ZO's Ideas for Digital
Creating an Effective Coming Soon Page
Coming soon pages are a rather young concept on the internet. Back in the day, when a new business was planning to launch a website, one day there was no website, and the next day the thing was live … just like that with no warning.
Nowadays, marketing works a little differently… Everything needs to build up a sufficient amount of buzz, virality, and other new-English words before it can see the daylight. And this is where coming soon pages come into play, if you will.
Now, there are a lot of great examples online, massive lists that showcase tens of beautiful coming soon pages, like these:
Due to all this abundance I’ve decided to take a closer look at the construction of a coming soon page and list some of its most important elements. Both from the designer’s and marketer’s point of view.
Guidelines and Best Practices - The Elements Of The Mobile User Experience
Mobile users and mobile usage are growing. With more users doing more on mobile , the spotlight is on how to improve the individual elements that together create the mobile user experience.
The mobile user experience encompasses the user’s perceptions and feelings before, during and after their interaction with your mobile presence — be it through a browser or an app — using a mobile device that could lie anywhere on the continuum from low-end feature phone to high-definition tablet.
Creating mobile user experiences that delight users forces us to rethink a lot of what we have taken for granted so far with desktop design. It is complicated in part by mobile-specific considerations that go hand in hand with small screens, wide variations in device features, constraints in usage and connectivity, and the hard-to-identify-but-ever-changing mobile context.
Why 2013 Is the Year of Responsive Web Design
You may have noticed that Mashable got a new look recently . The design seems wider than usual, and when you shrink your browser, the content resizes to fit.
The aim here isn’t merely prettiness or technical trickery, however: Media companies like ours are seeing a major shift in the consumption habits of their audiences. Those organizations that don’t act may find themselves behind the curve. Here’s why.
Should Your Startup Go Freemium?
Over the last several months, there has been an intense debate about the viability of freemium business models. For some, freemium is a costly trap, a business model that sacrifices revenues and forces a startup to support freeloaders who will never become paying customers. For others, freemium is the future of business, the logical conclusion of a world in which the cost of bandwidth, storage, and information processing approaches zero. Both sides agree that the model is extremely powerful. As Rob Walling of HitTail notes in a recent Wall Street Journal article, freemium is like a Samurai sword: “unless you’re a master at using it, you can cut your arm off.”
While we’re not Samurai sword fighters at IVP, we believe that freemium is massively disruptive and needs to be understood. We’ve spent the last several months interviewing freemium software leaders, including 37signals, Dropbox (an IVP portfolio company), Evernote, GitHub, HootSuite, New Relic, SurveyMonkey, Weebly, and Zendesk (For the sake of simplicity, we’ve focused on software companies that seek to convert free users to paying customers, rather than those subsidized by ad-supported models.) With the help of these companies, we’ve put together the following six lessons for freemium software businesses. Use them wisely!
Design Mistakes We Made in Our iPhone App
This year at FreshBooks, we released our first iPhone app. Our company’s been around for almost 10 years, and this is truly our first new product since the launch of our cloud accounting web application.
We treated the development of our iPhone app like a blank canvas where we could apply some of our team’s most recent design principles. We also wanted to reinforce the lessons we’ve learned during the development our product. But ultimately, the creation of our official iPhone app was an opportunity for us to learn and grow.
A Field Guide To Mobile App Testing
Testers are often thought of as people who find bugs, but have you ever considered how testers actually approach testing? Do you ever wonder what testers actually do, and how they can add value to a typical technology project?
I’d like to take you through the thought process of testers and discuss the types of things they consider when testing a mobile app. The intention here is to highlight their thought processes and to show the coverage and depth that testers often go to.
Testers Ask Questions
At the heart of testing is the capability to ask challenging and relevant questions. You are on your way to becoming a good tester if you combine investigative and questioning skills with knowledge of technology and products.
For example, testers might ask:
- What platforms should this product work on?
- What is the app supposed to do?
- What happens if I do this?
And so forth.
How To Hire Hackers: A Realistic Guide For Startups
The following is a guest post by Iris Shoor . She’s a co-founder atTakipi , a new startup looking to change the way developers work in the cloud. Previously, she was co-founder at VisualTao, a B2B startup acquired by Autodesk.
