Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

Studio Insights: Which Web Browser Do You Use?

Web browsers

Web Browsers: Which one do you use?

Penguin: Who’s out in the cold?

It’s pretty well documented that Google updated their algorithm last month leaving users in a frenzy as they scrambled to recover rankings. As with all Google updates, spokespeople for the search engine giant have stayed tight lipped on the specific details of the update to protect its integrity but that hasn’t stopped speculation from industry experts who claim to have the answers.

Headlines preaching ‘how to recover’ have filled online news channels over the past few weeks but as with all algorithm overhauls, the real results will take time to appear and few are in a position to guarantee immediately improved rankings.

What Google has made public is the intended effect of Penguin on link farms and disingenuous inbound linking. Link farms have proved fairly successful in skewing organic search engine results, raising site rankings through the use of outbound links which Google views as authentic. Penguin has been designed at least partially to combat this mercenary tactic and evidence to date seems to suggest it’s working.

In the same vein Penguin is meant to significantly reduce the rating achieved by Pingbacks (links that send readers straight back to the original source), which has seen blogs in particular rank higher than usual due to the publication of links to credible outbound sources. It has also be revealed that sites with too many ads above the fold will be penalised, reducing their ranking and overriding the effects of any permissible SEO strategy.

While no one is denying there have been some negative effects with legitimate sites losing rankings, Penguin is yet to fully take flight and organic ratings will return to normal eventually. What else is hidden in the new algorithm will only surface over time, so hold tight and beware the promise of a quick fix – the truth is we’re all out in the cold on this one for now.

The Briefing Handbook

A few handy tips and guides for writing a creative brief, to make the job easier and the results better…

Basic Details
This seems like a no-brainer but make sure you start every brief with the basic details necessary to proceed. Contact details, the job and its deadline should not be hard to find so make sure this info is up-front and accurate.

Overview
The overview should include the requirements of the job, the context in which it exists, relevant background information (briefly) and the timeline.

Background & Material
It’s important to put jobs in the context of past campaigns, so here is the spot to provide relevant past material. Any carry-over content that remains relevant should also be provided as well as new content, brand guidelines and other information. If the job involves any kind of co-branding, sponsorship or partnership, make sure all relevant background and style and branding specifications for ALL parties are provided.

Target Audience
Who are you trying to reach? What is the demographic, the purpose in communicating with them? What is their relationship to the client? It is useful to supply some detail about the background, likely views and values and density of the target audience.

The Core Message
This is the purpose of your job or campaign, summarised in a sentence. It can also include the call to action if there is one.

Unique Selling Point
What sets your brand or product apart from the competition? This is the most crucial point to made through your communication as it is what will pull your target audience’s attention.

Creative Direction
The creative direction should include in greater detail the brand style (including for any associated brands), the desired look and feel, the tone of voice and any other brand specific direction to be considered.

 

‘Each too their own…’

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I recently saw a tattoo emblazoned across a bare chest that read ‘Each too their own.’ In ink. PERMANENTLY.

The obvious solution to this is to wear a shirt at all times. Some grammatical disasters are however less easily fixed or covered up.

If you’re a writer, or in any line of work where you get published (and I mean anywhere – emails, social media, web content, corporate literature, ads… employees of the world, ahoy), then that extra ‘o’ is a blunder almost tooo big to fathom.

Overlook a typo on your corporate website and all of a sudden your business is more whiner than winner and expat than expert. It’s a problem.

This is bad and not just because it looks like you didn’t pass primary school English. All of a sudden your carefully thought out work looks hurried and uncared for. Best case – you just look dumb.

The other major problem with mistakes like these is permanence. It might not be inked on but a typo on a towering billboard is as good as. Consider every eye that sees it adds a month to its longevity in the public mind, and published media gone viral tends to adopt an indeterminate lifespan of its own.

Also, internet content is permanent so mistakes published online are too. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother deleting them. You should. At speed. If you’re lucky, your copy errors don’t get too many hits before you get to them, because they are metaphorical blemishes on the rosy face of your business. And they scar.

Consider, if it’s in the ether it’s there forever.

