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Adobe Edge for Cross-Device Friendly HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript code based Interactivity

Adobe has just launched a new animation program, Adobe Edge, that takes promising steps towards the world of mobile media animations and interactivity. Adobe Edge functions in many ways like a Flash program with the key difference that the created animations are not exported as a swf movie but they are actually converted into a mathematical HTML5 code along with CSS and javascript that can be further developed in HTML mode. Animations and interactivity designed by Adobe Edge are compatible with mobile devices that do not support the Flash player. Interaria is following and testing the developments of Adobe Edge program closely, and providing the most current motion and interactivity solutions to our clients.

Official product page:
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/edge/

Watch a video by Adobe about Adobe Edge:

A Branding Toolkit Sets Identity Standards Across Corporate Messaging

Branding Toolkit Creates Coheseveness

Does your organization have a branding toolkit that sets the standards for a consistent brand interaction?

A branding toolkit explains and demonstrates identity standards and provides specific details on brand messaging styles in order to create cross-marketing and cross-messaging consistency and cohesiveness. A branding toolkit is typically used as an internal company document that each department and employee involved with marketing and communication should be aware of.

The toolkit sets guidelines for internal and external marketing and communication by

  • detailing acceptable use of identity colors and color palettes
  • detailing specific color codes for print and the Web
  • detailing acceptable typography (use of font styles and sizes for print and Web),
  • detailing acceptable placement and size of logos and other trademarks,
  • detailing acceptable layout options for business cards and letterheads,
  • detailing acceptable practice of using envelopes, folders and other stationary,
  • detailing acceptable use of photography (types of images, file sizes), and
  • detailing acceptable phrasing and/or spelling of key words that could be written in different ways (for instance, “website” or “Web site”).

A company or an organization that has developed a branding toolkit or a brand guide is in a strong position of protecting its established distinctive brand identity across media and across different customer interaction points.

© 2011. Meri Kuusi-Shields / Interaria. All rights reserved.

Did You Know Google Operates Over 150 Topic Blogs About Google?

Following Google’s twists and turns is quite a sprawling experience.  Google lists over 150 official Google blogs in its Blog directory at http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/blog-directory.html. The blogs vary from Google’s European Public Policy Blog (“Google’s views on government, policy, and politics in Europe”) to Google’s Student Blog (“Google news and updates especially for student”), and from Google Fiber Blog (“The latest news from the Google Fiber team”) to Google TV Ads Blog (“The latest news from the Google TV Ads team”). If this wasn’t enough, there is of course more: Google just added a new blog into its large Google blog family: Google+ Platform Blog. So far the blog has announced that Google+ now features games. In the future – likely – this blog will guide developers with their attempts to create any market share from the Google+. Google gives out a lot of information and an idea of information transparency, yet, its search engine algorithms remain a top secret with selected hints to the public.

Native Mobile Apps << and/or >> Optimizing Media Content For Cross-Device Use

This image by Twitter summarizes the various mobile device platforms and draws vividly that the smartphone and tablet environment is something each company should take seriously when considering how they want to best serve the growing number of mobile device users. Twitter has developed native apps for each relevant smartphone and tablet in the US market taking a strong argument for native app development. Another or an additional route is to optimize web media to display optimally in mobile devices without requirements (or encouragement) to download iOS or Google Android apps. For instance, Facebook considers its website to display optimally on an iPad and has not (so far) developed a native app. Many newspapers and online magazines on the other hand are fully engaging in iPad app based online magazine production but still figuring out how to handle raising advertising money and subscriptions on this new platform.

How to position in the growing mobile market of smartphones and tablets? There are currently many options for a company to choose from, and here is just the surface:

  1. Develop website only, optimized for mobile devices but not displayed in any mobile specific ways.
  2. Develop website + iPhone version prompted upon visiting a site via iPhone (not app).
  3. Develop website + iPhone app.
  4. Develop website + iPhone version prompted upon visiting a site via iPhone (not app) + iPhone app.
  5. Develop website + iPhone app + iPad app.
  6. Develop website + iPhone version prompted upon visiting a site via iPhone (not app) + iPhone app + iPad app.
  7. Develop website + iPhone app + Android mobile app.
  8. Develop website + iPhone app + iPad app + Android mobile app.

This list would continue with any other alternative scenario by combining variables above. Dallas iOS app developer Interaria will be reviewing specific examples of mobile media within this framework during this week.

Have You Created a Profile in Google Profiles?

