October 12th, 2010.
We’ve all been there, needing to show a friend or colleague something we’re seeing on our monitor but don’t want them to see the entire screen, so we reluctantly fire up photoshop (or paint!), then crop the image, save the image (thinking up some temporary filename and cluttering up yet another folder) and finally email the resulting image – wasting precious time and losing focus on other tasks at hand.
Using the tool that sits next to your clock you can very quickly highlight a portion of your screen and either copy to clipboard, save to your computer, or upload to dowce.com – where you’ll be given back a unique short URL to send out to people. You can even add a caption and password protect your capture. It literally takes a few seconds and lets you get on with your other jobs.
Pre-launch, members of the team here at Datadial installed it on their office computers and found it to be really useful when composing emails to clients which needed to contain screenshots of statistics and website layouts. Friends have also started using it to show each other winning (and losing) hands of online poker! It’s one of those tools that once you pick up, you use more than you would expect.
To give you an idea of what’s on offer, here’s a screenshot of the options you get after you’ve made your selection:
If you choose to Save to dowce.com you’ll receive a unique link to your capture…
It’s as simple as that! For a full demonstration of how it all works and to download dowce for free, visit www.dowce.com
July 30th, 2010.
We’re a very healthy and environmentally concious bunch here at Datadial – 7 out of the 10 of us that work from the office are commuting cyclists. So we now have our very own dedicated Datadial Bicycle stand right outside the office!
If you are coming in for a meeting and are cycling distance, please feel free to bring your bike and park it here, there’s plenty of room :-)
July 22nd, 2010.
I recently went to a talk on the different forms that e-tailing is taking over and beyond the traditional e-commerce site.
Below is a distilled version of the talk with just the best bits. A lot of these examples are only availabe in the US at the moment but by reading this you are getting ahead of the curve!
(The talk was by the big cheese at Pod1 – Fadi – so credit to him for researching it all)
E-commerce via Apps
Start accepting cash and card payments with Square. No contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs. Effortlessly manage the money you take with an easy and intuitive interface. US only at the moment and only for payments less than $60 but one to watch for sure.
See corporate video
And a review on how it works
Google shopper (Android only)
This APP allows you to scan barcodes, the co
vers of books and media, and even search by voice – the app will tell you where you can buy the same product and at what price. Pretty nifty if it works!
It took 12 months for the location-based social network to attract one million users and by stark contrast; the second million only took three months. Ever since February 2010, the site has been registering over one million ‘check-ins’ a week.
See how it works:
New e-commerce software
Vendr create POP-UP shops – They say that you can create your e-commerce site within 15 minutes. These are basic obviously sites now but I guess they will improve. In any event they will probably do for many home based businesses.
from their site: “Works with your current website: Add a “store” button to your blog or website, and your store will simply pop-up over your content — no more sending your customers elsewhere to make a purchase. Vendr functions as a part of your existing site. ”
Alvenda software allows you to create e-commerce shops within sites such as Facebook – Alvenda’s first customer, 1-800-Flowers.com, launched during the Mother’s Day holiday in 2009 and recognized a 10.5x lift in shopping activity by making it easier for people to shop.
New E-Tailing concepts
Cutting out the middle man – Harnessing the power of social media to revolutionise product manufacture and pricing.
For furtniture design and manufacture: You choose what makes it into our collection. Vote for your favourites and the most popular will be made available to order.
Buy early, pay less
The earlier you buy an air ticket, the less you pay. Now you can do the same with wine. Save £££!
WhipCar is the first service in the world where a car owner can rent out their vehicle for money, whenever they are not using it. WhipCar pairs sensible drivers with spare car time
June 23rd, 2010.
Sergio Davison and Matthew Sawyer have signed up for the London Bikeathon Challenge.
We will be cycling 50 Miles through the streets of London on Sunday the 27th of June 2010.
Please sponsor us in our challenge and help those great guys and girls @ Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Any amount you give big or small will be greatly appreciated.
It’s easy to donate online with a credit or debit card – just go to my JustGiving page:
JustGiving sends your donation straight to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you’re a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more. I hope you’ll join us in supporting Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research .
May 18th, 2010.
The format of this year’s conference is tons better than last year. The atmosphere of the Brewery is great, and the food (which is also outstanding) at the break times gives people a chance to talk to each other and network. It has been much easier this year to meet people and talk to other designers.
It’s really hard to choose a favourite speaker because they’re all so great! I think jQuery for Designers is probably going to have the most impact on my day to day work because it has encouraged me to take a new step into jQuery.
The design clinic time was great, and it was a wonderful opportunity to talk to designers you really respect. I got some great feedback from Mike Kus, who has to be one of my all time favourite web designers because of his original work.
