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Top Web Design Trends for 2014

Web design trends change every year and it is important for business owners to keep their website updated with latest trends. However, different trends emerge during the year, most of them are for limited time. It is important for every webmaster to keep their website updated with web design trends to stay ahead of the competition.

For 2014, we have observed that Simplicity, Flat Design, Responsive Design, Storytelling and Typography elements will be important.

Simplicity

Simple-Web-Design

The idea of simplicity is to make the user experience extraordinary. It does not mean that your website have to be plain and without images. It means your website should avoid cluttering or excessive information. It does not mean the idea about your business needs to be placed somewhere on the website in shape of text or an element. Similarly, the simple explanation of services is better than cluttering with detailed information about everything.

Remember, your website plays an important role for the customers. You can deliver your message to your customers through your website. Too much cluttered information is hard to digest and customers ignore the details.

The main goal of the website is to convey the message, but not to look pretty. Simple web design have more conversions as compared to image heavy cluttered websites. You can test the efficiency of each design through A/B split testing.

Flat Design

flat-design

We have seen arise in trend for flat design and Apple set the trend by launching iOS 7 with flat design. Apple is the trend setter when it comes to usability and with the launch of iOS 7 they focused on user experience.

It is expected that flat design elements will dominate web design and mobile design. Flat design elements are more attractive and appealing. Businesses are now using images that are not heavy and are without effects to look more promising. CSS3 allow designers to create flat design elements like buttons, forms, and menus without disturbing the main design.

Responsive Design

responsive-design

Everyone knows about Responsive Web Design and it is not a new concept for 2014. However, it will continue to rise because world is now transforming to everything mobile. Many companies are now realizing the potential of mobile friendly designs. Responsive web design allows a website to adjust according to the screen size of your device.

Remember, responsive web design does not mean to disturb the elements to adjust with different screens. It should display the message more effectively on different devices.

The common mistake in responsive web design elements is that it squishes the content on smaller screens. The perfect design fits to all screen without damaging the user experience of the website.

Storytelling

story-telling

Storytelling is not a new concept, but it is an emerging trend and many webmasters started using this method. The idea is to display different elements and information about the website as user scroll down the website. As the user scroll down, your website use animations, images and text to engage the visitor by telling the story about your company.

Storytelling is generated from the idea of creating a single page website that provides all the information on same page with engaging user interface. You are likely to get more attention from visitors if you make it fun to scroll down rather than making a visitor to read long paragraphs.

Typography

typography

Typography is very important for web design and making the text visible to the audience. It is a perfect combination to adjust the spaces between groups of letters. In 2014, use of typography text elements for visitor retention will be important.

Emphasis on typography cannot be neglected because the content on your website is effective when you chose the right font and the style. Perfectly placed typographical elements allow you to describe your message more effectively.

Creating a Website Following the Trends

You can create a website using these trends Simplicity, Flat Design, Responsive Design, Storytelling and Typography altogether to make an impressive web design.

Techliance can help you build an impressive website for your business. Get a FREE quote today!

“Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Is Outsourcing a Bad Idea?

Outsourcing can be very beneficial for companies to reduce costs, access to expert workforce, and flexibility of workforce. There are obvious advantages of outsourcing and some disadvantages as well for few businesses.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing

  • When you outsource a project there is dependency on the outsourcer. You loss control of the ownership of the resource as compared to in-house resource.
  • You have to provide exceptionally detailed specs for the project detailing everything, validation rules whether simple or complex, list of all the technologies and the devices you want your application or website to work. It is a difficult task because if you miss anything and want to add later, outsourcing company will charge you more for extra features.
  • When you outsource services like payroll and tax preparation, outsourcing company has access to all the confidential data about your company.
  • There are sometimes conflicts due to lack of communications like renewal of contract, misunderstanding the contract terms and delayed in services.
  • You are bound to outsourcing company for future updates and if a job goes bad, it is almost impossible to get it fixed by different company.
  • In outsourcing, you are not able to deliver the message properly to the customers. Outsourcer sometimes interpret the message for effectiveness.
  • Sometimes outsourcer assign junior workers to make big profits from the contract. It decrease the quality of output.
  • When you focus too much on costs, reports and terms of the contract, outsourcer lose focus on the project goals and it may lead to failure of overall project.
  • There are often hidden costs that you often assume included in the contract. The cost of overall project is much higher when you consider little aspects of the contract.
  • There are times when outsourcer neglects you because they have received a payment or found a bigger project than yours.

