Blog : Technology

The importance of responsive web design for mobile devices

The importance of responsive web design for mobile devices

In a mobile environment, it is critical to provide users the finest quality user experience (UX). Web browsing must be experienced as a seamless transfer of form and function across all platforms. Consumers demand a fluid environment regardless of which device they hold in their hands.

To meet this consumer demand, Responsive Web Design (RWD) was crafted to provide fluid mobility to web content. Designer Ethan Marcotte was concerned with the collective elegance of both the internal code and the external page. He largely crafted the concept and practice.

RWD is the practice of building a web page able to display cleanly on any screen and any device, of any size. To the user, this means the media may be displayed a bit differently, graphics look slightly different, and there may be an alteration of function. But for the most part, the web page you saw on your desktop will display on your mobile phone.

A design problem:

Sadly, for many websites this is not the case. A non-RWD site may look perfectly fine on a desktop. That same site may become ‘user-hostile’ when viewed on a smartphone. Certain content may extend beyond the width of the screen (a common occurrence if it’s held in the vertical position). Some content and media may simply not display on different devices. Navigation throughout the site on a mobile device might be troublesome for a user because the design elements aren’t found where users expect them to be.

The reason for a responsive website design is to present users with a flexible interface. Without a responsive design, you risk losing potential customers who can’t figure out how to use your website or simply offending those who won’t accept its less-than-professional rendering on a mobile device. Either way, you lose face and revenue.

To create a responsive website, you’ll need the assistance of a design team who appreciates the desires of your company and the needs of your audience. Contact Colure to discuss your mobile design needs.

The cost of an instant society

The cost of an instant society

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is changing society’s expectations of reward and activity. This modification is leading to the creation of an “instant society” – an environment where both reward and access to any information is instantaneous and free.

This new paradigm runs in the face of the human experience, established throughout our history.

AI is experienced through virtual reality video games and wearable technology; it interacts gathering information in real time with Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. But how do companies and brands deliver content to an instant society? And more importantly…is this “new,” mentality collectively beneficial to that society?

With being able to gather information in an instant, marketers now have to race the clock to get information out to its intended audience. With most consumers having an attention span of about eight seconds, marketers must create content that is straight to the point and memorable. Technology, however, is on their side as well due to consumers keeping up with new technological trends, always reachable 24/7.

This content can be shown on any platform and even compatible with the wearable technology. Content is being created with the consumer in mind and the fact that we prefer to instant access to information and content.

App development, on the other hand, is becoming a second hand to artificial intelligence. Through Amazon’s Alexa, you are now able to pair multiple devices and control things such as lighting and temperature in your own home.

An “instant society” is not necessarily a bad change. According to Brad Smith of, “By 2038, a personal digital assistant will be trained to anticipate our needs, help manage our schedule, prepare us for meetings, assist as we plan our social lives, reply to and route communications, and drive our cars. Beyond our personal lives, AI will enable humans to make breakthrough advances in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education, and transportation. We’re already seeing this begin in impressive ways”.

Artificial intelligence is making changes to the medical and health field, as well as technology. Although an instant society seems detrimental to the workforce by taking away jobs, it also creates jobs and opportunities in a different way. App development and the output of content for marketers are being developed in ways that apply to the change of an instant society, as well as the consumer’s needs.

Wearable technology might be a good fit for your company

Wearable technology might be a good fit for your company

Wearable technology isn’t a new concept but is becoming a larger trend in everyday life. In fact, wearable technology is becoming the new gateway for big data by collecting user information in a more natural way.

Products such as FitBits, Apple Watches, and even wearable rings are becoming fashion trends, yet most users don’t realize how much data is being collected. Wearable technology not only presents us with potential risks but also potential rewards as well.

In industries such as health and wellness, entertainment, and outdoor sports, wearable technology becomes a helping hand. It can be your GPS, track your heart rate, monitor your sleep and even keep track of your activity.

Rewards include sending personalized data to the user that can analyze their health and fitness and can even fill in the gaps in patient records. Yet, wearable technology can also present the risk of too much data becoming accessible to companies and the device manufacturers.

As the devices are used more and more, big data will be able to gather more specific information regarding a person derived from wearable data such as the time, duration, and proximity of an activity to other tracked individuals. Combined with demographic information, it can provide crucial and detailed context to each individual interaction.

Data gathered impacts how businesses market their products and how companies recruit talent and motivate their employees.

Wearable technology gathers a new class of sensitive data about people: not only who they are, what they do, and who they know, but also how healthy they are, what movements they make, and how well they feel. With growth and changes occurring in the technology of the devices, security and privacy must grow as well.

While companies innovate independently, there is not a lot of information addressing your data security. Users must be aware of the potential dangers when engaged in wearable technology just as they would with normal devices such as tablets, computers and mobile devices.

Personally identifiable information

Personally identifiable information

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any digital data that can locate, contact or identify a specific individual, either by itself or combined with other easily accessible information. It includes information that is linked to an individual through financial, medical, educational or employment records.

PII is mainly used in information security (IS) services to search, locate and identify specified individuals.

PII is considered sensitive information that can consist of information such as fingerprints, biometric data, names, telephone numbers, email addresses, passports or social security numbers to identify a certain person.

It does not include public information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state, or local government record. It is up to federal agencies to safeguard personally identifiable and other sensitive information. It should only be accessed on a need-to-know basis and handled with care.

It is important to protect PII and even personal health information (PHI), which also contains certain aspects of PII that relate to the medical field. People are required to sign statements that specifically allow health care providers to access their records or share the information with a person of choice. The data can help when needed but can be dangerous when misused.

If a data breach were to occur, it can be devastating to a company and its employees. Not only would the loss of a reputation for the company be an issue, but also the thousands of people whose data was stolen would be at risk.

It goes without saying that PII data that is transmitted must be secure and encrypted so that outsiders of the organization or company cannot decipher it.

Redefine your audience

Redefine your audience

Audience extension” uses technology that allows digital publishers to generate revenue from their web traffic, allowing advertisers to reach their target audience far beyond the company’s website. Through audience extension technology, publishers can track their website visitors, allowing advertisers to serve ads to the specific audiences on different sites as they continue browsing the web.

This allows the company to reach its audience far beyond the corporate website. Through audience extension, advertisers are able to identify which audiences they anticipate targeting to based on the type of users visiting a particular website.

This technology has become important for both publishers and advertisers. It allows them to reach a specific audience that is of major interest while creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the two.

Advertisers are asking publishers for advanced targeting data rather than having to go through third-party data sets. An advertiser is then able to provide users with a higher quantity of advertisements across the web rather than flood the publishers’ site with banner advertisements.

