Is JavaScript here to stay?

I don’t think there are many people in the online world who would argue that JavaScript is not an important language.

With the demise of Flash and Silverlight in the browser, and the hype still surrounding HTML5, let alone Node, JavaScript has undoubtedly amassed popularity.

JavaScript: The Basics

JavaScript (not to be confused with Java) is a scripting language that is used to add dynamic and interactive content to a web page.

In the not so distant past, JavaScript was only really used on the front end. It ran in your browser and allowed developers to create interactive elements on websites. Due to its ubiquity and ease to learn, it was often viewed as a substandard tool for professionals. This all changed, however, with the introduction of AJAX.

What is AJAX?

AJAX facilitated the use of JavaScript in a completely different way, enabling the web to be far more interactive than ever before. JavaScript could be used in conjunction with data, and made it possible to do an array of cool things- such as loading new material onto a website without having to refresh the page.

Think about how Google autocompletes a search, or how Twitter and Facebook can load new tweets/updates seamlessly onto your feed – that is AJAX!

JavaScript’s Rise to Prominence

Whilst websites became more intricate, and JQuery’s arrival made building customised user interfaces a lot simpler, JavaScript apps were still lacking in their ability to organise and manipulate data. The last few years have seen the JavaScript language taken to a whole new level once again.

Libraries vs. Frameworks: Building in JavaScript

Libraries such as Handlebars.js and Mustache.js have made it possible to create amazing JavaScript templates, and frameworks like Backbone.js, Angular.js and Ember.js have made truly complex front end applications a reality.

This, coupled with JSON taking over as one of the most popular ways to transfer data, and the Node.js release enabling the build of servers in JavaScript, make it safe to say JavaScript has become a dominant force. That is without even touching on its uses for the mobile web.

How JavaScript impacts the IT industry

The world’s biggest online jobs listing aggregator, Indeed, has a useful tool that explores thousands of job postings, tracking trends in all job keywords. We can see that the tech industry is one of the most talked about globally, with the top 10 fastest growing keywords all being tech related, but let’s focus on JavaScript:

  • JavaScript is present in 1% of all jobs, in all industries posted on Indeed

  • Over the last year, jobs advertising for expertise in Angular.js have grown by 9,000%

  • Over the last 3 years, jobs advertising for expertise in Node.js have grown by  80,000%

  • Jobs advertising  for expertise in Native JavaScript start from £30,000 and go up to £80,000

  • At present, there are currently 55,000+ jobs advertising for JavaScript knowledge

In simple terms, JavaScript is what’s HOT!

Hopefully this has helped you to understand what JavaScript is, and how you might be able to use it in your own development work.


Got your own question? Ask our doctors using our online form here.

This post was last updated on July 24, 2014.

Article source: http://techcitynews.com/2014/07/24/is-javascript-here-to-stay/

Odobo launches first HTML5 slot

Odobo’s in-house game development studio, WGR, has offered its first complete internal production slot game, The Oddventurers, to operators via its marketplace.

The Oddventurers: Quest for the Bird of Pay is the first of many HTML5 slot games being developed by Odobo’s dedicated game studio. It’s based around a safari adventure and incorporates quirky characters with a humorous storyline.

Ashley Lang, founder and CEO of Odobo, said: ”The Oddventurers showcases the exceptional talent within our studio.

“It is an achievement and offers the WGR team the opportunity to highlight its creativity and production skills while creating a business case for further research and development.

“The knowledge garnered from this project has led to the creation of new tools and capabilities that will benefit all our approved developers and those joining our developer program.”

The 5×3 slot features 25 paylines, wilds, free spins and four interactive bonus games. A special multiplier wild is available on the central reel and can double line payouts while multiple bonus games offer variety at different win levels.

Mark McGinley, studio manager at WGR, said: “Our first in-house production slot game has been designed to combine the most effective features of social, casual and triple-A gaming with the best practices essential for real-money gaming. We’re thrilled with the result.”

Article source: http://www.intergameonline.com/i-gaming/news/11911/odobo-launches-first-html5-slot

Modmacro Celebrates 4 Years of Web Design and Marketing

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July 23, 2014 —

Modmacro Celebrates 4 Years of Web Design and Marketing

Menifee, CA (PRWEB) July 23, 2014

Modmacro, the Southern California based web design and marketing firm, is celebrating the completion of their fourth year in business. Over the past year, the company has grown both in size and service offerings. Originally a web design and programming company, Modmacro now provides complete marketing services to select small businesses.

The company greatly expanded their design and branding capabilities earlier in 2014 by absorbing J. Gregory Studios, an award-winning agency. Modmacro also recruited additional writing talent this year as content creation and content marketing continues to be a major component of the strategy to promote many small businesses. Developing strong, original content takes time and talent. This year the company has been instrumental in launching a book project for AV Programming Associates as well as hundreds of magazine articles, blog posts and landing pages for various clients.

As we begin our fifth year its been fun reminiscing about the web and marketing projects weve completed and the organizations with whom weve partnered, said Matt Smith, CEO of Modmacro. Since our founding in 2010, we continue to improve our services and add value to small businesses. One of the exciting additions this year is our expanded PR offerings. Dipping into the public relations world is a natural addition to creating well-rounded internet marketing and SEO solutions. For each client we strive to create marketing campaigns that are connected as we craft branding elements that operate consistently across various media formats.

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It was important to gather the team for a celebration, simple though it was. Spending time with the team and enjoying a great meal is time well spent. As the company continues to grow we remain focused on developing better and better strategies to grow the brands who choose to partner with us. We appreciate the trust that clients place in us to make sure they look good and get found by the right people.

About Modmacro, Inc.

Focused on growing small businesses, Modmacro advocates the continuous improvement of a companys web presence as their central marketing component. While social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising and other internet marketing tactics are often critical elements of the overall strategy, its Modmacros belief that a companys website and the direct search rankings thereof are the most direct path to growth, targeted exposure and building an authentic brand. Now in their fifth year, Modmacro has the talent to deliver complete marketing solutions, including web design, branding design and identity services, traditional advertising, and more. Learn more about Modmacro Web Design and Marketing.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/modmacro-4-years/web-design-marketing/prweb12042368.htm.


Article source: http://www.itbusinessnet.com/article/Modmacro-Celebrates-4-Years-of-Web-Design-and-Marketing-3402227

Accusoft adds mobile device support to HTML5 document viewer

Prizm Content Connect v9 delivers fast, secure display of virtually any document type on any device

CIOL Bureau

TAMPA, USA: Accusoft announces the release of Prizm Content Connect v9.0, the latest version of its HTML5 document viewer. The enhanced version features a streamlined interface, responsive mobile viewing and quicker performance.

Robust, scalable and highly customizable, Prizm Content Connect is an application for securely viewing and sharing virtually every document or image file type on almost any end-user device, including desktop and mobile, without the need to download or install external players, plugins or apps.

The “out of the box” product features web-based annotation, redaction and search tools for convenient collaboration on almost any document or image file, and protects all shared files through custom user permissions and SSL encryption.

Chief among the enhancements in version 9 is the option to scroll through the pages of a document. Scrolling enables users to navigate through a document more quickly and smoothly than traditional paging.

