A new report suggests that during Cyber Monday, last week, tablets were being snapped up by consumers are a rate of one per second, a trend which analysts are predicting to be maintained well into Christmas. Find out how to ensure that your website is fully compatible with the latest tablet devices [More]
Today's free gift is five of our favourite web fonts used in EAOM projects in 2011 [More]
Menus are the glue that hold every site together. Without them, navigation around sites would be very cumbersome. .
As sites grow, in particular eCommerce sites, new ways of being able to get the consumer to their desired destination in the shortest amount of time / clicks has become more of a priority. Mega menus are becoming more widely used and have proven time and time again to be one of the most efficient ways, bar multi-facet searching, of navigating around the site. .
A mega menu essentially is a series of menu items that can be displayed in a neat and orderly fashion and that usually drill down to the third or fourth level of a hierarchy. In the past multi level fly out menus have been used but for sites with lots of sub levels, causing scrolling issues and making the menus look very cluttered and inconsistent. .
Mega menus let the designer create a consistent look to the layout and with more recent menus even allow the ability to target specific products within product regions or Content managed areas that can sit directly on the mega menu. .
Using a mega menu gives you the ability to group different categories together rather then having multiples levels for the consumer to navigate through. The best Mega menus are the simple ones. Ones that don’t require too much interaction and give the consumer a clear route from A-B. .
Mega menus also have an additional benefit in the form of accessibility. Because dynamic screen elements always have the potential to cause accessibility problems, it’s important to code them with screen readers and other assistive technology in mind. As the menu is structured in a better more concise format, it gives people who use screen readers the ability to read through the sub sections very easily and lets them navigate just as quickly.
however, as our head of search, John Trimble, always makes me aware of, mega menus could also have implications for SEO. Here’s what he has to say:
“Matt Cutts Google’s head of search engine development often tells many online marketers to forget SEO and build a great user experience, which ties closely to the principals of Mega Menu’s, although from an SEO perspective there are some key technical principals to remember when designing your mega menu.
Often many websites take Mega Menu’s one step to far with some containing several hundred links which is bad for both SEO and the user. Google’s spider or robot when visiting your website can only read in the region of 250 links on your home page and around 100 links on deeper pages, vastly exceeding these numbers mean you risk Google not being able to find all the pages on your website, reducing the overall visibility of your website in search engines.”
Although great for usability Mega Menu’s can also cause problems for usability if used incorrectly. As your website grows there is often a temptation to grow your mega menu with it, overly large mega menus can have reverse effect on usability by overloading the user with information reducing the main purpose of mega menu’s to create simple navigation methods on large websites.
At EAOM each department works closely together including our SEO and web design teams so that when we’re creating functionality such a mega menu’s we always maintain a balance between usability, design and SEO to maximise your website’s search engine presence and ability to convert.
If you’re thinking of adding a mega menu to your website or having SEO and usability problems due to a mega menu that’s got out of hand then why not contact our one of SEO or web design expert’s for chat about how we can improve your website.
From a designers point of view designing a brand with an interesting or slick name is a real pleasure. Abbreviated company names like JVC or HTC can provide endless typographic experiments, however, slick or quirky names like Sony or Billabong can offer the chance to create an interesting play on words and graphical marks.
The problem occurs for brands when the company name is cheap sounding for want of a better word, a 'cheap brand' that sounds as though it was dreamt up by someone’s grandmother doesn't grab anyone’s attention or imagination. A brand name doesn't necessarily need to relate to what the company has to offer, for example 'Johns pen shop'(apologies to John if he owns a pen shop) offers little inspiration in terms of a brand mark and sounds like an aforementioned cheap brand, 'the pen store' however sounds a little more upmarket, as though it could be the PC world of pens.This isn't always the case, Millies Cookies shows you can have a successful brand which is or was personal to the original founder, but the general consensus is that a company name that is unfamiliar or a little different generates more interest and credibility and also provides a designer with more inspiration.
