Devstars http://www.devstars.com London Web Development Agency Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:19:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Magna Carta Picnic http://www.devstars.com/blog/magna-carta-picnic/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/magna-carta-picnic/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 13:42:53 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3218 As the Magna Carta had just celebrated its 800th anniversary and due to it being the ‘Love To Ride’ London Cycle Challenge. We got out the bikes and went on a lunch trip down to Runnymede for a sunny staff picnic. After a nice little ride along the river, we visited the Queen in the […]

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As the Magna Carta had just celebrated its 800th anniversary and due to it being the ‘Love To Ride’ London Cycle Challenge. We got out the bikes and went on a lunch trip down to Runnymede for a sunny staff picnic.

After a nice little ride along the river, we visited the Queen in the Pleasure Grounds. The new bronze sculpture had just been unveiled at the weekend Magna Carta celebrations.

the Queen and devstars

We then ventured on over, along with many other visitors, to see the Magna Carta monument and John F. Kennedy’s memorial, stopping for a relaxing picnic in the sun on the way.

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Not only did our trip celebrate the Magna Carta, it also got all the staff experiencing the joys of cycling. Devstars are all now competing in the London Cycle Challenge, logging miles from our outings to bring us further up the leader board.

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“Ask The Expert” Wins An Award http://www.devstars.com/blog/ask-the-expert-wins-best-customer-experience-award/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/ask-the-expert-wins-best-customer-experience-award/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 00:00:46 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3177 Our “Ask The Expert” web app has won an award for ‘Best Customer Experience’ at the Tech&Ecomm Awards 2015! Produced for the World Duty Free Group via our partners Blackjack, the app allows its customers and staff to easily contact the experts through Facetime. Experts within each field are able to directly help users, providing answers to […]

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Our “Ask The Expert” web app has won an award for ‘Best Customer Experience’ at the Tech&Ecomm Awards 2015!

Produced for the World Duty Free Group via our partners Blackjack, the app allows its customers and staff to easily contact the experts through Facetime. Experts within each field are able to directly help users, providing answers to their queries in multiple languages.

At the start of each shift, the experts are required to sign in to the app making them available to Facetime. When users require the experts assistance they look on the app to view their availabilities. If experts are available then the Facetime call can simply be made, however if no experts are signed in then the option of contacting them is greyed out.

blackjacklogo

Providing easy, direct Facetime contact to the experts, we are delighted that “Ask The Expert” has won the ‘Best Customer Experience’ award 2015!

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Nana Nice Cream http://www.devstars.com/blog/nana-nice-cream/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/nana-nice-cream/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:14:51 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3076 Nana produce 100% dairy free ice cream made with (you guessed it) bananas. Their new website is our latest collaboration with Mystery and is a fully mobile ready responsive built using the Yii framework. As you’d expect from Mystery the design is bold, stunning, visually rich and captures the brand essence perfectly. Sites like this aren’t always […]

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Nana produce 100% dairy free ice cream made with (you guessed it) bananas.

Their new website is our latest collaboration with Mystery and is a fully mobile ready responsive built using the Yii framework.

As you’d expect from Mystery the design is bold, stunning, visually rich and captures the brand essence perfectly.

Sites like this aren’t always the easiest to code and optimise especially when dealing with everything from large desktop screens to mobile and everything in between. The site requires lots of cross platform testing and fine tuning to ensure usability is as good as the experience.

For optimisation we use a number of tools like Gtmetrix to see where improvements can be made, as you can see here getting an 98% A grade for page speed.

If you’d like to find out more about how we put stand out sites together click here.

To visit the new Nana site click below :-)

nananicecream.com

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Building a New Site for the Royal Academy of Music http://www.devstars.com/blog/building-a-new-site-for-the-royal-academy-of-music/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/building-a-new-site-for-the-royal-academy-of-music/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:22:01 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3003 Developing a modern website for a 200 year old internationally renowned institution takes some planning. Our design partners Mystery had already done some extensive brand development with the Academy which helped lay the foundations for our initial discussions regarding the sites focus, key functions and primary goals. From the planning meetings wireframes, site outlines and mood boards were developed […]

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Developing a modern website for a 200 year old internationally renowned institution takes some planning. Our design partners Mystery had already done some extensive brand development with the Academy which helped lay the foundations for our initial discussions regarding the sites focus, key functions and primary goals.

From the planning meetings wireframes, site outlines and mood boards were developed and all presented to the academy’s board at key points.

A very detailed technical spec accompanied by an interactive wireframe (created with Balsamic) was completed and we were ready to begin production.

One of the great things about this much planning is that when the production process begins the client and all the team have a very clear idea about what is happening and when.

The site was designed by Mystery and built by us to the agreed schedule and launched early 2015.