Scrolling contributes to an optimized mobile experience, as does the viewer’s new support for responsive web pages that adapt to fit mobile screen sizes. By enabling secure, fast viewing and collaboration on mobile devices, Prizm Content Connect v9 provides an affordable solution to the BYOD (bring your own device) challenge.

On the server side, Prizm Content Connect v9 features even quicker document loading and paging than in version 8, plus a new load balancer accessible through a representational state transfer (REST) entry point for easy integration with custom applications.

Acknowledged as the fastest, most feature-rich HTML5 viewer available, Prizm Content Connect is at work at Yahoo! and other tech-savvy companies as a viewing component for document preview, eDiscovery, records management and other applications.

Article source: http://www.ciol.com/ciol/news/218181/accusoft-adds-mobile-device-support-html5-document-viewer

WordPress SEO Transition Completed, Announces Jason McDonald Consulting

New website further allows Jason McDonald to increase his Web presence in San Francisco. Consulting firm offers SEO, Social Media Marketing, and AdWords services for small businesses.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014

Jason McDonald (http://www.jasonmcdonald.org), a top SEO expert, is proud to announce the successful transition of his SEO, Social Media, and AdWords consulting website to the WordPress platform. The new website will further facilitate his growth as one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s top consultants and experts in search engine optimization, AdWords, and Social Media Marketing.

“WordPress is the preferred platform for small business websites these days,” explained Dr. McDonald. “I recommend to all my clients that they use WordPress and install the Yoast plug-in. With some keyword knowledge, good content, and link building, they are on their road to SEO success.”

WordPress SEO

To view the new site focusing on SEO consulting in San Francisco, please visit http://www.jasonmcdonald.org/ – there one will find information on SEO consulting, social media, and AdWords.

Consulting Services in San Francisco

Many San Francisco businesses from restaurants to bars to chiropractors to dentists to lawyers rely on inbound marketing from sites such as Bing, Google, Yelp or Google+ Local. Customers, especially in a tech-savvy city like San Francisco, often turn first to a Google or Yelp search to find the ‘best’ chiropractor or the ‘best’ Chinese restaurant in the Castro district. Businesses need services to optimize their websites so that customers can easily find them.

One of the best platforms for both SEO and social media is WordPress. The platform allows for easy customization, and makes it easy for non-techies to blog, and create content. With some training in content marketing, even a novice marketer or business owner can effectively optimize their on page issues. Then with some link building and social media marketing, the company can move to the next level: off page optimization.

About Jason McDonald – San Francisco SEO Consultant

Dr. Jason McDonald is a recognized SEO and Social Media expert consultant in based in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1992, and has worked at many hi-tech start up’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, Dr. McDonald is Senior Editor at eg3.com, a web portal and email service covering hi-tech embedded systems on the Internet, founded in 1994. Recently, Dr. McDonald has begun teaching marketing, market research and Internet marketing at Bay Area institutions such as AcademyX and DeVry University.

Dr. McDonald can be found on the Internet at http://www.jasonmcdonald.org, a website focused on search engine marketing, SEO, and other Internet marketing issues with in-depth free information on SEO, Page Tags, Google Analytics, Metrics, Link building, Free SEO Tools and more. He can also be contacted by telephone at +1-415-655-1071 or email, jasonmcdonald(dot)blog(at)gmail(dot)com.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/wordpress/seo/prweb12042247.htm

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Article source: http://www.motoemag.com/2014/07/24/wordpress-seo-transition-completed-announces-jason-mcdonald-consulting/

WordPress Plugin Development Services From PHPDevelopmentServices


WordPress Plugin Development Services From PHPDevelopmentServices

Details

WhaTech Channel: Web Design Press Release

Published: Thursday, 24 July 2014 15:27

Submitted by Vikash Sharma WhaTech Pro

News from:
PHPDevelopmentServices

Read: 4 times

Avail custom WordPress Plugin Development Services from PHPDevelopmentServices as this reputed name specializes in plugin development and provides amazing benefits to your WordPress website from various perspectives. The list comprises, extend the functionality, boost the traffic, increased visibility and make the site SEO-friendly to attain a better position.

Delaware (USA) – WordPress Plugins act as a great tool to add some additional features functionality to the website, so that your business grows to a top position. Plugins customize, modify and enhance the overall performance of the website. This important feature of plugins makes them highly important for all WordPress websites. Due to this reason, WordPress Plugin Development Services are in top demand. If you want to avail these services without any complexity and in a cost-effective manner, then PHPDevelopmentServices to go for. This is a name that acts as a symbol of trust and offers you custom plugin development services based on WordPress according to your business needs requirements.

PHPDevelopmentServices delivers the best in class WordPress Plugin Development Services for a better position and the reputation of your business. The company has offered these services to the clients of different geographic locations across the world. There is a team of highly reputed WordPress developers, who analyze the client’s requirements and implement them with their coding skills. We create special plugins and ensure that you can make any changes to the website without any interruption in the code. The company always emphasizes on quality and customer satisfaction.

Why clients prefer us the most?

As a renowned WordPress Plugin Development Services provider, our clients prefer us the most for a variety of reasons. Some important ones are as follows:-

  • Adoption of the latest standards.
  • Complete fulfillment of the requirements.
  • Delivers the project in active mode within the scheduled date and time.
  • Proper technical support services are provided for convenience of the customers.
  • Prices are highly reasonable.

Services we offer

The services that we render to our valued customers in affordable pricing options are listed below:-

  • WordPress Web Development
  • WordPress Plugin Development Services
  • WordPress Support and Maintenance
  • Themes Development
  • WordPress Migration
  • WordPress Blog Development
  • WordPress Installation Services

WordPress Plugin Development Services are beneficial for your website in all the major aspects as they guarantee the enhancement of features, functionality, traffic and visibility. For better plugin development services with top-notch quality, opt for PHPDevelopmentServices and remain above all.

For more detail, visit at: http://www.phpdevelopmentservices.com/wordpress-web-development.php

News From

PHPDevelopmentServices PHPDevelopmentServices
Category: Web Design Development

Article source: http://www.whatech.com/web-design/press-release/25094-wordpress-plugin-development-services-from-phpdevelopmentservices

ThewpExperts launches service to hire dedicated WordPress plugin developers


ThewpExperts launches service to hire dedicated WordPress plugin developers

Details

WhaTech Channel: Content Management System Press Release

Published: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 19:24

Submitted by WordPressplugin Developer WhaTech Pro Trial

News from:
Thewpexperts- wordpress plugin developer

Read: 35 times

ThewpExperts have been in the field of plugin development for many years. The focus of the company is to develop highly secure and functional WordPress plugins. Their team has efficient and dedicated WordPress plugin developers.

One of the strongest points that has made WordPress development so popular are indeed its plugins. These little code snippets have the capability of transforming the functionality of a website. By using WordPress plugins, it is quite easy to get an edge over other websites, as you can offer some new functionality to the users. The wp experts have been able to create a niche in the industry and have marked its presence as a reliable WordPress plugin development company.

The organization is fortunate to have a very strong and skilled team of professionals. Each WordPress Plugin Developer at the company is very passionate and enthusiastic about creating plugins. The aim of the entire staff is to work in strict accordance with the requirements of the clients. As a result the company has come out in flying colors when client satisfaction is considered. The field of plugin development is growing and evolving at a very past pace. Each day comes with a dozen more WordPress plugins added to the list. The company has been able to stand firm in this heavy competition and have developed numerous efficient WordPress plugins.

