Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Design and development of file sharing applications that integrate social media

Looking to share documents, audio files or video but do not have an FTP server or other facility to upload and share information?

The answer is 3rd party file sharing websites. With increasing availability of marketing materials in multimedia format, file sharing is a requirement E-creation is asked about on a regular basis, where client's want to make their content and documents available to the public over the Internet. Whilst it is possible to write custom file sharing applications, this can be cost prohibitive for some clients, so here is an experiment we have done at E-creation to test file sharing from within Blogger and a 3rd party file sharing website http://www.filesavr.com. The client simply uploads their file directly off of their computer onto http://www.filesavr.com and copies the automatically generated 'embed' code into their Blogger post.


The example we have provided is a proposal for a file sharing application that integrate social media. One of the key issues for many clients may be the perceived professionalism of a file sharing facility that has 'advertising' in it - but sometimes, that is the price of low-cost development routes. To design and develop a basic self-managed file management and sharing application would typically cost around £2,000 with limitations on the monthly bandwidth. This is due to the charges incurred at E-creation when we exceed our bandwidth restrictions.

If clients are looking to use video content, then we often suggest the use of YouTube to reduce bandwidth demands and to make their content available to a wider audience. Blogger itself has facility to integrate video content, although the format made available can be less accessible.

Video in Blogger Example

video

Friday, July 30, 2010

New multimedia presentation CD-ROM and website animation copy

E-creation is producing a three minute interactive multimedia presentation about our services and have produced a first draft of copy for the introduction sequence for the multimedia presentation CD-ROM and website animation. We would welcome your feedback ...

Intelligent multimedia speaks for itself.

By integrating multimedia into your website, CD-ROM, exhibition materials or e-mail marketing, you create a better experience for prospective customers. E-creation makes it simple to enhance marketing using audio, animation, 3D and interactivity, bringing your message and products to life. With over 10 years of experience, E-creation produces some of the best multimedia and digital marketing in the world for clients such as 3Com, IBM, City & Guilds, London Underground, Unisys and Slough Borough Council. But as a smaller digital design agency, E-creation is affordable and effective for businesses of all sizes. Using multimedia, we can:
  • increase sales
  • create interest
  • reduce costs
  • influence opinion
  • manage relationships 
But for now, we’ll let the multimedia speak for itself.

... which will then go onto 90 second of interactive demos of the best of our multimedia design and production.

Monday, June 21, 2010

How does a budget website design & development project breakdown?

How does a typical budget website design & development project breakdown?

Many businesses taking there businesses online are confused by the offer of £500 e-commerce website design packages, which 95% of the time simply do not deliver on their promise to generate value to a business. A complete e-commerce website design & development process from E-creation typically starts at £5,000, ten times the cost of the budget £500 website design package you might see offered in the advertising panels in the right of Google - but offers better value for money. Why? Because of the time spent on initial thinking, design and coding together with the unique experience going into making the best value website:


• Consultancy - define objectives, content & navigation for clarity
• Design – create engaging design & experience for website visitors
• Coding – convert design into HTML code & add CMS
• Create new cart – improve the shopping experience
• Applying social media – linking to branded Twitter

The new website typically addresses the common design & structural issues that are found with most budget website designs.

• Simplify content & make the site easier to navigate
• Make content appropriate to local market, therefore faster and easier to process for visitors
• Improve on overall design & brand image, creating more trust in the transaction process
• Delivery of content more effectively into search engines, for higher volume, more targeted traffic
• Employ social media as integral part of website design, bringing 'qudos' to the website
• Make content updates easy via ‘Blogger’ CMS, encouraging regular updates and more accurate content

Basic site re-design, re-coding & e-commerce integration can be achieved for as little as £5,000 + VAT

1 to 2 days – consultancy & documentation

Work with the client to to define the digital business objectives for website (with a half day face-to-face meeting), document how E-creation will technically achieve this and rationalise content (including advice on best ways to write content for website targeting top search engine placements.

2 to 5 days – re-design website

Redesign the look & feel of website, improve navigation & overall ‘experience’ for visitors with potential for homepage animated element.

2 to 4 days – re-code website

Creation of navigation & HTML pages with meta-tags for SEO. Websites usually would consist of around 20 content pages (1 hr per page to code).

2 to 3 days – new shopping cart

The simplest cost-effective approach is Google Checkout cart (see demo site - http://checkout.google.com/seller/gsc/v2/demo/index.html). Google Checkout does not require initial registration, making shopping easier and orders can be directed to UK.

