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Saturday, September 10, 2011

WildFire - post Social Network updates to all networks from one place!

As a Lotus Notes head I am happy now to find that I do not have to fumble through multiple social networking sites in my browser or continue on my ongoing search for the perfect all in one solution for posting to multiple networks. Now I have the ability to post updates from the environment I spend most of my day in with more control than I have found in many of the web based applications that I have tried (and believe me that it most of them)


WildFire is a Lotus Notes 8.5 Sidebar Application to Update Status's across a wide range of Social Networks including Sametime, Connections, Socialtext, Facebook, GTalk, PingFm, Plurk, Tumblr, Twitter, Wordpress and more!


Best of all the application is available to deploy for free and the website provides some fairly comprehensive instructions on the set-up process so developers as well as most savy users will be able to get it up and running in no time.


Please check it out. It is great to see such and innovative product come from an Australian IBM Partner too.. Keep up the good work guys..



Download - http://www.openntf.org/Projects/pmt.nsf/ProjectLookup/WildFire
Developers - http://www.isw.com.au/wildfire

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Button Design - Creating Call to Action Buttons

Over the 11 years I have been developing and designing websites I have noticed many changes to the ways in which websites have been designed. With the recent driving force of Web 2.0 applications and social media website design, I have found websites have become less complicated, cleaner and simpler for users to interact with. Designs have gone from trying to blow the user away with impressive graphics to simple layouts with minimal colour usage and larger more clearly defined areas, rather than over cluttered websites with too many options for a standard user find easy to use. 

Why I am talking about this is because I want to highlight how you should be creating “call to action” buttons on your websites. You will find if you follow these guide lines you will start attracting users to interact with your website more frequently and also increase subscriptions and ultimately improve the performance of your website overall.

When creating buttons that are to sign up users or are to gather user information these buttons should follow these few rules;
1. The button should be of a reasonable size, larger than any of the other navigation buttons or links on the page. A large button has a greater impact.
2. Use a unique font to the rest of your website so that the users eyes are drawn to clicking this “call to action”
3. Use contrasting colour to the rest of your site on the button; something brighter or darker than the rest of your site to help direct the users attention to this button.
4. Positioning of the button is very important. Place it just under some copy that describes the key benefits of your service or product or in an area where the users eye is drawn to based off the rest of the websites design.

Here I have included some links to some websites that have the sort of “call to action” buttons that I am talking about;
http://transmissionapps.com/ - The “Download Now” & “Buy Now” buttons
http://www.filesharehq.com/ - The “Sign Up for Free Trial” button
http://paramore.is/think/blog/ - The “Continue Reading” button on blog

Let me know if you have any other ideas on how to get more “call to action” from button methds that I may have missed..

Friday, February 18, 2011

9 Ways to Instantly Code Faster

There are a wide variety of tools and techniques which can drastically improve the speed at which we code. Particularly during time-sensitive settings, even a savings of a few seconds per iteration can add up substantially over the course of the month. Here are 9 ways to save time coding;