This has been only possible with the help of the superior development skills that each WordPress plugin developer possesses at this organization. Highly secured and completely customized plugins are developed by thewpexperts. The experts are very sensitive to the requirements of the clients and work in the exact manner. They are famous for their extensive testing which is carried out to ensure that the plugins developed are completely error and bug free. They pay very strict attention to identify and eliminate all the loop holes of the plugins that could pose a threat to the security of the website in any manner. Therefore the quality of the plugin developed by the wp experts is miles ahead most of the other companies present in the market. A dedicated WordPress plugin developer can also be hired from Thewpexperts. Hiring developer would not break the bank as the rates charged by the company is very reasonable. Quality services and competitive prices are the two main things that attract clients towards this organization. The company makes plugin development easier, like a cakewalk for the clients. Thewpexperts Thewpexperts is a leading company that offers services of custom plugin development and plugin integration. Clients are highly satisfied with the plugins developed and openly praise the company for its outstanding services.

News From

Thewpexperts- wordpress plugin developerThewpexperts
Category: Web Design Development

Page views: 16

Article source: http://www.whatech.com/content-management-system/press-release/24950-hire-dedicated-wordpress-plugin-developer-for-thewpexperts

Mass exploit of WordPress plugin backdoors sites running Joomla, Magento, too

As many as 50,000 websites have been remotely commandeered by attackers exploiting a recently patched vulnerability in a popular plugin for the WordPress content management system, security researchers said Wednesday.

As Ars reported in early July, the vulnerability in MailPoet, a WordPress plugin with more than 1.7 million downloads, allows attackers to upload any file of their choice to vulnerable servers. In the three weeks since then, attackers have exploited the bug to install a backdoor on an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 websites, some that don’t even run WordPress software or that don’t have MailPoet enabled, according to Daniel Cid, CTO of security firm Sucuri.

“To be clear, the MailPoet vulnerability is the entry point,” he wrote in a blog post. “It doesn’t mean your website has to have it enabled or that you have it on the website; if it resides on the server, in a neighboring website, it can still affect your website.” In an e-mail to Ars, he elaborated:

The malware injection code is actually trying to compromise all PHP files that it can on the server. So if you have a site at /var/www/site1.com with MailPoet and another site at /var/www/site2.com without it, the malware injector from site1.com will try to compromise site2.com as well. We had a client that all his 20+ sites got injected, because one site inside the same shared account had MailPoet on it. That’s why we were seeing Joomla and Magento sites with the same malware as well. Took us a bit of time to connect all the dots and find the entry point on them.

Sucuri researcher Peter Gramantik first reported the mass exploitation affecting WordPress Tuesday. The injected malware installs a backdoor account that gives attackers full administrative control. It also injects backdoor code into all themes and core files. Making matters worse, the malicious code also overwrites valid files, a side effect that causes many sites to fall over and display the message: “Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘)’ in /home/user/public_html/site/wp-config.php on line 91.”

Cid has said that the only safe version of MailPoet is the recently released 2.6.7, which should be installed immediately on all vulnerable servers. MailPoet gives sites added abilities to create newsletters and automatically post notifications and responses.

Article source: http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/07/mass-exploit-of-wordpress-plugin-backdoors-sites-running-joomla-magento-too/

Fastest HTML5 Document Viewer Adds Responsive Mobile Device Support – SYS


Accusoft today announces the release of Prizm Content Connect v9.0, the
latest version of its industry-leading HTML5 document viewer. The
enhanced version features a streamlined interface, responsive mobile
viewing and quicker performance.

Robust, scalable and highly customizable, Prizm
Content Connect
is an application for securely viewing and sharing
virtually every document or image file type on almost any end-user
device, including desktop and mobile, without the need to download or
install external players, plugins or apps. The “out of the box” product
features web-based annotation, redaction and search tools for convenient
collaboration on almost any document or image file, and protects all
shared files through custom user permissions and SSL encryption.

Chief among the enhancements in version 9 is the option to scroll
through the pages of a document. Scrolling enables users to navigate
through a document more quickly and smoothly than traditional paging.

Scrolling contributes to an optimized mobile experience, as does the
viewer’s new support for responsive web pages that adapt to fit mobile
screen sizes. By enabling secure, fast viewing and collaboration on
mobile devices, Prizm Content Connect v9 provides an affordable solution
to the BYOD (bring your own device) challenge.

On the server side, Prizm Content Connect v9 features even quicker
document loading and paging than in version 8, plus a new load balancer
accessible through a representational state transfer (REST) entry point
for easy integration with custom applications.

Acknowledged as the fastest, most feature-rich HTML5 viewer available,
Prizm Content Connect is at work at Yahoo!
and other tech-savvy companies as a viewing component for document
preview, eDiscovery, records management and other applications.

For more information, visit http://www.accusoft.com/html5viewer.

Accusoft and Prizm are registered trademarks and Prizm Content
Connect is a trademark of Accusoft Corporation in the United States
and/or other countries. Other trademarks are the property of their
respective owners.

About Accusoft

Accusoft provides a full spectrum of document, content and imaging
solutions as fully supported, enterprise-grade, best-in-class
client-server applications, mobile apps, cloud services and software
development kits (SDKs). The company’s HTML5 viewing technology is
available to the enterprise as Prizm Content Connect, in cloud-based
SaaS versions, and in a version optimized for SharePoint integration.
Visit http://www.accusoft.com.

Article source: http://www.sys-con.com/node/3126857

SEO Web Design: Plan For Never-Ending Updates

Many business owners with websites think of website design and SEO as a one-shot deal: fix your keywords and your website and leave it alone to do its job. Unfortunately, SEO strategy is an ongoing project that must constantly be redesigned, tweaked and fixed to meet changing circumstances in the market and on the web.

SEO website design is not like painting a house, which can be done once every 10 years. Instead, it is like vacuuming or laundry; it must be done on a regular basis to prevent problems.

For this reason, many SEO experts that specialize in website design, charge a monthly retainer fee. This fee can include all the services that must be performed on a regular basis, such as checking competitor’s sites, changing keywords, refreshing web pages, updating coding standards, browser compliance, and tracking metrics or analyzing performance. In some cases complete redesigns are necessary, as in the example of implementing a new responsive design from a former design.

However, randomly performing these tasks will not give the results you want. Website updates and other tasks must be scheduled on a regular basis with attention to best practices in SEO web design. Standards are available that help you know when to perform certain tasks and optimize web site performance, no matter who is doing your SEO.