Additional recommended elements – around £2,000 + VAT

1 to 3 days – add ‘Blogger’ CMS to site (optional)

Incorporating Blogger enables the client to easily add content in branded PR and news areas of the website, including photos, videos and links. Because Blogger is owned by Google, content is more rapidly seen in search engines, maximizing marketing impact.

1 to 2 days - branded Twitter page and ‘feed’ (optional)

Design a branded Twitter page with a unique, content related domain name with code to ‘sync’ animated Twitter posts to the homepage.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Award-winning online marketing & web agency for brochures, print, multimedia CD-ROM, e-commerce web design, sales presentations & online marketing

E-creation is an award-winning online marketing and web design agency that combines creativity, technical knowledge & marketing experience to generate astonishing business results. We design & develop marketing & communications products with strategic business advice including:

• Brochures & innovative print materials
• Interactive multimedia CD-ROMs & DVDs
• Websites & e-commerce sites
• Sales presentations & exhibition materials
• Intranet & content management systems
SEO campaigns & online marketing

E-creation produces digital marketing products that not only look amazing but that put the client in charge of their own content; websites with #1 placements in search engine that create valuable enquiries, CD-ROM and digital presentations that can be updated remotely to keep the information up to date & online marketing that automatically organises content to optimise it for maximum traffic. Our clients ranging from small businesses through to large corporations including:

IBM, Unisys, City & Guilds, BP, Cisco, 3Com, London Underground, Royal Bank of Scotland, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Lastminute.com, the NHS & FluencyVoice

E-creation provides free quotes and initial recommendations, so if you are thinking about ‘doing something digital’ speak to the true digital experts on 01202 853685 and find out how E-creation can make your marketing materials, website, multimedia CD-ROM, presentation or online marketing the best it can be.


Professional website design for accountancy & professional services firms

Professional website design for accountancy & professional services firms

CLIENT
Rouse & Co

PROJECT
Design & coding of corporate website with content management system & SEO

BUDGET
£20,000

TECHNOLOGY
Website was built using ASP, SQL & HTML

The Rouse & Co website is a fantastic example of how professional services companies, like accountancy firms, can use professional website design & development to create new business from the web and improve relationships with clients.

Using personalisation to build better relationships with potential customers

The key communication objective E-creation applied in the design process of the website was the concept of ‘personal service accounting’. To deliver this in an interactive and engaging way, E-creation built an interactive ‘appointment’ request form on the homepage.

Visitors are asked when they would like an appointment and what their preferred beverage is. An image (taken from a half day photoshoot E-creation did in their offices) of the appropriate drink with steam or condensation animation and personal welcome message.

Receptionists receive an email each morning with name, time and beverage request of all appointments for the day, for preparation 3 minutes before appointment’s arrival. This takes the sense of personal detail through from the website all the way to the moment the potential client walks in the door.

Content management & SEO

All key areas of the website are hooked into an easy-to use, custom-built content management system where Rouse & Co (now Vantis) can add & manage:

• News articles (including metatags)
• Newsletters & PDF documents
• Key staff members

This detail in content management, enables Rouse & Co (Vantis) to manage their positions in search engines by constantly improving and updating of site content without the need to come back to E-creation for updates.

Complete professional brand, stationary & website design plus development for under £4,000

Complete professional brand, stationary & website design plus development for under £4,000

CLIENT
Berlingual

PROJECT SCOPE
Brand, stationary & website design

BUDGET
£1,500 for branding & stationary, £4,000 for website design / programming

TECHNOLOGY
Website built using HTML with multilingual elements in Flash

International business appeal

E-creation was provided with a blank slate – come up with a memorable company name that communicates ‘professional English training provided from Berlin’. Berlingual was the resulting brand name and E-creation delivered:

• Concepts and design of company logo and stationary
• Design & development of website & online marketing

At the heart of the design, E-creation demonstrates that ‘business communication is not just translation’ using common English business metaphors with literal German translations, demonstrating the complexity of business English.

Using language road signs for International business

As with all design E-creation’s design, deep thinking was applied on every level, even in the selection of the corporate font – using Berlin based H. Berthold’s Akzidenz Gratesque.

In order to communicate effectively and perform well in search engines, E-creation created ‘German language road signs’ throughout the site – areas where key paragraphs were translated and discretely integrated into the design.

E-creation put together an online marketing campaign with a budget of less than £100 per month that delivers over £1,000 of new business each month – an exceptional ROI.

Complete professional website design & development for under £2,500

SneakerSeeker.co.uk – an online museum for trainer culture

CLIENT:
Slough Borough Council

PROJECT:
Brand consultancy & professional website design

BUDGET:
£2,500 for interactive museum micro site

TECHNOLOGY:
Combination of Flash, CSS & HTML with a MySQL & PHP CMS & user contribution component.