Prevention is better than treatment, so before you publish, send or print ANYTHING that can be cached, stored, copied or forwarded, check it says what you think it does. Then do it again for good measure.

Of course typos and editorial disasters happen to all of us and mistakes often prompt the quickest learning curves, but one bad one should be enough to ensure you never have another.

Make mistakes, learn from them, then never make the same ones again. (Instead, make different ones. Jam the printer, or lose a brief. Pretty soon you’ll learn not to do that again either…)

Spelling and grammar matter, so if you’re the kind of person who bothers to put a shirt on every day because you care what people think (even if you have nothing too hide), then bother to check your copy and show you care about your work. That’s something they’ll remember.

IE 9 Release and Lightbox Bug

IE9 was released a few days ago, around the same time, Firefox 4 was released, but more on this at a later time.
IE9 has produced and interesting “quirk” with the Lightbox 2, JavaScript popup image viewer.
When clicking anywhere on a page with this script running, the page will flash black and then fade to 50% opacity.
This bug can be observed at the Lightbox2 website http://www.huddletogether.com/projects/lightbox2/.

The fix for this is relatively simple, updating your prototype library to the latest version, 1.7 will fix this is the majority of cases.
Prototype can be found here http://www.prototypejs.org/

The Dental Solution Office Launch Party

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Our client, The Dental Solution – fresh from a rebrand – launched their new look and new offices last night at an amazingly successful Office Launch Party. WhiteRhino were there to celebrate, with a great night had by all. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet some familiar voices face-to-face, and to see the culmination of the work we’ve been doing over the past few months. Feedback on both the branding and the office was overwhelmingly positive. Above are presentation folders featuring Business Cards, Pricelist, Lab Bag and a variety of Forms.

Visit www.thedentalsolution.com.au

Enter a world of really passionate purveyors of fine food

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QFW are manufacturers, developers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, exporters & marketers of .. you guessed it.. food! And boy, do they have an antipasto option for even the most obscure palettes.

And so our tasty challenge was to get over 5,000 products online via our RhinoCMS – but hey, when Erez the man behind the empire, delivers tasting samples for the Friday boardroom lunch – that sweetens our endeavours. You really got to try the babaganoush, it’s dynamite!

Top 10 reasons I like Google Reader

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For the past few months, Google Reader has been my go-to site. I love reading blogs because of the rawness of the content – unadulterated, personal and at the forefront of what is cool.

Here are my top 10 reasons for using Google Reader:

  1. Google Reader helps me keep up-to-date with my favourite blogs (like Savannah!).
  2. It makes keeping up with blogs as simple as checking your email. It tells you the number of unread entries, and as you read them, it checks them off.
  3. Subscribing is super easy – all you do is pop the URL of the blog into the subscribe box, hit the button and you’re off!
  4. Everything is all in one place. No more going to ten or twenty different blogs, Google Reader collects everything together – all you have to do is select your chosen source from the sidebar.
  5. It recommends other interesting sources of information. Based on your subscriptions, Google Reader suggests other blogs to you, and it is uncannily good!
  6. It strips out all of the really terrible formatting that is synonymous with ordinary people (read: ‘non-designers’) doing their own web layouts. Enough said!
  7. You can ‘star’ entries that are particularly of interest (e.g.: a recipe that looks really tasty, a cute little craft project you’d like to get around to), and it has a category for starred entries, allowing you to quickly and easily find them again, without the need for trawling through your browser’s Favourites/Bookmarks.
  8. You can tag entries. Much like ‘starring’ entries, this allows you to easily come back to content later on. However, the difference here is that you can categorise the entries via your own criteria. This is the same theory as tagging favourites in Firefox or categorising emails.
  9. It shows ‘trends’, allowing you to see which of your subscriptions you are most faithful to, and which are the most popular with others. (this lets you know just how cool you are). It’s just an interesting little bonus feature.
  10. Your Google username and password are valid across a whole range of Google’s other services, so it integrates blog reading with the rest of your Google use.

What went wrong with browsers?

Web browsers have been the biggest bugbear for web developers since I can remember back in the good old days of Netscape. One minute you love them, the next minute you hate them, but boy oh boy have I seen some weird stuff as the result of browser incompatibility, inconsistency and incompetency.

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