I personally find brand names that use 'shop' 'store' et al are a little off putting, they scream 'small time business' to me, and even if that's what they are, they can still position themselves as a more upmarket brand by considering the company name. 'Card Factory' for example sounds rustic and mechanical, as if they're actually card making machine, the ideas and concepts it makes me think of from a branding perspective are plentiful.I suppose a lot of it boils down to how you want your company and or brand to be perceived, you may wish to appeal to the bargain basement market and don't feel the need for a clever quirky title, but I think if credibility and a more professional approach is what you want to achieve, considering the name of the company and the impact it will have within different media and people’s perception are vitally important.
Project management is critical to the success of most projects. Many web development projects that I have worked on generally have been run well from a management point of view but tended not to use the agile scrum technique which limited the overall scope of the project and tended to fall away from the concept of a ‘shared vision’.
However, it could be argued that without management, project teams may pursue the wrong project, may not include the right mix of personalities or skills, or may not deliver as much value as possible, which could lead to an extended timeframe and potential increase in costs and the client left unsatisfied.
For a team to succeed with agile development it is essential that a shared vision be established. The vision must be shared not just among developers on the development team but also with others within the company including account managers and designers. If the shared vision isn’t communicated or is imprecise or changing, the project can always fall back on its detailed (proposal/analysis meeting) lists of tasks and procedures. This is not the case on an agile project and agile project participants use the shared vision to guide their day-to-day work much more actively.
Product Owner: The Product Owner establishes nurtures and communicates the product vision. The Product Owner achieves initial and on-going funding for the project by creating initial release plans and the initial Product Backlog. The project owner would be involved throughout the project from initial analysis meetings to project sign-off.
Manage the ROI:
Product Owner: The Product Owner monitors the project against its ROI goals and an investment vision. The Product Backlog is updated and prioritized to ensure that the most valuable functionality is produced first and built upon. The Product Owner prioritizes and refines the Product Backlog and measures success against expenses. Priorities are set to fit in with people workloads; each project has a priority set against it which has to be managed within the team.
Manage the development:
The Team: During the development process the team selects and develops the highest-priority features from the project breakdown. Collectively, the team expands Product breakdown items into more explicit tasks on a Sprint Backlog and then manages its own work and self-organizes around how it desires to complete the tasks. The team manages itself to its commitments.
Manage the process:
The Scrum Master: The Scrum Master is responsible for setting the team up for success by ensuring the project and organizational culture are optimized for meeting the ROI goals of the project. This involves organizing a Sprint Planning Meeting (SCRUM), a Sprint Review Meeting enables the team to get away from outside disturbances, holding brief Daily Scrum meetings, and removing obstacles to progress.
Project sign-off / Completion:
Product Owner: The Product Owner makes decisions about when to create an official go-live date alongside its priority. The Product Owner makes these decisions in a manner consistent with the investment vision that has been established for the project. Each project will have a certain window for it to be released i.e. before peak season, and could face seasonality.
The series will discuss what web site security is and the technologies involved, the user experience and what and end user would (or should) be looking for to give them piece of mind that a web site is secure and finally some of the specific things that need to be considered (including potential pitfalls) when running a secure web site. [More]
Most of the time, the work that you see us doing is the end product of many versions and iterations of designs. Mostly we find this is the case in terms of branding concepts, and when we are looking at developing the initial flats for our web design work. Therefore we thought that rather than the hours and effort, and in most cases designs that we felt passionately about, going to waste, we would create a regular slot on our blog to showcase some of the designs that didn’t make the final cuts. [More]
When we are looking through websites we often find that a common area of criticism focuses on the imagery used throughout a site. In many respects it is product images and the related banners that bring a website to lif [More]
EAOM have this week launched two new eCommerce websites for Silver By Mail and Greenfield Software, trading as The Printer Store. [More]
In what has been a positive month for EAOM, we are happy to announce the addition of two new clients to the roster. Silver By Mail have commissioned EAOM to develop their PPC on the back of their new website, whilst Powerline Supplies have commissioned EAOM to design a new eCommerce website. [More]