Created for a three week museum exhibition, E-creation had a short time frame (7 working days) to complete site design & programming for this National Lottery funded project. In order to reduce the administrative burden of creating site content, the website is driven by user content which uploaded and commented on. This enabled the website to be populated rapidly and with the very latest relevant content for young people. Basic DHTML brings the site to life with some basic animation and key to the site's success has been top 10 search engine placements for key terms in Google.

The design itself was produced in under 48 hrs from scratch, providing an excellent example of what can be achieved within budget website design projects (under £1,000 for the design element).

Please visit the site www.sneakerseeker.co.uk to see the result achieved by a professional design design agency like E-creation creating a complete, fully functional website for a budget of less than £2,500.

Achieving the best search engine (SEO) placements in Google with a 5 minute 'Blogger and Realtime Google' masterclass

Achieving the best search engine (SEO) placements in Google with a 5 minute 'Blogger and Realtime Google' masterclass

Guaranteed #1 placements in Google is impossible yet it is something that at E-creation we are asked about on a regular basis. So we've put together a 5 minute master class on how to get the best from search engines and Google in particular. Information of achieving top placements in Google is a massively popular subject, you can find lots of more detailed information online, so we will keep our masterclass short, sweet and focused on how to use Blogger and Google's realtime indexing to maximise your position in Google.

Google recently shifted to some some pretty amazing realtime indexing technology, largely driven by Twitter, Facebook and news websites where information changes rapidly and needed a way to be found at the appropriate time. As a result, the days of waiting weeks or months to see the results of modification of page content are gone BUT you need to use the correct technologies to achieve this. A key element is to use Blogger (which is owned by Google, surprise, surprise) as your CMS to achieve top search engine placements with continual improvement and adjustment of content. The www.e-creation.eu site integrates Blogger discreetly in its news and blog section - and our approach enables us to place new content into Google in as little as 3 MINUTES(!) of posting content.

In fact, for our Google SEO masterclass, I will start a timer and post an update on how long it takes for this post to be indexed by Google (under the term 'blogger and realtime google masterclass' - 9 minutes and counting so far ... isn't technology fun - RESULT - 11 minutes and achieving number 5 position for 'Google Masterclass' as well).

So how does this rapid indexing of content help your business and website? People tend to be driven by fashion and peer behaviour, so if a particular business topic or subject suddenly has masses of traffic, it makes sense for a business to utilise the 'spike' for business purposes. People are hungry for information on that topic and if it resolves a technical, business or marketing issue, then your timely advice is massively valuable.

For example, as part of a online marketing & Google optimisation campaign for an online support client, E-creation keeps an eye on new bugs & IT issues released by Microsoft, as well as trawling through IT discussion forums, looking for popular subjects. If a known bug is being discussed or problems due to updates to operating systems or server platforms, together with the client, E-creation writes a micro blog that is posted via a Blogger CMS we built. As the Blogger element is integrated seamlessly into the website, relevant traffic flows to the website within 5 minutes of posting the information, helping to position the company at the forefront of expert advice for an topical subjects (and creating key revenue for the client).

The term 'to Google it' is a reflection of the ease with which people can find information online using Google and therefore, if you know that a particular subject is popular, the window of opportunity to leverage that moment may be short. Often it's best to be the first rather than the 'best' (and we are not just talking about where you rank in search engine, but rather how early you make 'first contact' from a brand perspective).

So back to topic, using Blogger to achieve #1 positions in Google. With Google's realtime indexing of content, once you know what content is topical, you can post, repost and refine your postings infinitely with realtime feedback on each iteration. (I describe website content pages as postings, because the technology behind the content pages is blogging technology - but what visitors experience are standard content pages within a website). This ability to continually refine the postings and see resulting search engine placements means you have the power to tune the posting (web page) content in realtime. E-creation will adjust this post itself, looking at the type of traffic that is generated, assessing the type of business that can be built from that traffic and of course, establishing the value of the information we are providing for free online.

Of course, it is absolutely essential that you have something useful and topical to say. Content is still the key pull for websites but using technologies such as Blogger and realtime Google indexing are key to leveraging that content. The ability to apply a design style to a Blogger feed, as well as the ability to use your unique URL (e.g. news.e-creation.eu) ensures brand integrity.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Website design & technology case studies for 2010

E-creation website design case studies

E-creation has been busy designing websites - so busy, it has taken slightly longer than anticipated but E-creation's 2010 website design case studies PDF is now available online. We have added several new website design projects, including XTM International (a complete branding & website design exercise with some pretty amazing 3D Flash work), Berlingual (a small website with international aspirations attracting large corporate clients) & UrbanMediaGallery (part of E-creation's 'making Slough cool' campaign) as well as shortening some of the existing case studies.

