Author Archives: Siddharth Kumar

Importance Of Quality Design In Consumer Apps

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  • The ease of a consumer User Experience is important not just at home but, according to employees, also at work. Recent trends show that design has been a focus in consumer apps.
  • One must understand that designs shouldn’t be an afterthought, it’s a crucial building block of your app that will influence every element of its success. Making the decision to invest in quality design from the start leads to:
  1. Wider audiences– software reaches mobile-first markets — people who don’t have access or don’t want to use desktop computers.
  2. Brand awareness– mobile improves and builds upon brand image.
  3. Perpetual connectivity– mobile allows people to be connected and accessible anywhere, anytime.
  • The benefits of putting quality design is huge. It does matter because quality designs does not just end with happier, more engaged users. It can also change everything about your app and process – for the better. When you have a solid design foundation, your app’s version 2 (or 3, or 4) goes from a long and expensive overhaul to a quicker and easier update. Apart from these benefits, other boons like customer support costs are reduced, user training is simplified, and user adoption can be less expensive and more organic.
  • With over 600 mobile, web, and cloud solutions, and outstanding successes like Intel , Hallmark, and Mobeam, we’ve more than proven the Sourcebits design-first approach works. For us putting quality design matters because as they say well begun is half done.

Five Compelling Reasons For Businesses To Go For APPS

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  • Life has been kind to you. You have a small business and a website about it. But, you have been asked by your customers several times, if you have an app? You have been pondering over it and your well wishers too have suggested you to have an app for your business. But how will that help? This question arrises on your mind and here is the key to all the queries.
  • 1. Your competitor has an app and he is doing well
  • The statistics show that the mobile digital media time is at 51% when compared to desktop which is at 42% in the U.S. This very clearly means that if you have a business and you are not on your customer’s phone with an app or a website, you are left behind in the market. Where as your competitors will always be ahead of you.
  • Flurry, a mobile analytics company, did a research which suggests, that 86% of our time is spent on apps while we spend only 14% on mobile websites.
  • The owners of Mount Royal Bagel Company of Montral wanted to start a branch in New Jersey. They were in need of a way to break into the markets and promote their delicious bagels which were baked in wood burning oven. They also wanted to build a loyal customer base. This all became possible when they created an app. They have over 1400 loyal app users and 30% of their current customers have dowloaded their app.

 

  • 2. Life becomes easy
  • Apps can be personalised. They can open quickly and indeed easy to use.
  • A user can find a tedious to open the browser, search a product he is interested in. It would be much easier for users to open an app, make purchase and do the payment through the app itself. An app also sorts out the issue of feeding the personal information again and again. Customers can readily reach out to the business whenever they want. The data gathered from the users is encrypted and stored safely.
  • The life of both doctors and patients have become easy by the top rated CVS pharmaceutical app. This app enables the users to locate a nearby CVS store, perform key phrmacy and shopping from home, collect digital coupans and do it all with a few taps on their smart phones. This app also features like medication refill – he can scan the prescription’s barcode with a camera and send to the store; the user can also check negative reaction of the medicine and food groups.
  • The apps are of immense help to the clients as they save time, money and are convenient.
  • A new report by Oracle states that, the apps are used by 71% of millennial to manage billing for the services they use through apps. The fact that they can flag issues and send their complaints to the businesses with the app in their phone is liked by 65% of the millennial.
  • There are many productivity apps that can even work without internet connection. Core functionalities and data is downloaded onto the smartphone . The data can be accessed and the users can use the apps when not connected to the internet. Where connectivity is poor, it is very helpful there.

 

  • 3. You engage in a better way through apps
  • For a good promotional and marketing strategy you need a good app.
  • Through apps you can extend your loyalty benefits and digitalise your promotions to your regular customers. A customer does not need to visit a brick and mortar store to redeem his loyalty points, he can do it via his smartphone. As a business, you can attend to the needs of your customers individually. You can offer special discounts. You can send him reminders when the goods that are in his wish list arrive.
  • Forrester Research had good words for Chase Bank for its effective mobile solutions in its 2014 report when it topped Forrester Research’s mobile banking rankings. The bank was able to distinguish itself from its competitors with its smart mobile strategy of having Chase mobile apps for iOS and android. It proved to be of great value to its customers.
  • For 55% of millennials a brand experience on an app is more meaningful if it has location based services. Location based push notifications are also a very interesting way to promote your brand and services. You can send push notifications to people walking in one mile radius of your store offering them discounts and other promotional schemes. It increases your chances of having more walk-throughs. You create more awareness about your brand and products promotions.

