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  1. The Art Of Good Design: Insight From Kalahari.com’s UX Specialist Posted in Heavy Chef News, Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Wendy Tayler April 13, 2012 13 comments

    When it comes to User Experience and Design, kalahari.com is a sound example of a brand doing this successfully. We spoke to Rian van der Merwe, Head of User Experience at kalahari.com. We got some great perspective on some of the challenges faced in large organisations, design versus usability, and we hear about his next chapter that is soon approaching. Read Further

  2. Writing for Engagement and Interaction Online Posted in Community Management, Social Media, Twitter, Videos, Website Usability, Concocted by Mike Perk December 1, 2010 1 comment

    “Research shows us that, on your web, you have 15 seconds to give your reader the info they are looking for. That’s about 30 words. And then, they’re off. Gone”.

    Tiffany Markman explains how engagement is totally different to print and what you need to do to write in order to build a community, rather than just an audience.

    Read Further

  3. 5 reasons to Integrate Twitter into your website Posted in Social Media, Twitter, Website Usability, Concocted by Sachin Ranchod November 24, 2010 413 comments
    5 reasons to Integrate Twitter into your website
    As a standalone entity, Twitter is a powerful tool which allows companies to listen to what people are saying about them and actively engage with their community.  However, the advantages of using Twitter shouldn’t stop when you leave the Twitter website. By breaking out of the isolation of the Twitter website and extending your Twitter presence to an existing website or blog, you can begin to see some of the lesser acknowledged advantages of an active social media profile.The real benefits of integrating Twitter onto your website don’t come from just having a link to your Twitter profile on your website.  The link does show people that you do have a social media presence but unless they click on a link, it doesn’t show them what you are really about.  Below are some of the reasons you should make your latest tweets visible on your website:1)  It shows that you are realSeeing an active Twitter stream will help give visitors to your website the comfort that there are real people behind your website.  Proving your legitimacy is often a make-or-break problem for online businesses.  If a visitor is not 100% sure that they can pick up the phone and talk to a real person, then it is unlikely that they will convert from a visitor to a customer.There are many ways in which you can try communicate to the user that there are real people behind a website – you can make the phone numbers clearly visible on the home page, you can use live chat features and you can write an extensive ‘Meet the team’ section.  A live Twitter stream with real conversations between real people, is just another tool to help you immediately signal to the visitor that the website and company are real.2)  It will help keep your website updatedIt is often very difficult for businesses to keep their website constantly updated with new content.  Nowadays, a lot of websites incorporate blog functionality to allow companies to make sure that there is always something new on the home page.  However, writing blog posts and news articles can be time consuming and tedious.  Keeping new content flowing on a website is important as it shows a visitor to your site that you are still active and more importantly, that you are up-to-date with the latest industry news.Twitter updates provide you with the ability to quickly and easily publish content to your website on a regular basis.  However, it is important to note that tweets are not a substitute for blogging – 140 characters is not enough space to adequately discuss a topic and provide in-depth analysis (proving your expertise).3)  You’ll get good quality followersShowing your latest tweets on your website makes it easy for visitors to evaluate the quality of your tweets and decide whether they would like to follow you or not. It is often the case that the people who follow you via your website will be your most engaging followers because they have an interest in your business or industry.  These followers are therefore more likely to read your tweets, engage with you and syndicate your content for you.  Followers who are interested in what you have to say will prove to be much more useful to you and your community than those who follow you because of things like ‘follow our CEO to win’ competitions.4)  People can see that you are knowledgeableIf you tweet about your opinions on the latest industry happening or you tweet back to your followers with advice relating to your business then visitors to your website will begin to see that you are knowledgeable about topics surrounding your business and industry.5)  Visitors will see that you engage with your communityFinally, people visiting your website will see that you have a community or that you are trying to build a community around your brand.  They will be able to see that you take care of them by answering their questions, listening to their complaints and thanking them for their compliments.  Companies often assume that their Twitter profile is only there to accommodate people who are already on Twitter but the truth is that the tweets on your website can bring new users to Twitter itself.  As the Twitter network grows, your community will grow with it.A professional Twitter profile can be used as a powerful tool when it is integrated into your website – your tweets accentuate the existing content on your website and it will show visitors that you are knowledgeable, community-focused and real.
