow.

    Work collaboratively


    At 2Create360 we work collaboratively, both with our clients and each other. Designer, developer, project manager, client and other stakeholders in a project should be actively engaged with each other and the project. Effective websites cannot be produced in isolation.

    Design with data


    Design is subjective. What one person loves, another hates. Therefore the only way of being sure of the most effective design is to test and test often.
    We should be gathering data at every step of the web design process, from initial research through to design and usability testing. This data should be informing our design, rather than it being at the whim of personal opinion or company politics.

    Build through iteration


    Developing a website should be an iterative process. A website should pass through a cycle of development, testing and refinement many times before launch. Where possible we should launch early with a minimal viable product and refine that as we observe real users interacting with the site.

    Work from user needs


    The design process should always begin with identifying users and their needs. Early in the process user stories should be created and customer journeys explored. These should be used as the basis for all decisions about the direction of the final deliverable. If a feature or piece of content does not meet a users need, a strong case needs to be made for its inclusion.

    Business objectives focused


    Although user needs should drive a project, this needs to be within the context of the business objectives. Clearly defined business objectives should be established up front. They should be translated into measurable key performance indicators that are continually tracked. If a feature cannot be justified in terms of return on investment, it shouldn’t be built just because there is a user-based desire for it.

    User experience extends beyond the website


     2Create360recognises that the user experience extends beyond the website. We therefore consider it important to map the entire user journey and consider the website within the context of social media, mobile and offline touch points.

    Our work should be accessible


    We believe that websites should be accessible to the broadest possible audience. This means websites should be accessible to users with physical or cognitive impairments, but also users on older technology, with poor connectivity or using alternative devices. We believe this should be achieved not through multiple sites or applications, but using progressive enhancements and techniques such as responsive design.

    We are client centric


    We believe it is not enough to provide our clients with an effective website. We also need to create a websites that our clients love. Our clients have to work with their websites long term so it is important that they are passionate about it. We achieve this by ensuring the process of creating a website is enjoyable and that our clients feel a sense of ownership over the final result.

    Always educating


    Our role is not just to build websites. It is also to educate our clients about digital best practice. It is our job to empower our clients through education and equip them to run their own online presence. Alongside this we are also committed to educating the broader web community and promoting best practice whenever possible.

    Keep looking ahead


    Finally, we are committed to keeping our clients informed about new innovations. New developments in best practice continually appear and we see it as our role to remain at the forefront of these changes.

    That said, 2Create360 does not believe in applying cutting edge techniques to client projects. New techniques need time to mature before being applied to business critical systems. Although we look to the horizon we are focused on what can be safely implemented today.

    Monday, February 1, 2016

    Search Engine Optimization and Why it Matters


    SEO. Sure, you’ve heard about it. The ambiguous, ever-changing process of improving a website’s visibility in search engine results and earning traffic. That was a mouthful. As a business owner, it’s important to know what SEO can do for you. Do it well, and it could be what takes your business to the next level. Do it poorly, and people will have to use the Yellow Pages to find your business.
    Before we get to the juicier stuff about SEO and how it can benefit your business, let’s cover the basics.

    How SEO works


    Google and other search engines use “robots” (often called “spiders” or “crawlers”) to gather and store the information from each page of your website. When someone searches for a term online, those search engines process all of the information they’ve gotten from all the sites they’ve “crawled”. Then they present a list of results with the most relevant sites listed first.
    Google’s search algorithms analyse the quality and relevance of your site’s information. If the material is top notch and the technical aspects of your website are clean, your website’s ranking will typically be pretty high. Of course, other components play a role in your website’s overall rank. But understanding what Google rewards and penalises is critical.

    The parts of SEO

    If you’re a beginner, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation – and it means just that. It’s a practice used to grow visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. To rank highly you need to make sure your website is technically sound. You also need to publish creative, unique and valuable content on your website to make it stand out. Let’s break it down.
    Technical elements of on-page SEO include:
    *list not exhaustive
    • making sure all key pages can be indexed
    • managing redirects and domain migrations
    • optimising title tags and descriptions
    • including primary keyword in header tags, on-page content, image filenames and alt text
    • listing clean and short URLs (breadcrumb structure is advised – example: www.yoursite.com/topic/sub-topic/title-of-page)
    • optimising for mobile
    Creative and strategic elements include:
    *list not exhaustive
    • conducting proper keyword research to understand what people are searching online relative to your business
    • developing quality content (editorial, graphics, video, podcast, etc.) to answer questions that your audience might be asking relative to your business
    • using rich snippet formats to be more visible in search results
    • understanding where your audience falls along the sales funnel and building content to answers those questions

    SEO is not a “set it and forget it” programme

    Once all the nuts and bolts are figured out – wait, no – the nuts and bolts won’t ever be fully figured out, because SEO is constantly evolving. Search algorithms are regularly updated to make the web experience more intuitive and sophisticated. It’s important to understand how these changes affect your website. By doing so, you can be better prepared to manage the consequences – good or bad.
    Posted in

    Monday, January 25, 2016

    Demystifying the Cloud

    Demystifying the  Cloud

    For many people a computer is all but invisible (until it stops working). It’s something they use every day to complete mundane but essential tasks attached to running a business; invoicing, spread sheets, email and maybe some basic research if they can filter out the noise that’s returned in the average web search. This is especially true if you come from the same generation as we do; digital-migrants. We weren’t born with a silver mouse wired up to our umbilical-cord. We had to learn things the hard way when the desktop computer really was a temperamental beast, little understood and to be feared and revered.