Developing an Update Procedure for Your Website

Having a list of things that should be done and the frequency with which these tasks should be performed is a useful resource for website managers and business owners alike. With a well-planned schedule, everyone will be included in the decision-making process about how to achieve top SEO results. Developing a “style guide” can help everyone involved in your SEO process understand your goals and what you have already done toward building strong SEO. Some things that should be included in this list are:

  • File naming. The naming conventions used for new website pages, image files, audio and video files and all other types of content should be clearly defined and checked on a regular basis. File names should describe the contents and ideally will include specific keywords.
  • Directory structure. The directory structure of your website can make it easy or difficult for search engine bots to find you. A well-defined silo structure, which uses top-level themes and builds downwards, is often the best choice for websites.
  • Redirects. Best SEO practices indicate that the ideal number for redirects is 301. Redirect codes should always take into account your SEO strategy; failure to consider this in redirection planning could lead to less-than-optimal results. Routinely, webmasters or SEO experts should also remove pages that are no longer working or are no longer needed.
  • Linking. The exact procedure for identifying links and keywords should be written out so that everyone understands the process. Guidelines for linking should be established before the linking activities begin.
  • New pages. Before a new page is added, there are several important questions that should be answered, such as: What keywords are we using for this page? What is the purpose or goal of this page? What silo does this page support? The page should be designed with the answers to these questions in mind.

Style guides can make ongoing website development and SEO a clear and straightforward process for new coders and programmers adapting to your needs for expansion. Make sure that everyone involved in your IT team is clear on company objectives, technology requirements, and equally as important, search engine trends.

For more information on search engine optimization and website design contact Tyler Collins at OC SEO.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tyler-collins/seo-web-design-plan-for-n_b_5601076.html?utm_hp_ref=business&ir=Business

Security firm warns of ‘massive’ malware infections impacting WordPress sites

Security firm Sucuri is warning WordPress admins that a “massive” malware infection is wreaking havoc on WordPress websites. Sites with outdated plugins or weak passwords are particularly at risk.  

Sucuri malware researcher Peter Gramantik says in a blog post, “There is, however, one very unpleasant impact of this infection. The infector PHP code is buggy and it is corrupting legitimate website files. It is targeting not only the core WordPress files, but also theme and plugins files. The result are various PHP errors being displayed instead of the normal site content. The only known solution (after removal of injected malware)is restoring these corrupted files from the backup.”

Readers at the Sucuri blog say a thorough scrubbing doesn’t always fix things the first time around.

As commenter MrsJohnson notes, “There also seems to be a backdoor somewhere. I cleaned up the original site three days ago and all seemed to be well, but it was reinfected less than 72 hours later.”

It’s been a rough few days for WordPress users. Just last week another plugin vulnerability affected more than 20 million downloads, all which have since been patched.

For more:
read Gramantik’s blog post
learn about last week’s plugin issues

Related Articles:
PencilBlue takes aim at Drupal, WordPress
WordPress users: Cookies at a nearby Starbucks could be bad for you

Article source: http://www.fiercecontentmanagement.com/story/security-firm-warns-massive-malware-infections-impacting-wordpress-sites/2014-07-22

HTML5 Page Flip Software: Creating E-Publications for iPad and Android Tablets

PUB HTML5 has introduced HTML5 page flip software which can create e-publications that can be viewed on iPads and other Android Tablets. This is a great attempt by PUB HTML5 to bring HTML5 digital publishing to iPads.

(PRWEB) July 23, 2014

PUB HTML5 is pleased to announce the introduction of their new HTML5 Page Flip Software with the primary intention of bringing iPad and Android Tablet users a more interactive reading experience. Since iPad does not support Adobe Flash, the HTML5 digital flipbook replaces the flipbook and multimedia elements based in Flash thereby allowing the mobile tablet user to access e-publication successfully. IPad digital publishing can be easy with PUB HTML5.

In the modern context, people prefer to read on their iPad rather than from a book which has to be carried around constantly. Therefore the introduction of HTML5 Digital Publishing to iPad can be seen as an attempt to keep up with the current trends of society. Since the HTML5 flip software represents the latest technology, is mobile friendly and works across diverse platforms, they do not pose problems of compatibility and transferability.

The e-reading service enabled by this software saves time, money and even protects the environment by reducing the requirements of paper. The HTML5 page flip software allows fast and easy publishing and online digital catalog software allows even an amateur to complete projects efficiently. The edit feature allows users to directly publish on their web page without leaving the software.

Using the free page flip software, users can create searchable content to help readers locate it in the e-book. Powerful editing options allow users to create reader-friendly books. Since HTML5 page flip software is custom made to cater iOS and Android mobile devices it delivers an amazing experience by supporting gestures. People can use spread and pinch to zoom in or out, swipe to browse through the pages, and drag to navigate around a page while zoomed in. The HTML5 software also has integrated a social share feature which allows users to share the products in their digital catalogs on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.

For more information, go to http://pubhtml5.com/.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb12036867.htm

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Article source: http://www.motoemag.com/2014/07/23/html5-page-flip-software-creating-e-publications-for-ipad-and-android-tablets/

Odobo’s in-house game developer launches first HTML5 slot

23

Jul

14

Wild Game Reserve (WGR), the in-house game development studio of platform provider Odobo, has released its first HTML5 slot game which is now available to operators via the Odobo Marketplace.

The Oddventurers: Quest for the Bird of Pay is the first HTML5 slot game to be developed by Odobo’s dedicated internal game studio.

Mark McGinley, studio manager at WGR, said that the game has been designed to combine “the most effective features of social, casual and AAA gaming (video gaming) with the best practices essential for real-money gaming.”

“We’re thrilled with the result. By having our own in-house studio we are able to experience the developer journey first hand and feedback to the wider Odobo team in order to continually improve the Developer Program for other approved studios,” said McGinley.

The safari adventure-themed game features 25 paylines, wilds, free spins and four interactive bonus games. A special multiplier wild is available on the central reel and can double line payouts while multiple bonus games offer greater variety at different win levels. For players seeking better returns, the game also features retriggering free spins – giving the potential for more significant wins.

Odobo founder and CEO Ashley Lang said: “The Oddventurers showcases the exceptional talent within our internal game studio. It is an achievement and offers the WGR team the opportunity to highlight its creativity and production skills while creating a business case for further research and development.
 
“The knowledge garnered from this project has led to the creation of new tools and capabilities that will benefit all our approved developers and those joining our Developer Program.”

The Gibraltar-based WGR team that built the game from concept to certification is comprised of games professionals who joined Odobo from Rockstar, IGT, Konami, Popcap, Bullfrog Productions, Badoo, Crytech and Microsoft Games Studio.

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Article source: http://www.gamingintelligence.com/marketing/27022-odobo-s-in-house-game-developer-launches-first-html5-slot

Dreamweaver CC 2014 review: Web design and development tool gets even …

With the latest version of Dreamweaver, Adobe adds even more visual aids—so many that it might be possible to produce Web content without even looking at the application’s code view. But it’s not FrontPage 98 or PageMill 2.0, by a long shot—Dreamweaver CC 2014 is so deep and so complex that you’ll spend as much time learning the application as you do building your pages.

What you see

As in previous versions, Dreamweaver CC 2014 has three primary ways of presenting Web content: straight code view, the Design view, and the Live view (a WYSIWYG view, or what is supposed to be an approximation of what your page really looks like). Its many control panels—for example, CSS Designer—allow you to manipulate settings that affect the code and what you see in the Design and Live views. But Dreamweaver CC 2014’s Live view gets some significant updates that make the entire application just a tad less dependent on your knowing how to code.

dreamweaver cc 2014 screen elementquickview

Click a tiny button at the lower left corner of Dreamweaver’s screen to pop up the new Element Quick View, within which you move or delete components of your page.

