Showing blog entries 1-5 of 8.
We will be closed on Friday 21st January and re-opening on Monday the 24th January at our new offices in Penn:
6 Regius Court
Bucks HP10 8RL
Our new phone number is 01494 372047
More Coming Soon . . .
Over the next few months we will be beta testing a new online analytics system called Reinvigorate. A new real time analytics system with some really nice features:
- Live Visitor tracking
- Hourly, daily, and monthly breakdowns
- Track visitors from your desktop (mac and pc)
- Heat Map Technology
(See where visitors click the most. Correct dead spots and improve your site's traffic flow.)
We look forward to giving you our honest feedback, and see if it's something we will roll out to all our customers.
We will be trying it on a few sites to see the results.
From today, access to the Times and Sunday Times online will cost £1 per day, or £2 a week if readers sign up to a subscription.
I personally think it is a risky move, with so many free websites delivering news content for free, would I be prepared to pay £8 a month to view articles, I'm not so sure. People also use online content very differently to reading a newspaper and will only dip in and out of items that they like. Only time will tell, I do understand that there is huge costs in running the company and website, and with fewer people buying newspapers, things will change, I'm just not so sure this is the way forward.
Leading economists are supporting the call for businesses to use design to transform how they do business and compete as Britain's industries battle to recover from the effects of the recession.
Robin Bew, Chief Economist for the Economist Intelligence Unit said "Not only has the UK recession been deep, but the recovery is likely to be slow and difficult for many businesses. New strategies will be needed to cope, and design thinking is one important technique that firms need to consider when planning for the future."
Vicky Pryce, Joint Head of the Government Economic Service joined the call for businesses to put design at the boardroom table: "UK industry needs to innovate to compete in current global markets. That means it's more important than ever that we help businesses use design to positively impact growth."
Forward-thinking businesses are using design in its broadest sense to completely transform how they do business. Rather than bringing in design at the end of the process to make products or services look better, they are using it at a strategic level to rethink every aspect of the company.
Research and findings from the Design Council
If you are serious about setting up shop on the world wide interweb, this is a question which you will need to ponder with considerable trepidation: will your online shop be powered by an off-the-shelf solution, or will you design and develop a bespoke e-commerce system? Both options have their pro's and con's. Let's discuss.
There are a great deal of pre-built solutions out there, ranging from small open-source systems to massive enterprise-level solutions designed for multi-million pound turnover websites. The features they offer vary as much as their prices, but at the core of every solutionis a database of products, shopping basket functionality and a payment gateway, whether it be third-party (such as Paypal) or integrated.
Advantages of an off-shelf system are:
- If they are commercially available then (assumably) they have been fully tested and are bug-free. However, anybody who has used a Microsoft operating system in the past knows that unfortunately, this ethos is not a guarantee.
- They can be cheaper to implement.
- For anybody other than the team who developed the product, they can be a right pain to customize.
- Lower-end solutions produce out-dated and invalid code, with no SEO strategy in mind.
- If the solution doesn't offer a desired feature then... tough. More often than not, the time and cost involved in developing a custom feature to fit within an off-the-shelf solution is false economy, and your shop will be forced to constrain within the capabilities of the solution.
A bespoke e-commerce solution is created to exact specifications, with custom-features and management tools all custom-made for the client. As a bespoke systems developer, it could be argued that I am perhaps a little biased, but I shall try to cover both advantages and disadvantages in a neutral manner:
- The solution can do anything you want, and is only limited by time, budget and imagination.
- The client is involved with the development of the solution and its logic, ensuring it performs exactly as expected.
- If you intend on working long-term with a development agency, the team of developers will be a lot more familiar with their own system as opposed to someone elses, and tweaks and updates become easier and less time-consuming.
- It is easier to create new features and functionality with a thorough working knowledge of the solution.
- Statistically speaking, you are more likely to encounter bugs, especially in early development. However, maintenance agreements ensure any bugs that occur get fixed at no extra charge.
- Time, and therefore cost, can add up.
No matter what path you take, there will invariably be a large time and cost commitment. That is why at Artlines, we offer frank and honest advice on which path to walk - and no matter what you choose, we can help turn an online shop into a successful commercial venture.
Showing blog entries 1-5 of 8.