Tag Archives: web development

Design Archetypes: Why Leaning into Familiarity is a Virtue in Web Development

web development tips

In life, we’re frequently told and advised to just be ourselves, to not constantly cater to what society expect of you and just focus on what brings you joy. For the most part, this is not actually a bad advice but let me remind you that this kind of thinking is what led Ted Bundy into becoming Ted Bundy and sometimes, fitting in is your best course of action. The unknown might be exciting at times but they can be equally disheartening and this is why in the world of web development, it’s not exactly a bad idea to lean in to the concept of familiarity every now and then.

As an analogy, look into some of the biggest films in 2019 and you’ll start to see a pattern. We have the updated, live-action version of Disney classics such as The Lion King and Aladdin, the final entry in Star Wars third trilogy, and a Terminator sequel that brings back some of of the more notable characters from the earlier films. As much as we clamor for the new and exciting, we are naturally drawn to what’s familiar and this is something you can always take advantage of in web development.

Staying in our comfort zone

The common adage is that familiarity breeds contempt, that the longer you comes into contact with something, the less respect of affinity you’re going to have for that particular thing. Honestly, I would very much like to call hogwash on that particular adage. I’ve been regularly playing Pokémon games since the very first one came out in 1998 and even after two decades, I’ve always eagerly anticipated the latest video games. Because of how the games have largely stuck the same formula, I know what I’m going to get with Pokémon but instead of diminishing my interest, it has instead raised my anticipation because I know I’m going to have a good time.

The phrase staying in the comfort zone tends to carry a negative stigma because it implies a lack of a sense of adventure and an inherent conservative attitude but there’s virtue in sticking to your lane. Being open to new ideas but if you’re confident in what works, why fix what isn’t broken? Trying to engage in something novel and a desire to innovate can sometimes lead to unreasonable expectations and that can be particularly damaging as the potential for disappointment would be high.

Setting you up for failure

When you promise something new and exciting to the general public, you’re basically setting yourself into having to fulfill two different goals; that the public is willing to adapt to whatever you bring to the table and what you’re bringing is an improvement to what’s currently out there. The first one can be especially hard and typically, it’s the kind of thing that only companies that have accumulated a lot of goodwill can safely navigate. There are plenty of real world examples of the difficulty in being a trailblazer.

In a conversation of when online video gaming first appeared on consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox Live that launched in 2002 is frequently cited as the starting point when in fact; it was Sega’s Dreamcast that first had the audacity to start the trend in the late 90s. Despite the critical acclaim received by games like Phantasy Star Online, which has been frequently cited as a landmark title in the history of video game, the console market as a whole didn’t warm up to online games until Microsoft took the baton.

Forcing the public to adapt to your ways isn’t always a good idea

Whenever I boot up a new Pokémon game for the first time, I always know what I’m going to get. It always comes down to the choice between three starter Pokémons, a limit of four moves per Pokémons and a limit of six Pokémons at any given moment. There are 8 gym leaders across the region I have to beat before I could enter the Pokémon League in which I have to battle the Elite Four and the region’s champion and hundreds of Pokémons to catch and train. Thanks to my familiarity with the system, there’s only a small learning curve and this is why familiarity can be such as powerful tool in the world of web development.

In websites, usability has always been an important factor. With so much competition and so little in terms of attention span, you can’t risk having a website that has a steep learning curve as that could easily push away potential customers as they look for an easier website to navigate. Best practices and generally accepted standards exist for a reason and it’s easy to overlook what is familiar in search of the exceptional as designers focus on what they think look best instead of putting the focus on users.

Falling back on design archetypes isn’t a sin

For the more creative designers, relying on archetypes tends to be strictly verboten but trust me when I say that those archetypes exist for a reason; they tend to work. Radical reinvention is a risky bet and 90% of the time, it’s better to use archetypes as a starting point and focus in improving them one step at a time. I’m not saying that thinking outside the box isn’t useful but that’s the kind of advice that could only work when you have the necessary resource to back it up, something that might be too out of reach for small businesses.

