Tag Archives: advertising

Design in Every Aspect: Increase Your Company’s Productivity by Using Design

design tips

My design lecturer once told me something absolute about design. It is the fact that a design is made to make things either more beautiful or more useful or both. If a design is neither one nor both of them, then we might as well leave it. And until now somehow I’m still aware of how true it is. As someone who has been working in a creative agency for almost 2 years, every now and then, I’d watch my co-workers in the web design team communicating with the developers about how the design will make things easier not only for the developers but also for the website visitors. From that, I learned that with so many ideas turned into a full-fledged design, a designer can change many things from every aspect. This is actually what is needed in a business. In the world of business, a good design is what defines a business. If you have a business, you might want everything from every aspect to go according to your plan. However, for some reasons, not everything will go your way sometimes, especially when your office situation lacks productivity. But that’s why design exists in the first place; to change things, and for better or not; it’s up to the design itself. If you want to increase your company’s productivity, you can use design for that. How? Keep reading to find out!

Start with research

When it comes to increasing company’s productivity, it starts with the employees. Conducting a survey on your employees is the right thing to do, because the information you get can be the benchmark in learning what you need in order to increase your employees’ passion and productivity in the office. Are there enough facilities in the office? Are the facilities convenient to the employees? Do they need an extra space somewhere quiet so that they can concentrate?

Change up amenities

Having simple amenities may make life easier, but if your business requires creativity and fun to get the job done, then you need to work on your office environment. You don’t have to build a fancy room with luxurious amenities, like a sound-proof music room or a game room to get your employees passionate with their work. A simple vending machine filled with healthy snacks and healthy drinks can also be something you can invest in so that you can improve your employees’ experience when working for your company. Also, if you have employees who are young parents that need to pick up their children in the childcare, maybe it’s time for you to have on-site childcare services for them. Not only will this help your employees be at ease because they know their children are nearby, they won’t have to worry about their children’s safety and so they can work peacefully knowing that their children are safe and even though something happens, you are not far away from them. Having an on-site clinic is also wise as it helps your employees get their monthly check-ups without having to be absent.

Improve and automate technology

We are living in the world where almost everything is digital. Technology has changed the face of business today. Therefore, you need to make sure that your office tech is up to date and in a good condition and make sure your employees know what they are doing with the devices. Do as much automating of functions as possible, from meeting room software that chooses rooms and times based on employee schedules and presentation requirements, to wireless presentation hardware that talks with employee devices. Technology is improved to make things easier for us, so making use of today’s technology for your business is a good step towards success.

Success may be defined by our efforts, but our efforts are determined by our willingness and passion to be productive and do our best. Therefore, creating a “booster” for your employees in your office is the right way to build more productive atmosphere. Need another booster to improve your business as a whole? Contact or visit us now and let our awesome team help you grow and build your business in a professional way. Our highly experienced team is professional and fun to work with as we always build a nice environment even for our office. I’m sure we can help you do the same too.

Deadly Premonition: The Use of Anticipatory Design in 2019

web development tips

I can’t remember when exactly it started but for some time now, Gmail has a feature referred to as Smart Reply in which the mail client would suggest simple, automatic replies based on the contents of said e-mail. Say you have an e-mail from a colleague asking to have a meeting with you in Monday, Gmail would suggest you replies such as “Sure, Monday’s great!” or “Sorry, I can’t do Monday. Can we reschedule?” It’s a bit creepy at first and I’ve personally never used this but Gmail is far from being the only service that takes advantage of this anticipatory design.

The gist behind the philosophy of anticipatory design is rather simple. It’s the kind of design philosophy that tries to predict what the users want without the users spelling them out directly. Anticipatory design doesn’t do this by playing tarot cards or peering into crystal balls but by making use of data. This might sound like gobbledygook but anticipatory design is now widely used all over in the field of web development.

The thinking behind anticipatory design

Have you ever heard of the trolley problem? It’s this popular thought experiment in ethics where a trolley is barreling towards a group of five people being tied down on the track. Beside you however, is a switch that will redirect the trolley to a track where there’s only one person tied down instead of five. The question is, assuming that all of the people in this thought experiment are complete strangers to you, would you flip the switch to redirect the trolley?

You could simply play the numbers game and conclude that one death is less bad than five deaths but what you have to know is that flipping the switch makes you directly responsible for that one death compared to if you simply let things be. All this is just an extremely roundabout way for me to say that sometimes, making choices can be such a burden on your mind. It could be because of the implications like the trolley problem or simply because there’s just too many options available, things that anticipatory design aims to solve.

Streamlining and simplifying the choices you have to make

Let’s say you’re planning a trip and you’re now in the process of hammering down the logistics. You’ve already locked down the dates and the destination so really, the decision boils down to the details of how you’re going to get there and where you’re going to stay. It sounds simple enough but each of these two decisions can have a number of little additional variables involved that can make the decision-making process both exponentially harder and longer depending on the type of person you are.

Would you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat and would you prefer sitting at the front of the plane or at the back of the plane? As for the flight, what time of departure/arrival would you prefer and do you have any preferred airlines? That’s just for the plane, having to decide on the accommodation would normally involve considerably more variables. If it’s your first time planning a trip, having to go through these motions is understandable but if this is for the umpteenth time, wouldn’t it be nice to have a system that already has your preference in mind and suggest you things based on that recommendation?

Anticipatory design uses this data to provide you with suggestions based either on your previous history or saved preferences. This way instead of having to deal with 50 different choices with 40 of them being of no interest to you, you’d be automatically offered a curated list of choices that is relevant to you. The final decision still rests with you but with anticipatory design, you don’t have to manually go through dozens of irrelevant options before arriving at the one you’ve been looking for.