The practice of audience extension allows the advertiser to place advertisements on numerous sites in a variety of ways, which in turn, create a lasting impression on the target audience.

Collaborations between The New York Times and Netflix promote the series “Orange Is The New Black” demonstrate how mutually beneficial audience extension is for the two brands.

Publishers are starting to realize how valuable their audiences are through technology such as audience extension. The data that is being passed between publisher and advertiser remains the same, while the audience that is being reached continues to grow.

Online user experience will become more personalized as services such as audience extension continue to grow. It will become customized to the user through likes and dislikes, with advertisements that are more relevant and useful for the customer.

International markets drive a new definition of service

International markets drive a new definition of service

For many companies, their market has been redefined because of the internet. A good or service offered to a traditionally domestic market can now catch the attention of an international audience. Being able to understand and respond to the needs of clients from any location provides an advantage to a company.

Most nations employ English as either a primary or secondary language. This approach helps to breach barriers to your business. Having a well-designed website and utilizing search engine optimization strategies will allow customers and clients around the world to see what your company is capable of doing.

Refining the scope of the markets that you want to address is critical when taking your business global. According to Forbes, you want to “Develop a disciplined method to expanding your business and ensure that every new market you explore offers at least one of the following advantages over others:

  • A larger customer base, potentially with a higher willingness to pay
  • Access to cheaper supply of labor or raw material, leading to cost efficiencies
  • Legal, regulatory, or other systemic factors that make it easier to do business.”

Successful international marketing is similar to marketing in the United States. You have to identify customer needs that your company can address. Make sure your products and services, can address them more completely than competitors in that market sect.

Customers will base their loyalty to a company based on how well their needs are tended to, especially on an international scale. Global customer service is important to any consumer. A company with excellent customer service is more likely to get repeat business from customers. Consequently, the company will benefit with greater sales and profits.

As you consider global expansion, one thing to keep in mind is that you never want to make a move that will diminish success and hard work on home soil. Domestic sales are what got you to where you are and will be the key to expanding that success.

Neglecting your foundation and home market to pursue global markets can easily backfire. By maintaining a strong balance between both markets, you will create a strong brand image at home while slowly establishing yourself internationally. This will allow a company to maintain their core mission while responding to its international potential.

It will take time for a small company to take their business international. But with the right steps and commitment, a small business can find itself competing with larger known businesses and gain the same amount of success.

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s results page (SERP). Complicated algorithms examine tremendous amounts of data to produce these results.

To facilitate this workload, search engines now employ the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This change has made it necessary for legitimate digital marketers to refine their efforts to maintain quality in terms of technical SEO and content development.

The artificial intelligence learns and uses natural language processing, meaning that AI SEO becomes smarter and more human-friendly. AI is trained by using known data, such as:

  • Content

  • Links

  • User behavior

  • Trust

  • Citations

  • Patterns

The AI systems then analyze that data using user experience, big data, and machine learning to develop new ranking factors. The process is capable of producing marketable results most likely to meet user needs.

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning, artificial intelligence system that helps process its search results. The system uses an entirely new way of processing queries. This portion of the search engine’s core algorithm looks at search terms that have not been used before and compares the keywords against other searches to determine what type of results the end user is looking for.

Google’s RankBrain is just one form of artificial “narrow intelligence,” which means that, while it can perform things better than a human in one specific area, it is still a relatively weak form of artificial intelligence.

Yet, AI offers marketers insights that will improve ad campaigns. Adopting AI specifically for SEO efforts presents marketers with tactics that enable them to rank higher in search engines and get their ads seen by more people. The data provides insight that enable you to optimize a website, build links with the high-authority domains, and identifies the best keywords to use for each webpage.

Artificial intelligence has now progressed into deeper learning. While combined with search engine optimization, the list of possibilities to perform tasks has brought a whole new way to produce search engine results.

The execution of SEO has changed because Google, Bing, and all the other search engines are employing artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the content of pages.

When SEO is combined with artificial intelligence there are improvements in the results that come from search engine optimization.

Cybersecurity is your responsiblity

Cybersecurity is your responsiblity

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security. This annual campaign raises awareness on the importance of cybersecurity.

In today’s online age, the number of threats to businesses and their customers increases every day. Almost daily, more information about cyber attacks makes its way into headlines. These attacks range from sensitive information such as credit cards stolen from companies to claims of movies being stolen from production companies such as Disney.

Small businesses are key targets

Yet, big business is not the only target. About 43 percent of cyber attacks target small business, and 60 percent of these small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack. So why is cybersecurity important?

The increasing prevalence of cybersecurity attacks on both individuals and businesses emphasizes the need for IT security professionals who specialize in cybersecurity.” Attacks are categorized into three general categories:

  • Cybersecurity attacks that target hardware and software, such as malware
  • Financial crimes, such as online fraud and phishing schemes
  • Abuse, also known as “sexploitation”

The threat of data leakage via unmanaged devices is serious,’ says Eduard Meelhuysen, head of EMEA at Bitglass. ‘But having a culture of restricting staff access can actually make an organization more vulnerable, not less.” Companies are attacked due to employees misusing company systems far more regularly that one would expect.

Creating a safe environment

Creating a security culture within a company is all about training and awareness. Hackers constantly find new ways to access information, which is why constant awareness of threats is so important. Individuals face the same effect of cyber attacks and may receive less training on how to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity procedures should be treated just as important as health and safety procedures have been.

For companies, training can consist of the following:

  • Have a universal security policy
  • Start with basics- learn the difference between each type of attack and how to avoid these situations
  • Make training relevant – training needs to be specific to your organization

For individuals, the following measures will help keep personal data safe:

  • Don’t give out personal information over the phone or via email unless you’re positively sure of whom you’re giving it to
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and anti-virus software updated
  • Create complex passwords that would be hard to guess
  • Never click on links sent via email even if you’re sure they’re legitimate-the safest practice is to go to the company’s website

It’s important to be aware of the risks and threats you might face in cyberspace, but that you also take steps to protect yourself and your data.

Virtual Reality: Life within a Screen

Virtual Reality: Life within a Screen

Virtual reality (VR) is a new, exciting technology to be explored. Only a few years ago, it seemed to be something straight out of science fiction; its roots can be traced into film history of the 1950s. The ‘Sensorama’, invented in 1956, presented short films in specially outfitted movie theaters with corresponding sounds and smells. Its creator, Morton Heilig, used this early VR technology to further immerse the viewer into a storyline.

Though no vocabulary existed for the technology until 30 years after this cinematic appeal to the senses, today Heilig is recognized as the “father of virtual reality”.

Modern virtual reality is experienced by its user through a wearable screen. It encodes head, eye, and motion tracking and conveys them onto an LCD display. This makes it possible to transform 2D images into 3D environments. By manipulating the senses, the user accepts the “reality” presented to them.