The most visible of these updates is the fact that you can edit on-canvas in Dreamweaver CC 2014’s Live view. In previous versions, you’d have to uncheck Live view and use Design view, then switch back to Live view or preview in a browser to see the effects of your edits. This begs the question of why Dreamweaver needs both the Design view button and the Live view button, because you can’t display Live view without being in Design view, but Adobe says that you still need Design view or Code view for certain tasks (though Adobe also says that it’s working toward having a fully editable Live view in a future release).

Live view should now give you a pretty close representation of what your pages will look like in Google Chrome, because Dreamweaver now uses the open-source Chromium engine, on which Chrome is also based. In previous versions, it used the WebKit engine, on which Apple Safari and older versions of Chrome were based. Of course, Dreamweaver still can’t show you what your pages will look at in Internet Explorer or Firefox, so you’ll need to preview in those browsers.

dreamweaver cc 2014 screen insertaid

Now when you use the Insert command to add a component, a large visual aid appears to help you with placement.

Click on a small button at the bottom of Dreamweaver’s main view to see a new Element Quick View popup that uses a basic tree display to show your page’s structure (sections, divs, and other components). Want to move things around? Drag and drop them in the Element Quick View. Delete, duplicate, copy, or paste components within the popup, all while keeping an eye on the Live view to see the effects. You cannot resize the popup window, however, so I found myself side-scrolling frequently. The popup isn’t persistent, either: As soon as you click away, it disappears. I hate to say give me another Dreamweaver palette, but I think that would make it more useful.

Now, when you add components from Dreamweaver’s Insert panel, a new “position assist” visual aid appears, giving you the option to place the component before, after, wrapped around the tag at the insertion point, or nested as part of the tag, whatever it may be. I found it useful, because the buttons are big and the functions are unambiguous.

dreamweaver cc 2014 screen classes

After you complete the Insert command to add a component, a small visual aid appears; you can specify classes or IDs in it.

Once you’ve decided on placement, the component’s tag appears above it, along with a small plus sign. Click the plus sign, and you can add IDs or classes, and if it’s text, you can bold, italic, or link the text from there. You get type-ahead for IDs and classes, but you don’t see a tree of them, as in Dreamweaver’s Code Navigator, so you have to at least know what letter the class or ID starts with. You can now add video clips via Live view and preview them without leaving Dreamweaver (in other words, without launching a browser).

Taking a cue from Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and probably other Adobe applications—and Microsoft Word and Excel—it’s now possible to copy styles embedded in a CSS selector and paste them into another CSS selector. For example, say you have a square box in one area of your page and a rounded box in another. You can select the square box, look in the CSS selectors box to see what’s highlighted, right-click on the selector, then choose Copy All Styles (or only layout styles, or text styles; what shows as available depends on the type of component). Select the second box, then Paste Styles in the CSS Selectors box. It’s faster than modifying settings manually in the CSS Properties box, so it’s a useful addition.

dreamweaver cc 2014 screen copystyles

Taking a page from Premiere Pro and Photoshop, now you can copy the style of one element and paste it onto another element.

Minimum specs for Macs are a multicore Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, and OS X 10.7.5. Dreamweaver CC 2014 seemed slow a 2013 Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz Core i5 and 8GB of RAM. In the past, Adobe has published tips for speeding up Dreamweaver, including excluding its program files (which rely heavily on JavaScript) from anti-virus scanning. 

Bottom line

To me, the target for WYSIWYG Web editors has always been to let people edit on-canvas, not only so that non-coders could build pages, but so that even coders could design visually. Otherwise, why call them WYSIWYG editors? In the past, most Web editors that tried this failed miserably. Dreamweaver CC 2014 is getting closer, though, even if you still have to know code conventions, and if you like editing on-canvas, you’ll like the updates that Adobe has made.

Article source: http://www.macworld.com/article/2456425/dreamweaver-cc-2014-review-web-design-and-development-tool-gets-even-more-visual.html

New HTML5 and mobile game engine Reach3dx enters closed beta

Tech based on OpenFL Framework and Haxe

The new HTML5 and mobile game engine from Gamebase, Reach3dx, has entered closed beta as the firm gears up for a full release.

The beta will run until August 18th and offers participants the chance to get to grips with all features of the engine.

Reach3dx is a new game engine that provides cross-platform support for iOS, Android, HTML5 and Flash. It is based on the OpenFL framework and Haxe, and will be based on a modular architecture to enable developers to modify and extend its capabilities.

Gamebase previously told Develop that a free, full-featured version of the tool is expected to be made available at launch.

Gamebase has previously developed the GameBryo and LighSpeed engines, used in just under 450 games including Epic Mick 2: The Power of Two, Rocksmith 2014 and Rift: Planes of Telara.

Article source: http://www.develop-online.net/news/new-html5-and-mobile-game-engine-reach3dx-enters-closed-beta/0195592

New HTML5 and mobile game engine Reach3dx enters closed beta

Tech based on OpenFL Framework and Haxe

The new HTML5 and mobile game engine from Gamebase, Reach3dx, has entered closed beta as the firm gears up for a full release.

The beta will run until August 18th and offers participants the chance to get to grips with all features of the engine.

Reach3dx is a new game engine that provides cross-platform support for iOS, Android, HTML5 and Flash. It is based on the OpenFL framework and Haxe, and will be based on a modular architecture to enable developers to modify and extend its capabilities.

Gamebase previously told Develop that a free, full-featured version of the tool is expected to be made available at launch.

Gamebase has previously developed the GameBryo and LighSpeed engines, used in just under 450 games including Epic Mick 2: The Power of Two, Rocksmith 2014 and Rift: Planes of Telara.

Article source: http://www.develop-online.net/news/new-html5-and-mobile-game-engine-reach3dx-enters-closed-beta/0195592

Some Things to Watch Out for When Choosing a WordPress Theme

mikeharik

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17 Brands Born and Loved in the U.S.A.

The Portable Table Saw

The Coping Saw

The Basic Workbench

How To: Choose the Right Saw for the Job

Bob Vila Radio: Types of Chisels

INSPIRATION GALLERY

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Article source: http://www.bobvila.com/posts/197568-some-things-to-watch-out-for-when-choosing-a-wordpress-theme

Some Things to Watch Out for When Choosing a WordPress Theme

mikeharik

  • Modular Homes in New Orleans
    Norm and I live in New Orleans (Katrina Land) a…

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17 Brands Born and Loved in the U.S.A.

Rasps, Files, and Surfoams

Quick Tip: Workshop Dolly

Power Drivers

Table and Radial Saws

What’s Your Tool IQ?

INSPIRATION GALLERY

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Article source: http://www.bobvila.com/posts/197568-some-things-to-watch-out-for-when-choosing-a-wordpress-theme

What immersive web design can do for your brand

New technology is enabling brands to make their online content more immersive, even the hard-to-pin-down emotional qualities of customer servcie.

Good things come to those who wait. But in today’s fast-paced world it seems consumers do not have time. Whether it is reading a news story, buying a pair of shoes or booking a weekend away, people want things fast. Or do they?

In an attempt to slow down the pace, improve the experience and let content take centre stage online, some brands are embracing more interactive web platforms.