    But now computers and smartphones are more powerful and easier to use than ever before. The processor running your average smartphone packs more digital punch than the ones used to put man on the moon. Around 2.5 billion people are connected to the Internet and that figure is set to explode as mobile Internet takes over. Ten years ago there were just 700 million mobile devices; today there are already nearly 5 billion, and some manufacturers predict that figure will rise to a jaw-dropping 50 billion by 2020; that’s one heck of a lot of ways to connect and only a fool would still be clinging to the notion that the Internet isn’t relevant to their business.

    Because of this accessibility there is an ever-expanding population who are choosing to work completely ‘in the cloud’.

    But what is the cloud?

    In this context by ‘cloud’ we broadly just mean ‘the Internet’. This simplification is no doubt going to rankle some network specialists as they have pretty much hijacked the term ‘cloud computing’ over the past decade, applying it to ‘enterprise platforms’ and special closed networks built and maintained to serve  private companies.

    The dictionary definition of cloud computing is:

    n: a model of computer use in which services stored on the Internet are provided to users on a temporary basis

    By that definition the Internet itself is the ‘mother’ of all clouds.

    So someone who is ‘working in the cloud’ is accessing documents, files and information, through services and applications hosted somewhere on the Internet rather than saved on the computer sitting under their desk. Things stored ‘in the cloud’ are accessible through an Internet browser, or maybe a dedicated application you can download to your mobile or desktop device. This means you can set up office pretty much anywhere you can find an Internet connection, which makes for a very flexible business model.

    We get asked a lot about cloud security – and of course there are risks. The same as there are risks crossing the road to get to the newsagent in the morning. You need to be smart about the products and services you trust with sensitive data – make sure they employ good security. You wouldn’t go out for the day and leave your front door keys with a stranger who was passing by on the street would you? So don’t leave your data lying around on unsecured servers run by companies you know nothing about. Read reviews; ask questions in discussions groups and forums; ask your peers and social connections for recommendations. If you see a company you like a quick Google search will normally turn up any red flags as there will be plenty of people posting negative feedback and complaints online if they aren’t living up to their promises.

    To free, or not to free?


    • While We are big believer in things being free online, or at the very least offered with a free trial or cut-down features, when it comes to secure data  services you are better off looking for a good, well-established provider that charges a reasonable fee and is investing that money into maintaining up-to-date secure technology. ‘Free’ is all very well, but you’re not a customer if you’re not paying for anything, which means your satisfaction is never going to be the number one priority for the service provider.



    • The other question we get asked a lot is “what if the cloud service goes down?” It’s true, servers can crash and if you’re based solely in the cloud this could interrupt your workflow. It’s also possible that your computer could crash. You might spill a cup of tea on it or have a power-outage or fire in your neighbourhood. Stuff happens. At least if you data is stored in the cloud you can recover from localised problems by heading off to your nearest Internet cafe or WiFi-friendly coffee shop.



    • When it comes to connection speed  it’s not as clear cut. Some people still live in areas with poor connectivity – in which case the cloud is not going to be ideal . Likewise if you deal constantly with huge files like high-resolution images and video you will spend a lot of time uploading and downloading from the Internet – so not ideal when it comes to storing and working with material every day. But you don’t need to go 100% cloud to start feeling the benefits. Just using a cloud email provider like Google Apps will make it easier to send and receive emails on the go. And even if you just store a few essential word documents and presentations somewhere like Dropbox or Google Dive, you need never be left red-faced and under-prepared at a meeting again.


    Failing that you could just use the Internet to explore and download the countless array of amazing business tools and resources that can be saved on your own hard drive for use when you’re offline.

    Sunday, December 13, 2015

    Review: Fulcrum

    Fulcrum is a mobile data collection tool that allows users to easily design custom forms and quickly conduct field data collection on Android and iOS. Fulcrum works in connected and disconnected environments.



    Official Website

    Fulcrum Features


    Collect data in forms even when offline
    Capture audio, video, photos, barcodes and more inside forms
    Use built-in maps or upload your own custom maps to use for geolocation—even indoors
    Turn data into PDF reports from mobile app
    Use webhooks and API to build your own integrations with apps
    iOS and Android apps available

    Fulcrum Pricing


    $18/month per user Essentials plan for basic features and 10GB storage
    $22/month per user Standard plan for extended features and 20GB storage
    $25/month per user Professional plan for full features and 30GB storage

    Fulcrum Review


    Knowing where something happened can often be just as important as knowing when or how it happened. But if you're using paper forms or a standard online form to gather data about your work, odds are you're not keeping track of where you filled out the form. Perhaps you'll enter a job site's address and hope Google Maps understands it next time, or at best you're checking a GPS and writing down coordinates—or marking where inside a building you performed your job.