Since the launch we have extended the sites reach including new interfaces that pull from the database and present upcoming events via TV screens in the foyer.

Click here to visit the site

 

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Fluid (Nearly Responsive Emails) http://www.devstars.com/blog/fluid-nearly-responsive-emails/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/fluid-nearly-responsive-emails/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 11:49:15 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3211 Although responsive emails are a buzz, we’re not there just yet. The rise of responsive website’s has led many clients to believe emails will react just the same when adopting the latest code. Unfortunately this is wrong, all email clients respond to code in different ways. Browsers have managed to standardised, after much industry pressure, […]

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Although responsive emails are a buzz, we’re not there just yet. The rise of responsive website’s has led many clients to believe emails will react just the same when adopting the latest code. Unfortunately this is wrong, all email clients respond to code in different ways. Browsers have managed to standardised, after much industry pressure, leaving emails way behind.

Responsive vs Fluid
A fluid email uses percentages to size elements, allowing them to adapt to the screen size and scale nicely between mobile and desktop. Elements can also float side-by-side using CSS, stacking neatly on top of each other on smaller screens, creating a responsive effect.

Responsive emails use media queries to change elements based on the size of the screen. The problem is that media queries are not supported on all email providers (such as Gmail) so not everyone will see the email as the designer intended. Fluid design avoids media queries, optimising design consistency across all email providers.

What’s the big fuss?
We’ve all seen the rise in mobile usage. At the beginning of 2015, the amount of emails opened via mobile was around 45%, a figure that continues to grow higher each year. Therefore it is imperative for your email marketing to embrace fluid design techniques and gain control of the email landing in your client’s inbox.

Are your email campaigns fluid? If not contact us.

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Responsive WordPress site for brand design agency Mystery http://www.devstars.com/blog/responsive-wordpress-site-for-brand-design-agency-mystery/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/responsive-wordpress-site-for-brand-design-agency-mystery/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 09:42:03 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3051 We’ve worked alongside Mystery for almost 10 years now. It’s a partnership that has grown with both companies supporting each other technically and creatively and has lead to some fantastic sites. Over recent years we’ve developed ground breaking sites with Mystery for Gnosh, Rebel Kitchen, Pernod Ricard and most recently the Royal Academy of Music. Our own […]

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We’ve worked alongside Mystery for almost 10 years now. It’s a partnership that has grown with both companies supporting each other technically and creatively and has lead to some fantastic sites.

Over recent years we’ve developed ground breaking sites with Mystery for Gnosh, Rebel Kitchen, Pernod Ricard and most recently the Royal Academy of Music.

Our own sites often take a back seat but working together we’ve finally got Mystery’s new responsive WordPress site live (and we hope our own Devstars site will be soon to follow).

Find out more here

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New Multilingual Site for Saliena Group http://www.devstars.com/blog/new-multilingual-site-for-saliena-group/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/new-multilingual-site-for-saliena-group/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:40:26 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3049 Fresh of the Devstars press is this new WordPress site for the Largest Property Development Project in Latvia. For more info click here or click here to visit the site

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Fresh of the Devstars press is this new WordPress site for the Largest Property Development Project in Latvia.

For more info click here or

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Official Taylor Swift Store http://www.devstars.com/blog/official-taylor-swift-store/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/official-taylor-swift-store/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:29:30 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=3039 We’ve just added a new merchandise store for multiple Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift. Built for leading music merchandise company Chris Cooke Management the site is part of our multi site e-commerce engine which allows clients to add new sites and manage inventory from one location. The same system is already in use by Cooke Management […]

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We’ve just added a new merchandise store for multiple Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift. Built for leading music merchandise company Chris Cooke Management the site is part of our multi site e-commerce engine which allows clients to add new sites and manage inventory from one location.

The same system is already in use by Cooke Management for The Specials, Bob Dylan and west end musicals like Singin’ in the Rain .

 

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How To Grab A Mobile Consumer http://www.devstars.com/blog/how-to-grab-the-mobile-consumer-audience/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/how-to-grab-the-mobile-consumer-audience/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 16:30:35 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=2449 Next time you find yourself on the bus or train, perhaps during your commute or leisure time, look around and observe one of the most important developments of the modern age: mobile internet. People exist every day with their device bound to their palms as though possessed, with fingers scrolling through emails, websites, endless documents […]

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Next time you find yourself on the bus or train, perhaps during your commute or leisure time, look around and observe one of the most important developments of the modern age: mobile internet. People exist every day with their device bound to their palms as though possessed, with fingers scrolling through emails, websites, endless documents and check-outs, absorbing a myriad of online data.

