How to Go about a Website Redesign? – A Quick Checklist

Are you facing trouble with traffic to your website? Aren’t you getting the necessary attention? Or are you having a hard time keeping visitors on your page? These are just a few of those problems that most websites face.

If you aren’t reaching enough traffic, your site may be out of date. To keep your website constantly up-to-the-minute, time to time redesign is the only solution. Note that website redesign supports and improves a business’ overall marketing efforts. To begin with a redesign, you’ll have to start the project ahead of the design process.  Sound planning, study, and insight on the pros and cons could lead to an immensely successful website; and make all design stages easy. For support, the following checklists can guide you down the road of a successful website.

  • Understand Your Users’ Journey:

 The first thing you could do is to collect a data-based understanding how your visitor engage with your current site could be essential to attain a successful website redesign. Sadly, when discussing the project scope, most firms focus on the site design and functionality, overlooking or allocating less time in understanding target users, which isn’t wise.  Understanding the user’s journey provides an edge to what they need and want from your business.

 

  • Evaluate your Current Website:

Don’t start your redesign until your current site is audited and understood. The rationale behind this is to perceive your site weak points as wells as its strength to help you know the area of focus. Studying and analyzing your site insight will help in this regard. Highlight all your findings for easy modification.  It’s a waste of resources focusing attention where efforts aren’t needed.     

                        

  • Do a Competitive Analysis:

If you’re out of sufficient ideas, analyze different competitors’ performance to find out the mechanisms that attract customers to their sites in view of their marketing position and customer experience. The gathered information offers a better sense of what to do in relation to content, image design, pricing, and colour on your site. You don’t need to copycat the same for your site. Get adequate notions in addition to your existing strategy to make yours better.

 

  • Reboot your Brand:

From time to time, attempt to change or upgrade your brand to keep it current, and relevant to the market and for a fresh look. You must also differentiate your brand from your competitors. If you don’t have a unique proposition in mind, take a break and think about how you can develop a unique value proposition that stands out of the crowd. Customers are engrossed to what is unique and valuable- that’s customers’ perception.

 

  • Create a Realistic Timeline:

Although predicting time to build and launch a new site is quite challenging, but as for a redesign, the time is quite more realistic. Determine how long this should take before discussing deadlines with your team. Don’t be surprised; you may get different timelines from a different agency, and that is normal. To sort out your dilemma, glance through their portfolio to find out the reasons behind their suggested timeline. For a quality website, the time falls between 2 to 5 months depending on the size and how flexible you, the designers or developers are in handling the same. Start the most pressing tasks earlier to avoid tight deadlines.

 

  • Content is a Priority:

As there are a lot of considerations to be made in the process, get expert assistance. For example, a digital marketing agency working for you makes the redesign journey smooth and successful. They can help you with the right content that engages traffic to your site. However, if you have all it entails to do same, ensure the content is concise and valuable to your visitors. You could also set up a user test requesting your audience to perform a task on your developed site prior to launching. 

                                                      

  • Measure your Performance:

To maintain a successful website redesign, continue to measure, and evaluate even after the launch.  This is the key to understanding how your new site is performing. Using analytic tools, find out if all the benchmark goals set out earlier are achieved or not. If not, then do the needful to improve.

Urbansoft, a well-known website design and development firm in Bahrain, and has been identified for its credibility, integrity, trustworthiness and customer satisfaction around the globe. Designing over 500+ sites over the years has given us the required boost that we needed as a start-up firm. Contact us for further details or assistance in the same.

How to Utilize Microsoft SharePoint to the Fullest?

SharePoint has essential features suitable for all sorts of businesses. There are a lot of tasks you wish to perform easily and quickly as possible to avert delays in delivering your clients’ projects.  Its unique tools can be modified to meet all the business and cultural needs of your organization. SharePoint Services leverages a desktop friendly approach to help you execute your complicated tasks successfully.  If you’re contemplating on employing Microsoft SharePoint, don’t go into it straight away. But before that, let’s learn its entailments to enable you to utilize its features to the fullest. Here are facts to ponder on.