Definitely had to be font.com’s sponsor slot. Not only were they the ugliest slides of the day, the introduction was dated (we know about using @font-face already) and then followed by a whole sales pitch on why we should all buy their service. It was very amusing to see the tweets coming in during the talk!
Don’t get me wrong, their service is great and no doubt I’ll be using it soon, but the talk and presentation definitely gets labelled the worst, after everything else was so amazing.
More to come tomorrow, but in summary…
(I’ll add links to slideshows and downloads as I get them)
Play. Destroy. Create. from Brendan Dawes
I loved his reference to maths and nature, and seeing how he had turned that into something new. It’s about observing things like the trend of technical stuff to non techy people. Some of the things he was showing was simply play to explore and provoke reactions. He encouraged us to play, have passion and love what we do!
How to Get Started with CSS3 from Dan Cederholm
After doing a lot of CSS3 work already, I wasn’t expecting to get much from this session, but was very pleasantly surprised. I now have a list of things I want to try, tools to use, and new ideas generated from this session. Definitely ideal for people new to CSS3, but still lots of great stuff in there for those of us who have already been using it.
Accessibility in Web Design Robin Christopherson
I’ve seen Robin speak a few times, and each time he has something new and very informative. This time he encouraged mobile versions of websites, as the format of them is also much more accessible. He also encouraged the use of Text Captcha because it’s accessible, free and offers a comprehensive API. You Tube are now also providing automatic captioning on their videos!
Making things usable is not enough – we should also make them enjoyable. Don’t compromise on the base needs for t»he user, but look for ways you can add that extra layer of emotive enjoyment – like the Mailchimp quotes!
UX Masterclass with Web Standardistas Web Standardistas
This flowed on really well from the Emotional Interface Design and looked at the secret for making something that is usable really great. The secret is YOU!
Smart Tips for Wireframing Brad Haynes
January 14th, 2010.
As much effort needs to be put into offline follow-up as your website itself. You are the main event of your website, and whether or not you follow up enquiries is a huge reflection on your organisation as a whole.
I like to use a website contact form because they’re quick and easy. It’s not always convienient to pick up the phone, especially when you may be on hold for half an hour.
Lately I have had a couple of enquiries for Camden City Council. Although I get an instant confirmation email (from firstname.lastname@example.org) it includes a disclaimer reading “If you do not hear directly from the team involved within 10 working days you may contact the Central Complaints unit direct on….”
If it was suitable for me to call them then I would have in the first place, but for whatever reason I have chosen to email them, and it’s not unreasonable to expect a reply. I still have not had a proper response from them about my enquiries.
These are just 2 examples; unanswered enquiries happen all the time. It’s so common that you’re probably thinking “Well that’s what you get from filling in an enquiry form.”
But I have huge faith in websites, and I know encouraging contact is the main goal of many sites – so why is this rudeness acceptable and website enquiries go ignored?
Janey at Basically Black is an example of how to do offline follow-through well. We recently did a survey of her customers and almost everyone said how friendly and helpful she had been with choosing sizes, placing orders and managing returns.
It’s no surprise she’s seeing a lot of repeat customers and verbal recommendations – and it’s a shame others are missing the trick.
Datadial are pleased to announce the launch of their online reputation monitoring tool. Designed for business and agencies that wish to monitor the online profiles of their brand, products, key staff and competitors.
We have designed the user interface to be as intuitive as possible, with an emphasis on speed of use and productivity, while at the same time a feature-rich interface gives in-depth data about the source of mentions and enables you to tag, comment or share mentions for further action.
- This service should be seen as part of any effective online marketing strategy.
- You will be able to track and measure what is being said.
- Armed with this information you will be able to see the effectiveness of your campaigns, gain customer insight, learn how your brand, products and services are being perceived and also join in the conversation and, if necessary, react to any adverse publicity.
- The results will help you with planning for future campaigns, enabling fine-tuning and therefore saving you money.
At this point the software is still at a beta stage, so we are inviting as much user feedback and suggestions as possible on design and functionality. Signup to track one phrase is free, so please go here to signup for an account.
September 29th, 2009.
Thank you to Steff for passing on this lovely graphic illustrating the differences between Helvetica and Arial.
I’ve just returned from a frantic couple of days at SMX London. As usual there were some really great discussions on the current trends in search marketing, SEO and Social Media. Many of these made more sense in the bar afterwards for some reason. There will be a complete roundup of the best tips coming over the next couple of days.
Certainly the most thought-provoking session of the day for me, the original version of this was made in 2005, and it’s scary to think how close to reality many of the events and prediction in the short actually are, and how many aren’t too far from reality.