The Access to Success: The Complete Guide to Understanding Mobile Commerce

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Phew, I am kind of proud of myself for my self-control because I didn’t just spend money recklessly this month. Yes, all these online shops just can’t leave me alone and I sometimes curse myself for letting my guard down. Back then I used to be so lazy to shop because I had to get ready first and go to the mall, looking at people, crowds and many things I didn’t want to see as an introverted person. Now, I can literally buy anything I want in a flash, straight from my phone. The lesson from this is that we know how powerful ecommerce in this day and age. As time goes by, the inventors are trying to make things easier for us – shopping included. That being said, 2019 is also the year of changes and new stuff. Yes, it’s more like mobile commerce instead of just ecommerce. What’s the difference, actually? On the surface, ecommerce and mobile commerce are virtually identical. The former means selling products over the internet via desktop or laptop computers. The latter means doing exactly the same – but through handheld devices like smartphones or tablets. Ecommerce may focus on a company’s online store, while mobile commerce targets people who shop straight from their phone. Customers shop from brands and retailers through several channels on their phones, including social media, mobile commerce apps, mobile websites and many more. Why? It’s simple; shopping through your phone is easier and you can do it anytime and anywhere. For that reason, big shopping brands like Sephora, Zalora, etc. have started using mobile apps to ease transactions.

If you are a new business owner looking to start mobile commerce business, I know it can be hard sometimes knowing the competition between mobile commerce has been vastly strong nowadays. As a person who provides content marketing services, I have been helping clients get over their fear of starting out because of the tight competition between them and their competitors. Yes, nowadays the rise of mobile commerce is inevitable and the competition is rising high as well. Don’t worry; I’m going to guide you to the access to success through mobile commerce with this article. Keep reading to find out!

Before we start with the guide, let’s talk about benefits of mobile commerce from user perspective first so you can grasp the essential knowledge of mobile commerce. Here they are:

  • Easy transaction anytime and anywhere
  • Additional discounts if ordered from the app
  • New app member benefits
  • Easier access to products
  • Faster loading time

Now that you know the benefits from user perspective, let’s move to the types of mobile commerce. Mobile commerce is not just limited to buying and selling goods through mobile-specific channels. There are other ways you can make use of mobile commerce application, such as:

  • Mobile bookings: Now we don’t have to go to the train station to get tickets anymore. We can just book straight from our phone. All types of bookings like plane tickets, hotels, trains, etc. are available through mobile commerce
  • App-specific marketing and discounts: Perhaps Starbucks is the perfect example for this specific marketing strategy where LINE users can get a buy 1 get 1 promo by showing a specific message they get from Starbucks official LINE ID denoting a buy 1 get 1 promo to the cashier. Yes, this is something that can only be done through mobile commerce.
  • Mobile banking: Going to the ATMs is tiring enough if you only need to send money, right? Mobile banking provides solutions to send money anytime and anywhere you go, unless you are in need of cash, though.
  • Mobile payments: Why do you need cash when you can pay it straight from your phone? With a cashback, no less! People are basically cashless, right now.

So, how do we get started with mobile commerce?

Optimise your mobile commerce site or app

You may have different kinds of marketing strategies and plans, but if your business mobile app or site is not user friendly, no one will end up buying from you. According to research on Google, more than 60% of mobile users will quickly abandon a mobile site or uninstall an app if it’s glitchy or hard to use. Your mobile commerce presence needs to designed and coded for different devices, platforms, and browsers to ensure that end users get a seamless experience.

Use responsive design

I remember the first time I accessed a website through my mobile phone, where there was no laptop and only PC at home while I was on my way to a mall. It was such a bad experience that I couldn’t help going straight to home after that to access my PC so that I could buy something. Why was it such a bad experience? It was because the site was not adjusted to my mobile device size and it ended up ‘freezing’ the whole screen. It’s a good thing that now we can access any site from any device because of the rise of responsive design in this day and age. Responsive design is a design approach to adjust a site size to the size of any device so that the site can be accessed by any device. If your mobile commerce company knows this approach, implement it immediately or your visitor will lose interest in your mobile app or mobile site.

Make it simple for the users

Sure, unique design may attract the eyes of your visitors, but as soon as they find it difficult to access your mobile app or mobile site, or your mobile app or mobile site is hard to understand, they will lose interest already and leave it. Therefore, make it unique but make it simple as well. Use clear and easy navigation so that users can understand where they go and what they should do.

That’s how you understand mobile commerce. In the end, how successful a business is depends on how persistent we are. If you are afraid to take risks, then having a business is not for you, because starting a business needs courage and determination to succeed and that includes taking some risks. If you are ready to start mobile commerce, you can contact us now and let our team help you.

