Monthly Archives: July 2016

10 CMS User Experience Tips For A Better Website

A Content Management System (or CMS) is essentially built for consuming content, either by customers and external stakeholders (websites) or employees and internal stakeholders (intranet). When content consumption is the primary goal, user interface of the system becomes even more important. A poor or confusing interface may result in miscommunication resulting in serious setbacks for any organization.

Here are 10 CMS user experience and usability tips for creating better websites.

1. If Not Sure Then Don’t Go For It

If you are not sure if the CMS you intend to use has the right UI interface, then it would be a good idea to go with some other CMS. There are hundreds of CMS products available in the market and all have their own strengths and weakness. If you are going with an open source CMS, then you need to be willing to make your own customizations to make it suitable for you as most open source CMS don’t have optimum user experience out-of-the-box.

2. Safeguard Users From The Intricacy

Your CMS may be advanced and robust, but users don’t care. Don’t expose your users to the inner workings of the system. Make their journey on your website as smooth as possible with minimum complications. For instance, a problem in majority of CMS products is “hub and spoke” or “pogo sticking” where end users are asked to go back and forth between various parts of the system to complete their tasks. This happens with some degree of “duplication” or “double handling”.

3. Speak Users’ Language

You must keep your communication clear using terminology that users will understand. User research would help find out the language, content tone and vocabulary that you should use for optimum results.

4. Know Your Users

Who are the end users of your CMS website? Know them well. They might not be techies or developers or administrators. The end users can be sales people, editors, writers, producers or product managers. You can do some research and find out how and why your users are using your website and accordingly structure the user experience.

5. Don’t Forget Its Purpose

CMS is made up of three terms. Don’t get trapped in the glory of the system and overlook its real purpose, which is to manage content. You should keep in mind everything from designing to the development of the system. You should also focus on the technical aspects of CMS.

6. Do A Few Things Really Well

Knowing your users includes some kind of task evaluation. Look for the most significant tasks that your users perform. Focus and prioritize tasks and perform them well. Have a tailor made interface, automate certain tasks to simplify processes. For a content heavy website, the focal point of the user interface will be quality content. So more than anything else, focus on making the content good enough for users.

7. Customize To Meet Specific Business Needs

Tailoring your CMS as per your needs may also mean using consistent visual design and branding. CMS customization should include removing unnecessary elements, creating simple interface and speaking the language of your customers. For example, if the particular purpose of CMS is for an intranet then the user interface must be customized to serve the needs of the intranet. You should avail of competent CMS customization services to ensure the customizations are done as per global coding standards.

8. Use Natural Mappings If Needed

Adding natural mapping is possible in the case of a CMS. For example when you deal with images on your website show natural mappings. It could be thumbnails on the search or listing pages and bigger versions when you view the individual properties. It becomes easy to identify content with the help of visual attributes.

9. Be Consistent

User Interface must be consistent when it comes to pages, components and screens. It includes navigation, forms, controls, text styling, buttons, form layouts, terminologies and feedback mechanisms. This is the case if particular parts are customized; those are normally different in look and feel.

10. Stick To Traditional Conventions

CMS should not only be consistent within itself, it should also include what users expect from other similar systems. For instance, if content management system is a web app, standard website conventions apply. Like for placement of search box, use form controls such as drop downs and single click links.

eCommerce That Hits Amongst Thousands

Mobile commerce is not just booming, but also the future for your business in this digitally driven environment. In 2015, almost mobile commerce accounted for almost 30% of your eCommerce sales in US alone. If this data is to be believed, you would realize that mobile commerce would help increase conversions and build a positive ROI for your business. It is not just true for US, but also for North Korea and Japan. With mobile commerce, you can touch base in different countries and can place your business in the global markets.

But, most businesses like you start thinking whether it is wise to invest in an eCommerce app or not? Is it wise to enter an otherwise cluttered and highly competitive market? The answer is yes! You should definitely think of entering this market that will increase your possibilities of maximizing your reach. Of course you need a partner who can help you win your audience with the right app solution. When you are planning an app development for your eCommerce business, you need to focus on user experience, usability and branding. Here, you can develop an eCommerce app that is loved by thousands.

Include a Secure Payment Gateway

This is an important feature that you simply cannot miss out when developing an eCommerce app. Why is it important? The first thing that will cross your potential customer’s mind is whether the payment is secure on your eStore. The reason is the rise in cyber crime, and the security breaches that your user has been experiencing on the internet. If you are able to connect your user with the payment system in a secure fashion, you would gain better engagement. Frameworks such as Stripe, PayPal etc. are all secure, and known for their safety.

Good Quality Images

You cannot touch and feel the products online, which is why you need good images of the product to understand how it appears. Include features that support high resolution images and show your product sharper and better on the site. Make sure you have posted an accurate description of your product on the site with the images. With a zoom feature embedded into your site, you can grab better attention of your user, and can get better deal. Invest in original pictures that possess good resolution.