 

  • SharePoint Simplifies Traffic Distribution:

Using an exchange server to manage your email traffic is tedious and slow-paced. Microsoft SharePoint can simplify your email traffic distribution. All you need is to create a single SharePoint site group for receiving exchange traffic and allow the system to do the rest of the work.

 

  • SharePoint Integrate Bot Connector:

Microsoft presents about 24 bots with diversity functions that enable users to leverage productivity. For example, there is T-Bot that can answer your team’s frequently doubts. If you integrate a chatbot on your SharePoint bot connector, your team can connect to all your social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Web chat, Skype, and slack easily.

  • SharePoint Collaboration Solutions are Scalable:

Microsoft SharePoint renders a collaborative solution toolkit that allows you to utilize the full depth and breadth of Office 365, inclusive of other tools such as Excel, OneNote, Word, Planner, PowerPoint, Delve, SharePoint etc.  Using appropriate tools, create sites for your team to perform other collaborative functions of your business.

  • Its Sites are Highly Customizable:

SharePoint platforms are opened and invite customization. With SharePoint, you can customize your sites using the browser’s supported tools and applications, engage in remote provisioning called site provisioning pattern, use SharePoint add-ins and third-party apps found in the SharePoint store, also, use custom app development using development tools.

  • Enables a Vital Storage System:

SharePoint server products can manage your metadata centrally and organize them in a manner that best suits your business. You can also create search arguments to enable you to organize your organization data dynamically and to generate document storage for retrieval and transportation of information from one server to another.

  • Mobile Audio & Video Calling:

Audio and video conferencing enable cross-department collaboration. There are features for both Android and iOS in Microsoft SharePoint which allow your team to interact in real time with each other as well as your clients across the globe. This can empower you in scaling and supporting many project sizes of your firm.

  • SharePoint Security Model:

Security is the primary area that maintains the integrity of an existing system. That being said, your organization information ought to be secured all times. SharePoint is implemented using a highly secure environment with progressive audit, data protection, governance, and compliance features when you use any of Office 365’s platform services.

Utilizing Microsoft technology, Urbansoft has delivered collaborative working solutions which enable employees to work together, share ideas and support a unified environment. Products such as SharePoint, Office 365 and Skype for Business can be customized to suit your business requirements, whether you are looking for a platform to store content and share ideas, or to improve communication between colleagues. Contact us for further information today!

 

 

 

Spreading Word on Marketing Website Development

Off the many companies we have seen and read about, we have noticed that many of them are making quite a few but simple mistakes when it comes to marketing their firm. Let’s start with a few web development companies that we have been following up on recently. There might be a few things that firms might want to look into when they do their marketing. A few of them are mentioned below.

Provide Reassurance:
Let’s start with the few words that every customer wants to hear when they look for a service provider. As any customer including yourself, we would want to hire a provider that has experience in what the customer is looking for. So the right answer to a customer who approaches you with a request for would be, “Yes, we have worked on those lines before, or sure, we can definitely do it for you” The customer is looking to you for signs of confidence, and if he doesn’t see signs of reassurance he’s going to back out.

Technical Skill Sets:
Though most of your customers are interested in getting their web page up and running. They aren’t always aware of what you are talking about when they see your page of skill sets. Though that may seem like a good way to highlight your company, it also might be a little confusing to him.

In regards to system integrators who is well aware of what you are actually capable of when they see your sheet of skill sets; they might tend to make a whole deal of comparison between what you have put forth and what your competitor has. So take a closer look at it before you send it out and make the necessary changes if required.