is outsourcing a bad ideaAdvantages of Outsourcing

  • The main advantage of outsourcing is cost reduction because costs such as social security, health care and worker compensation are eliminated. It is the responsibility of the outsourcing company to take care of all the expenses of outsourced resource.
  • In addition, you get the experts of the industry to work for you. The cost of hiring an expert in-house resource is eliminated when you outsource.
  • You don’t have to worry about managing the resource directly. You can spend that time in your business to gain advantage. You will receive all the reports and updates that you can review weekly in your spare time.
  • When you outsource the work to a company, you will likely to get an added advantage because of high competition. Outsourcing company will try to provide the best resources that are experts and efficient. It will save you a lot of money in comparison to hiring a resource in-house.
  • There are different types of options in outsourcing like project based work or hiring a remote worker for your business. In project based work, you only pay for reaching pre-defined mile-stones. Hiring a dedicated resource will help you eliminate the miscellaneous costs like space utilization, utility expenses and compensations that are required by law.
  • Outsourcing Company will do their best to keep you satisfied with the work and performance. They provide priority support and updates to their clients to keep the business.
  • When you outsource, you don’t have to hire for long-term. Outsourcing is a perfect option when you have a project based work or one-time project that needs work for certain time. You can end the contract when your project is completed without any penalties.
  • There is more risk when an in-house employee leaves the job because you need to hire a new resource and follow the procedures from the start. In outsourcing, it is not your headache when a resource leaves the job because the outsourcing company will provide a replacement.
  • You can start new projects easily when you hire the right outsourcing company. It will save you cost and get the projects completed on time.
  • You can re-hire the services when needed because your outsourcing company knows about all the technologies used in your project.

Things to Remember when Outsourcing

Outsourcing can be a wise decision for your company to save the costs of hiring a resources in-house. All you need to decide is why you need to outsource? Keeping in mind the objective of outsourcing will help you reach your goals. It is best to have an understandable contract with outsourcing company to avoid conflicts. All the terms and conditions should be pre-defined to make sure that the outsourcing company delivers what was defined in contract.

Research before Hiring

You will hear a lot of bad stories about outsourcing went bad. For making the outsourcing successful you need to do a thorough research on your requirements and the outsourcer capabilities. You can ask for references from previous clients, testimonials and portfolios to determine the quality of outsourcer. Good outsourcing companies provide complete portfolios and client references on your request. In rare cases, you will find mixed opinions about the company. You need to communicate with the company to understand their capabilities for managing outsourced business.

Improve Communication

The main reason for bad outsourcing experience is communication. Remember, the outsourcing company will perform only the predefined tasks every week. You need to follow-up and check the progress in order to have a successful long-term commitment. It will help you and the outsourcer to better understand your business needs.

Understanding the Technology

Understand the terminology and working of technology before you assign it to outsourcer. When you dump all the responsibilities on the outsourcer for some work that you don’t understand, it leads to dissatisfaction because the road-map and objectives are not directly addressed.

Difference in Opinions

Remember, the word outsourcing has different meaning to everyone. If you are living in a community where people lost their jobs because of outsourcing, they will speak and exaggerate how worse it could be. Similarly, if you are living in an area where people are benefited from outsourcing, they will tell you number of positive points about outsourcing.

Outsource your Web and Mobile Application Development projects to Techliance and Get a FREE quote.

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Top 10 Must Have Android Apps for CEOs

The world of smartphones growing faster than ever. Every business owner use smartphones to stay updated about their business on the go. The basic use of smartphones for any business owner is to have a regular access to office documents and applications where they can utilize every minute of time. Here are some of the top Android Apps that every CEO must consider.

Cab4mecab4me-android

Are you running late for a meeting in another city? Cab4me helps you find a taxi fast without getting late for your meeting. Use the quick mode to select the cab company and order a cab. It also allow you to use traditional dial mode to directly call the cab company.

Scatterslides

scatterslides

This application allows you to run slides with your Android using the WiFi to large displays. Scatterslides works as a remote control for your slides to be controlled with your cell phone. You can buy this application at just $9.99.

Tally CEO Dashboard

Tally CEO

This application allows you access key data on your Android mobile device. You can connect and and configure data residing on different servers via Tally CEO. It will provide up to date insights about your business on the move.

Expensify

Expensify

If you are finding it difficult to manage your expenses, then Expensify can help you manage receipts, time or mileage, business travel and expense reports. It is named “The Best Business Travel App” by Business Insider.

Evernote

evernote

You probably know about Evernote because it is one of the famous applications for taking notes on the go. It is an award winning app designed to keep everything synchronized across your devices. There are two versions of the application available free and paid.