    As a standalone entity, Twitter is a powerful tool which allows companies to listen to what people are saying about them and actively engage with their community.  However, the advantages of using Twitter shouldn’t stop when you leave the Twitter website. By breaking out of the isolation of the Twitter website and extending your Twitter presence to an existing website or blog, you can begin to see some of the lesser acknowledged advantages of an active social media profile.
    The real benefits of integrating Twitter onto your website don’t come from just having a link to your Twitter profile on your website.  The link does show people that you do have a social media presence but unless they click on a link, it doesn’t show them what you are really about.  Below are some of the reasons you should make your latest tweets visible on your website:
    1)  It shows that you are real
    Seeing an active Twitter stream will help give visitors to your website the comfort that there are real people behind your website.  Proving your legitimacy is often a make-or-break problem for online businesses.  If a visitor is not 100% sure that they can pick up the phone and talk to a real person, then it is unlikely that they will convert from a visitor to a customer.
    There are many ways in which you can try communicate to the user that there are real people behind a website – you can make the phone numbers clearly visible on the home page, you can use live chat features and you can write an extensive ‘Meet the team’ section.  A live Twitter stream with real conversations between real people, is just another tool to help you immediately signal to the visitor that the website and company are real.
    2)  It will help keep your website updated
    It is often very difficult for businesses to keep their website constantly updated with new content.  Nowadays, a lot of websites incorporate blog functionality to allow companies to make sure that there is always something new on the home page.  However, writing blog posts and news articles can be time consuming and tedious.  Keeping new content flowing on a website is important as it shows a visitor to your site that you are still active and more importantly, that you are up-to-date with the latest industry news.
    Twitter updates provide you with the ability to quickly and easily publish content to your website on a regular basis.  However, it is important to note that tweets are not a substitute for blogging – 140 characters is not enough space to adequately discuss a topic and provide in-depth analysis (proving your expertise).
    3)  You’ll get good quality followers
    Showing your latest tweets on your website makes it easy for visitors to evaluate the quality of your tweets and decide whether they would like to follow you or not. It is often the case that the people who follow you via your website will be your most engaging followers because they have an interest in your business or industry.  These followers are therefore more likely to read your tweets, engage with you and syndicate your content for you.  Followers who are interested in what you have to say will prove to be much more useful to you and your community than those who follow you because of things like ‘follow our CEO to win’ competitions.
    4)  People can see that you are knowledgeable
    If you tweet about your opinions on the latest industry happening or you tweet back to your followers with advice relating to your business then visitors to your website will begin to see that you are knowledgeable about topics surrounding your business and industry.
    5)  Visitors will see that you engage with your community
    Finally, people visiting your website will see that you have a community or that you are trying to build a community around your brand.  They will be able to see that you take care of them by answering their questions, listening to their complaints and thanking them for their compliments.  Companies often assume that their Twitter profile is only there to accommodate people who are already on Twitter but the truth is that the tweets on your website can bring new users to Twitter itself.  As the Twitter network grows, your community will grow with it.
    A professional Twitter profile can be used as a powerful tool when it is integrated into your website – your tweets accentuate the existing content on your website and it will show visitors that you are knowledgeable, community-focused and real.

    As a standalone entity, Twitter is a powerful tool which allows companies to listen to what people are saying about them and actively engage with their community.  However, the advantages of using Twitter shouldn’t stop when you leave the Twitter website. By breaking out of the isolation of the Twitter website and extending your Twitter presence to an existing website or blog, you can begin to see some of the lesser acknowledged advantages of an active social media profile. Read Further

  4. Does a good user experience help to attract more people to become part of your community? Posted in Community Management, Social Media, Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Sachin Ranchod October 13, 2010 7 comments
    • User Experience (UX) describes the subjective feelings a person has when using a system (in this case, a website).
    • UX Design aims to influence the user’s emotions, perceptions and behaviour by designing a system where the user interface (including images, wording and components), workflow, information architecture, help, performance, marketing, accessibility and the general ease-of-use are all designed with the user in mind. Read Further
  5. A recipe for digital security: cooking up a website security certificate Posted in Digital Strategy, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed March 23, 2010 2 comments

    Preparation / Context: At school I was in the same year as Mark Shuttleworth. To paint a picture here, let me review our joint achievements. Mark led the school as head prefect; I led the detention list as head trouble-maker. While he was smoking Maths on the Eisteddfod leaderboard; I was smoking cigarettes behind the cricket scoreboard. Starting to see a pattern?