 

  • 4. Apps help you track users in a better way
  • You get a huge window of opportunity to collect data and analyse it later to predict users behaviour once your user downloads and installs your app on his smartphone. You will know if the user is happy with the app. You can tweak your app to serve him better by spotting patterns in his behaviour.You can track his navigation, see the number of features he uses and the in-app purchases he has made. You can send promotional push notifications for the things he is searching for. You can know the optimal time to reach him. If the users have installed your app, you can take your marketing efforts up a notch by having beacons in your brick and mortar store if you have one.
  • You can use tools like Google Analytics, Flurry Analytics, Apsalar and UXCam to analyse the data the apps collect. These tools will help you collect data from apps and will help you analyse end-user behaviour and mobile application usage. You can then know details like what’s on the app user’s shopping list, how long they use the app, when do they drop off, average session length, and average revenue per user (ARPU).
  • 5. You get more users, more downloads and more sales
  • There always are fence sitters who observe, mull over a hundred things and then take the plunge. A good app drives these fence sitters into the sales funnel. Once a user installs your app on his smartphone, you get a toe hold. It is the way you engage, your interface, creativity, persistence, quality of your products and services that will finally motivate him to upgrade the app or buy something from you.
  • Furniture Giant IKEA changed the way it promotes its catalogue in 2013. The IKEA catalogue with catalog app changed the game for them. Their Fall’ 2014 mobile catalogue app became the number one downloaded app for a brand globally with 8.5 million downloads. This app had the element of augmented reality built in it – it enabled the users to place virtual furniture at home. Users selected a piece of furniture, then they put the catalogue itself on the ground where it acted as an anchor for the 3-D image of the selected chair or table. If the furniture needed to be rotated, the user could do it by rotating the catalogue.
  • The aim of the app was to improve the selection and purchasing process. Marty Martson, Product Public Relations Manager at IKEA US, said, “Some people are afraid that they’re going to make the wrong colour choice or the style might not look good with the other styles that they’re trying to mix and match it with or just not look good in that space, so they may not buy it, and that’s unfortunate because maybe it’s exactly what they need. So we think that this augmented reality feature may be a solution for some people to really help them with that buying decision in the process.”
  • You will need to promote your app through different marketing strategies for more downloads to increase your sales. Build a website, make some promotional videos, promote your app on social media sites, offer your users special discounts for making in- app purchases after downloading and installing your apps.

 

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DevOps Culture

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  • DevOps requires grass route adoptions and top down support. In analysing consultants in the field and various practitioner who have been exposed to multiple DevOps adoption initiative, beloow are the patterens of the DevOps culture that we found.
  • Patterns of DevOps Culture eMag include:
  • Practical Postmortems at Etsy – We take a look at Etsy’s blameless postmortems, both in terms of philosophy, process and practical measures/guidance to avoid blame and better prepare for the next outage. Because failures are inevitable in complex socio-technical systems, it’s the failure handling and resolution that can be improved by learning from postmortems.
  • How Different Team Topologies Influence DevOps Culture – There are many different team topologies that can be effective for DevOps. Each topology comes with a slightly different culture, and a team topology suitable for one organisation may not be suited to another organisation, even in a similar sector. This article explores the cultural differences between team topologies for DevOps, to help you choose a suitable DevOps topology for your organisation.
  • Leadership, Mentoring and Team Chemistry – How does fire fighting compare to DevOps? Michael Biven, team lead at Ticketmaster, shares important lessons on leadership, mentoring and team chemistry from his experience as a fire fighter.
  • Infrastructure Code Reviews – As infrastructure becomes code, reviewing (and testing) provides the confidence necessary for refactoring and fixing systems. Reviews also help spread consistent best practices throughout an organization and are applicable where testing might require too much scaffolding.
  • Build Quality In Book Review and Interview – Book review and interview with Steve Smith and Matthew Skelton, authors of “Build Quality In”, a collection of experience reports (including their own) on Continuous Delivery and DevOps initiatives, by authors ranging from in-house technical and process leaders to external consultants implementing technical and organizational improvements.