With no separation between your sight and the ‘world’ in front of you, virtual reality allows for a deeper submersion than does augmented reality.

The VR boom in the late 1980s was too short-lived to make real strides. Silicon Valley’s VPL invested heavily in the new technology only to declare bankruptcy a few years later. After the market failure of several VR systems in the 90s, interest in its development was lost until very recently.

In the last decade, virtual reality has been sought after by innovators as being the latest in computing technology. According to Palmer Luckey, it is the “final platform”.

Luckey founded Oculus VR, which sold to Facebook for $2.3 billion in 2014. As an authority in the industry, he has a definite understanding of the limitless applications of VR.

As its original backers hoped, VR is already advancing the fields of education, science, exploration and career training. It has also been implemented in treatments for lazy eye and PTSD. VPL’s original founder, Jaron Lanier has made the modest comment that virtual reality is merely the “next logical step” in human innovation.

Following Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR, Mark Zuckerberg took to his personal page to write: “Our mission is to make the world more open and connected…we can start focusing on what platforms will come next.” Zuckerberg added that “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream…The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together.”

Augmented reality

Augmented reality

Augmented Reality is the melding of the real world with the digital world found on your smartphone. Think “Pokemon Go.”

You have more than likely encountered augmented reality, even if the term is unfamiliar. It is not to be confused with virtual reality, another recent development in the tech world. AR is experienced alongside the real world, while VR simulates its own reality.

Charles Arthur, a contributor to The Guardian, describes AR as taking “a real-life scene, or (better) a video of a scene, and add[ing] some sort of explanatory data to it so that you can better understand what’s going on, or who the people in the scene are, or how to get to where you want to go”.

By blurring the line between what is real and what is not, AR enhances the digital experience.

The most well-known examples of augmented reality in today’s market are Snapchat filters and Pokémon Go. While it is more easily recognizable in entertainment, AR has also been utilized in marketing, educational and retail ventures.

Augmented reality is also starting to play a role in the workplace. It has been adapted for certain hands-on training exercises. An employee’s virtual presence erases the need for direct contact with different environments.

Where direct involvement is risky, the immersive qualities of AR allows for otherwise impossible experiences. For example, NASA has started to use it for scientific research. This enables advances in exploration that humans couldn’t achieve. We can’t send a person to Mars, but technology is taking that giant leap for us.

In the near future, you might not even be able to tell who is seeing the world through an AR wearable. Going through a single day without experiencing augmented reality in some way might even be impossible.

As the technology behind AR continues to evolve, its limits will be pushed even further. Think about how Pong and other early video games now seem so primitive, yet they were what introduced many the members of today’s workforce to computing. Their innovations have increased the capabilities of operating systems hundreds of times over.

These same kinds of giant strides in AR are still to come. The next generation might be taught about the game-changing nature of Pokémon Go just as today’s youth learn about Tetris.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has already labeled augmented reality as the ‘next new thing’. Anyone who is familiar with the tech industry will agree: now that AR has captured Apple’s eye, every competitor will be clamoring to take it to new heights.

The importance of clean data

The importance of clean data

Data plays a critical part in marketing your brand. It provides insight into your target audience and helps to focus your advertising efforts. Your campaigns can only be as beneficial as your data is accurate.

It’s vital to make sure you’re collecting data in a way that’s precise and useful to your business. Just a few simple changes can make your data collection more serviceable.

Data collection concerns:

  • Don’t ask for too much information. Users are wary of giving out information that they feel is unnecessary or invasive. To avoid this, give succinct explanations of how the data will be used.
  • Avoid using outdated technology. Information forms that look outdated can appear untrustworthy to users. Whatever form you use to collect data should still be consistent with the rest of your site. It should appear simple and professional.
  • Be sure your form fields are efficient. Form fields that require specific formatting, like phone numbers or drop-down menus that don’t offer enough options can cause frustration for users and inaccuracies. For example, users who can’t find their occupation as an option in a drop-down menu are likely to choose another occupation that doesn’t accurately represent them.
  • Validate your data. Although data validation can seem monotonous at first, it’s extremely important. If a user accidentally submits the wrong information, it could lead to complications down the road or an inability to provide quality customer service.
  • Not giving enough incentive for providing information. LinkedIn is a spectacular example of offering a valuable exchange for information. As users add more information to their profile, they can look for jobs that better fit their experience or connect with other users that are closer to their industry.

The common theme throughout each of these concerns is the act of not looking at the big picture. For example, offering a drop-down menu might mean less work for you, but it also means less accurate data. Be sure that your form facilitates your function.

Thoughtfully formatted documents communicate trustworthiness and professionalism. When making changes to the way you collect data, it’s important to think about the larger scheme of things. What changes will be more beneficial to your organization further down the road? How can you make it easier for a user to provide information? In the end, it’s accuracy that’s going to provide you with the best results.

Artificial intelligence (AI), your sales, and customer dollars

Artificial intelligence (AI), your sales, and customer dollars

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the use of computer systems that perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Artificial intelligence allows big data sets to be analyzed, segmented and filtered while also gaining the meaning behind them.

AI maximizes data and customer targeting. Most digital campaigns implement data in a broad way. They will identify users who fit a profile and send a mass campaign their way. This type of marketing will target a vast amount of people who may no longer interact with that profile or no longer identify with that profile.

If a retail chain wants to promote their newest pair of basketball shoes, they may target their entire sports audience. Yet, not all of these customers are basketball affiliated. By marketing this product to the all-sports sect, the business would be wasting its time marketing to customers who aren’t interested in the product.

The use of artificial intelligence is able to target specific users. By examining who engaged with the basketball shoe ad, artificial intelligence is able to predict who will engage with similar campaign ads.

In order to keep up with the increased efficiency of the digital age, artificial marketing is necessary to keep digital marketing consistently relevant. The use of artificial intelligence allows marketers to spend their time more wisely by managing campaigns rather than worrying about crunching numbers into data. As digital marketing continues to expand so will artificial intelligence.

Examine your User Experience (UX)

Examine your User Experience (UX)

A user experience is “the totality of the experience of a user when visiting a website”.

In recent years, improving the user experience (UX) has been prioritized by many companies. Shop Direct CEO Alex Baldock has said that when it comes to retail, “relevance wins”. A personalized online experience holds an appeal that is impossible to replicate in a physical store.

Recommendations or specific content based on details like previous purchases pique audience interest. This increases the likelihood of future visits and higher revenue. It adds a human element to the online experience.

Improvements in UX are intuitive. For example, an online retailer will learn to stop recommending winter coats to a customer if they begin to browse swimsuits. This kind of reactive change based on consumer behavior has been implemented by Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, LinkedIn, and nearly every other major online presence.