Recycle Your Portfolio:
Though they say that a picture speaks a thousand words, it might backfire in this case. When you share your portfolio, are you sure that your client is going to click through all your links and take a look at what you have designed? When you share a portfolio which has more than 10 links in it, you can bet that the viewer would not have opened more than 4 of them. In this case you’ve got to make sure you put your best foot forward and share your best to make the finest impression.

Completed Projects Speak:
This is the best way to convince a customer that you are the right man for the job. Instead of sharing screen shots on websites that you have completed, try creating a case history that explains how you created a successful website for a client.

Start with day 1 when he explained his requirement and how you proposed that you could make it happen. Talk on the ideas you shared and decisions made and why you made them. Share views on how the customer looks at the completed project and how happy he is that it’s bring him success.

This will definitely beat a page of skill sets that do not share any idea on how you carry out project management. They are looked at as a bunch of technical terms that have lesser meaning.

Home Page:
What does your home page say about you and your firm? Most ‘About Us’ pages deviate so much from the real picture and focus on other nonsensical aspects that do not relate to their firm. An ‘about us’ page should clearly explain what kind of firm you run and why? A clear idea on a person’s vision of the industry creates credibility for the company.

Instead we found these on a firm’s page which made us wonder what would happen if we hired them.

“When Albert (name changed) isn’t in the office, he is on the mountain either skiing or hiking the miles of forest trails in our region and around the world. He hopes one day to tackle Everest. It was on a skiing trip to our area that led Albert to make (our town) his permanent base camp. Albert and his wife have four kids – Lorry, Charlie, Pam and Godwin.”

Well here’s how it should really go,

“Albert is one of our web designers. He is an expert mountaineer and has traveled extensively. Albert started his career as a graphic designer for a marketing and advertising firm in New York City. With a degree in web technology and the eye of a talented artist, Albert creates truly unique designs that match our clients and the personality of their businesses. He has created unique brands for a number of travel-related companies and helped a few of our clients with international expansions. Our clients love his use of color and the custom graphics he adds to each of his designs.”

Putting all these together with a well-planned marketing strategy you can convince your customers to hire you rather than anyone else. So make the necessary changes and head back to work and stop wondering why your marketing technique is not working out.

Web development Trends of 2017

Web development is an art which can be accomplished only by utilizing specific tools. We are going to take a quick look at the specific tools that are used by web developers for the year 2017.

1) Flux:
This is definitely what all developers use as of the day. The frameworks are in constant reinvention which can be both positive and negative for the JavaScript framework. Since it’s pretty simple and works well with React, many of the developers stick to the same.

2) Microservices:
These type of dynamic languages are worthwhile to be used in speedy recapitulation on the web. The framework is even more effective when a large project is split off into parts and worked on as smaller applications. The framework can be used using monolithic applications with API-driven modular components. The NGINX blog (This article) can give you a clear idea on the variance between monolithic architecture and microservice architecture pattern. The image below will give you an idea on a new taxi-hailing application intended to compete with Uber and Hailo.

3) React:
This framework has won the hearts and minds of the clients and developers. Though it has been around for a while it’s best suited by all developers of 2017. Frameworks such as Ember, Angular, and Meteor club well with React in terms of virtual DOM-diffing and unidirectional data flows which have made it into reality by proven patterns.

4) jQuery:
jQuery has not been doing very well though it has sustained itself as very resourceful in terms of web development for the last 10 years. Unfortunately manual DOM manipulation is not creating an oomph factor making it loose favor.

5) PHP:
PHP always takes the cake. It does have its share of drawbacks, but it does have the knack at setting things right. It serves best when it comes to feedbacks in loops which is all the more important when it comes to web development. The rumor around is that the tool is definitely working at getting better.

6) Go:
Most developers are happy to have Go around. They feel it’s safe and effective, and can pick up on anything that’s let go off by PHP. It’s a lifesaver and is simpler than C.