Leveraging Your Contacts: 4 Tips in Upping your Social Selling Game

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As there’s more than one way to skin a cat, I’ve also come to understand that there’s more than one way for you to sell your products. Last week, completely on a whim, I decided to participate in a local walking tour that aims to educate both locals and tourists about some of the hidden attractions along the route. It was actually pretty fun and I’m somewhat ashamed to say that there are actually a number of places that I’m unfamiliar with even with two decades of living in this city.

Still, the biggest surprise comes right at the end of the tour when I exchanged contact information with other participants and, thinking that we might get together again for another walking tour, was instead bombarded with no less than three business opportunities. Everything these days, it seems, are networking events. If you’re willing to go that far, everything can be turned into a sales channel as can be seen in social media platforms where opportunities to make new acquaintances have been turned into this giant marketplace by social media services and marketers through the practice of social selling.

We’re not here to make friends

I still remember that innocent time in 2008 where Facebook was a way for me to, if not make friends, at least get in touch with other people in that wide circle we call college. Even though I’ve lost touch with a number of people I met during that time, I’m still quite indebted to Facebook as the platform provided me with plenty of opportunities to connect further with people that I recognized from that one class we shared. Just as how Facebook was quite effective for the purpose of finding new people to hang out with, it should be of little surprise that Facebook (and social media platforms in general) can be quite effective as a platform to peddle your products and/or services.

In theory, the practice of social selling is a separate entity when compared to the practice of social media marketing with the key differentiator being the issue of revenue generation. In practice though, the lines between the two can get a little blurry as the practice of social selling can involve more long-term strategies that might not generate revenue immediately but more about raising awareness on the value proposition of the brand, which technically falls under the general umbrella of marketing. No matter what term you use however, social media can be a valuable platform in expanding your businesses’ reach.

The downside however is that social selling can be somewhat tricky to ace. The popularity of social media platforms is still a recent phenomenon and with the likes of Facebook and Instagram constantly updating and adding new features to their respective platforms, it can be quite hard to get a handle on nailing the practice of social selling. As customer trends change and technology progresses, what works today might not produce the same result so it’s important to take the following 4 tips in mind when considering your social selling efforts.

Carefully monitor activities around your brand and your industry

As social media platforms have grown astonishingly massive, with both Facebook and Instagram boasting more than 1 billion users, it’s getting harder to find prospective leads in that ocean of people. Luckily, most platforms come with monitoring tools that should make your job easier in trying to discover prospective leads. Find relevant keywords or hashtags and take a look at the activities around your competitors to scope for potential leads. As your business and the public awareness of your brand goes bigger, you might be able to simply wait for potential leads to come to you but for small businesses who are just starting out, engaging with potential leads is definitely the way to go.

Pay close attention whenever your brand is mentioned or tagged

Another way to scope out for potential leads is to drop by whenever your brand is mentioned or tagged in public. There’s a chance that these mentions aren’t going to be complimentary but instead of shying away from confrontation, these negative mentions could actually be used as an opportunity for you to set things right. If it turns out that the fault lies with you, this provides you with the opportunity to show that you care while if it’s not your fault, this could prevent your reputation from being damaged further. For complimentary mentions, you could simply drop by in the comments and scope out other commenters or those who liked the posts for potential leads.

Connect with influencers and other important figures

Around a decade ago, when small businesses aren’t as plentiful as they are now, my buying process was pretty simple. There were only a couple of boutique denim and leather shoe brands to pay attention to and finding the most ideal pair of jeans or shoes wouldn’t take too long. Fast forward ten years later however and the landscape is as crowded as Bondi Beach on a summer’s day and I have to rely on curators in the form of influencers for my decision making process.

I’m not talking about influencers in the style of the Hadids, Kardashians and the Jenners but more along the lines of microinfluencers with relatively small but loyal followings. These microinfluencers won’t make gossip headlines anytime soon and are usually only known to those with a keen interest in the industry but are highly regarded within their specific niche. If your business targets aficionados and those with an appreciation for the finer things in life, these microinfluencers should be of particular interest.

Try out targeted ads

If you’re looking to expand your reach beyond what you’re capable of doing on your own, you might want to try out paid/targeted ads. As these social media platforms try to further commercialize their platforms, these ads are going to be even more prominent (if they haven’t already) and you might reach a point where your organic marketing efforts simply aren’t working. Targeted ads can also be useful if you’re in the middle of a campaign as the extra incentives might prove to be enough to entice prospective leads.