    Read Further

  6. For great usability, think like a retailer Posted in Digital Strategy, Videos, Website Usability, Concocted by Mike Perk October 6, 2009

    At UCT Graduate School of business’s Nomadic Marketing course , I explain why it is so important to focus on usability. Money is wasted because we don’t think enough about the visitors to our website. Read Further

  7. New website design for World Wide Creative Posted in Digital Strategy, Heavy Chef News, Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed September 8, 2009

    The Heavy Chef Project, as many of you know, is an initiative by our parent company, World Wide Creative. This forum is an extension of all the stuff we learn working with our clients in Europe and Africa on digital marketing campaigns. So, we’re pretty excited about our new presence that began with the redesign of the Heavy Chef site a few weeks ago, and now continued with the launch of a fresh new look for the WWC site.

    There were three reasons for the design:

    Read Further

  8. Weather.com’s mobi site shows potential in mobile web Posted in Mobile Marketing, Website Usability, Concocted by LouisJvR August 17, 2009

    Always a hot topic: ‘Mobi-sites’

    We know just about every person in this world owns a handset. We know the majority of mobile devices can access the web. But the question still comes up over-and-over again, how many people actually use their handsets to access the web?

    Read Further

  9. The first Heavy Chef Course ends today Posted in Heavy Chef News, Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed August 14, 2009 1 comment

    Phew, what a week!

    After months of planning leading to the last three days of exhilarating learning, we’re pretty pleased with the results. After stellar feedback on the various modules, we’re looking at a winner here.

    Read Further

  10. The first Heavy Chef “Creating Profitable Websites” Course starts Posted in Heavy Chef News, Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed August 12, 2009 2 comments

    Today is a big day for The Heavy Chef Project in that it marks the first day of the first ever digital marketing course run by the Heavy Chef’s in our digital kitchen. With a small gathering of 10 delegates, we began bright and breezy this morning with an ice-breaker. This entailed Mike giving the course attendants some ingredients (ingredients, heavy chef course… geddit?) that they needed to taste blind-folded and identify.

    Read Further

  11. Say It From The Grave Posted in Website Usability, Concocted by Yolandi Janse van Rensburg August 5, 2009 1 comment

    Got a dying wish or message you would like to send to friends or family? Got something to say and scared you won’t get the chance? Well, now you can send an email from the grave. In London, people who feel the need to chat to their loved ones from the grave can now do so. Read Further

  12. Fresh new design for The Heavy Chef Project website Posted in Heavy Chef News, Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed July 27, 2009 4 comments

    As most of you know, The Heavy Chef Project has revolved around the monthly sessions we hold. These sessions have gradually picked up steam, with the amount of people registering for our newsletter increasing week on week. All this interest has called for a rethink of our web design, with our creative team working overtime on creating this fresh new look that you see before you. Read Further

  13. The Heavy Chef “Creating Profitable Websites” Course running in August Posted in Heavy Chef News, Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed July 14, 2009
    heavy chef

    heavy chef

    The World Wide Creative studio is buzzing with a trifecta of announcements. The first, and most significant, being the inaugural Heavy Chef “Creating Profitable Websites” Course running from the 12 – 14 August in Cape Town. We are also finalising a Johannesburg Course, which will be announced in an upcoming Heavy Chef newsletter. Read Further

  14. Where are we going to? The Internet Past and Present Posted in Website Usability, Concocted by Yolandi Janse van Rensburg June 3, 2009 16 comments

    Googlopoly

    We all know the expression “you cannot know where you are going if you don’t know where you are coming from”. To foresee the future of the internet it is important (and interesting) to look at its history. Here are some highlights of the major occurrences over history that has shaped the Internet of today. Read Further

  15. World Wide Creative completes the new DA website Posted in Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed February 20, 2009

    World Wide Creative pressed the ‘live’ button for the new DA web presence yesterday. The site was unveiled by Helen Zille and her team in Cape Town at 12 noon on Thursday 19th February.