According to Invesp, retailers that utilize customer information to cultivate an individualized experience see a 56% boost in repeat sales. When done discretely, customers appreciate the increased ease of use that this provides.

Yet, 71% of companies do not use this technology. This is a missed opportunity for wider consumer appeal. In this crowded market, appealing to one’s audience over the competition is extremely important. Failing to adapt to new technology can lead to obsolescence.

The data harvested by mobile apps only heighten a company’s ability to tailor a personalized UX. Location-based advertising and push notifications allow for more opportunities to attract customers. Discovering when and how a customer interacts with your content help you to learn how to market to them. Targeted content helps your brand in becoming relevant to any user.

What consumers want most from a company’s online faction is ease of use. Flashy graphics and interactive content can be nice, but do nothing to simplify the experience. Your site or app only needs to succeed in selling itself. Working to create a user-oriented experience should be your main focus.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cost of information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cost of information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a growing field for decades, but the uprise in virtual assistants in the home has opened a new channel of advertising. With it comes new challenges. Virtual assistants, like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, give consumers a hands-free, hassle-free way of looking up information, keeping track of their plans for the day, or even trying new recipes. But the marketing industry has been hit hard by consumers’ new ability to make purchases or browse the internet without being exposed to a traditional advertisement.

AI brings both benefits and pitfalls to the marketplace. Marketers have new tools at their disposal, but they’ve also been given quite a few hurdles to jump through.

Pros of AI:

  • Virtual assistant devices offer better, more precise data that’s willingly volunteered by consumers. For example, Amazon gets detailed, individualized data with every task Alexa takes on.
  • AI creates a discrete form of advertising that doesn’t feel like a marching band of business owners trying to sell you their products. For example, ask Alexa to buy you a soda, and she immediately suggests the top two products, one of them being a 24-pack of Izze Sparkling Juice drinks. Izze drinks are getting quick advertising to interested customers disguised as a casual conversation. Consumers don’t recognize advertising as easily in this new and unmarked territory.


  • Now that consumers are able to order a new product or search something on the internet without even pushing a button, the emphasis on digital marketing is threatened. Desktop and mobile devices have been the biggest platforms for reaching consumers. Only time will tell how AI will modify the relationship between customers and new businesses.
  • AI devices are always listening to all sound sources in the home, waiting to be activated. AI marketing is supposed to be the next big leap in marketing, but what information is gathered, how, and what happens to that data? What price are customers willing to pay for those advancements. Privacy in our homes is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Will consumers give up that right by agreeing to a software licensing agreement? Sometimes, with no marked path to follow, a fresh line will need to be drawn when it comes to what is ethical and what is business-savvy.

AI emphasizes the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) more than anything. Recommendations by virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are based on the top results in search engines. Making sure that your service or product is at the top of the list will allow your business to wedge its way into those recommendations. AI management of various details in our lives can be a great asset. The question becomes, “what will be the cost of that growth?”

Google addresses download speeds with Instant Apps

Google addresses download speeds with Instant Apps

In 2016, Google announced that they were releasing Instant Apps on Android devices. The feature became available on select devices in January this year, but it’s expected that it will be available on all Android devices very soon. The rollout will allow users to access certain apps without downloading them to their mobile device. This new feature has caused a lot of controversies — especially for app owners, who earn revenue from users paying for downloads. However, Instant Apps could also create new opportunities for marketers to reach a larger audience.

Instant Apps will work much like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in that the pages will pre-download content for a faster experience for the user. Content will download as the user approaches it, rather than the whole page loading in advance. This means users are more likely to stay on the app because they’re not waiting to interact with the content: 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.

This new feature will enable you to widen the top of your funnel and allow more users to interact with your app. An Instant App will act like a lite version of the pre-existing app, so new users who normally would not engage with your content get a taste of the full version and be encouraged to download it. Google also believes that the new feature will act as an “acquisition strategy” and boost downloads in the long run because the Instant Apps will be easily shareable. For example, by including a link to your app in an email campaign, users can engage with the app immediately without having to download it. There are fewer barriers between the user and your content.

Instant Apps could create both new opportunities and new complications for mobile marketers. Which way the scale leans will depend on how users interact with the new feature and how it will affect app downloads.

Data visualization

Data visualization

Data visualization tools create graphic representations of business data to make information understandable and meaningful. By doing so, they can bring insight to your marketing strategies and shed light on trends, patterns, and possible changes that affect your business. These insights change with growing technology. The modern visualization tools make viewing data simpler, more accessible, and easier to apply to your marketing strategy.

These tools essentially allow you to look at data from a bird’s eye view. The wider scope means more accurate results. So instead of taking a small sample of data and applying it to your larger consumer audience, you can rake through your entire customer database for more precise results.

Data visualization also gives you the freedom to uncover trends within highly specified categories in your customer database. You can analyze customer data based on purchase history, demographic, or response rates to campaigns and use it as you fine-tune future strategies. The tools even give you the ability to study correlations between specific services or products so you can personalize future offers to your customers.

One of the primary reasons data visualization is important is that it helps to draw meaningful conclusions from the data and make the most of the numbers. By doing so, it can reveal patterns and trends and give hints into upcoming opportunities to interact with your consumer audience. This is especially significant because it not only gives you a direction in which you can move forward; it also gives insight into previous campaigns. Getting a more granular knowledge of your strategy can show you where you’re wasting money and where to focus your spending in the future.

Data visualization tools do all of this while cutting down on time and resources. There’s no longer a need to hire a specialized IT worker to sift through the numbers. Even marketers with a very basic knowledge of analytics can easily navigate and react to the system.

As technology rapidly advances, data visualization allows for more complex analytics at an almost instantaneous rate. Quite literally, it allows you to do more with less by giving you a more comprehensive analysis of your data with fewer resources.

Live streaming video

Live streaming video

Live stream video is the superpower of the video marketing world. It offers the potential of a memorable marketing video while multiplying engagement with its interactive nature. Viewers can respond to the video in real-time, creating a conversation between customer and company. Unlike other forms of media that are strategized, planned, and produced, live stream video has a natural feel that allows customers to see a company in an organic environment.

Why use live stream video?

Live video ultimately creates the illusion of a face-to-face interaction. You may not have time to sit down individually with each of your customers, but through live video, you can make them feel as though you have. It embraces conversation and develops a dialogue between a company and its customers. Unlike the thousands of other advertisements that consumers are exposed to daily, live streaming doesn’t leave room for edits, coverups, or patches. The format provides transparency — a characteristic that continues to hold more power with each year.

