Friday, February 25, 2011

The End Is Near!

Anyone feel like marching on a street corner and wearing a sandwich board proclaiming the end is near? We could shout at people with a bullhorn that the interwebz is running out of IP addresses, and we must repent! Come on, it'll be fun! No? Ok then, maybe scaring people with tales of blog's deaths, told by a campfire? Sill no? Man, what fun are you?

Ok, seriously. we really are running out of IP addresses, did you know? though as this interview states, it'll take another year-ish before it results in zombie riots, there is some salvation to be had. We are currently using Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). when we run out of IPv4 addresses, we will move to IPv6, which will give us 340 undecillion (3.4×10 ^38) new IP addresses. That's a stinking lot of zeros.

And this article talks about how the NY Times tried to scare folks claiming that blogging is dead, among young people. Yes, they're using Twitter and Facebook to microblog, condensing their lives into 140 character bites. That means that blogging (in the long diatribe sense) may be not as popular, but blogging is changing, evolving. And besides, you'll still have the long format blog around—too many people depend on photo-by-photo tutorials of how to make a perfect grilled cheese for it to go too far.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring Starter Site Promotion

Addison is offering a special promotion for spring on a new solution we developed called a Starter Site. To be eligible for the Spring 2011 Promotion for you must like AddisonTech on facebook. Just go to and leave a comment that you are interested in the Spring Starter Site and we will contact you to get things started.

We aim to customize your website solution to meet your goals, and sometimes an entry level site is the right fit. We are now offering a managed cost solution that provides versatility while protecting your image because image is everything. Your website doesn't have to look as if your nephew painted your logo on your work truck.

It's a standard 4 page web site, that will have a custom banner, and you will be able to populate the pages and be able to update them as often as you like. If you can upload photos on facebook, you can do this. It's Brochure ware at a managed cost.

One Domain
4 page web site
Customized banner
Your preferred color genre
Logo integration to banner
Background image or color
You manage the content
Written online tutorial

Who is it for:
Perfect for contractors
Perfect for auto shops
Perfect for Pizza shops
Perfect for businesses that don't have a website

50 dollars a month no setup fees
This is not a consultave solution
You provide pictures(ex. banner and background) and logo
You create and upload content
2 year contract
Credit card required

In Review:
We generally consult and design custom web sites that blend with current marketing strategies and increasing brand awareness and loyalty, however over the years we have not been able to offer something for businesses that just haven't reached a need for those high end services. This is the genesis of the Spring Starter Site and to kick it off we are offering it with no setup fees for a limited time. Just go to our facebook page and like us, then comment on our wall that you want the spring starter site and someone will be in touch with you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

WebSite Design: Timeline rules

Web Design / Time rules

As a Web designer or a owner/manager of a company building a new web site, you will be combing over every fine element hundreds of times. That is an important part of the process, but it is equally important not to lose site of the goal of creating maximum user experience on your website. We spend hours upon hours criticizing whether logo should be ½ centimeter to left or this icon should be higher etc etc… Sometimes it better to stop, close your eyes, go the home page and use the time rules. The Time rules are simple and concise.

Part One: 3-5 seconds.
In the first three to five seconds the user will form an opinion about the professionalism, trustworthiness and overall pleasure of the company. This where a good web designer earns his/her pay. So Let’s do an exercise. Open a browser, let the home page load, count to five, and answer the following questions as if you had never seen the website prior to now.

1. Was the website professional and clean?.. pictures..colors..branding

2. What size company did the web site portray?

3. What was the one branding/messaging that was most prevalent?

4. Would an existing loyal customer recognized the site as being the same company
He or she does business with everyday?

5. Would a prospective customer relate the web site to the product or service it is known for?

6. Did the website have a positive or negative rating overall? Give reasons.

Part Two: 7-10 seconds.
The second crucial timing as to whether a website is successful at its goals are in the seven to ten second range. After a user has created an opinion towards the company, the user needs to be able to find information. The information will be different depending on the company or purpose of the site. A user of a news site, for example, would be looking for the hottest, new story of the day. A user of a law office might be looking for types of law they practice or a list of lawyers at the firm. This is where things like, navigation, featured areas, contact information seen clearly in the banner, and live help applications help in making sure the user finds information. If the user does not find how to get to the information in this critical window, he/she will most certainly click the back button and go to a competitor’s website. The vast majority of objectives, relative to what information a user is looking for, should be covered in the site planning portion of the website design. Having a good Site Map and a description of featured areas on the home page prior to site design is critical. Once it gets in the designers hands it is often too late to fix major missing objectives.

After the site design process the website designer plays a key role in prioritizing objectives with page placement and size. Also navigation is cricitical in making sure users find information. Ready for the exercise? First determine what specific information you are interested in finding. You may have 3-4 major things your website should be able to do. That is fine, do this exercise 3 separate times and each time look for one of those things. Once you have a target, open a browser count to ten while navigating for that information. Now Answer the following questions.

Was it natural to find the information?

Did it require thought or translation in terminology to find the information? Did the site use the correct wording for the item a common user would know?

Was the information obvious?

Repeat these questions for all major types of information users would be searching for on your site. Understand you can’t satisfy every user so use common sense and the 80/20 rule (80 target the major 80% of users in the major search) and let minor information and expansive information be more of a drill down option.

Hopefully this will help you gauge the success of your new web design and realize that its not completely about overanalyzing every space on the web site, but being a success to the user in a certain timeline. If you have any questions or would like us to consult on your website go to and contact us. And yes you can try the time rules on our web site and give us feedback if you like. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Giants are Battling Again

I'm sure by now, you've seen news of the allegations that Google has made against rival Bing, about Google's search results being copied. Google says that they can prove that Bing uses their search results –they have linked results to specifically garbled queries in Google, and then watched those same results show up for Bing searches. While there isn't a lot that Google can do--people who are in the know about these things say that Microsoft likely didn't break laws with this snafu--they do seem to be trying to deliberately embarrass their competitor. This really isn't that surprising to anyone, as much as Google and Microsoft have battled in the past. We expect the next move in this brawl to be that Microsoft will be caught shooting spitballs at Google, causing Google to reply with "Neener-neener" and blowing a raspberry.

Here's a plethora of links on this story, though they all pretty much say the same thing:
Wall Street Journal
PC World
Financial Times