    The site marks a significant shift in South African politics, with the DA’s digital strategy hammering a technological stake in the ground that positions them at the forefront of the modern communication environment. Read Further

  16. Another reason to switch to Chrome Posted in Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed December 16, 2008 2 comments

    ie problems

    This just in:

    Serious security flaw found in IE:

    Internet Explorer is used by the vast majority of the world’s computer users

    Users of the world’s most common web browser have been advised to switch to a rival until a serious security flaw has been fixed.

    The flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer could allow criminals to take control of people’s computers and steal their passwords, internet experts say. Read Further

  17. Search the ‘Deep Web’ for your web skeletons Posted in Digital Strategy, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed December 8, 2008 2 comments

    Nic, our usability person, sent me this link: Pipl.com.

    Scary what’s out there on your profile, and fascinating to see all the pics that you thought would never get out there. Oop.  Read Further

  18. Is the internet too open? Posted in Branding Online, Digital Strategy, Social Media, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed November 21, 2008 1 comment

    suicide

    I saw this: ‘19 yr old commits suicide on live TV‘, this morning, and thought ‘Aye Caramba, now it’s gone too far!!’

    I know this isn’t the first shocking thing we’ve seen on the net, but it still freaked me out. I don’t know, maybe I’m getting old, but I’m thinking that George Orwell got his date wrong by 2 decadesRead Further

  19. User centred design must not replace creativity… Posted in Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed September 19, 2008 2 comments

    …it should enhance it.

    There’s been a lot said about ‘user centred design‘ in web marketing circles recently. We talk about things like ‘conversion strategy‘ and ‘navigation strategy‘, phrases which have now become big buzzwords in marketing meetings. There’s no denying that these things are really, really important, but what if they come at a price? What if the the function of a site replaces creativity – instead of laying a platform for it? Read Further

  20. Should we support IE 6? Posted in Website Usability, Concocted by Mike Perk September 12, 2008 1 comment

    With the eminent arrival of IE 8 and the coming of Google Chrome we’ve noticed a huge rise in conversations by web development companies, as to whether or not they should drop IE 6 as a compatible browser on new builds.

    Lets face it, there isn’t a web developer out there who doesn’t swear and curse at Bill Gates and his Microsoft team at least during the browser testing phase of a new website build.

    In-house we’ve been discussing the dilemma of “should we” or “shouldn’t we” continue to support site compatibility of IE6. Read Further

  21. Africa’s biggest Internet provider delivers… a crap website Posted in Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed August 5, 2008 3 comments

    You’d think?? Telkom, South Africa’s biggest internet provider, 800lb gorilla of the African Internet, should really be able to deliver a smokin’ redesign.

    Er, nope…

    The result is actually an apocalyptic vision of mediocrity. Read Further

  22. New.Facebook.com Posted in Social Media, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed July 23, 2008 1 comment

    facebook new

    Not sure about this. The changes to Facebook’s layout seem too small to drastically up my usability, and too big not to be annoying. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s taking some getting used to. Read Further

  23. Over 8 million downloads for Firefox Posted in Digital Strategy, Website Design, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed July 3, 2008

    I got this in my inbox today:

    —————

    We set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in 24 hours. With your help we reached 8,002,530 downloads.

    You are now part of a World Record and the proud owner of the best version of Firefox yet! Read Further

  24. Flash becomes searchable – Google announcement Posted in Digital Strategy, Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed July 1, 2008 2 comments

    Google posted this last night:

    Google has been developing a new algorithm for indexing textual content in Flash files of all kinds, from Flash menus, buttons and banners, to self-contained Flash websites. Recently, we’ve improved the performance of this Flash indexing algorithm by integrating Adobe’s Flash Player technology. Read Further

  25. Get your Firefox… Posted in Website Usability, Concocted by Fred Roed June 15, 2008

    ffday

    here.

    Firefox download day is 17th June. That’s Tuesday, in case you’re wondering. Read Further