How to get started with live streaming video:

  • Ditch the script. Micro-organizing everything can make your video appear stiff and rehearsed. Take advantage of the organic nature of live video by finding the healthy balance between preparation and improvisation.
  • Bring in a fresh voice. Do interviews, ask others’ opinions, or create a mock panel. Changing things up gives a unique perspective and keeps consumers engaged and interested.
  • Have fun. It’s okay to crack a joke or stumble over your words. Be willing to be spontaneous, and let your customers get to know you.

Top trends in live streaming video:

  • Q&A sessions give the illusion of a face-to-face conversation. Consumers have a short attention span, but live video creates an environment that fosters immediacy. They’re much more likely to ask a question in this type of environment than they are to email someone and wait for a reply.
  • Customer supportAWeber hosts “office hours” during which customers can ask questions directly during live streaming. These office hours are scheduled and consistent, while still maintaining the feel of a personal conversation.
  • Special announcements — Announcing a new product or feature via live video helps build anticipation and excitement. Your customers are much more likely to get pumped about the big news when they see that you are.
  • Live events — Giving consumers a glimpse of a live event builds excitement and encourages customers to celebrate with you.
  • Behind-the-scenes looks — Giving a sneak peek of what goes on behind the curtain not only peaks curiosity; it also develops loyalty because customers feel knowledgeable about the company.

Research shows that consumers will watch a live video eight times longer than an on-demand video. Its unique personality cuts through the clutter of other forms of media and likely will continue growing as digital technology develops.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages

It’s been a year since Google introduced the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project — a collaborative initiative that substantially decreases the loading time for mobile web pages. The project focuses on minimizing the code for static content (content that doesn’t change based on user behavior) to make pages load almost instantaneously. A regular mobile page takes seven seconds on average to load, but AMP pages take less than half a second. As consumer audiences’ attention spans get shorter and shorter, the ability to deliver content immediately is a precious tool to gain loyalty.

It’s no secret that faster loading content is appealing to consumers. The desire for instant gratification is a key characteristic of young consumers that comes with the rapid growth of technology. But AMP provides just as much to content publishers as it does to mobile device users. When companies join the AMP project, it gives them the ability to guarantee fast content to their users, creating a reliability that will continue to build trust over time. Consumers come back to the brands they trust, and if they know your company gives immediate accessibility to your content, they’re likely to return.

More than that, AMP pages are prioritized by search engines. Between two identical pages — one that uses HTML and one that uses the slimmed-down AMP HTML — the AMP version will rank higher up in the search engine results.

This stripped version of HTML shows itself in a few different ways. First, it prioritizes content that needs to be loaded first so that users can begin reading content immediately. For example, the text is going to load before images appear. And to make it even faster, images won’t actually load until the user scrolls to their location on the page. AMP also loads the layout of the page in advance to keep the page from loading more content — and making the page jump around — as the user is trying to engage with the content. Lastly, AMP only allows asynchronous JavaScript to run on its pages instead of waiting for everything to load at once.

Organizations worldwide are realizing the significance of the AMP project. Earlier this month it was announced that AMP was being adopted by Yahoo Japan and two other Chinese search engines as well. Publishers that have already been using AMP for a while have reported  that AMP pages get more on-site time, higher user engagement, and better monetization. Growing support for the project suggests that this young initiative won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Object-Based Targeting

Object-Based Targeting

Object-based targeting allows companies to focus the content of an advertisement to match the content posted by a consumer. If you post pictures of dogs, this technology will marry canine-themed advertisements to appear in your social media.

With real-time social media playing such a big role in the lives of consumers, it was only a matter of time before somebody grabbed ahold of the reigns on real-time advertising. Snap Inc. took a big leap last year by patenting a new technology that will change real-time advertisements in a central way. The technology will allow advertisers to target Snapchat users in a uniquely personal way.

Snap Inc.’s object-based targeting will enable advertisers to promote their product based on the content that Snapchat user posts to their account. If a user snaps an image of a new pair of Nikes, they’re likely to see ads for footwear.

Snap Inc. has yet to enable the technology on Snapchat, but it’s expected that the new features will bring in a significant revenue increase and user growth. In fact, they expect to make between $500 million and $1 billion in 2017 — a big jump from the $59 million they made in 2015.

Consumers repeatedly respond more to image-based advertisements than to written content, so object-based targeting offers a way to speak the language of your consumer audience. Behind Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the top social media sites. Both of these rely almost completely on visual content. Not only is it more engaging, but visual content makes your advertisement more memorable. Research shows that when people listen to information, they’ll remember 10% of the information three days later. If that information is paired with a relevant image, they’ll remember 65% of the information three days later.

Snapchat’s new feature will mean that advertisements can be targeted even more specifically than they already are. Advertisers will be able to respond to users automatically and instantaneously, virtually serving up a user’s interests on a silver platter.

Push Notifications, How They Drive Engagement in Mobile Apps

Push Notifications, How They Drive Engagement in Mobile Apps

An ever-growing mobile audience is challenging the mechanisms needed for marketers to interact with the audience’s fluid movement. Desktop Marketing finds itself struggling to keep up with the quick pace and instantaneous engagement on mobile devices. Despite the statistic that desktop still accounts for 42% of internet time. Web push notifications, also known as browser push notifications, are a new channel of marketing that brings the personalization of the mobile medium to the desktop.

Web push notifications are pop-up messages from a website that, when clicked, send the user to a specific link (for example, a new blog post). They’re not the same thing as web notifications, which are active only on an open web page. Instead, web push acts much like mobile application notifications, which are initiated only when the user gives permission to receive them. After the user gives permission, the company can send push notifications at any time, even if the website isn’t open in the browser.

A clean example of this is when a newspaper can notify its readers about the content of the most recently posted story. This immediate interaction helps to provide additional context to the story at hand.

Unlike the more common medium of email marketing, web push allows websites to engage users without having their contact information. Users are more likely to opt-in to the push notifications because they’re generally less invasive and make it easier to unsubscribe. Research has shown that less than 10% of users who opt-in for web push notifications unsubscribe within a year. This is despite the ease of opting out.

These are not the only benefits to using web push notifications:

  • Web push notifications deliver immediately to users, eliminating the possibility of being sent to a spam folder, like email.
  • Web push notifications have conversion rates 30 times that of email.
  • Push notifications are less content-heavy (generally between 40-120 characters) and better appeal to the shortened attention span of the consumer audience.
  • Web push offers the benefit of mobile app push notifications without investing money in developing an app.

Web push is supported by Safari 7.0.3, Chrome 42, and Mozilla Firefox. The channel continues to grow, pushing email marketing to the wayside and offering companies a more direct and concise avenue of communication with consumers. While there is yet to be much research on the direct success rate of websites using web push notifications, it is expected that it will be close to that of push notifications in mobile apps, which boost engagement by a notable 88%.