Online domestic appliance retailer AO.com has used video to showcase 50 per cent of its product range, including one in which the build quality of a washing machine is demonstrated by a member of staff performing press ups on the open door.

Quality is also central to a new digital-first series by The Economist. The publisher is using an immersive storytelling style that uses online technology to enhance the content rather than distract from it. Made.com, meanwhile, has recently launched a platform that will connect new customers with 100 ‘brand advocates’ to organise virtual or home visits so that they can see the desk or sofa they want to purchase in situ.

“We don’t all live in crumbling Venetian Palazzos or huge open plan loft conversions and, as beautiful as those promotional shots might be, sometimes it’s good to have an idea of what a particular sofa might look like in your own sitting room by looking at other people’s real homes,” says one of the brand advocates opening their home to the Made.com masses.

Online will never be the same as real life but brands are finding innovative ways to replicate the brand experience online and, critically, in a way that enhances reputation and drives sales.

AO.com’s product videos have helped sales to leap

“We are seeing three to four times the average conversion rates when there is video content available, and that is the ultimate test of whether this [approach] works,” says Andrew Kirkcaldy, marketing director at AO.com. “But more than that, the videos allow us to see how long people are viewing for and when they switch off.”

So which brands are switching on to more immersive sites and why? Are some categories better placed than others to use the technology and how are consumers responding?

Luxury brands such as shoe designer Jimmy Choo are among the early adopters of the technology. Earlier this month the brand launched a virtual showroom that lets customers view and pre-order from its new collection before products are available in stores.

Avenue Imperial provided the technology, which uses special cameras that can detail the inside of stores to an accuracy of 1cm. The company says its concept is a breakthrough in virtual shopping given that it takes hours rather than weeks to map a store. New layouts can be updated within 24 hours.

Jimmy Choo has launched a virtual showroom

Jimmy Choo chief executive Pierre Denis says the physical experience of visiting a store or showroom, which is important to the luxury market, is not easy to replicate. However, the brand’s new virtual store is “the shape of things to come”. Chinese shoppers already outspend Brits by 10 to one when visiting London’s Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street, so enabling them to shop all year round via online video offers a major new source of revenue.

Studies, such as that by Bain Company in 2013, have shown that moving from basic catalogues to a fully-immersive 3D experience can help brands turn more clicks into sales. 

“This is a game-changer in ecommerce marketing for brands,” Denis adds. “It will transform ecommerce from a two-dimensional product catalogue to a much more engaging and immersive experience.”

Although the experience of a luxury product might be difficult to replicate online, a luxury service is even trickier. Take travel, where customers buy a holiday weeks or months in advance. The average family of four heading to the Costa del Sol might be happy to book a week online, but how about those spending £15,000 for a break on their own private island?

Jenny Graham, business development director at high-end concierge service Quintessentially Travel, says: “For us, the struggle is that we are offering a service rather than a product. We have also built a brand that is about exclusivity and the one-to-one service we provide. People sometimes come to us with no idea of their budget or where they want to go so our team is experienced in questioning customers to understand the emotional side of their holiday.”

Quintessentially Travel brings customer service to its website through the use of new technology

However, the website previously offered an experience that was far from the brand’s values. “It was rather dull and didn’t showcase our service offering,” Graham admits. Now it has a ‘mood board’ where customers choose one of two images before another two appear. As they navigate through the images, the website builds an increasingly detailed picture of the types of holidays that might appeal – it is akin to how many brands are using big data to develop a picture of a customer’s needs and priorities, albeit on a simplistic scale. But it works, she claims.

“Many travel sites are one dimensional, taking a transactional approach to their website designs,” Graham explains, “but buying a holiday is a very emotional experience. Our sector lends itself really well to more interactive online activity, but I don’t think many other sites are there yet.”

Research by Graham’s team found that sites were heavy on text and light on inspiration. A picture speaks a thousands words but how about a video? A report this year by Brightcove and the Aberdeen Group showed that video content users enjoy an average of 4.8 per cent website conversion, compared to 2.9 per cent for non-users.

AO.com, which has been working with Brightcove, is not far off those kinds of figures, having moved from what Kirkcaldy calls a “Heath Robinson approach” to one where video delivers added-value content that customers want and, critically, encourages them to buy.

“The key thing is to get more people watching, because when they watch it drives feedback. We are trying to put the user in control of the video and allowing them to share it.”

Viral videos are one marketing tactic but it is not the approach that AO.com and others are taking. With brands built on trust and service, interactive content can become a powerful brand ambassador when it is shared and reviewed. Furniture retailer Made.com is taking that to the next level with the launch of its ‘Made unboxed’, mentioned earlier, which enables consumers to connect with a network of 100 existing customers and take a virtual tour of their homes (see Nosy Neighbours).

Creative director Chloe Macintosh admits the initiative is “risky” but it does play into the current willingness for people to share experiences and recommendations, notably through social media. “This is not just about interacting with the website or our brand but people interacting with each other,” she says. It also plays into people’s inherent nosiness. A survey by Made.com found that 5 per cent of Brits have used binoculars or a camera to look inside a neighbour’s home.

Whether it is the appeal of a neighbour’s home, or exclusivity in the inner sanctum of a buyer’s showroom, brands are working hard to create more innovative online experiences. Sometimes the same website can even offer two very different approaches.

The Economist has recently launched a series of essays that are far removed from the news website experience. Gone are all the distractions and in comes a single column design that suggests anything but fast-paced, 24/7 news. There are infographics and interviews, with the publisher using the new format as a “petri dish” for design experimentation.

The Economist’s essay series is a ‘petri dish’ of design experimentation

However, the team have been careful not to get carried away: content must remain king. “We’re quite a restrained brand,” says art director for digital and online Sue Vágó, “so we try to let the content dictate what’s appropriate.” Angelo Repole, head of front end for editorial and graphics, adds: “The technology shouldn’t lead the content; it should be the other way round.”

This is not an easy balance to achieve, with the essays taking eight weeks from start to finish. Key to success is the involvement of different teams from the start: multimedia, editorial, designers and journalists are all feeding in ideas, allowing the piece to develop organically. Those involved say it is more akin to developing an app than editing an article. Vago adds: “What I also find interesting is that it’s almost a return to magazine aesthetics.” 

The first of the essays was available for free, but other essays will be behind the paywall. The first essay was also sponsored, with a sponsor’s widget in the top corner of each page and an ad halfway down.

Indeed, with any such project there needs to be return on investment and sponsorship is a route that has opened up for others (see Top Three Challenges). Quintessentially Travel, for instance, has had brands asking for help to bring their products to life says Graham: think premium bikini brands on deserted island getaways.

The travel site has been working with Global Blue, which offers tax-free shopping services to a customer base that includes 50 million Chinese and Russian consumers. “If someone buys three Hermès bags, then we want to be the ones booking their hotel or private jet,” says Graham.

Whether it is a private jet, a domestic freezer or a feature-length article, brands are realising the power of their websites. And thanks to new technology, this means that consumers keep coming back and staying around for longer. In today’s fast-paced, time-poor world, this is a big win for those in marketing.