Designing a Rocking Website!? – Web Designing Criteria to Consider

In the field of web designing, finding a skillful web designer can be challenging at times. Although there are many website designers in the market, not all are capable of delivering the best for you. Down below, we have discussed 6 essential qualities of a web-designer/ designing firm that can help rock at your business. Considering these few areas could help you achieve a better understanding of the team before entrusting your project to them.

These are a few areas to check on before you start working on a design or re-design of your website. Now let’s get started!

  1. Adequate Experience:

The developer must have ample experience not only in web-designing but also in your core industry, or any other industry-related to yours. Why? When they have experience in your industry, it makes it easier for them to achieve success in your project.

  1. Website Maintenance Services:

Unlike many other companies, Urbansoft offers continued website maintenance based on its client’s needs.  We ensure that your website is always up-to-date and your project stays within your budget.

  1. Affordable Pricing:

No one wants to spend more than what is required in any area of the market. As we know that web-designing prices vary from one company to another, quality of their services also does play a part. The point to carry home here is; to look for a web designer who is capable of designing the best website at the right price. The website must be engaging and attractive to its viewers, as no customer likes visiting an unappealing website.

  1. Strategies & Methodologies:

Another factor to consider, is to acquire an awareness of the procedures and approaches that the team would put to use to design a rocking website. Without a strategy or method in place, it can be hard to determine what will work for you and what will not. This can eventually lead to frustration. Also, understanding the way they work will help you identify the team’s strengths and weaknesses before they start handling your project.

  1. Wider Portfolio:

Employing a start-up web-designer is a nice approach, as this gives them room to improve, but this can also be challenging to you as well. A move such as this can be described as a gamble, you could either win or lose! Young web designers may have a unique talent or a flair that has diminished in their senior counterparts. The aspect to consider here is, to avoid gambling and to head straight to the experts who carry a detailed portfolio of their experiences with their customers. This will upsurge the probability of achieving an impressive website.

  1. Other Services Involved:

When looking for a web design firm, the chances that they provide other services are also possible. This may also include content generation, SEO facilities, SMM campaigning, and more which could facilitate the growth of your website for the present and the future as well. Turning your project over to a firm than to a rookie or a solo-web designer could make all the difference that you need.

How Can You Speed Up your Website Development Process?

Every client likes to entrust its web project to the best and smartest developers. This is because they want their project to be done vigorously, with quality, and expect it to be completed under a specified duration of time. It is frustrating when clients anticipate their website to be available within a particular time but is unfortunately not. So what can you do to make this process easier as a developer!?

We can start with good planning, maximum effort, and commitment. In fact, both the client and their development team play equal roles in setting and accomplishing the task of development in the given timeframe. If you are looking for a way to reduce or complete your project on time with quality results, here are some ways to get it done:

  1. Effective Communication:

To hasten up the web development time, there should exist easy flows of communication between the client and the development team. When these two parties are in good communication, the development will be quicker, more effective and efficient. It also prevents development miscommunication. For example, regular meetings, tracking the work in process etc.

  1. Be Clear about the Project:

Good understanding of your client’s project and ways to manage your client’s expectation is essential. Why not discuss in detail about the concept of the project with your team? Define the scope of the project, divide the tasks, specify the time frame for the overall project, divided tasks, and stick to it.

  1. Task Stalling:

We all understand that human beings are not machines and are neither perfect. We tend to get weak and tired and are not always productive. Trying to do your task when your body weak is like traveling with no direction. You will end up wasting both your efforts and time. Therefore, you can postpone your task when the brain is burned out; take a break, refresh, come back and work energetically.

  1. Work Smart:

Due to loads of tasks that end up being pilled and kept in store for workers, most times people get worried and end up making bad decisions that affect the quality of work. As a developer or designer, don’t worry about the tasks at hand. Do not spend your life fighting your tasks.  All you need is a robust task management system; manage a task list and prioritize your tasks. Simple. 😉 Review your task list daily. When you follow this method, you will be able to do your work elegantly with enough time left on hand.