 

 


Magento eCommerce Development

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  • Choosing a software to develop your eCommerce store can be difficult. Cost can range from hundreds of dollars to free providers. Magento must be your first consideration for eCommerce development.
  • SEO prioritization
  • Magento comes in with some great SEO tools that helps your website administrators to promote your eCommerce store. Metatags, Including title, description, and keywords can be configured for every product. Magento is better in delivering a stores need than most other options any where.
  • Cost Effective
  • Magento is an open source platform that empowers companies of all sizes to cost effectively get eCommerce functionality. Magento offers both a free version and a premium pay version. Smaller shops all larger merchants may opt to use the enterprise edition for the additional features and power it offers. It also features a library of extensions both free and pay for use to enhance functionality.
  • The Customer Experience
  • The out of the box shopping experience that one experiences from Magento is set to bar with eCommerce functionality and marketing capabilities. Product reviews and product images are included in a standard installation, as is the ability to cross promote and upsell items throughout your stores inventory that can be zoomed in for enhanced views of potential purchases improving a customers confidence level in your online product offerings. Magento thus succeeds and guarantees to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
  • For business enquiry, please drop an email to sales@veltrod.in

Processess between the Client and the Designing Teams

  • User Experience Design is a deeply collaberative process between the design and the client teams It is essential that one emerces themselves in clients business to see what they see and feel what they feel. Here are the six faces that occur in sequence and out in parallel.

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  • Stake holder meeting helps to create a basic outline of what we think is best. The needs as given below of the client must be understood:
  1. Research elements
  2. Goal planning
  3. Understanding the target audience
  4. Creating user journeys
  5. Competitor analysis (best practices, their shortcomings, opportunities, innovative differentiators)
  6. Content strategy-Basic
  7. Estimated Budget

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  • The questions that we generally include in our initial meeting are:
  1. Problem statement- what should be solved?
  2. Stakeholders- The individuals and the decision makers involved in a meeting.
  3. Users- understanding the target audience.
  4. Risks- What are the things that could go wrong and what is the worst case scenario.
  5. Assumptions- Things we would be assuming throughout the project, e.g. Client will provide timely feedback, client will provide description of the products.
  • Meetings are arranged in combinations like halfday with clients and other half with internal team and broken into short duration over a few days. Quick feedback and reduced delivery time must be emphasised. The target audiences must be categorised into personas, groups of homogenous individuals based on demographic similarities like age, lifestyle,income, gender, social, conformity etc. User stories are must be looked out for to create a simplified description of a requirement.
  • One’s priority must continue to be client satisfaction and forging long term business relationship.

Designing the User Experience Matters

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  • To realize the vision from sketches on paper to a functional prototype involves several brainstorming sessions and change implementations. The mental maps, product associations, contextual flow, personalization etc. need to be considered from the day one. The target audience, stakeholder views and organizational goals influence the user experience design.
  • A Fashion apparel brand needs a different approach while designing and curating content, while a brand selling electronic gadgets online needs a different approach altogether. Right from placement of components, their appeal and the ease of navigation factor into conversion rates for an organisation, specially in the eCommerce domain. In this way Designing and planning sitemaps, content, navigation, gestures etc. are some of the crucial elements in developing an engaging user experience.
  • During the whole process, these are the resources created:
  1. Brain storming session pointers
  2. Sorted Feature list
  3. Defined goals/user stories
  4. Defined Target audience
  5. Site maps
  6. Basic wireframes (Sketches)
  7. Stakeholder interview results
  8. Basic guides for colors/layouts based on logos
  9. Assigned client tasks list
  • Content is one of the most crucial part of shaping User experience (UX). The experience defines a customer’s journey and the level to which the engagement is successful. Making the right choices can shape your brand while the wrong ones may make your fears – a reality! This is exactly why you can’t afford to select a vendor with less experience although the pricing may look enticing.

Ideas by Mornings, Delivered by Evenings !

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  • Rapid delivery, smooth integration, smooth releases, post production support and continuous integration must be address as quickly as possible, because for any business time is a priceless resource. Faster go-to-market ensures early adoption of your product by users, higher sales and revenue, more market penetration.
  • Feedback from users are very important to insure a wider share of market.
  • Iterative development and continuous integration, plugin development, domain design, and convention over configuration must be assembled together for rapid delivery.
  • We use Groovy on Grails (GoG) and Ruby on Rails (RoR) frameworks to ensure rapid delivery. GoG consists of Spring, Spring injection Control, Java, J2EE and Hibernate. Built-in plugins reduce the time for development.
  • Its ok to doubt the performance of rapid delivery. Security concerns matter with the choice of framework. Using GoG and Ruby on Rails frameworks helps us use concurrent techniques and patterns. The only problems faced during rapid delivery are third party tool integration challenges, on-time and smooth delivery and release management. We overcome these challenges by:
  • – Using built in plugins, Asynchronous Programming and REST API patterns available.
  • – We use Jenkins framework for continuous integration and release management, built-in capabilities of the framework facilitate smooth delivery, building the VAR file.

