Learning By Playing: Apps And iOS7

June 28th, 2013 in Development, Web App beta development ios ios7 Web

There’s nothing developers like more than a new toy to play with. On the other hand, there’s also no bigger challenge than a whole new platform: new software means changes to old applications or websites, to factor in the changes made to the operating systems on which they run.

IOS7

That’s why we download iOS 7 Beta as soon as it became available: in part because we just wanted to have a play, and in part because it’s important to our products and those of our customers that we figure out how the new OS for iPads and iPhones actually works.

Apple is a victim of its own success: its iOS system became so successful that it was imitated by competitors the world over, and that led to some starting to argue that Apple was losing its cutting edge. So iOS 7 is an exciting opportunity for the firm to make a new start, but also for the apps and websites we design to be viewed and used on those platforms to take on new lives and new functionalities.

We’re not one of the major app developers who are effectively being part of Apple’s free-of-charge testing community, but that means in many ways that we’re free to explore the Beta release with our own needs in mind. The good news is that we like this release – we prefer it to the previous version, and bar a few glitches we thing it’s almost ready for the market.

Where Apple goes, other companies will follow (this piece at Forbes is a good summary of the current lie of the iOS 7 land), and that’s why it’s been so important for us to start testing the release as soon as we could. The testing stage is crucial for any piece of software, and getting to the capabilities and quirks of an Operating System is particularly key: we can now leverage that knowledge for our clients, after all.

Indeed, bespoke we applications in particular demand an in-depth knowledge and familiarity with the platform on which they will be displayed. The special functionalities we build specifically for our clients will only work if we know how to exploit the features of the latest OS. We’ve just delivered abespoke web app to Peugeot for the launch of their new 208 car – so we know what we’re talking about on the web app front.

And now, with time to spare, we know what we’re talking about on the iOS 7 front, too. Time to have another play, I think…

The Three Bears Problem: Who’s Been Visiting My Webpage?

June 14th, 2013 in Design, Web audience capture data marketing

This week at Image+, we’ve been making contact with people we know are interested in our services, but whom we’ve never met or even spoken to. This ability to sell to a large number of qualified leads quickly and easily is the power of a website, and most importantly of data capture.

teddy bear and Mac PC

One of the key means of securing ROI from your website or other digital platform is to include some sort of data capture mechanism. Your content and products can build an audience, but it’s data capture which helps transform them into customers. Whether through engaging blogs or enticing social media, your digital communications need to point the visitor towards some sort of relationship with your company.

The details of your viewers are powerful marketing tools: they’ve already proven their interest in your products and services, and by capturing their email address or other contact details you can sell direct to a self-qualifying market. This is the real role of
your content: to entertain and educate your audience, of course, but also to build a community around your company.

There are all sorts of ways and means of doing this. The easiest is a subscription newsletter, offering regular correspondence to your visitors in return for their email address. Competitions serve a similar function – providing something for free in return for contact details. Of course, Twitter and Facebook by their very nature offer direct marketing opportunities without the need for extra data capture – but, as any salesperson will tell you, more information is always useful!

There’s another level, however, and that’s to analyse the traffic to your website. Google Analytics provides a surprising depth of data for a free service, allowing you to analyse a variety of information about your visitors, from favoured web browser to country of origin.

There are paid services, meanwhile, which allow you to capture IP addresses and other details, however, and at Image+ we’re experts in obtaining and then enabling you to use that data to market directly to hot prospects. This method requires no form-filling by your visitors, no input of any kind other than simply visiting your website. That makes it an enormously powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

In fact, we’ve been doing that ourselves just this week – so why not benefit from the lessons we’ve learned?