Anticipatory design in practice

Anticipatory design in web development mainly relies on two things; a user-centered approach and data, lots and lots of data. Personalization is the goal of anticipatory design and since each and every one of us has our own tastes and quirks, each website has to be able to accommodate these characteristics and the only way we could do that is by collecting data on each user. And this data is obtained by either mining our history or through a survey at the beginning.

Streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube tailor their recommendations based on each user’s watching/listening history. Spotify and Apple Music also goes the extra mile by also giving out questionnaire for new users to get a rough idea of what they like. Google Now and Google News give you story recommendations based on your search history. These are just a few examples of anticipatory design but there’s a lot more where they came from and some are so subtle that they can be easily missed.

Considerations when using anticipatory design

It’s powerful and it can be especially useful for people with issues of indecisiveness but anticipatory design can be restrictive which is why businesses should allow users to opt-out of the system if they want to. YouTube for example has this nasty habit of automatically playing another video after the one you’re currently seeing is finished unless you’ve explicitly told them not to. Sometimes, a user too would like the option of trying out things they haven’t experienced, something that anticipatory design might not be able to anticipate.

With the above issue in mind, it’s advisable for businesses to allow users the option of using a manual search with the help of a filter. One other thing I’d like to mention is the enable users to directly provide feedback to the system. For example, if I was looking for something on Amazon with the intention of using that something as a gift, I’d very much like it if Amazon won’t recommend me similar items in the future and adding an option to do exactly that should allow you the opportunity to provide users with a better service while making things more pleasant for the users.

Extended Stay: 4 Tips on Reducing your Website’s Bounce Rate

business tips

The first two words of Radiohead’s 2016 masterpiece, A Moon Shaped Pool, is stay in. The last two, don’t leave. Read together, they form a sentence; stay in, don’t leave. It could be simple coincidence but A Moon Shaped Pool came out less than 12 months after lead singer Thom Yorke’s divorce with his wife of 23 years, Rachel Owen, and there are a lot of things on the album that hints at this, especially the closing track, ‘True Love Waits’.

A Moon Shaped Pool came out on a Sunday and even after more than two years, I remember the moment ‘True Love Waits’ hit me. I put that song on repeat as I lie down on my bed crying with that song playing in the background. I used to joke that I never have problems making people fall in love with me, it’s getting them to stay that way that’s tricky and naturally, what’s true in love is also true in web development. I mean, we even have the term bounce rate that basically covers the same concept.

Stay in, don’t leave

In retail, whether traditional or online, we’re familiar with the concept of window shopping, which is an activity where a person browses through a store’s merchandise without any actual intention to buy anything. Even though you’re seeing only an increase in traffic but not sales, window shoppers are usually a good thing since there’s a good chance they would make a purchase at a later date. The wishlist feature available on most e-commerce platforms was meant to facilitate this.

Bounce rate on the other hand is the kind of traffic you’re not necessarily looking for. The term is defined as the ratio of single-page visits against any other traffic. Bouncing is markedly different compared to window shopping because window shoppers usually click through multiple different pages first. Bouncers usually take one look at your website and then immediately head for the exit. Given that almost no one in the internet is actually pressed for time, it can be surmised then that the problem probably lies with your website.

Bouncing is something you want to minimize as much as possible but the problem with bouncing is that there are various possible causes. It could indicate that your website has a horrible first impression, you might simply be attracting the wrong kind of traffic or that your content has terrible presentation. In the following section, we’re going to dissect each of these points and the possible solution you could try.

Didn’t want to leave you with the wrong impression

First thing first, you want to remove any intrusive ads or interstitial pop-ups from your website immediately if there are any. Google hates them, I hate them and that adorable pomeranian I regularly see on my morning run probably hates them too. Trying to shove supposedly great offers down your visitor’s throat right off the bat isn’t attractive and it actually spotlights your lack of faith in your own website. Let your website and its content speak for itself and stop relying on cheap tactics to try and rope more customers.

If your website is free from such distractions but you’re still seeing a relatively high bounce rate, it is possible the fault lies on your website itself. For me personally, amateurish-looking, excessively loud and poorly organized websites are a turn-off and if I saw any of that in any website I visit, my hands instinctively move to close that particular tab. Try to show your website to the people in your life that’s not attached to your business to get some genuine third-party opinions if you’re unsure about how your website would hold up against the general public.

Attracting the wrong kind of attention

One possibility that might affect your bounce rate is that you’re simply getting traffic from all the wrong places and this might indicative of a fault or a misunderstanding in your SEO strategy. It is possible for example that you’re focusing on the wrong kind of keywords or that your PPC ad is being shown to the wrong people. When it comes to SEO and marketing, there are two things you have to focus on, the type of content you’re doing and the channel you use to market them.

The common misconception when it comes to SEO is that people seem to think that far and wide is the best philosophy when a focused and targeted campaign is actually preferable. A campaign netting 1 million in traffic but only 5% conversion brings far less value than a campaign netting merely 250,000 in traffic but a conversion rate of 50%. Do proper market research first and build your marketing campaign around the data you’ve collected instead of simply going for the lowest common denominator.

When it comes to presentation, the devil’s in the details

I’ve had this done to me repeatedly over the years so I think I’m completely in the right when I say that editing matters and this is all the more important when it comes to video and written content, especially written content. It honestly matters little how good of a writer you are if you can’t present that in an easily digestible way. Content writing, usually written with a marketing or sales intention in mind is a whole different ballgame compared to creative writing, where it is usually okay to be indulgent.

In content writing, you need to figure out a way to get your point across as engagingly as possible without using more words than necessary. In a way, content writing can be difficult than creative writing because it requires a different skill set that the typical writer might not be in possession of. Overly long paragraphs and complex sentences, two things that I’m regularly guilty of, are verboten so edit and reedit your writing to trim those fat as much as possible.