Google Profile is One of Google’s Many Professional Services

Your company might have been using Google AdWords for several years without looking into additional (and yes, free) member account features Google is offering. Yes, the Google search engine and Google AdWords are what Google is most known for but there are also other features that Google would like you to try out. Continue reading Have You Created a Profile in Google Profiles?

Optimizing Google’s AdWords For Mobile Devices

By far, the dominant advertising platform on the web is Google’s AdWords. Up until very recently, Google’s AdWords was fine with serving ads to mobile devices that linked to pages with Flash content. In a recent change in policy, Google’s AdWords seems to now block serving pay-per-click ads to mobile devices (iPad/iPhone/Android) if the advertised website being linked to in the ad has any Flash running on it. This includes websites running javascript coded “Flash-checkers”.  Google’s AdWords now requires that at least on your site’s initial landing/home page where you may have used a Javascript based Flash checker, you’ll now need to instead add specialized web code for checking what type of device has arrived to your home page, and then auto-route a visitor to appropriate mobile friendly Flash free content.

The situation is definitely not completely clear yet because Google hasn’t made any official statements on the matter.  Since Goolge’s own Android mobile platform supports Flash this new policy is interesting, and appears to cater the growing market of iPhone and iPad users.

Dallas Web design & development company Interaria follows the developments of AdWord policy closely. Interaria specializes in coding websites that are “Google-friendly”.

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The Fascinating Early Days of a “Web Page”

While doing a thorough spring cleaning and sorting to our office cabinets, we found this interesting, revealing article from September 1996 issue of “MacUser”. On the cover the magazine advertises the fastest Mac or PC ever, 225 MHZ PowerTower Pro. To give some context, today computers are built in the range of several GHz.

On page 99, MacUser shows easy steps to create an “Instant Home Page” with basic proportional images (that would not break the layout structure) and text information.  The article mentions Adobe PageMill 1.0 as the most popular Mac website creation tool of the time and that PageMill 1.0 was not capable of using tables for layout or for image maps. Over the last decade there’s been a movement towards table-free layouts and instead utilizing CSS for layout and styling, so it’s almost hard to recount a time when using tables for a layout was something new and technically advanced.

The key elements of a web page were already there in 1996: According to the article, the key content areas of a Web page are “info that let visitors to get to know you, links to other Web sites, and  a way to contact you via e-mail”. The magazine also recommends a visitor counter as a “fancy twist” which does not sound like a bad idea at all considering how much emphasis is put today on “invisible” visitor traffic tracking metrics tools.

Web page development started in 1994 so by 1996 the user could already display images to the web page making them a great deal more visual. On the other hand, navigation for instance remained HTML link based and button shapes were available but made very little use of until a year later in 1997.

1996 may have felt a big step from the very early ages of World Wide Web back in 1994 when very few people were aware of this emerging technology and communication platform. Here is a popular YouTube video of NBC news team discussing Web terminology back in 1994. The terminology is new and the Internet is still something abstract and rather geeky sounding.

Alexa Indexing Engine Measures Website Popularity

In addition to following your website’s Google Page Rank, and the number of backlinks pointing to your site, another metric to check when following your website’s search engine optimization progress is called Alexa Rank.

Alexa is a website indexing engine that attempts to measure popularity of websites. Alexa gathers its data on websites as does Google by using ‘searchbots’ that crawl the Web reading and storing data from websites. Like Google, Alexa crawls the Internet, retrieving and storing lots of data about websites and the popularity of websites. However, unlike Google, Alexa builds their popularity rank from data sent to them by people who have installed an Alexa Toolbar into their web browser. If you have the Alexa Toolbar installed into your browser, every time you visit a website, data is sent to Alexa, telling Alexa what websites you have visited. In this way, Alexa is able to build a ranking popularity index of which websites are visited most. The highest, most visited/popular site, has an Alexa Rank of 1, which is currently held by Google. For example, Apple Computer’s main website has an Alexa Rank of 41 and Dell Computer has an Alexa Rank of 200. However, most websites have ranks in the hundreds of thousands or millions.

Google does not make public all the factors that go into how high your website will rank on search results pages, but tracking how your site’s Alexa rank changes over time, whether your Alexa Rank goes up or down, can be an early indicator as to how your website’s Google ranking and search engine results maybe be changing and improving.

A copy of the Alexa database is used for the Internet Archive ( http://waybackmachine.org/ ). Google and Alexa also partner on supporting the Open Directory Project ( http://www.dmoz.org/ ).

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