The future is here. Those hand-held devices that have been wished for, written about for decades and portrayed in movies and on TV (think Star Trek, for example) are here. And not only are they here, they’re usurping the PC in rapid order.
MoovWeb recently released a Post-PC Infographic that describes a so-called “Post-PC Revolution,” which has arrived just 7 years after Bill Gates and Steve Jobs talked about the “post-PC world.”
Is your organization still struggling with “going mobile?” What are your barriers? How are you working to address those barriers? If you’re still trying to garner support for your organization’s mobile effort, here are some points to consider:
- One out of every 6.7 people on planet Earth has a Smart phone. And sales of mobile-enabled tablets are expected to increase to over 369 million by 2016, up from almost 119 million in 2012.
- In 2012, sales using a mobile device reached $4 billion for Amazon, $7 billion for PayPal and $10 billion for eBay.
- According to research firm Gartner, 2013 is anticipated to be the year that Internet access via mobile phones will overtake PC Internet access.
- If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, 79% of mobile users will abandon the site for one that is.
- Of the currently available healthcare apps, 70% are consumer-focused. The remaining apps are for healthcare professionals’ use.
- By 2018, the mobile healthcare technology market is expected to exceed $8 billion – including apps, services and devices.
It’s clear that mobile is not only here to stay, but is on the cusp of being the primary means of accessing the Internet. If your target audience has the ability to be online 24/7 and do business with your organization from wherever they are in the world, are you ready?
To meet this challenge, many of our clients employ responsive Web design, which uses a fluidly constructed Web pages that scale from handheld device displays to large, high-resolution computer displays using flexible typography, images, grids and style-sheets.
Some progressive organizations are deciding to go Mobile First. Mobile First is the idea that Web sites should be designed first for mobile devices, including only those tasks and items that Web site visitors most want – only those things that fit on a screen with 80% less real estate than the typical monitor. And then as screen real estate increases, add tasks and features based on user priority. This kind of thinking allows the organization to take advantage of the exploding growth of mobile while forcing a focus on prioritizing content and features.
Is your organization ready for the Post-PC world? Are you considering Mobile First? Let us hear what you think.
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list published recently. A number of healthcare provider organizations made the list and congratulations to them! But this isn’t about them; it’s about your organization and thinking about it in relation to those 100 organizations. Great Places to Work® studies the inner workings of workplaces around the world, discovering what makes them tick. While there is much that can be learned from understanding how these organizations work, it is also interesting to note the robustness of their Web sites. Is it a coincidence that they all have a robust Web site? I think not.
This top 100 list reflects many large, some multi-national organizations, and mostly non-healthcare companies, which may be far different or larger than your organization. Even if that’s so, there is at least one common thread applicable to all organizations: they consciously include their Web site as one aspect of making and showing that their workplace is great. Go to the list and take a look at some of the companies’ sites (their URLs are provided in it). You can see those organizations that are actively personifying their brand experience on their front door to the world; their Web site. They are taking steps to extend that experience by offering rich and fresh experiences that use imagery, features, storytelling, content, architecture and functionality to keep site visitors and customers engaged and to help extend the “great place” their organization is to the Web.
In addition to consciously developing their workplace experience, it’s quite likely there is cross-functional organizational development occurring within these winning organizations. Do you need the same cross-functional support to bring your Web vision to life? That answer is yes. As you look at the winners’ sites, I encourage you to think about your Web site and strategy. Does your site reflect the greatness of your organization? Are there tools or techniques in use on the sites that are transferrable to your organization? Can your Web platform accommodate those tools / techniques? Do you know how to incorporate the workflow changes necessary to make it happen? Are you ready for change?
Assessing your site and developing strategies to improve it can be daunting, but just as these top 100 organizations consciously put efforts into growing and developing their workplaces and Web sites, so must we with our Web sites and strategies. Whether it’s planning strategy, building consensus, updating content or finding platform improvements – determine what you need and take steps to move forward. If you’re not quite sure where to begin, that’s OK – we can help; contact us today.
Your organization may not yet be one of the winners on Fortune’s list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great. Like these winning organizations, take the first step. Your site is too important and your organization is too great not to shine on the Web.
For a while now, I’ve been trying out the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox and really find it useful. The add-on doesn’t work by itself – you have to find and install scripts in order for it to work for you. There are a myriad of scripts available at http://userscripts.org/ , and I’ve installed quite a few of them. Among my favorites are:
1. Disable Text Ads
2. Remove/Hide All Gmail Ads
3. Facebook Ad Remover
4. Youtube Video Download
5. Craigslist Image Preview
To me, it’s all about taking control of your own user experience on the web. Now, after installing a few scripts into Greasemonkey, if I don’t want to see ads on my Gmail homepage, or Google ”sponsored links” on my search results page, I install a script and voila! no more ads…. If I want to click a button and download a particular Youtube video to my computer or see image thumbnails under Craigslist listings (instead of having to click into the actual ad) now I can do that too!