We live through our phones, communicating, purchasing, browsing and posting, and we expect every result and page to come to us in an instance. While it’s all very well to sit and observe, it’s all the more important to understand the business advantages to be gained.
Here are a few pointers and tips to help your website make the most of those scrolling fingers:

The Times They Are A Changin’
First and foremost, if you haven’t already, make sure that your site is mobile accessible in that it’s geared up for use on a tablet or smart phone. You’ll need a RWD (responsive web design) which is clever, compact and simple to navigate, some scrolling but not too much pinching.

Life In The Fast Lane
You must ensure that your website is up to speed and fast to navigate – These days, people expect pages to load within two seconds before the service is considered slow.

Big Love
Ensure that buttons, links and especially pictures are large and easy to click and view. The more time the customer spends pinching and zooming into different products the less likely they are to bring you valuable conversions. Amazon mobile and now Ebay are championing larger buttons and simple userjourneys

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Get On With It
Try and keep form-filling to a minimum for mobile devices. Customers want quick transactions that they can speed through, enabling them to get on with their day. If they find themselves faffing for eons entering masses of personal info on tiny keyboards, they’ll become irritated, lose interest and kaput goes your sale.

Hello, I Love You…
Okay, maybe ask for a name, but reign in your craving for data and resist asking your mobile customers for registration. No one wants to miss their bus stop because they were too busy creating a whole online account with the website that they just wanted to quickly buy a jumper from. Ask for minimal details – If they appreciate your service they may sign up on their own accord when they have more time.

White Room
This goes without saying but keep your mobile web design stylish, spacey and uncluttered, not only will this look a lot better but your customers will thank you for the simplicity too.

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Boldly Go Forth
Ensure that your site is unique and engaging to keep the customer on the page. Surprisingly, mobile customers are easily distracted by their outside world, and captivating colours, pictures and stylish fonts and copy will hold their attention even whilst that woman falls over the curbside opposite.

Is It This You’re Looking For?
Everyone loves an easy access search bar that works, and when your time and screen space is limited, it’s all the more useful. Provide your customers with a prominent search bar where they can find exactly what they need with minimum effort on their part.

If You’re Gonna Do It – Do It Right
Devstars have helped a number of forward thinking businesses become mobile-ready using techniques which enable you to see the whole screen regardless of browser size and casually flip the layout horizontally with a twist of your device. Creative Director Martina Langer’s site was designed with a deservedly chic, stylised look which is completely mobile friendly, perfect for those viewing from a tablet. Simple features such as the mobile drop down implemented by Devstars made the difference for mobile users, providing a speedy and convenient experience..

Please call us on 01784 772405

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Get smart with rich data and microformats http://www.devstars.com/blog/get-smart-with-rich-data-and-microformats/ http://www.devstars.com/blog/get-smart-with-rich-data-and-microformats/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:00:28 +0000 http://www.devstars.com/?p=2436 A few years back Google CEO Eric Schmidt confidently predicted that it would only be a matter of time before Google would be able to give you your search results before you typed in the query. Thankfully, this rather alarming prediction has not come to pass, mainly due to the simple reason that Google, and […]

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A few years back Google CEO Eric Schmidt confidently predicted that it would only be a matter of time before Google would be able to give you your search results before you typed in the query. Thankfully, this rather alarming prediction has not come to pass, mainly due to the simple reason that Google, and other search engines, are not as smart as he (and us for that matter) seem to think they are.

Let us explain. Search engines do not read and fully understand the content of your Web site. This applies no matter how well the site has been designed and written. All they are able to do is match the words to a specific search query. You will realise straight away here that the problem is context.

Say, for example, your Web site has the words “based in Birmingham, we sell sinks all over the world”. Google et al will pick up Birmingham and sinks as specific to you and possibly world (but try typing that into Google and seeing how many results you get). The rest of the statement is meaningless to it.

Whereas, a person reading the site who is based in Australia and looking for a sink supplier will understand immediately you are able to help but will they get to see the page? Just by typing the search in Google will not match the supplier with the customer in this case.

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Rich snippets

So, what can we do to get round this? Fortunately there is something that can be done to overcome this and it’s called ‘rich snippets’. They are the few lines of text that appear under every search result and are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.

If Google understands the content on your pages, it can create rich snippets. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range. In the example we used above it could detail what you provide (sinks) and where you provide them to (globally).

Below we have a good example where a show’s website is built without rick snippets but the ticket sales site adds in the event rich snippet, resulting in a more informative summary in Google.

rich-snippets

Existing code on web sites can be adapted by wrapping certain content with tags that tell Google if the item is a product, place, person, news article, event etc.  The list is growing rapidly with Google now supporting specific tags for reciepes, films and songs for example.

If you’d like your web site adapted to support rich data and microformats or are have any questions about this please give us a call on 01784 772405 or click here to email us.

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