Web push notifications allow for a low-profile and noninvasive way to communicate with customers. Its low cost makes it a great investment for small and medium-sized businesses, so we can expect it to be on the uprise within the coming years.

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons Are Making Mobile Apps Smarter

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons Are Making Mobile Apps Smarter

Advertisements today can be overwhelming to consumers. Especially in the last decade as advertising has come to focus upon online consumerism, customers are constantly bombarded with popups for the latest and greatest products. The negative response to this shift in marketing has led to a need for innovative and unique technologies that avoid overwhelming consumers while still reaching an audience. Indoor location technologies, such as Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons, is one of these innovative designs.

What are BLE Beacons?

Bluetooth Beacons are wireless devices that draw attention to a specific location, within a finite space. A clear example of a beacon is a lighthouse: its light draws attention from offshore ships, letting the ships know their distance from the lighthouse and the shore. Bluetooth Beacons do the same thing in a virtual environment, allowing brick-and-mortar businesses to send out signals to mobile devices in the immediate area.

Bluetooth Low-Energy Beacons, also known as Bluetooth 4.0, are just as their name suggests. They do the same thing in practice while maintaining low energy consumption.

How do BLE Beacons work?

The wireless device draws attention to its location by periodically putting out a radio signal. This radio signal consists of a small packet of data, usually advertisements. A beacon at a sports store, for example, might periodically send signals for current deals on hiking boots. Compatible mobile devices within close proximity to the beacon (usually about 100 meters) would then receive those advertisements, triggering applications to prompt responses like push messages or actions.

Why use a BLE Beacon?

Bluetooth Beacons, in general, allow businesses to deliver highly contextualized and personalized advertisements to their customers. Unlike other indoor location technologies such as GPS and NFC, Beacons are hyper-localized and specified for indoor environments. This means that the customer isn’t going to get advertisements for every store in the mall, but they also don’t need to be standing directly next to a product to receive an advertisement.

BLE Beacons also cost 60-80% cheaper than classic Bluetooth Beacons (although classic Bluetooth is recommended for more complex applications). Their low-energy consumption allows them to last much longer than the classic Bluetooth Beacon. The BLE Beacon stays in sleep mode unless it is actively configuring a connection, so it can last up to 3 years on one coin-cell sized battery.

Who benefits from using BLE Beacons?

Both Classic Bluetooth and BLE Beacons can be beneficial to a company. Classic Bluetooth can handle larger amounts of data, but BLE Beacons are ideal for transmitting advertisements to applications that periodically use small amounts of data. This, in addition to their low-energy consumption and cheaper cost, means that small businesses may benefit from using a BLE model over classic Bluetooth location technology.

The value of in-store retail sales influenced by beacon technology increased by $40 million between 2015 and 2016. The benefit of being able to personalize advertisements to customers continues to appeal to businesses, and it’s expected that 4.5 million beacons will be active by 2018.

Big Data Analyitics

Big Data Analyitics

The recent digital explosion has not just been limited to devices and mobile applications. The analysis of large sets of digital data is now more important than ever. The growth and practicality of digital analytics in recent years has made it more accessible for companies to take the leap into data mining.

Big data analytics allows you to assess large sets of raw data to reveal patterns, trends, unknown correlations, industry trends, consumer preferences and other valuable sets of information. You can take that valuable information and use if to generate new revenue, better service, and improved efficiency. Big data is very important because it can give companies the edge they need to give them a leg up on the competition. Leveraging data-driven strategies will lead to increased competition and innovation.

With Big Data, companies can acquire more in-depth knowledge about how their business operates, which in return can lead to improved performance and decision making. If you want to know the quantity sold of a particular product or service, you can track that with big data. If you want to know which products did not perform well you can track that with big data. If you want to the particular demographic of who bought your product or service, you can track that with big data. The possibilities are becoming endless. Amazon has been using big data to take their business to the next level.

The online retailer has been using big data to extract large amounts of data on consumer names, addresses, payments, and search inquiries. They also use this information to improve customer relations. Netflix has also used data analytics to find ways to improve their entertainment streaming service. They have an abundance of data that they use to provide insight when it comes to analyzing the viewing behavior of their subscribers giving them information n what content they should pursue and in which markets, both domestically and internationally.

To get ahead of the competition you have to understand where you are as a company and know how your company stacks up against the industry leaders. Big data analysis gives companies that opportunity to close that gap and create leverage for themselves. Big data, provides insight your market, your clients, and yourself.

Live streaming video

Live streaming video

One of the fasting growing video sharing innovations is through the live streaming of real events. Live streaming is the new kid on the block giving viewers the opportunity to see videos over the internet in real-time, and the chance to engage with brands in an authentic and transparent way. It is becoming evident that people want live content in real-time, but is live streaming a sustainable business practice that is here to stay? 

Video marketing is now most beneficial way to promote your services on the web and live streaming is just a better way for brands to develop more interactive marketing campaigns. It is less expensive than traditional video marketing. All you need is a mobile phone and someone interesting enough to captivate an audience. It will be interesting to see if the cost effectiveness allows live streaming to usurp traditional video marketing, similar to the way reality TV began to overtake traditional studio-produced shows. People want to know what’s going on with their favorite people and brands. They don’t want a choreographed routine. They want something that is transparent.

Businesses are learning to expand their reach with live streaming. Companies are shelling out large amounts of dough to launch campaigns through live streaming. The titans of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, & YouTube have all been investing in efforts to enhance their streaming platforms, but other companies are starting to join in and grab a slice of the pie. Target sponsored the first-ever live streaming of a music video, which garnered over 25 million views during the commercial break at the Grammys. This turned out to be a massive success.

While live-streaming indeed provides certain advantages to communications, it still presents several risks. Not all projects will pan out. People are used to watching content when they have the chance, but live streaming places the viewer in the hands of the streamer. Gathering feedback is often an extra step that is often not engaged to measure the effectiveness of a streamed event. Live streaming is proving to be attractive; it should be part of our mobile lexicon for some time.

Mobile App Marketing With Indexing & Deep-linking

Mobile App Marketing With Indexing & Deep-linking

Mobile search has been transformed from a simple search of the Internet’s content to an index that includes downloadable mobile applications into the results. The evolution is called mobile app indexing. Although Google introduced app indexing in 2013, businesses are only now realizing the advantages it produces. The benefits of app indexing do not only pertain to businesses, but to the entire marketplace, especially mobile users. As the awareness and understanding of app indexing increases, the installation of apps by businesses and users will skyrocket.