MindJet

Mindjet

MindJet allows you to transform your ideas and visualize them to a map. This app is useful during meetings, discussions and brainstorming sessions. You can create visual representation of your ideas and present them when needed. This application fulfils the concept of mind mapping for generating ideas.

Bump

bump

Bump allows you to share business contact details with other person by bumping the phones together. This app also works with iOS devices that help you reduce your wallet weight. It is your personal digital business card that can be shared with other users.

Documents to Go

Documents to Go

This application allows you to edit and access Microsoft Office files. It works with Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and you can view PDF files too. The free version allows you to view email document attachments and the price of the application is $30.

Locale

Locale

Locale is a free applications that do miracles. It can put your mobile phone on silent when you are in office. No more annoying ringtones during the meeting and it can raise the ringtone volume when you are at home. You can also turn on the power saver feature to turn off WiFi and Bluetooth to save battery life.

Airport (All)+Flight Track Pro

Airport (All)+Flight Track Pro

This application helps you find Food/Restaurants, Parking, Ground Transportation, terminal maps and directions for every airport. Very useful app when you are going to attend a seminar or a meeting and needs direction on the airport. It has 2400+ arrival and departure boards to check the flight schedules. At only $0.99 it also allow you to access Check-in, flight status, baggage, seats, for your flight all at your fingertips.

Can’t Find the App you Need?

Techliance can help you build a custom application for your app idea. Get in touch to convert your app idea into reality.

Latest Trends in Ecommerce for 2014

As 2013 ended with immense growth in ecommerce, digital age is now growing faster as old brands expanding their operations and taking over small markets worldwide. We have seen the trend of mobile commerce on the rise for 2013 and it is expected to remain same for 2014.

Big giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple spent billions of dollars in expanding their ecommerce activities. Amazon is now competing with Wal-Mart indirectly by becoming the digital giant.  Similarly, Google is focusing on increasing ecommerce transactions by expanding Google Wallet services.

Let us look at some of the rising trends for 2014:

Mobile Commerce

latest ecommerce trends in 2014Mobile commerce grows much faster than anticipated in 2013 and it is going to remain the same in 2014. As smartphones users are growing rapidly, there will be growth in mobile shopping worldwide. People are utilizing mobile devices to search for products. Google has reported that percentage of mobile searches are growing every year.

Many ecommerce stores launched mobile versions and mobile apps to facilitate the users. Google is now focusing more on improving their ads services for mobile devices. Facebook is soon going to launch mobile ads to increase their ad targeting.

The need for mobile optimized websites is ever increasing because most of the internet users are finding information through mobile devices. If you are running behind on Go-Mobile revolution, Techliance can help you create mobile friendly website or application.

Social Commerce

We have seen social game Candy Crush Saga getting famous on Facebook. Demand for social commerce has increased a lot. People prefer to use social channels to do transactions and activities. Websites are now providing options for the users to directly sign-up using their social media profiles. Social media has become one of the main channels for companies to increase their revenue. Facebook alone has more than 850 million users that is more than the population of most countries. Creative minds are taking advantage of this trend by implementing strategies to better utilize social media channels.

Personalization

Crowdsourced commerce is also increasing and companies inviting customers to be involved in production or launch of new services by voting, funding and feedback. Companies like Shapeways provide products on demand using 3D printers. Personalized products market is expected to grow in 2014.

Same Day Delivery &Localization

Amazon, eBay, JCPenny and many other companies are focusing on providing same day shipping. Now you don’t have to wait long for your orders to arrive. It is expected that the competition for same day delivery will increase in 2014.

People prefer to get products and services from local businesses because it tends to deliver fast. Big companies are focusing on providing the products from local retailers to fulfill the promise of same day delivery.

Simple Payment Processing

We have seen Bitcoin getting immense coverage in 2013 and Google making changes to Google Wallet to compete in payment processing. Customers are preferring online payment channels for transactions like PayPal, Skrill and Google Wallet. The trend for online payment processing is expected to rise and there will be an increase in number of users using online payment processors.

Competition and Discount Shops

There is a fierce competition in online shopping, people have different choices to shop online. In 2014, companies offering discounts and price cuts are expected to lead the competition as users become knowledgeable and have quick access to services that help them buy products with lowest price offering. In 2013, we have seen a huge increase in sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Advertising & Promotions

Bing reported significant growth in PPC ads in Q2 2013 that shows more people are utilizing online channels to promote their products and brands. In another report published by TechCrunch, digital ads remained at 22% of all U.S ad spent and Global Ad spent growth at 3.5%.