Case study: Made.com and nosy neighbours

More than half of Brits admit to looking through neighbours’ windows when walking past and 2 per cent deliberately go out in the early evening to do so. However, 45 per cent are also happy to welcome people into their homes to have a look around.

With this in mind, furniture retailer Made.com has launched a website that lets customers look around other people’s homes virtually, and eventually in reality. Through ‘Made unboxed’, people can connect with existing Made.com customers in their neighbourhood, take a virtual house tour and even meet to see how they have styled their products.

Creative director Chloe Macintosh admits it is a risky concept but sees no reason why it cannot work. “People who buy a product from us want to know the ‘who’ and ‘why’ as much as the ‘what’. This extends the levels of transparency that our brand is known for. Reassurance is a powerful tool for brands.”

She says consumers talking to each other is “the way things are going”, with sites such as TripAdvisor testament to this. But are people really that willing to have their homes invaded? “People have been keen to take part,” says Macintosh, noting Brits’ addiction to “property porn”. “We think this will become a movement; the focus will change from the demise of the high street to the rise of your own street.”

The website chooses regular customers and vocal advocates to showcase their rooms, sometimes giving them extra furniture to keep. Eventually there could be a more commercial relationship, similar to ‘refer a friend’ schemes, but Made.com wants to see what the appetite is like first.

Top three challenges

1. Commercial viability

Technology is becoming cheaper but with marketing budgets strictly monitored, investments need to deliver a return. Some brands have been able to garner support for their new interactive websites thanks to sponsorship and relationships with complementary brands.

For example, publisher Mills Boon is working with Glossybox, Taj Hotel and Cupid.com through its digital series The Chatsfield. The online story stitches together 800 pieces of digital content in multiple formats, allowing plenty of opportunities for collaboration.

Marketing manager Joanna Kite says: “One of the main characters is trying to avoid dating for three months, so Cupid.com is trying to tempt her back. And when readers check in to the luxury hotel [that provides the backdrop to the whole story], they are provided with offers from exclusive partners, just as you might be in a real hotel.”

2. Collaboration

Whether it is brand advocates sharing their homes for Made.com or different teams ‘cross-pollinating’ ideas for The Economist’s new essay series, collaboration, both internal and external, is key to the interactive web experience. If it is useful or unique, people are likely to share it.

A constant feed of new material and content can also help, as Mills Boon is showing with its drip-feed approach across a number of channels. Pulling together that kind of content also takes time, as Jenny Graham, business development director at Quintessentially Travel, discovered.

There are a million words and 8,000 images on its new site and she says the lesson learned was to get the SEO team involved much earlier. “What the developer might see may not be SEO-friendly,” she says.

3. Measure of success

Many brands are in the early stages of the new website concepts, but some are already seeing an uplift in conversion rates. AO.com, for example, says the rate is three or four times higher for products that have video content. Understanding how your customers are engaging with the new material can also be a rich source of data, says the company’s marketing director Andrew Kirkcaldy.

“We found people were often skipping the first 10 seconds and wanted to get straight to the product,” he says. “Rather than know about the features first, they wanted that in-store experience, the ‘kicking the tyres’ stage.”

Now the content cuts straight to the chase. “With washing machines it’s all about the door hinges, and whether they will last,” he says. “Miele’s brand values are focused on the build quality, so we open the doors and have people doing press ups on them. Of course, if things don’t work how we would expect, then we have to show that too. We need to build that trust.”

Have your say

Article source: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/analysis/marketing-tactics/design/what-immersive-web-design-can-do-for-your-brand/4011185.article

What immersive web design can do for your brand

New technology is enabling brands to make their online content more immersive, even the hard-to-pin-down emotional qualities of customer servcie.

Good things come to those who wait. But in today’s fast-paced world it seems consumers do not have time. Whether it is reading a news story, buying a pair of shoes or booking a weekend away, people want things fast. Or do they?

In an attempt to slow down the pace, improve the experience and let content take centre stage online, some brands are embracing more interactive web platforms.

Online domestic appliance retailer AO.com has used video to showcase 50 per cent of its product range, including one in which the build quality of a washing machine is demonstrated by a member of staff performing press ups on the open door.

Quality is also central to a new digital-first series by The Economist. The publisher is using an immersive storytelling style that uses online technology to enhance the content rather than distract from it. Made.com, meanwhile, has recently launched a platform that will connect new customers with 100 ‘brand advocates’ to organise virtual or home visits so that they can see the desk or sofa they want to purchase in situ.

“We don’t all live in crumbling Venetian Palazzos or huge open plan loft conversions and, as beautiful as those promotional shots might be, sometimes it’s good to have an idea of what a particular sofa might look like in your own sitting room by looking at other people’s real homes,” says one of the brand advocates opening their home to the Made.com masses.

Online will never be the same as real life but brands are finding innovative ways to replicate the brand experience online and, critically, in a way that enhances reputation and drives sales.

AO.com’s product videos have helped sales to leap

“We are seeing three to four times the average conversion rates when there is video content available, and that is the ultimate test of whether this [approach] works,” says Andrew Kirkcaldy, marketing director at AO.com. “But more than that, the videos allow us to see how long people are viewing for and when they switch off.”

So which brands are switching on to more immersive sites and why? Are some categories better placed than others to use the technology and how are consumers responding?

Luxury brands such as shoe designer Jimmy Choo are among the early adopters of the technology. Earlier this month the brand launched a virtual showroom that lets customers view and pre-order from its new collection before products are available in stores.

Avenue Imperial provided the technology, which uses special cameras that can detail the inside of stores to an accuracy of 1cm. The company says its concept is a breakthrough in virtual shopping given that it takes hours rather than weeks to map a store. New layouts can be updated within 24 hours.

Jimmy Choo has launched a virtual showroom

Jimmy Choo chief executive Pierre Denis says the physical experience of visiting a store or showroom, which is important to the luxury market, is not easy to replicate. However, the brand’s new virtual store is “the shape of things to come”. Chinese shoppers already outspend Brits by 10 to one when visiting London’s Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street, so enabling them to shop all year round via online video offers a major new source of revenue.

Studies, such as that by Bain Company in 2013, have shown that moving from basic catalogues to a fully-immersive 3D experience can help brands turn more clicks into sales. 

“This is a game-changer in ecommerce marketing for brands,” Denis adds. “It will transform ecommerce from a two-dimensional product catalogue to a much more engaging and immersive experience.”

Although the experience of a luxury product might be difficult to replicate online, a luxury service is even trickier. Take travel, where customers buy a holiday weeks or months in advance. The average family of four heading to the Costa del Sol might be happy to book a week online, but how about those spending £15,000 for a break on their own private island?

Jenny Graham, business development director at high-end concierge service Quintessentially Travel, says: “For us, the struggle is that we are offering a service rather than a product. We have also built a brand that is about exclusivity and the one-to-one service we provide. People sometimes come to us with no idea of their budget or where they want to go so our team is experienced in questioning customers to understand the emotional side of their holiday.”

Quintessentially Travel brings customer service to its website through the use of new technology

However, the website previously offered an experience that was far from the brand’s values. “It was rather dull and didn’t showcase our service offering,” Graham admits. Now it has a ‘mood board’ where customers choose one of two images before another two appear. As they navigate through the images, the website builds an increasingly detailed picture of the types of holidays that might appeal – it is akin to how many brands are using big data to develop a picture of a customer’s needs and priorities, albeit on a simplistic scale. But it works, she claims.