Include Product Reviews

Product reviews trigger purchase decisions, which is why they are important for your brand. Even when the product appeals to your customer, they want to know whether or not your product has received good reviews. They will always go and check the reviews before completing the product purchase, which is why your product should display good reviews. Include product reviews that can affect the purchase decision positively. Also have good product descriptions that can grab your user’s attention, and help in conversions.

Re targeting with Discounts

As an eCommerce, abandoned carts happen to be your biggest issue. Not only do you need to figure out why people are abandoning your cart, but also need to understand how you can get them back. Discounts are a great feature that can help you bring back the abandoners. Offer special discounts that can induce the buyers to come to your product and make the purchase. 61% of the users are likely to buy the product if you offer them a good discount. Incentives will always help your user come back to you, and complete the purchase.

Product Comparison Feature

People who are planning to complete the purchase are prone to research for an alternative online. When you want to ease their experience on your app, and make them complete their purchase, you should always include a product comparison feature that can make them complete the comparison with ease. They can always complete their research with this feature, without actually leaving the app. This will save you from the abandonment, and will help you increase the users.

Push Notifications

Sending out updates to your users about new products will help you keep them updated, and win them over. You need to leverage push notifications to increase sales for your business. With every new push notification, you will get people on board, which will eventually increase your ROI. Don’t forget to add this feature to your eCommerce app.

With these features added, you are ready to win that user base you have always desired.

6 Core Features of CakePHP That Make It the Superior Platform

The domain of web development covers a number of intrinsic aspects and it is crucial to stay well-informed before choosing a framework. While considering the various platforms, it is the ideal choice to choose an option which, not only meets the business requirements but, also has the potential to cover up the future long-term goals.

Noticeably, CakePHP comes with the potential of evolving the pseudo-functional patterns and thus, have brought a lot of utility for the developers, users and consumers. It offers integrated control over functionality of a web development structure and coherence with the advanced business processes, utility factors and market proponents.

Following here are some of the aspects, which signifies the fact that; CakePHP has a lot more to offer apart from the awesome logo and the cake on it.

Development

It makes the task of developing web applications faster and simpler. With a set of conventions, stilt MVC architecture, code generation tools and application scaffolding, this platform makes the entire process easier. With extensive support for a series of database vendors like Microsoft SQL and MySQL, users can scale the task in a better way.

Security

The framework hosts a series of security features like protection against the task of form tampering, cross site scripting attacks, cross site request forgery and SQL injection. It also offers a security utility that allows interpreted access to encryption and hashing algorithms.

Compatibility

Maintaining a well-maintained migration path for the developers is always a priority, which helps applications to stay updated. There is a series of clear outlines for the updates and features expected in between the versions and also an array of migration tools.

Documentation

This platform comes with some of the most beneficial documentation which, covers full scope of the structure along with extensive API source. Moreover, there is a series of video and written tutorials available online. You can also log in and take part in the official training session.

License

CakePHP is an Open source platform and available for free under the MIT license that allows commercial usage. Moreover, the Cake Software Foundation, itself backs this project, which is the lawful entity that handles legal and payments, copyrights, developer certification, professional training and events across the world.

Longevity

Since the platform’s launch, it is performing as a leading contestant in the space of PHP framework. Moreover, it remains as one of the top 5 beneficial PHP projects. With a huge mob of visitors and millions of page views across the powerful websites, this platform is about to hold its popularity and functionality in the upcoming years to come as well.

Thus, keeping these aspects in mind, we can comprehend the fact that; partnering with a CakePHP developer will help you to carry out the task of web development effectively.

Cognitive Computing Is Revolutionizing Supervised Learning

Does it seem like science fiction is rapidly materializing into reality? Is it possible that computers are simulating the thought process of humans more and more each day? Modern technology and artificial intelligence seem to be accelerating at a warp speed. The era of cognitive computing integrates self-learning systems that will mimic language and pattern recognition, imitating how the human brain operates.

Computing systems operating on pattern recognition, natural language processing, diagnosing problems, and increasing the speed of innovation are able to act as a liaison for bridging humans with the digital environment. Computers are now becoming decision makers for this new era of technology that changes the way we reshape and transform industries.

Are you searching for new ways to create more engaging customer experiences, accelerate the growth potential of your business, while discovering ways to operate smarter? Do you rely on learning algorithms and data mining in order to process information? Discovering patterns by analyzing and turning raw data into generating new, useful information predicts and creates new customer experiences, increases revenue and accelerates business growth while operating more innovatively and smarter.

Cognitive science studies the composition and function of the human brain. Cognitive computing gathers, processes, and analyzes large quantities of complex data that humans could not plausibly process and retain. Supervised learning, a type of machine learning allows the cognitive system to use a known collection of data to make predictions and build logic based on a set of processes for generalizing new datasets. While the application of cognitive thinking sounds highly complicated and unfathomable to the non-computer science dweller, it is helping to develop value differentiation in consumer products and services.

Cognitive computing will elevate artificial intelligence to a new technological level of human ingenuity and education. It will expand human capabilities to process a mammoth amount of data that is difficult for a human to reasonably retain. We will see evidence of such applications in industries where large quantities of complex data will be used for diagnosing and solving problems.

