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If you find our web design agency blog articles interesting or useful, please feel free to include our content on your website (we just ask that you reference us and link to the original blog item).

Professional Email Marketing

Calendar Posted 17th December 2010 | Category: Web Marketing | Feed Icon

Ben

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of communicating commercial or charitable messages to an online audience. Effectively it is sending promotional or informative emails to a group which may have interest in your product or service.

Many people consider email marketing as spam but this does not always have to be the case. A well planned, correctly targeted email marketing camapaign can be a great way of driving more traffic to your website. It is also far more effective than buying ads or posting messages on social networking sites as your message will end up in the inbox of your subscribers. Over 90% of internet users use email with around 57% of those doing so on a typical day, which is a very large audience.

Here at Bluelinemedia we use a fantastic email marketing tool called CampaignMonitor. This allows us and our clients to create successful emails that can be sent out to hundreds of even thousands of subscribers. Read more...

Using wireframes for web design

Calendar Posted 17th December 2010 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon

Ben

We use "wireframes" during the design of our websites. These are simple page layouts without colour, with the various elements of the page laid out as an example of the site. Wireframes help us put the user experience first and make sure the design makes things easy for users.

We produce wireframes for different pages but the home page is most important. It needs to present multiple messages, direct different types of visitors to the right content, and encourage people to get in touch. Wireframes help manage the balance of great design, looking after the users, and achieving your objectives. They also mean:

  • Every feature is considered in the design from the start
  • It's easier to test alternative layouts and prioritise different elements
  • We learn more about what you want from your website
  • There are more ideas for content and design
  • The site is clear and easy to use
  • Your goals for the website are applied

Here are some wireframe examples from our own website which was re-launched in June 2010, with design and wireframes from Jen Germann. Click the images to see the full size wireframes. Read more...

Heatmap

Calendar Posted 8th December 2010 | Category: Web Marketing | Feed Icon

Justin

In the constant strive to obtain as much data about the users who visit your site you may consider using a Heatmap on your website/app.

Heatmaps are graphical representations of where users are clicking on your website. Each time a user clicks anywhere on your website this click is recorded. When the Heatmap is viewed this click will appear on a semi-transparent overlay of your website represented by a colour. The colours identify how many clicks have been in a specific area of the website. The colours are usually scaled from blue through to green, then yellow and finally red. Blue being the low end of the scale where there have been a minimal amount of clicks and red being at the top end where a high concentration of clicks has occurred. As you have probably guessed the term Heatmap is due to blue representing cold as not many clicks and red as hot due to many clicks.

Heatmaps can be a very useful tool in monitoring how users are navigating your website and what they find interesting. They can show you what areas of your website are most popular and whether users are interacting with any features you have on your website. Read more...

Select date by calendar

Calendar Posted 7th December 2010 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon

James

As part of the development for one our projects we needed a way of entering a date with having to manually type in the details or solely using pick lists to choose day, month & year. Both of these methods are prone to dates being entered incorrectly.

We have configured a JavaScript date picker which pops up a neat little calendar defaulting to today's date, when clicking a small icon. This calendar allows you to scroll through a month at a time, presenting you with each day of the month. Clicking a particular day will automatically populate the relevant date field on the form. If you need to choose a date that is in a different year and didn't want to scroll through all the months, you can simply click the header of the calendar which first shows you all the months in the current year, clicking again will then show 20 individual years for you to select or scroll through in blocks of 20 years. Choosing a year will then take you to 12 individual months for you to select and then finally the individual days for the selected month.

This date picker can also be modified to allow you to enter a time should you need to store this as well as a date. Read more...

Online sales software

Calendar Posted 3rd December 2010 | Category: Web Development | Feed Icon

Sirbastian

In October we started work on an exciting internal project and since the first announcement we've been making huge progress.

Not only will this new quoting tool be useful to both our new and existing clients but it's given us the opportunity to redevelop some of our older internal frameworks. Without going into too much technical detail we've been able to really focus on things that we've been unhappy with, things such as inline form validation, long winded date selection and loads of other little annoyances that have made the development of sites just that little bit more inefficient.

Along with the new technical additions the whole design has been created by our newest developer Miles so when it's ready it'll be something we're all really proud of! Read more...

Two way SMS communication

Calendar Posted 3rd December 2010 | Category: Web Development | Feed Icon

Simon

Recently we have started integrating SMS (Short Message Service) into some of our online recruitment websites. This allows automated or manual SMS (text messages) to be sent to a mobile phone. This is obviously a very effective and personal way of contacting your users.

The advantage of two-way SMS is it allows the recipient to respond to the message in the normal way and for the website to then get updated respectively. An example would be an admin could click a link on there website to see if another user is free on Wednesday, this would then instantly send a SMS to the user in question's mobile phone. The user could then reply to the SMS which would then get sent back to the website and update the admins list of who is and who is not available on Wednesday. Alternatively we could email the admin the response. Read more...

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