Tag Archives: business

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.

Traffic Management: The Impact and Best Practice with Redirects in Regards to SEO

SEO tips

Do you absolutely hate it when a road you regularly use for your commute was suddenly closed without prior warning and you’re forced to make a detour and deal with bad traffic? I had this happened to me once that turned a 30-minute drive into a 90-minute drive. Needless to say, I was definitely not a happy man when I arrived home. Still, that is actually preferable compared to this one time I wound up at a dead end and had to make a u-turn and find another way around.

This concept of rerouting isn’t just limited to the physical space; a similar concept also exists in the world of web development in the form of redirects. A website is rarely a static beast, news pages are constantly being added and sometimes, the old ones got taken down or moved to a new address. It’s the latter point that could cause an issue if the page that was taken down or moved was linked from another page. This is particularly important to SEO services and marketers as broken links can result in the loss of PageRank.

Redirects and the various types of redirects available

I used to get kick out of The Amazing Race when I was still in school and with a lot of free time. In that game, the challenges are named after common road elements, such as Detour, Roadblock and U-Turn. The concept of website redirects also follows the same line of thinking in that there are a number of redirects that are commonly seen. Understanding which type of redirect to use and which type to avoid is important because as has been stated before, your website’s PageRank is on the line.

There’s the HTML redirects and then there’s the HTTP redirects in the form of 301, 302 and 404. If you’ve been snooping around the internet long enough, you’ve probably seen the 404 error message at least once and as you might’ve probably guessed, a 404 redirect is not a good thing for both the user and the website’s PageRank. The other examples are more subtle and can go unnoticed and in the following, we’ll dive deeper into them and how redirects should be used in regards to their impact on SEO.

301 and 302 redirects are the way to go

Both 301 and 302 redirects are a type of HTTP redirects that indicate that a page has been moved. 301 redirect is for when the page has been moved permanently while 302 is for when the page is unavailable temporarily. If you’ve moved to a completely new domain or a certain section of your website has been permanently taken down, 301 redirect is the one you should use but if you’re doing some work only on certain sections of your website, the 302 redirect is the one to go.

301 redirects have a variety of uses. For example, if you’re running a limited time promotion on your website and have dedicated a section for this promotion, you could use a 301 redirect so that even when the promotion is over and the section has been taken down, visitors trying to reach you could be redirected to the main page instead of being served by a 404 error. 301 and 302 redirects don’t carry any penalty whatsoever in terms of SEO so feel free to use them whenever necessary.

404 errors, colloquially known as broken links, should always be remedied

If your website’s been around for a while, it’s likely that it has been through some structural changes from the day it was first launched until now and it’s quite probable that some of your old pages could no longer be found in their original place. Normally, whenever you’ve done some major work on your website, your web developers should always make sure that old URLs have been properly redirected but every now and then, some pages fall through the crack and visitors are greeted with 404 errors.

There are a lot of tools you could use to check for 404 errors. The Google Search Console for example is capable of this and you could also use the plethora of web crawler tools available online for the same purpose. If there are any external links that returns a 404 error, you might want to fix them as well. However, just to be on the safe side, you also want to create a custom 404 error page so that even if visitors stumbled across a broken link on your website, they could still navigate to other sections of your website.

Beware of HTML redirects and redirect chains

Unlike HTTP redirects which works before the page is loaded, HTML redirects works by sending visitors to a new page seconds after the actual page is loaded. HTML redirects isn’t subtle as visitors are usually given a message that the page has been moved and they’re being redirected. This is not a good idea because if said visitor wanted to go back to the previous page by clicking on the back button of their browser, they would be taken back to the redirecting page and would be stuck in a loop.

Another redirect that should be avoided is the redirect chain, which is exactly what it sounds like. A redirect chain is a situation in which a user is bounced from one page to another and to another until said user arrives at their intended destination. This is quite detrimental to SEO since redirect chains can potentially mess up with link authority and can increase loading time since there are more doors to open. Redirect chains are usually HTTP redirects and users usually have no idea what’s happening in their background.