In prior years, the results of a Google search (via a mobile device) would primarily be a list of recommended website links. Due to the introduction of app indexing, the results will now include suggested applications pertaining to the search terms. Just as users can click on and connect to a web page link, users can also launch the app directly from the results page if that app has been installed on the device prior to the search. However, if the app is not downloaded onto the device, there will be an option to install the app to receive the desired content. This addition opens up a whole new and innovative way of mobile searching.

If your business does not have an app, it may be smart to adopt one, if you have a valid need. If your business does have an app, make indexing a priority. Since the majority of businesses have not yet adopted app indexing, this act will immediately set you apart from the competition. Now is the best time to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and benefits mobile app indexing will generate for your business. Advantages of app indexing include an increase in customer loyalty, app installations, and user traffic. Additionally, your business will become more visible to the eye of the user through the presence of the app on the results page.

For mobile users, app indexing has created an improved and advanced search experience. The indexing of both websites and apps broadens search results. The expansion of search potential will result in an increase in the amount of useful information that can be utilized by the mobile user. Not only a development in marketing for businesses, app indexing is also a way for mobile users to access information more effectively and efficiently. To help you define your mobile app indexing experience, contact Colure’s project management team. 

Virtual Reality meets your world

Virtual Reality meets your world

The future is now. The once faint dream of experiencing life in an altered dimension is now within the grasp of our fingertips with Virtual Reality (VR) technology. 2016 appears to be the year virtual reality devices are set to take off, with an expected surge of devices ready to hit the mainstream. The technology is familiar, having been around for decades, but now the integration of the technology with gaming, social, and mobile platforms has the technology heating up. Companies like Samsung, Sony, Google, and Oculus are vying for market share with their renditions of virtual-reality enabling devices.

 At the forefront of the technology sits the Oculus Rift, the headset that started this new wave of deceives diving into alternate dimensions. The high-tech headset plugs right into your computer’s DVI and USB ports. The Rift tracks your head movements projecting 3-Dimensional imagery onto its screens at a 2160 x 1200 resolution. Then there’s the HTC Vive, which has a chance to usurp the Rift, with its 70 sensors that offer full range head tracking, minus the motion sickness. You might need to install motion sensors around your house, but it’s worth considering.

The options are plentiful. There is the PlayStation VR, the Razor OSVR, & the Microsoft Hololens just to name a few, but the most interesting VR device may turn out to be the Google’s interpretation, known as the Google Cardboard. Yes, the VR headset is called the Google Cardboard because it is made out of cardboard. A bold idea, but it is a true testament to the wonders of the smartphone with the mobile device having the ability to tap into the VR market. Apparently, your smartphone is all you need if you desire that out-of-body experience. All of the necessary gyroscopic sensors and positioning systems to track your head movements are already in your smartphone.

The virtual reality market is diverse, competitive, and pricey. While some devices may appear to have an advantage, there’s no telling how decisive that advantage may be. What you can expect is stiff competition. These high-powered devices will have a bevy of options when it comes to games. Developers will be working overtime to create games that maximize the experience of the VR devices. You can expect to be visually impressed with better camera options, and you can expect unlimited potential to use the device beyond the confines of your living room. With the technology ready to be release you have to sit back and ask yourselves this question. Will this just be a trend or will virtual reality be a mainstay & pioneer of a new breed of technology for generations to come?

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security is critical to your business. No matter your endeavor, the safety of your data is central to your success and security. At the heart of every business are passwords, financial transactions, employee data, and a host of other digital concerns. The protection you extend to this data is critical to your success.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, organized by a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. This alliance between private industry and the U.S. Government is celebrating its 13th year helping you protect your data.

Take a few moments to explore the issue of cyber security. coordinates many efforts to protect the digital concerns of individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. Simply put – if you have a computer, you are at risk. Anyone anywhere can be hacked. This group has created an extended list of free tools and resources for everyone to help define their individual risk assessment. Here is a technology checklist for your business’s cyber concerns. Examine your company’s digital resources, to become #CyberAware of your network’s security status.

The National Cyber Security Alliance has listed an extended series of events taking place around the globe during the month of October to discuss various aspects of cyber-security. Some of these events are virtual; others are physical. Take a look at this list to see if there are any events in your area that you may be able to attend.

We often use this space to discuss advertising or tech developments. This week, we felt we’d explore an issue that helps to define our security, our independence, and our freedom in the marketplace. If you cannot specifically define the security status of your system, you may not be aware of the actual nature of your exposure.


Application Programming Interfaces (API)

Application Programming Interfaces (API)

When companies go design their new shiny corporate app, a software engineer might tell the boss that the proposed mobile application will have to ‘talk’ to other computers. In order to facilitate this digital chit-chat, an added program may be needed to facilitate that electronic conversation. These coded exchanges are often facilitated by an Application Programming Interface (API). These may sound complicated, but they really aren’t. An API is just a way for one software system to interact with another. APIs form a set of rules and protocols that are designed to help programs communicate. Through an API, different software solutions can be integrated and work together. This is incredibly important for all levels of software development. 

How Does an Application Programming Interface (API) Work?

Imagine that you are from France and you only speak French. An acquaintance of yours is from Italy and only speaks Italian. How can you talk to each other? Many programs interact exactly like this; they have their own internal methods and processes that they use to complete tasks. A third-party program will need to learn to “speak their languages” and help the first two programs to understand each other. This is needed if they are going to complete a task.

You’re probably most familiar with APIs through eCommerce portals: online shops. When you’re buying something online, you’re often given the option to pay through PayPal. But how does PayPal know how much to charge you? How does it know what items are being purchased and who to send the money to? The website is using PayPal’s API: a series of directions that PayPal has published for interacting with their system.

When you buy a shirt through an online shop, the online shop sends that data through PayPals API. PayPal then collects the information, which has been formatted properly for its use, and uses it to charge you. It then sends information back to the online shop, regarding whether or not the transaction was successful. To you, the user, this transaction will appear quick, easy, and seamless. But there’s a lot going on in the background!

How Can APIs Be Integrated Into Mobile Devices?

Mobile applications often take advantage of APIs for advanced features. One of the most common examples is the Google Maps API, which includes all of the information that Google Maps does and is available for both Android and iOS. The Google Maps API has been the foundation of many critical apps, including the recently popular Pokemon Go. Other commonly used APIs include weather services, social media integration, and local directories. Through APIs, developers can gain access to a suite of features and a wealth of data that they would otherwise have to collect themselves.

Can an API Be Dangerous?

By now, you may be wondering whether an API could be used against you. Can it take you places without your knowledge? Can it transfer your information without you knowing? Put simply, yes: once you hand your information over to a software system, it can use that data as it wants. If you load an app that has a Google Map API, then Google may very well be able to see your location. And an API itself can become a vulnerability within a system.