The Most Comprehensive Mobile App Prototyping Guide

Mobile App Prototyping is the procedure that describes the workflow of an app in an interactive way. You can swipe, click& drag and then you can present it in the form of app demo or as a proof of an app concept. There are different mobile app designers who get confused with prototyping and wireframes and they consider it one and the same thing. But there is a different approach and meaning in these two processes. As discussed earlier Mobile App Prototyping is a process which defines the workflow of an app in the most interactive way, while wire framing is the process of defining an app flow and drawing a rough sketch of screens on paper or using wireframing tools.

How this app prototyping came to notice?

Some iOS developer first started to create various screens in Xcode platform by using storyboard application. Actually, it was simply the creation of different screens in one view placing buttons and connecting those screens by using clickable events. This app prototyping is needed for creating the proof of an app concept on the storyboard. But app prototyping plays a significant role while designing and developing the process.

Prototyping makes it easy to give life to your ideas

Mobile App prototyping helps to build your app the way you have envisioned. The main aim is to streamline the process of developing your designs. You get many benefits from app prototyping like:

• Fast importing – To import and crop multiple images at once.

• Rapid duplication -To duplicate your projects, mockups, and links, helping you edit and compare fully-functional ideas. It becomes more helpful when your mockups have similar layouts that allow you to skip building out the same links at multiple times.

• Organize your projects – You should not worry about having too many mockups or losing track. Prototyping tagging features allow you to categorize your files so that you can always find exactly what you are looking for.

• Transitions – It has five types of transitions, including fade, next, back, rise and dismiss, so that your flow looks like the real thing.

• Gestures – Prototyping offers every gesture that you will possibly need, including touch, swipe, and pinch that will allow you to navigate your app.

• Dropbox sync – Never worry about your progress or working from different devices. Every change that you make will be automatically synced to your mobile app prototyping account through Dropbox. Prototyping supports JPG, PNG, and BMP.

Significance of App Prototyping

App Prototyping helps you to fix design and It helps you to address the app concept, features, interactions, and flow.

Evaluate app ideas: Prototyping connects you with end users and helps you to speculate end user’s designing expectation while using the app. In this process, you may require creating different designs with the help of different colour schemes and layouts. Each design is incorporated into the mobile and thereafter it is analyzed. In fact, it gives a soothing feeling to the eyes and the ultimate user experience can be easily evaluated through this app.

Fix design issues: The designers do not use paper prototyping in real design projects as they have immense potential to contribute in creating a high-quality users experience.

Communicative design concepts: Application that helps and guides to interact with the end users has more value than the apps made purely for fun and entertainment as these apps contain a purpose. Prototyping for such apps is the most demanding. If you miss a screen while designing or developing, there are chances of your app might not become successful.

The Stages of Mobile App Prototyping

After you come up with the basic premise for your new app and have a firm idea of the user base you are targeting, the single most important aspect of making it into a reality is the designing process.

Set Goals: If you do not set your goal of creating an app you will not know how to design it. The basic purpose to set up your goal is to save the money of the user by providing them with a comparing tool. You can determine that how your app will help the customers and can solve a particular problem or can improve their regular lifestyle if you fix a goal for the designing team to get behind, so they can focus their efforts on your requirements.

Understand the Needs of Your End Users: Suppose the users do not have time to read the instruction manual just to use your app, create an intuitive and easy design. The views of the clients’ are scope document, feature list, and app reference links that help the developers to understand their requirement. Going through the documents and getting deep insights, are the two main responsibilities of the project manager. It is always better if the business analyst is also present there as his brain storming can also bring some good inputs in it. The designer understands the requirement and draws a flowchart on a paper under the guidance of the project manager. And this is the whole work is executed.

Wireframing: Once you get the basic idea of how the app will flow, you can start sketching the rough screens on paper or using wireframing tools including widgets and different layouts. At this stage, you can prepare the end-user navigation system of the app using keynotes.

Defining visual effects: Once all the functionalities are fulfilled you can start designing the actual screens, you can make the visual effects more effective by the selection of colour scheme, widget placing, the button titles, message popup, etc.

The Final touch: At the last stage, you have to test the transitions, animations, and interactions, etc. Also you need to cross check the final screens with the flow to make the screens more soothing. Remember if you are not happy with the designing of the app, you can send it to the app developer or to the testing team for re-check. If you need to modify the screen you can suggest a last touch even.

There are different types of prototyping tools which are available in the market but you should select that one which would be beneficial for you. For selecting the right tool you should know certain things which are needed for web, Android, or iOS app designing. You must know the prototyping precession. Also you should know whether you can share these design with others or not.

Design is important in the app development process

It is important to appoint a developer who has ample experiences in designing apps which are easy to use and that which improve people’s lives in various ways. Remember whether you are helping your end users to do their jobs more effectively or providing them information or entertainment, designing an app is a critical aspect of this development process.

If you diligently follow all the above points you will be able to create an excellent prototype of your idea.