Call them hackers, ‘ninjas’, or ‘rock stars’ if you’d like. Other than being very talented developers, they all share one thing in common — it’s unbelievably hard to bring them on-board your company. And as if competing with other companies for the same talent was not enough, being a startup just adds more challenges to the equation. Your startup may be the next Google/Facebook/Instagram, but until then - how can you convince the best developers out there to join a company where the CEO’s office is an IKEA desk?
Here’s one answer — recruit like a startup, in a creative and agile way, doing things the way big companies can’t. During the last 5 years I’ve interviewed over 250 candidates and recruited dozens of great engineers. The first interviews took place in our tiny office’s kitchen, and we still managed to convince some of the best candidates to join. There aren’t any magic tricks involved, but here are some tips and methods which helped us get ninjas, rock stars and other highly talented people on-board.
Making Beautiful Forms - Square and Recurly
Square (and their card case app) are impressed with their UX as it is simple (much use of white space a la Google), but in a way that is quite beautiful and not bland as Google can be. One area that jumped out to me was on a very simple flow. Adding your credit card info.
Most sites make you select a bunch of unnecessarily information and the forms are overly verbose. Contrast them to the the Square flow (you should try it on the app as the transitions are part of the beauty).
Font Smoothing, Anti-Aliasing, and Sub-Pixel Rendering
Apple and Microsoft have always disagreed in how to display fonts on computer displays. Today, both companies are using sub-pixel rendering to coax sharper-looking fonts out of typical low resolution screens. Where they differ is in philosophy.
WhatsApp is Using IMEI Numbers as Passwords
As you probably already heard in recent news, 1,000,001 Apple UDID’s were leaked. It’s unfortunate that so many apps use UDID’s to identify users since it’s extremely insecure.
This brings me to WhatsApp, a free messaging service, used by millions of people. Their system runs on a modified version of XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol). There is nothing wrong with using XMPP, but there is a problem in how WhatsApp handle authentication.
WebRTC: A New Game-Changer, Disrupting Telcos and OTTs
It’s been a tough couple of years for carriers (a.k.a. network operators) who have been fighting off competition from over-the-top (OTT) players such as Skype and WhatsApp, offering services such as voice and SMS over the carriers’ own networks. The impact of these OTT players has been astonishing – whether they’re nimble startups like Viber (with more than 90 million users , making over 1.5 billion calls a month and sending over 2 billion text messages), or large corporations such as Apple, whose iMessage reaches 140 million users, sending 1 billion iMessages every day.
But now an even bigger challenge has appeared on the scene: WebRTC .
How Online Reviews Are Crucial to A Restaurant’s Takings
US economists find that when a restaurant rating improved by just half a star it was very much more likely to be full at peak dining times
It is something every restaurateur and hotel owner knows: good reviews boost takings while terrible ones can close you down. And, in an age when everyone can be an online critic, ratings have never been more important. But until now no one could be sure just how important the online star ratings system employed by sites such as Toptable and Tripadvisor could be for a business’s fortunes.
Researchers Hack Brainwaves to Reveal PINs, Other Personal Data
The “developer edition” of the Emotiv Epoc headset — if you think you can handle it. Don’t you dare even think about your banking account password when you slap on those fancy new brainwave headsets.
Or at least that seems to be the lesson of a new study which found that sensitive personal information, such as PIN numbers and credit card data, can be gleaned from the brainwave data of users wearing popular consumer-grade EEG headsets .
What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day
How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list.
Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too.
The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Here are the first items on their daily to-do list.
iPhoto’s Mystery Meat Gestures
Back in 1998, websites would often force visitors to aimlessly move their mouse around, trying to reveal hidden icons or pieces of text that would explain where to click. Frustrated with these hidden, obscure navigation elements, web designer Vincent Flanders coined the term «Mystery Meat Navigation».1
After downloading and playing around with Apple’s new iPhoto for iOS, I felt like I was teleported back to 1998. Touching and gesturing in different ways would make seemingly random things happen. I regularly unintentionally activated features, changed views, opened or closed pictures, and got iPhoto into states I wasn’t sure how to get out of again.