Alaia technologies has been selected by Prudential Real Estate to implement their new US national franchise website. For more information please check out www.prudentialrealestate.com.
Congratulations to RLP’s ‘Neighbourhood Navigator’ for winning the Silver Star Award in the category of Mobile Website (Horizon Interactive Awards). The HIA recognizes global excellence in interactive media across Canada.
Royal LePage beat out the likes of the Crowne Plaza and Aria Health. Take a look at the 2011 Winners List here .
What you see is not what you get!
An HTML file can be displayed by both a web email client and a desktop email client such as Microsoft Outlook. There are many email clients, each with their own defaults for displaying content, not to mention the different browsers available. For that reason it can be difficult to predict what a design will look like. So a very important rule of thumb is to TEST TEST and TEST on all browsers and email clients.
Going back in time when tables were used for design.
Unfortunately most email clients are not in par with the newest CSS styling standards. So it is extremely unpredictable how a floating div will look like in Outlook Express vs Yahoo Mail. Of coarse you can test this out, but as mentioned earlier, there are various email clients you probably haven’t even heard of so the safest bet is sadly, to design using tables. This really means going back to HTML 1.0 and table design using table attributes and the long lost <font> tag. Yes, this is extremely painful, as you will have to wrap these attributes to almost every line in your content!
Keep it simple stupid! KISS … a designers all time favorite rule!
Since you cannot simply use embedded CSS, even if it is inline, the nice image you originally used as a CSS background, will have to be replaced with an actual image within your HTML code. So when a design is created, it must be kept as simple as possible.
Be clear about limitations to your client so that expectations are met.
With the latest Flash techniques, Ajax and Web Gadgets, the perception that anything can be done on the web is seeping its way around the non-programmer community. So when a client wants an email that has collapsing content, dynamic images or animated pop-ups, you have to let them know that this is simply not possible. Telling them their limitations before they start dreaming up a flashy email marketing campaign can save a lot of hassle and miscommunication. Remember, if they don’t see what they want, it is YOUR fault.
Get a sense for who will be managing the email content to avoid your work from being damaged.
With so many HTML builders or do it yourself website makers, many individuals who use these off the shelf products truly believe they are familiar with HTML coding. HTML has become such a buzz word that it seems as long as you know how to change the content through a wizard, you know what is going on in the back-end. So beware of others editing your work.
A while back I wrote a section on the status of META tags and I was not surprised to learn the greedy history behind it’s use and how today it is out of the picture when it comes to rankings.
What was more infuriating was the vast number of websites still claiming that the key to rankings is the keyword META tag. Just below these statements there are usually a few ads conveniently placed to promote their so called “SEO Services”, which remain hidden partly because they don’t know what is going on themselves. A month of research on SEO for the sake of learning what others are saying or doing about it, enlightened me to the sad reality that most of these services are quick profit making schemes that care nothing for long-term success of their clients.
So here is a video from Google themselves explaining quite shortly the use of keywords. Let’s just hope the showcases of lectures and information coming from Google is true.
I recently began testing a clients Web Portfolio for rankings, so when I typed in their first name in the top three search engines, the first result was always a Facebook user with with the same name as my client. When I clicked on this user to see who exactly she was, her profile picture was a professionally taken model shot and she had over 500 friends! I was tempted to tell my client to send a friendly "poke" to that user to obtain friend status with this top ranking user.
So whether you hate it or not, Facebook is huge and probably here to stay for a while. If you haven’t already started taking advantage of it, signing up as soon as you finish reading this is a start. Here is a pretty astonishing chart showing just how large the gap between other social mediums rank against Facebook. On top of that, with the aquisistion of Friend Feeder (Twitter’s competition) and a launch of Facebook Lite , who knows how much Facebook will dominate in the future.
For those who are just getting into the twitter scene, here is a great Twitter Guide. It contains tons of information for the absolute newbie, to those seeking to use twitter on a professional level.
If you are looking for a good list of people to follow, take a look at the 10 Must-Follow Usability Experts on Twitter.
With so many social sites to keep up with, a profile picture has become a stamp representing us in ways we don’t even expect. Most of us choose casual pictures usually considering whether the picture flatters us or not. But a profile picture can go a long way when describing the person you are. It also can be surprising how it affects one of the most important parts of your website, TRAFFIC! But like all new trends, testing and benchmarking is the best way to figure out this mystery.
If you are selling your services, seeking employment, or simply trying to get known on the web, then your profile picture should be your brand. There is a good article on just this concept outlining how important consistency is. The constant uprising of social sites have geared the web into a casual state with more people leaning away from glamor shots and becoming more comfortable posting natural, funny or interesting pictures.
Either way those who want to read your blog, take your advice or use your services want to feel comforted by the human side of your profile. So investing a little more time choosing an apropriate profile picture that let’s others see the smart, savvy or funny side of you, is definitely worth the time.
I was asked by a client how to use META tags to boost up their website rankings. At first I thought the answer was obvious, but when I stopped to think, I started to doubt my knowledge on the subject. So with my good friend Google, one litre of coffee and my determination, I set out to learn a little more about META element tags and their status quo.
The META element started off in the 90’s as a classification method for search engines to index webpages. However, in the early 2000’s, the keywords attribute of the META tag, almost if not completely lost support from all the major search engines due to spamming and unscrupulous misuse.
Today, there is mixed information on whether search engines support the META tag or not. The consensus seems to be that since search engines implement such advanced algorithms for crawling a website, more weight is placed on content within the web page rather than on META tags.
The Web has also seen a growth in standardization since the early 90’s with the development of the W3C and The Resource Description Framework, a family of W3C specifications originally designed as a metadata data model. This by the way, is definitely something to look into if you plan to dig deeper into the methods used for indexing web pages.
So, simply adding meta tags will not magically rank a website at the top of search results. It will however be used for search result pages as links or descriptions of your site at minimum so discarding them is not what I am implying at all. The reality is that content fuels search engines. Content-rich websites with descriptive text that incorporate words (keywords) that are relevant to the site’s topic or theme. Simply having a well structured document with an appropriate hierarchy of information, can do so much more for your rankings than META tags alone.