It shows that companies will be utilizing digital channels to promote their ads. You can see big giants like Amazon utilizing remarketing strategy to sale the products that you visited recently. Online advertising trends are likely to grow in 2014 because of tough competition.

Content Marketing

We have seen many companies launching blogs with their ecommerce stores. According to Forbes, perfectly executed strategy can deliver more sales. Companies are now making strategies for developing content and launching series of content ideas to increase their traffic. In 2014, companies who are deploying well-managed content strategies are going to stay ahead of the competition. If you don’t have a blog or planning to launch a blog, wait no longer because your competitors are already leveraging content marketing.

How to Stay Ahead in 2014?

If you are running an ecommerce store, then you need to adapt the latest trends for 2014 with Mobile E-Commerce on top of list. If you don’t have a mobile ready website, get in touch today or Get a FREE quote to get started.

“Image courtesy of duron123 & 1shots / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Pros and Cons of Developing an App in HTML5 and Native Platform

There is a huge demand for mobile application development services. Use of internet on smartphones is ever increasing. When it comes to developing a mobile app, there are two options. – HTML5 or Native Platform. Which platform is best suited for your app idea is a big question and debated heavily across development community.

When our client’s approach Techliance for their mobile app development projects, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. We help them understand which platform would be – best suited for their application and why.

In this article, you will find out some general advantages and disadvantaged of building an app in HTML5 or native platform.

Pros of HTML5

  • Budget Friendly: If you are restrained by the budget, then HTML5 is the best option. HTML5 is an affordable option to build a cross platform app (An app that works on multiple operating systems).
  • Quick Turnaround:  Generally it’s quicker to develop an app in HTML5 as it uses standard HTML and CSS technology which most of the developers are well familiar with. Also, use of pre-built components speed up development process.
  • Maintainability:  Due to single code base, HTML5 apps are more manageable. It’s easier to add a new feature or to modify an existing feature as you have to change it once and deploy it once. The changes are instant and cross platform.  You do have to work out some design related issues but HTML5 has device detection capabilities and it responds gracefully to changes in screen size and display density.

Cons of HTML5

  • Your application will be inaccessible to users without a browser and network coverage.  Though most of the users do have data plans but that still is an important factor to be considered when making a decision between HTML5 and Native app development. People cannot access the application if they are network dependent.
  •  HTML5 has its compatibility issues with different browsers.  The gap is bridging as more and more browsers are adopting HTML5 as a standard. However, there are certain features which are not cross browser compatible and the user experience suffers when those features are not supported by the browser on device.
  • Native code is faster than HTML5 and it is highly debated.  Facebook has dropped HTML5 in favor of native app development due to performance reasons. So if your app performance is important to you then native is the right way to go.

Pros of Native App

  • Control: Native app is a perfect option for those who want complete control of their application. From device hardware control to gestures to performance optimization, every aspect of the app is in developer’s complete control provided the SDK support the required functionality.
  • Accessibility: The app is always a tap away. You are not dependent on data coverage (provided the app is not connecting to internet for services) and there are no browser compatibility issues.
  • Personalized: The developer can make use of device storage/local DB to offer personalized user experience which is an important differentiator between average and good apps.
  • Faster: Native code is faster and reliable.  Native SDK’s offer app profiling and performance optimization options that makes all the difference in user experience. Games, Interactive and CPU intensive apps are a great fit for native app development. Maturity: Native platforms have matured over the years and offer rich set of development libraries that helps in building the most demanding and feature rich applications. While HTML5 is catching up, the gap is large enough that for the foreseeable timeframe Native platforms will continue to beat HTML5 in complex app scenarios.

Cons of Native App

  • Expensive: The biggest disadvantage is the cost of development which is significantly higher.  You have to build an app for each platform you want to support that becomes an expensive proposition.
  • Resource Availability: You need to find developers for Android and iOS separately because an Android developer may not be expert in iOS and iOS developer may not be expert in building Android apps. It will increase the cost of developing an application with cross platform functionality. Android and iOS developers are generally more expensive and difficult to find in comparison to HTML5 developers. Finding good developers requires some understanding of development platforms and available tools and technologies that the developers must be skilled in. Having them work efficient is yet another challenge that people often complain about.
  • Multiple code-bases: It is difficult to maintain a native app because it requires several code-bases, maintenance and deployment (one per platform).

So, which one is best for my App?

Techliance can help you decide which platform is the best for building your next mobile application. Techliance has expert Android, iOS and Windows Phone app developers on staff. Contact today to get started or Get a FREE Quote!

 

 

 

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