This underscores the importance of maintaining your own security and using only reputable software vendors. In fact, many recent security leaks have occurred due to third-party software solutions. That being said, most software today contains some element of API usage, and it is impossible to avoid. For mobile devices, security settings can often be managed to control what you do or don’t give out — to anyone.

APIs provide an incredibly useful and necessary method of communicating between programs. For developers, they allow project teams to take advantage of resources that they would otherwise have to build themselves. For users, they ensure a better overall user and are often seamless in integration. Either way, APIs are an essential part of software development.

Messaging Apps

Messaging Apps

When was the last time you asked someone out on a date, face-to-face? This may sound a bit prehistoric. Doesn’t it? That’s because the simple act of social interaction has been redefined by digital interaction. Mobile messaging apps have revolutionized the way people communicate.

Over 2.6 billion people have at least one mobile messaging app installed on their smartphone device. Today’s global market seems to be defined by a small handful of messaging apps. Each app offers the ability to capture a moment in ways the other cannot. The increased competition for content exposure has forced some mobile apps to implement similar features.

Recently, Instagram integrated a story feature to their app similar to Snapchat. Instagram has a much larger following than the “exclusive” Snapchat. If this new “clone” attempt by Instagram discovers a footing in the market, it shows that market disruption is more useful when one company duplicates the strengths of another and turns them into weakness.

Because of their demonstrated income streams, mobile messaging has changed the way businesses advertise. With these apps, companies are less dependent upon selling their product. Through mobile messaging apps, businesses can establish a presence and create a greater brand awareness.

Profits are often affected by who (or what) controls the information funnel. Corporate giants, such as CNN and ESPN will be distributing original content directly through Snapchat’s new feature.

They’re aggregating people’s attention and linking it to other forms of commerce,” Mitch Lasky told the New York Times. He’s a Snapchat board member and a partner at the venture-capital firm Benchmark.

Mobile messaging apps have changed the way we communicate. They are captivating, exclusive, and unique. They have changed how we share ideas and re-shaped the market, all in the palm of your hand.

What is the difference between a web app vs a mobile app?

What is the difference between a web app vs a mobile app?

In a day when there’s an app for almost every need or function, companies providing these digital problem solvers often ask “do I need to develop a mobile application just to provide a simple function?” The answer is no. An application that operates on your web browser may be the answer. Web apps have filled the void to provide those functions. Web apps provide the feel of a mobile app with the power, accessibility, and stability of web-browser.

From a technical viewpoint the web is a highly programmable environment that allows mass customization through the immediate deployment of a large and diverse range of applications, to millions of global users.” – Acunetix

One user defined the differences as:

a website is defined by its content, while a web application is defined by its interaction with the user. That is, a website can plausibly consist of a static content repository that’s dealt out to all visitors, while a web application depends on interaction and requires programmatic user input and data processing.” – kerrek-sb 

Defining you needs is the first step to deciding how to proceed. Many variables will affect your selection. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you progress:

  • Design with the user in mind. This decision may mean thinking beyond your personal opinions. An aesthetically pleasing won’t satisfy customers if it’s hard to use. Think simple. Sensory overload with images and options will only turn customers away. Try to keep the app’s main functions first, with more advanced settings tucked away. Ask yourself: if my app only did one thing, what would it be? Build off of the main focus, adding additions only where it enriches the customer’s user experience (UX).
  • Balance personal creativity with traditional functions. Colors have meaning and emotional responses. Choose a palette that represents your goals and functions. Experiment with different color schemas before the app is released. The color blue may give your app a calming feel and is the choice of many social media giants. A red color scheme may elicit strong emotions like passion or urgency but also serves as a warning color. Decide how you want your users to feel when they use your app.

It’s important to beta test your app. Try to seek a large group of beta testers to help define the strengths and weaknesses of your app. The benefits of a solid beta-test have been well established. It may be a cost, but an untested app will lose profits in the future. Your goal should be to have the best performing, most efficient app in your field. Otherwise, why would customers choose yours over a competitor?

Develop your app to fulfill the needs of your clients and to answer those questions you seek to conquer. Proceeding with the proper format for your app will facilitate greater function for everyone involved with the process.

Selecting a mobile application’s programming format: native, HTML5, or a hybrid

Selecting a mobile application’s programming format: native, HTML5, or a hybrid

Businesses who are seeking to create the best mobile application must choose which programming environment they will use. Should they peruse a mobile platform’s native language, HTML5, or a hybrid of the two environments? Your selection of a format will be dependent upon several factors including development costs, your project objectives, and the preferences of your customer. Many companies have found that the investment of time to define your objectives will pay off later in the development cycle.

Software developers have debated each type’s efficiency over the years. Each form creates a different product. Here is short look at the differences between these three formats:

  • Native apps take advantage of built-in functions, such as GPS or the camera. These apps can utilize features of the smartphone’s operating system to provide an enhanced user experience. Double tapping, pinching, or other touch gestures can serve purposes in the function of your app.
  • HTML5 apps come with the advantage of universally applicable code; these apps use standard web technologies and can operate seamlessly on many devices. Web language is also widely known and learned considerably easier than that of specific operating systems. These factors lead to HTML5 apps ability to be quickly developed, tested, edited, and retested. The development of HTML5 over HTML4 also allows for apps to look and feel more like native apps more than ever before.
  • Hybrid apps allow a developer to take the format of an HTML5 application and wrap it inside of native environment, crafted for a given platform.

While HTML5 apps may be easier to create and implement into multiple devices, there is a critical cost-benefit ratio in the app performance. When 79% of people won’t try an app again if it fails more than twice, you must decide if the ease in creating HTML5 apps is worth the potential losses. HTML5 and hybrid apps can’t keep up with native apps in this arena.

TheLadders, a job recruiting company, first selected HTML5 with their web app before switching to a native format. They found that the concept of “write once, run everywhere” wasn’t as simple as it seemed. Testing and retesting the app in different screen sizes and devices proved to be a challenge. These short-term changes led to the app only being released for iOS and receiving little success. The company then decided to rewrite the app natively. The developer team mastered native coding much faster than they thought. The result was a much smoother, faster, and modern-looking app.

Having a native app can give you an edge over the competitor. Domino’s and Delta Airlines have both used native apps to give increased convenience to their customers. The result is beating out competing companies who may have outdated or slower apps.

If you don’t believe that your company’s app performance is very important or necessary, an HMTL5 or hybrid app may be a fine choice. A company looking to create a truly pleasing app may consider a native format. The investment in time and money will pay off with better app performance and increased customer satisfaction.

Contact Colure’s development team to discuss which format may be best for your company’s objectives and your customer’s UX.