Adobe Experience Manager

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  • Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) 6.0 for a multinational tire brand remains one of our most interesting work on a wide range of technologies. With a knack for record delivery time and top of the line features, this project clearly stands out.
  • Being one of the worlds largest and leading multinational brands in the tire manufacturing industry can be challenging. As the market spread over 100+ countries they faced lack of a catalogue lacking updated data with no integration with the marketing channels. Now the end goal has been established. An online platform has been set down for a differentiated user experience.
  • First step was to address the aggregation of multiple web pages for different regions/products. This we solved by bringing in all service providers (dealers, distributors, retailers, etc.) from across the country on a seamless, unified platform, providing location-aware services and a new user review system.

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  • Reviews can make or brake brands. This can be a challenging task as the reviews can be unstructured, meaning we had to pick relevant reviews for relevant products. Our client had seven brands of different pricing and product features. Our task was to selectively match and display reviews along with appropriate products. We implemented an Asynchronous system that copied data from Tire Rack to AEM repository and kept the data ready when someone opened a relevant product. This enabled a near real-time product review experience for the user.
  • We implemented Suggestive search, a guided discovery process that helped customers find products that are relevant to their need based on individual criteria. They could compare and choose products that best fit their requirements while going through relevant reviews. Suggestive Search also had auto completion that helped the user enter their requirement quickly. The impact was a substantial increase in sales, indicating deeper customer engagement and a personalized experience.

 


No Support to Magento Go and ProStores

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  • Recently Magento has announced that it would no longer support Magento Go and ProStores platforms from February 1, 2015 has come as a shock to 10000 odd online store owners. With the status of Magento many vendors have come up with an array of offers – most notably BigCommerce with a free transition offer. But there are different needs for all which rises plenty of questions.
  • As Magento Community Edition is a popular choice the question rises with where to migrate. While , there are many options including custom platforms, depending on usage and budget. Maintenance costs should also be focused along with one-time transition cost.
  • Magento announced the release of its next-generation digital commerce platform, Magento 2.0, at MagentoLive Australia. Vice President of Digital Commerce Products, Paul Boisvert, was a keynote speaker at the event and shared an overview of the Magento Commerce portfolio, which now includes digital commerce and cloud-based omnichannel solutions. He also provided a detailed review of Magento 2.0, how it benefits both merchants and developers, and a preview of future roadmap themes.
  • Start your migration process now. Reach out to us at sales@veltrod.in

Mobile Apps – Present And The Future

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  • With the ever expanding numbers of smart phones across the world, mobile apps for business and pleasure have mushroomed in the two dominant hosting platforms – Apple Store and Google Play. A sweeping look at the apps ecosystem reveals that five broad categories of apps are widespread – Entertainment / Networking, Productivity / Utilities, Self Service, News / Information and Businesses. Vast improvements have happened with apps across all of these classes. Improvements have come about in back end technology, user interface, integration with payment / CRM systems, branding, cohesion with web presence / physical stores etc.
  • With technology that is forever changing, the future will see even more changes impacting mobile apps and how users will interact with them.
  • Increased customization – As mobile technology continues to evolve, there will be huge improvements in providing users with customized information based on their location, demographics, past purchase patterns, etc. Experience will become more interactive and tailored. The power of social networks will be leveraged even more to deliver the right product at the right time to the intended customer base.
  • Technology changes – While most apps currently are built on native code or HTML5, the future may see improvements in code that lend themselves better to a more meaningful user experience. We will also see better network coverage that will improve reliability of apps.
  • Device makeover – Tablets are now mainstream, wearable technology like web enabled glasses and wrist watches are making inroads. Apps suited to these devices are still being developed.
  • Monetization and expansion strategies – The future will see more engaging ways to work with customers and also to monetize interactions beyond just the app purchase. Apps will be better integrated with the other points of sale like web presence and physical stores, value added services will also play an integral part in bringing revenue.
  • The mobile apps market place promises to be extremely dynamic and will continue to put the customer center stage. Few would have predicted that there would be almost 1.2 Million Apps each on Google Play and Apple Store, this is the figure for June 2014. The future may not see an exponential growth but will definitely see more personalization coming in.

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