Please take a moment to view the website case studies (click here) to get an idea of typical project costs, design features, unique functionality and ROI website design projects.

With case studies coverage in publications by the Design Council, the Times, Design Week and New Media Age, you can get the inside track on the latest projects E-creation has been working on.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stunning Flash animation & design using 3D technology

Stunning Flash animation using 3D technology

Once again, E-creation has been pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved using Flash as a technology, creating a Flash animation integrating realtime 3D rendering, parallax camera panning and dynamic integration of XML feeds into the 3D environment.

In a highly complex series of animations for XMT International, E-creation produced 3D Flash animations over 30 seconds in length with file sizes under 170k! Leon worked on the project for over 13 days to produce the animations (his notes can be seen above) from an original concept based around movement of arrows (see notes below):




Monday, February 8, 2010

Busy weekend working in augmented reality demo for Kraft

Yet another weekend lost to the pleasures (or pains) of work, depending on your point of view. Actually, we have been working on some very interesting fusion of augmented reality and social media - to be more precise, the creation of an augmented reality monitor that runs of live Twitter ticker feed.

We can edit and adjust the content of the augmented reality file using Twitter, which is pretty cool. Hopefully, we will be creating a new version of the www.augmentedrealitydesign.com site next week where users will be able to enter their own Twitter name and the application will automatically create a unique augmented reality Twitter feed that they can send to friends and colleagues, getting the viral wire buzzing.

It's a pretty cool application, so thank you Paul for working so hard over the weekend to meet our deadline for Kraft in the USA. Fingers crossed that Kraft will be taking on E-creation's augmented reality design creativity and applying it to their packaging.

Visit www.augmentedrealitydesign.com to interact with E-creation's augmented reality Twitter ticker - it's pretty cool!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ben New Year New Start 2010

It has been a busy start to 2010 for E-creation.
So far, I have investigated hairdressers, restaurants and takeaways in the Bournemouth and Poole area.

We created a series of free marketing fact sheets for these industries filled with useful tips to enhance their business.

I researched appropriate local businesses to send this information too and assembled the marketing packs complete with E-creation’s funky business card.

We know that times are difficult for small businesses, so the team have been trying to come up with low cost ways to help them generate business. An example of this has been the £95 Facebook Business page. Using Facebook as a technical platform enables E-creation is very quickly create a webpage that is indexed by Google and has lots of cool functionality. For restaurants, for example, it’s possible to upload videos, link to GoogleMap page, allow customers to upload & share their photos and even incorporate a video of the restaurant. Social media is a hot topic right now and is very cost effective within specific sectors.

Where E-creation can help is setting up the content in the page to maximise the impact of social media and to make sure that all the relevant content and links are in place. It seems like a simple thing, and it is, but it takes experience to do well. However, that’s how for £95, the team are able to offer a unique and really effective way to market a business. Of course we have no idea at this point how many smaller businesses will actually be interested in using social media, even with such a low cost of entry - so fingers crossed.

We looked into the opportunity of redesigning the front-end of Facebook for businesses, as you can do within MySpace – but unfortunately, this is no longer possible. So the Facebook Business pages have to keep their Facebook style, but with images around the edge to help give the right impression. Still, it keeps the development costs low, so perhaps it’s actually a bonus in terms of opportunity.

Please check out the marketing fact sheets on our website.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cool new business cards for Future Culture

E-creation's graphic designers produce cool new cards for Future Culture

The team at E-creation are always looking for ways for businesses to really differentiate themselves from the minute they enter into a potential client's consciousness.

Thats why we think business cards so so very incredibly important. It provides an immediate and credible overview of the professionalism and attitude of an company. E-creation's business cards are famous! You might be thinking that we are exaggerating, yet time and time again, when networking, going into meetings or talking with journalists, when we hand over our business card, we are greeted with 'ah, we've heard about you and your business cards'. That's because they are really cool - but do not have a high unit cost or a gimmick factor - they are simply yet well designed, integrating all the brand values of E-creation.

For Future Culture, the youth oriented focus of the business is reflected in the style whilst still appealing to the cold, hard business drivers that their clients require. For their business card design, we used a spot UV (a kind of shiny ink) to highlight a hidden story on the back of the card that is initially felt before it become obvious. We examined the possibility of using UV reactive clear inks that would change from clear to a deep purple but unfortunately, this was a cost prohibitive approach.