“Many travel sites are one dimensional, taking a transactional approach to their website designs,” Graham explains, “but buying a holiday is a very emotional experience. Our sector lends itself really well to more interactive online activity, but I don’t think many other sites are there yet.”

Research by Graham’s team found that sites were heavy on text and light on inspiration. A picture speaks a thousands words but how about a video? A report this year by Brightcove and the Aberdeen Group showed that video content users enjoy an average of 4.8 per cent website conversion, compared to 2.9 per cent for non-users.

AO.com, which has been working with Brightcove, is not far off those kinds of figures, having moved from what Kirkcaldy calls a “Heath Robinson approach” to one where video delivers added-value content that customers want and, critically, encourages them to buy.

“The key thing is to get more people watching, because when they watch it drives feedback. We are trying to put the user in control of the video and allowing them to share it.”

Viral videos are one marketing tactic but it is not the approach that AO.com and others are taking. With brands built on trust and service, interactive content can become a powerful brand ambassador when it is shared and reviewed. Furniture retailer Made.com is taking that to the next level with the launch of its ‘Made unboxed’, mentioned earlier, which enables consumers to connect with a network of 100 existing customers and take a virtual tour of their homes (see Nosy Neighbours).

Creative director Chloe Macintosh admits the initiative is “risky” but it does play into the current willingness for people to share experiences and recommendations, notably through social media. “This is not just about interacting with the website or our brand but people interacting with each other,” she says. It also plays into people’s inherent nosiness. A survey by Made.com found that 5 per cent of Brits have used binoculars or a camera to look inside a neighbour’s home.

Whether it is the appeal of a neighbour’s home, or exclusivity in the inner sanctum of a buyer’s showroom, brands are working hard to create more innovative online experiences. Sometimes the same website can even offer two very different approaches.

The Economist has recently launched a series of essays that are far removed from the news website experience. Gone are all the distractions and in comes a single column design that suggests anything but fast-paced, 24/7 news. There are infographics and interviews, with the publisher using the new format as a “petri dish” for design experimentation.

The Economist’s essay series is a ‘petri dish’ of design experimentation

However, the team have been careful not to get carried away: content must remain king. “We’re quite a restrained brand,” says art director for digital and online Sue Vágó, “so we try to let the content dictate what’s appropriate.” Angelo Repole, head of front end for editorial and graphics, adds: “The technology shouldn’t lead the content; it should be the other way round.”

This is not an easy balance to achieve, with the essays taking eight weeks from start to finish. Key to success is the involvement of different teams from the start: multimedia, editorial, designers and journalists are all feeding in ideas, allowing the piece to develop organically. Those involved say it is more akin to developing an app than editing an article. Vago adds: “What I also find interesting is that it’s almost a return to magazine aesthetics.” 

The first of the essays was available for free, but other essays will be behind the paywall. The first essay was also sponsored, with a sponsor’s widget in the top corner of each page and an ad halfway down.

Indeed, with any such project there needs to be return on investment and sponsorship is a route that has opened up for others (see Top Three Challenges). Quintessentially Travel, for instance, has had brands asking for help to bring their products to life says Graham: think premium bikini brands on deserted island getaways.

The travel site has been working with Global Blue, which offers tax-free shopping services to a customer base that includes 50 million Chinese and Russian consumers. “If someone buys three Hermès bags, then we want to be the ones booking their hotel or private jet,” says Graham.

Whether it is a private jet, a domestic freezer or a feature-length article, brands are realising the power of their websites. And thanks to new technology, this means that consumers keep coming back and staying around for longer. In today’s fast-paced, time-poor world, this is a big win for those in marketing.

Case study: Made.com and nosy neighbours

More than half of Brits admit to looking through neighbours’ windows when walking past and 2 per cent deliberately go out in the early evening to do so. However, 45 per cent are also happy to welcome people into their homes to have a look around.

With this in mind, furniture retailer Made.com has launched a website that lets customers look around other people’s homes virtually, and eventually in reality. Through ‘Made unboxed’, people can connect with existing Made.com customers in their neighbourhood, take a virtual house tour and even meet to see how they have styled their products.

Creative director Chloe Macintosh admits it is a risky concept but sees no reason why it cannot work. “People who buy a product from us want to know the ‘who’ and ‘why’ as much as the ‘what’. This extends the levels of transparency that our brand is known for. Reassurance is a powerful tool for brands.”

She says consumers talking to each other is “the way things are going”, with sites such as TripAdvisor testament to this. But are people really that willing to have their homes invaded? “People have been keen to take part,” says Macintosh, noting Brits’ addiction to “property porn”. “We think this will become a movement; the focus will change from the demise of the high street to the rise of your own street.”

The website chooses regular customers and vocal advocates to showcase their rooms, sometimes giving them extra furniture to keep. Eventually there could be a more commercial relationship, similar to ‘refer a friend’ schemes, but Made.com wants to see what the appetite is like first.

Top three challenges

1. Commercial viability

Technology is becoming cheaper but with marketing budgets strictly monitored, investments need to deliver a return. Some brands have been able to garner support for their new interactive websites thanks to sponsorship and relationships with complementary brands.

For example, publisher Mills Boon is working with Glossybox, Taj Hotel and Cupid.com through its digital series The Chatsfield. The online story stitches together 800 pieces of digital content in multiple formats, allowing plenty of opportunities for collaboration.

Marketing manager Joanna Kite says: “One of the main characters is trying to avoid dating for three months, so Cupid.com is trying to tempt her back. And when readers check in to the luxury hotel [that provides the backdrop to the whole story], they are provided with offers from exclusive partners, just as you might be in a real hotel.”

2. Collaboration

Whether it is brand advocates sharing their homes for Made.com or different teams ‘cross-pollinating’ ideas for The Economist’s new essay series, collaboration, both internal and external, is key to the interactive web experience. If it is useful or unique, people are likely to share it.

A constant feed of new material and content can also help, as Mills Boon is showing with its drip-feed approach across a number of channels. Pulling together that kind of content also takes time, as Jenny Graham, business development director at Quintessentially Travel, discovered.

There are a million words and 8,000 images on its new site and she says the lesson learned was to get the SEO team involved much earlier. “What the developer might see may not be SEO-friendly,” she says.

3. Measure of success

Many brands are in the early stages of the new website concepts, but some are already seeing an uplift in conversion rates. AO.com, for example, says the rate is three or four times higher for products that have video content. Understanding how your customers are engaging with the new material can also be a rich source of data, says the company’s marketing director Andrew Kirkcaldy.

“We found people were often skipping the first 10 seconds and wanted to get straight to the product,” he says. “Rather than know about the features first, they wanted that in-store experience, the ‘kicking the tyres’ stage.”

Now the content cuts straight to the chase. “With washing machines it’s all about the door hinges, and whether they will last,” he says. “Miele’s brand values are focused on the build quality, so we open the doors and have people doing press ups on them. Of course, if things don’t work how we would expect, then we have to show that too. We need to build that trust.”

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Article source: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/analysis/marketing-tactics/design/what-immersive-web-design-can-do-for-your-brand/4011185.article