  1. Use Updated Technology:

Using outdated technology consumes more time and therefore delays your project. It is better to use new technology such as new labs, framework, deployment tools, coding environments and other technological tools that are right for the job and will facilitate easy work flow. This will help you save both time and effort.

Completing your web development with reduced time or within the time frame is easier said than done. What matters is the ability to put your plans into action.  And when action is put in place, this definitely brings out the best in your client. 😉

Why Should You Re-Design Your Website?

The term redesign refers to changing something to look different, unique and better. Talking about redesigning, your website is something you shouldn’t overlook.  We do understand that redesigning websites involves spending your money and time. But considering the fact that redesigning your business site is the fastest means to keep your business trafficking with customers; will help you overlook the cost and time involved. For an easier understanding of the benefits of redesigning your website, we have put together the blog below.

  1. Stay Connected with Technology:

Advancing technology in today’s world is something you need to keep in touch with if you want to keep your business moving ahead. There are many new designs that come out day-by-day which improve a website’s performance. With the advancement of technology and design, you get the edge to improve your business.  A redesign is not just about upgrading your website but is an idea to restructure a website with up-to-date technology that attracts loads of customers to your service.

  1. Guarantees Consumer Trust:

The joy of every customer is visiting a website that is attractive to start with. What do we mean? When a customer sees a business site that’s worth their trust, they tend not to miss out on those benefits they see. The unique difference that your business site makes sends out a good message to the users, thereby retaining and maintaining their trust.

  1. Fantastic User Experience:

Redesigning your website gives you the opportunity of having a deep understanding of your target audience, by identifying their needs, and values that help you maintain their trust. Also, knowing and catering to their likes and dislikes makes them feel special. An excellent user experience will help you make way to move your business forward and to avoid rejection.

  1. Improves Traffic:

The more you improve your website, the more people find you and engage in business with you. Besides this, websites that are redesigned at least once in a year is recognized and ranked well by Google. Adding a new design, special features, conceptual content and such makes you even more visible on the search engines, in turn, visible to the world.

  1. Gives you Stronger Security:

Hackers with their intelligent subtle always look for a chance to misuse your business information. But with the aid of redesign, many tactics are implemented to keep your website updated and keep your business information safe at all times. You’ve got to remember that, when your business information is misused, customers will definitely lose trust in your brand and you know what happens after? “Bad business” that you will regret. Stay safe by keeping updated with the latest website design that includes security measures.

 

How to Design a User-Friendly Website

Since 1989, the year in which the World Wide Web came into existence there has been a lot of changes in technology that has led to the designing of websites. In the past when designers came up with ideas they decided based on what had a good appearance and what best suited the customer’s wants. Well things have changed in the long run, and a lot has to do with what is expected by its users. Designers of today concentrate on the UI, commonly known as the user interface which decides the customer’s usage experience. So the best way to go about making your website or application the most popular will depend on your audience. Let’s take a quick look at what steps can be created based on user interface.

  • Know Your Audience:

Before you even start coming up with ideas for your design, you need to understand your audience and their needs. Just as you wouldn’t cook sushi for a vegetarian, you wouldn’t go creating complicated designs for a person who deals with simple user interfaces. Understand your viewers keeping in mind their age, their tastes, their goals etc, based on hints that you could collect from sites they frequently visit. Your goal here is to make the experience delightful and simple.

  • Be Distinctive:

Many designers come up with very intriguing ideas. The fact that those ideas are awesome is not what’s going to make them famous. The idea of making your users identify those awesome features and easily put them to use is what matters here. For example, when Google made some changes to their user interface, it did take some of its users a while to figure out where some of their applications such as their calendar they actually went. The point is that the idea was good, but it did become hard to find that it existed.

