Monthly Archives: June 2013

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Facebook News Feed Ads – the future of online advertising


Last year, Facebook introduced its Ad Exchange, which changed how they sold their advertising online. Instead of using your liked pages and interests, they began to target you with ads based on your browsing history. However, in the past month, they’ve upped the ante once again, and now you’ll find these ads popping up in your news feed – a total game-changer.

Retargeting company AdRoll has conducted a study of these news feed ads, finding that they have a have a massive 21 times higher click-through rates than standard web retargeting ads and an incredible 49 times the click-through rate of Facebook’s right-hand side ads.

From our own experience, we’ve found that Facebook’s right-hand-side adverts often go unseen, as many users automatically block out the ad area, but when they pop up in your stream, the adverts are bound to catch your eye. As they’re also targeted to sell you something you’re likely to be interested in, it’s no surprise that they’re nearly 50 times more effective.

As well as the targeting of the ads, there’s also the social aspect of things, meaning that as well as better-performing adverts, companies now can gain even more interaction with their fans and customers with likes, shares, comments, and everything else Facebook has to offer.

These ads and their success are integral to Facebook’s future growth, especially in the mobile and handheld market, so we will definitely be keeping an eye on them in future.

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Yammer – Social Networking for Business


Last year, Microsoft shelled out a whopping $1.2 billion to acquire social media company Yammer, seeing it as a potential alternative to Facebook or even LinkedIn for businesses.

Yammer not only keeps you in contact with colleagues and people in your industry, but also allows for simple collaboration on projects letting you share files, documents, videos, etc. with relative ease. With apps for every device known to man, as well as integration with software like Sharepoint or SAP, Yammer is great for working on the go – essential when you’re relaxing abroad with nothing more than your iPad to keep you company!

The folks behind it all claim that “companies using Yammer generate about 40 percent less email”, and it’s easy to see why as projects can be seamlessly tracked throughout a company, with different levels of privacy for the entire business from boss to employee.


If all this sounds too good to be true, there is one catch. Yammer isn’t free. But it’s not too expensive either. Starting at $3 per user per month, it’s not going to put a huge hole in your budget, especially when you consider the time that might be saved elsewhere. Also, the price point of $8 per user per month with Office 365 is quite an attractive one, especially if your business conducts a lot of its work in the cloud.

The only real negative about Yammer is that people and companies are slow to adapt to new ways. If you’re used to using Skype to conference call or Google Docs to share and collaborate on projects, then switching to Yammer can seem like unnecessary expense and extra hassle. It really is a fantastic resource, but a company needs to put in the effort in the early stages to ensure that every employee is using it efficiently.

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Auto-Scrolling websites – A thing of the past?


A few years ago, every single website you landed on had two things:

  • A flash intro video
  • Auto-scrolling navigation

Nowadays, you’re beginning to see these things less and less. Not just because we’ve moved on from them, but because so many of us are using other means to navigate our way around the internet. Smartphones and tablets have changed the way we view the web, and can make these types of websites seem outdated, and unnecessary. Flash doesn’t work with iOS, so good luck trying to access funky flash websites on your iPhone, while the ease of touch-screen technology as well as scroll wheels in your computer mouse means that manually scrolling a long page is no longer an issue.

Pages with frames in them – i.e. where the sidebar scrolls down the page with you, may seem somewhat useful, but can be a nightmare on most handheld devices. As well as that, Framed websites can have a negative effect on your Search Engine Optimisation, which is hugely detrimental to a website’s success. What’s worse, if you’re viewing the website on a small resolution screen, you may even end up with multiple scroll-bars for multiple frames. Too many scrolls spoil the broth!

Manual scrolling is very much en vogue at the moment, and rightly so. Return to top is a handy little feature (we even have it on our blog, go on, scroll down to the bottom of the page to check it out), but when it only takes two seconds to slide your finger along the screen, it’s not as important as it once was.

From our extensive research into the world of eCommerce websites – it pays to know what else is out there and what are the latest trends when you’re designing and building these things – we have found that a lot of online shoppers hate clicking Next Page, Next Page, Next Page to see all the items when browsing eCommerce sites.

Most of our customers prefer to have the option where they can “See All” or “Show All”. That way, you can easily see everything at once – allowing you to find that perfect outfit instantly, rather than clicking through page after page of party dresses.

A lot of our recent eCommerce sites have the option to Show All, as it’s what most customers want. It may seem counter-intuitive and slow page load times, but if you take a look at the most popular news website in the world – the Daily Mail, you’ll see that that’s exactly what the people want. Everything in front of them, right now, and easily accessible.

If you really want to spend your day scrolling, I’d suggest having a gander at this wonderful edition of the XKCD online comic.

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