    Fulcrum has better options. As a mobile form app designed for gather data on the go, it can tap into your phone's GPS and record precisely where data was collected automatically. Then, it lets you pinpoint that location on a map, even if you're in a remote area with poor Google Maps coverage—or inside a facility. It includes data from Mapbox, MapQuest, and OpenStreetMap, then you can upload your own .mbtiles map texture files with detailed location or building maps. That lets you precisely tag where you worked no matter where you are. And it all works offline, letting you conduct research in remote places and still gather all the data you need.

    You'll need to collect more than just locations, of course. As with most form builders for mobile data collection, Fulcrum lets you take photos, scan QR and barcodes, and capture signatures right from your form, along with standard text data. It even lets you capture and upload videos, and Fulcrum adds geotag info to your videos while they're being captured.

    Collecting data is only half of the challenge. Once your field work is done, you'll have to turn your data into documents, plot it on maps, and more. Fulcrum has features to help there, too. You can create your own PDF document templates, and then whenever a form is filled out Fulcrum can use the form data to fill in the PDF template blanks and create a custom invoice, report, work order, or anything else you need right from your mobile device. You'll never have to copy and paste form data into Word again.

    Plotting your captured data is easy, too. In Fulcrum's web app, you can visualize your data entries on any of Fulcrum's built-in map services or your custom maps. Or, Fulcrum can sync your form data to CartoDB, Arc2Earth, and more to plot your data, create map visualizations, monitor team activity, and more. Or, you can export data in CSV, Shapefile, KML, GeoJSON and other popular formats to plot data in your own apps.

    Fulcrum is a great tool for making mobile data capture forms, one that's especially great at mapping. If you need to gather data remotely and know exactly where it was gathered, Fulcrum's tools can help you never worry you overlooked anything. You'll just have to fill out your forms, and Fulcrum will take care of your data and mapping needs automatically.Fulcrum Review

    Knowing where something happened can often be just as important as knowing when or how it happened. But if you're using paper forms or a standard online form to gather data about your work, odds are you're not keeping track of where you filled out the form. Perhaps you'll enter a job site's address and hope Google Maps understands it next time, or at best you're checking a GPS and writing down coordinates—or marking where inside a building you performed your job.

    Fulcrum has better options. As a mobile form app designed for gather data on the go, it can tap into your phone's GPS and record precisely where data was collected automatically. Then, it lets you pinpoint that location on a map, even if you're in a remote area with poor Google Maps coverage—or inside a facility. It includes data from Mapbox, MapQuest, and OpenStreetMap, then you can upload your own .mbtiles map texture files with detailed location or building maps. That lets you precisely tag where you worked no matter where you are. And it all works offline, letting you conduct research in remote places and still gather all the data you need.

    You'll need to collect more than just locations, of course. As with most form builders for mobile data collection, Fulcrum lets you take photos, scan QR and barcodes, and capture signatures right from your form, along with standard text data. It even lets you capture and upload videos, and Fulcrum adds geotag info to your videos while they're being captured.

    Collecting data is only half of the challenge. Once your field work is done, you'll have to turn your data into documents, plot it on maps, and more. Fulcrum has features to help there, too. You can create your own PDF document templates, and then whenever a form is filled out Fulcrum can use the form data to fill in the PDF template blanks and create a custom invoice, report, work order, or anything else you need right from your mobile device. You'll never have to copy and paste form data into Word again.

    Plotting your captured data is easy, too. In Fulcrum's web app, you can visualize your data entries on any of Fulcrum's built-in map services or your custom maps. Or, Fulcrum can sync your form data to CartoDB, Arc2Earth, and more to plot your data, create map visualizations, monitor team activity, and more. Or, you can export data in CSV, Shapefile, KML, GeoJSON and other popular formats to plot data in your own apps.

    Fulcrum is a great tool for making mobile data capture forms, one that's especially great at mapping. If you need to gather data remotely and know exactly where it was gathered, Fulcrum's tools can help you never worry you overlooked anything. You'll just have to fill out your forms, and Fulcrum will take care of your data and mapping needs automatically.


    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

    On a very funny note:

    There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
    1. How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
      None. It's a hardware problem.
    2. A SEO couple had twins. For the first time they were happy with duplicate content.
    3. Why is it that programmers always confuse Halloween with Christmas? Because 31 OCT = 25 DEC
    4. Why do they call it hyper textToo much JAVA.
    Posted in

    Faces of the Cloud




    Infographics are great for providing clarity. As the one below illustrates, the role of IT workers is rapidly transforming — and IT executives are keen on building the optimum IT organizational structure for the software-defined data center (SDDC).

    If you want an agile, business-responsive, service-driven IT organization, the role of IT must change from a reactive, rigid structure to one that is proactive, innovative and dynamic. The key to the success of this is a symbiotic partnership between IT and the business, driven by executive leadership.

    Consider 2Create360 as your IT Partners in success




    Cloud


    INFOGRAPHIC: Changing Faces of #Cloud. The roles #CIOs should start staffing NOW. #VMware |Contact www.2create360 if you have any questions |