Now, I have to say that not all of the scripts that I’ve installed have worked as promised – you get a dud every now and then. If you do, just delete it and find another one that’s similar – there are usually multiple scripts out there that accomplish the same thing. Also, sometimes a Web site change (i.e. youtube.com), or browser update may cause a script to stop working and you may have to uninstall it and get the updated version in order for it to continue working the way it did previously.
The Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame received many applications from individuals nationwide seeking to be part of the inaugural Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame Judges Panel. Applications were accepted through March, the submissions were narrowed and the inaugural panel has been selected.
The new members of the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame Judging Panel have significant experience in the healthcare/Web industry, and all are held in high esteem as industry knowledge experts. Panel members have worked in administration positions for healthcare organizations as well as have been/are the developers of Web technology and Web tools used throughout the industry today. The inaugural panel members included:
- Dan Ansel, President/CEO, Private Health News
- Stephanie Cannon, Director Web Communication and eBusiness, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
- Karen Corrigan, Corrigan Partners
- Michael Cutter, Vice President Sales, Krames Staywell Communication
- Ben Dillon, Vice President, eHealth Evangelist, Geonetric
- Daniel Fell, Executive Vice President, Neathawk Dubuque & Packett
- Andrew Gradel, Director of Internet Marketing, Cooper Health
- Paul Griffiths, CEO, MedTouch
- Shawn Gross, Director Service line Marketing & Web Strategy, Tufts Medical Center
- Neal Linkon, Assistant Director Internet Marketing, Northwestern Mutual
- Robin Snow, Principal, Aefinity Interactive, LLC
- Becky Daghir Wardzala, Marketing Director, Hendricks Regional Health
- Kathy Divis, President, Greystone.Net – (Chair)
Each panel member has agreed to serve a 2-3 year term and judge the candidates for the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame in a fair and unbiased manner while adhering to the Hall of Fame’s mission to “honor men, women and organizations that have made outstanding, long-lasting contributions to the healthcare Internet industry.” The Hall of Fame’s purpose is to “ensure that the “history” of the industry is preserved for future generations new to the healthcare industry.”
In order for the judges to be able to accomplish this task, they need Hall of Fame candidates. Nominations for the 2012 Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame class will be open until June 1st. So, there is still one month left to nominate the man, woman or organization you feel has made lasting contributions to the healthcare internet industry and deserves his/her place in history.
Please visit the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame Web site for more information on candidate criteria, or to nominate a qualified candidate.
The beginning of a new year is always a good time for new inspiration. As a graphic designer, I’m always trying to keep up on the latest and hottest trends and while I don’t have a crystal ball, I do see some recurring trends that have the potential of being the big design focus in 2012 based on the industry:
- Big Vector Art
Large, illustration-type graphics seem to be popping up everywhere. In the past, people were inclined to shy away from using vector artwork on Web sites, but now it seems much more commonplace. Even the use of vector mascots is becoming popular. Some other good examples can be found on the Mozilla and Mail Chimp sites.
Circular shapes were the rage a few years ago, but seemed to fade away for one reason or another … possibly due to the fact that they were challenging to create on Web pages. Currently, through the use of CSS3, circles are making a comeback. With CSS3, designers can incorporate circles into their designs without even needing to create images in Photoshop.
With Apple discontinuing further development of Flash Player for mobile devices, it left designers and programmers scrambling for other options. The use of JQuery, CSS3 and HTML5 are all viable options for creating animations, especially considering HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices. Here’s a nice CSS3 animation example that if you didn’t know better, you might think was created with Flash.
It was difficult in the past to program a Web site to use custom fonts because you had to consider whether the user would have your particular font installed on their machine in order to see your true design intent. Now it’s all too easy for Webmasters and Designers to embed non-standard fonts into their Web designs, providing more flexibility to create without being concerned with using a font that all Web users can view. Google Web fonts is probably one of the easiest services to use and Typekit is another viable option. At the end of last year, Adobe acquired Typekit, currently being offered as a standalone service, but has plans for adding it to Adobe® Creative Cloud in the future.
- Shades of Blue
After skimming multiple Web pages displaying Web trend colors, the blue colors seem to dominate on most of the Web designers color palettes. I’ve typically seen the shades in combinations of three – light, medium and dark – along with a few accent colors like white or grey. Even I have succumbed to using the blue hues on several print and Web pieces that I have created recently.
Nobody can say for sure what to expect, but these are a few of the more common design trends that seem to be driving the creative culture in 2012.