  • Minimize Change:

One clear characteristic of humans is that we hate change, only if it’s for the better. When we have been accustomed to the usage of a certain site, and when some developer comes along to make some changes on the existing site, it does throw off its users for a while. Most of us are used to following a specific pattern when it comes to certain sites that we regularly visit. For example your online banking account or your email account. Small changes like the way the month is put out in words and not in numbers can affect the normal routines users follow creating an unpleasant experience. Though these attitudes change over time, it affects the user experience on sites that depend on them.

  • Create a Structured Design:

Look at the structure of your design from the eyes of your user. Create a design based on the order of importance or as per the procedure to be followed by the user on the page. Use fonts and colors that are attractive enough and visible to the eye. A properly structured design can make a chaotic page into an easy to use website.

  • Minimize Usage Time:

Creating defaults on things that users are most likely to change on a daily basis such as a date or time, or a customer setting or a tone, is what is expected by the users. This may be simple, but it saves time and adds to the user experience.

  • Loose the Drama:

Try to reduce the urge to make customers flee. If you have the need to create a client database by collecting emails, probably you should concentrate on that by using other means. Try to avoid adverts that take up the full screen, auto-play videos that make a customer force close your site, and forms that force people to sign up for your newsletter. These are the most detestable things that every prospective customer goes through. So if you want them to continue looking at you as a line of business, make sure there’s nothing in their way that hinders them from reaching their goal.

So in conclusion, putting together a design for a website is like putting a puzzle together. If you put it together right, you’ll have a beautiful image to share with the viewer.

Responsive Web Design – Fits all sizes

Responsive web design (RWD) is a concept that has turned the design world upside down. Responsive web design allows consumers device’s screen size and the web content interact together. Founded by web designer Ethan Marcotte in 2011, experts in the field like Treehouse blogger, Nick Pettit and responsivewebdesignblog.com creator, Chris Swemba describe responsive web design as, “the future of the web.”

As technology continues to evolve so does the way the consumer gathers information and engages with a company’s brand. The amount of devices used to search web are endless (smartphone, tablet, netbook or laptop) and all those devices come with different size screens. In the past, companies would have two separate websites, one for mobile and one for regular web searches. However, responsive web design uses fluid grids, flexible images and media queries, which produce one adjusting website that will adapt to whatever screen. To learn more visit Keystone Click’s responsive web design 101 page.

When surfing a responsive web design website the user can adjust the width of the website browser and the content will adjust accordingly.  This coding language can transform a company’s web presence and make their business a front-runner in the field due to the fact their target audience is getting the optimal viewing experience. It is simple. An adaptive website is more pleasing, engaging and contemporary.

Ethan Marcotte’s recently posted a great resource for responsive web design examples: 

Does having a responsive web design website really make all the difference? And how exactly does responsive web design improve the online and mobile presence of a business? Both valid questions, one obvious way is through convenience. The target audience will have no issues gathering information anytime, anywhere. Depending on the screen size the content will adjust in order to stay relevant.  In a sense the website is making itself more accessible by being more versatile.

Secondly, the difference between a responsive design website and a regular design website is clear. The fluidity creates a sleeker or more advanced feeling to the website. Your audience will notice when the website transforms into a mobile or tablet friendly width. Responsive web design creates the “wow” factor due to the fact that the website is catering to viewers.

Finally, responsive web design sites require less code and are preferred by search engine sites, such as Google. When search engines prefer a certain type of website, this can lead to more consistent clicks and better opportunity for consumers to search your keywords.
Although, responsive web design is a fresh concept, the technology behind it and the benefits are too great to ignore! 2013 will be the year of responsive web design. Companies will now have consistent websites for all screens no matter the device while the consumer will have convenient access to any information anytime. It would be wise to jump on the responsive web design bandwagon because 2013 will be the year of revamping your company’s online presence ultimately reaching endless online advertising opportunities.

Does your website stand above the rest? To test your website here and see whether it is compatible with mobile and tablet devices. When it comes to promoting your business, the internet is a tool that should be used to the fullest, do not be stuck in last year, make your website responsive.

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