Posts Tagged ‘mobileapp’

Importance of User Research

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

User Research, the term brings to mind a complex looking image with stacks of paper, graphs and diagrams, computers, figures, and whatnot. If this is true for you too, then you are not wrong. It does in-fact consist of an infinitely straining series of events, each more complex than the other.

Then why do so many companies today invest so much in terms of money and manpower in setting up programs all based on one objective- user research?

The answer to this question is simple — it is impossible to launch a successful product or design without going through this tedious process, for it is nothing but this that gives the creators an idea of what the audience wants, how will it perceive whatever they have to offer and most importantly how much are they willing to pay in order to have it. It seems like a fair bargain, doesn’t it?

So let us begin by understanding what is this “user research”. If very loosely defined, it can be considered as observation techniques, task analyses and other methods of feedback aimed to procure an understanding of the user’s needs, problems, and behavior. It is carried out using various methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative and over the years has evolved into a near scientific method of analysis.

User research can be considered as an exploration mission sent right to the hearts of consumers. These become essential because every UX or UI designer needs the data provided by this to be empathetic towards the user’s needs. Many experts in the field unanimously stress on the need for empathy in design. They opine that without understanding the feelings, sight, and experience of others it is pointless to design anything. This makes perfect sense, after all, UX or user experience is all about satisfying the user, making him comfortable while using that given piece of technology and that can only happen once you know what makes that consumer happy, what makes him twitch, what annoys him and what relaxes him, User research gives you all of these things and more.

User research brings in data through ethnographic studies, usability tests, interviews, surveys, statistical analyses and serves it to the designer, it provides him a window to the user’s mind and finally gives him an inspiration so as to “what to create.” The first and foremost outcome is exactly that, it provides the designers with inspiration and paints them a clear picture of whether their idea is relevant or not. This goes a long way. The data and its analysis are used to demonstrate to the companies the importance of these designs and to attract investors, capital and everything else that the designer needs to carry on. It even guides these big companies in the direction they should invest more in R&D. A classic example of the fact is Samsung TV. Before their embankment in the journey of user research, the global TV market was dominated by ostentatious boasting of their screen’s resolution, sound quality, etc. But Samsung’s research sung a different tale, it indicated that the audience cared much more about the looks and overall design of their television as compared to the technical feats it offered. People thought of the TV more like a piece of furniture than anything else and wanted it to fit in inside their rooms along with other things and not glare around looking out of place. As a result, Samsung radically altered its designs and the televisions they produced were more sleek, better looking and capable of merging in with its surroundings. Samsung’s share of the global TV market nearly doubled because of this endeavor. This and many more examples including those of Microsoft, Sony, Lenovo all giants in their respective fields had an epiphany that changed their profit sacks allowing their advancements in the field of User Research.

Another bright spot that this field highlights along with return on investment, relevance, etc. is in the arena of sales and advertisement. Advertising a product without knowing the user is the same as shooting an arrow in the dark and hoping it hits the bull’s eye. User research describes the demographics of the consumer in a way that enables the sellers to isolate the needs, necessities, likes, dislikes of a large number of consumers and finally isolate their own target customer. The 21stCentury is scattered with examples of companies providing fewer benefits to the consumer as compared to a rival company and yet showing more in sales. All of this hinges upon one thing- understanding the user, and accomplishing that is next to impossible without a good quality, comprehensive user research.

Thus, on the importance of user research, we may simply conclude that, for a designer to get inspiration for a product he needs user research, for a company to understand the return on investment and the relevance of a product it needs user research and finally for a seller to fix the price and finally sell the product he needs user research. Every step of the journey a lot of things change, but what remains constant is the need for quality user research.

How Struggle Sharpens Your Ability to Innovate

Friday, January 24th, 2020

It has always been a source of immense amazement to me how every successful person on this planet has had a story filled with struggle, perseverance, and failure. Not one tall tale of success, have I ever encountered that was all about things being served in a platter to the guy and then someone holding his hands and walking him to success. Even the richest of businessmen are making their heirs attend the toughest of schools, have a life based on work and not to be easy going. This has got to mean something. As cumbersome and inconvenient as it may sound to you, I have to tell you that it is in fact one of the fundamental truths of life that struggle sharpens your ability to innovate, grow and then ultimately become a success.

I don’t think philosophies are much cared for, by the millennium generation in general, but here’s the deal- when it comes to inspiration, I think the ancient thought if decoded from its erudite abode has a lot to offer, the experience drenched philosophies that the societies are etched with and that we so conveniently ignore all sing about how struggle helps us discover new things and innovate. Ancient thought has always tended to appreciate the struggle. We ourselves try to ignore it, or when undergoing this strenuous state of mind try to hide it, are ashamed of it or worse feel sorry about it. The reality should be the exact opposite. A number of philosophies dictate how the struggle is an opportunity to grow, how failure is an opportunity to learn and as the following discussion progresses I we will all start having a deeper understanding and appreciation of struggle and finally agree with the ancient thought and start embracing the struggle and not avoiding it.

Human history is filled with innovation and one of the major inspirations behind these innovations has always been- struggle. The struggle of a man trying to reach from one place to another led to the formation of the wheel, the struggle of men facing innumerable diseases led to the discovery of an entirely new branch of science- medicine. Similarly, the struggle of managing data, of getting work done quicker all these led to in the past and still lead to the innovations in computer technologies and software. The idea is to recognize that struggle and draw inspiration from it. Struggle provides us with empathy which in turn provides us incentive to work harder, think harder, reach our maximum potential in whatever we are doing. Millions of inventions have only sprung out of the minds like that of Edison and Tesla because they recognized theirs as well as the struggle of those around them.

Another gift this thorny package provides you is humility. The more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be overconfident and then ultimately commit blunders. But if you are struggling to let’s say create a particular piece of software, you will first, of course, try and execute your idea in one go, it didn’t go as planned. You try again and again, first checking if the process, the system is properly aligned, it still does not work. Then you will start taking a closer look at your idea, at the various sets of codes you had written to execute it, you keep looking and looking and almost every single time you come across a point where you realize- you could have done better or that merely there was an easier way to get the same things done. You solve these snags and behold- you have your software, ready to use and better than ever. Now, let’s take a step back. Just think of the said software would have been a success in the first go, would you have any incentive to look closely at all its components yet again? I didn’t think so. It was the mere fact that you struggled to run the software that you gave value and thought to its each and every component and in turn, created a much better thing out of them. This inside innovation would never have been possible if you hadn’t struggled in the first place. Thus, struggle gives you a whole new experience, a new window to look at the same thing and I think that is all that an intelligent mind needs for inspiration to innovate.

Lastly, I think struggle also gives you much more knowledge and experience than anything ever could. Reading books or knowing about how things are done is one thing, but when you actually sit down and start working on those “things” yourself, you start appreciating its every aspect, you start realizing its flaws and shortcomings, something which you need to experience first-hand to fully understand and once you do that you finally have both the opportunity and the knowledge to solve these problems, to develop new solutions to finally innovate.

Thus, it is important for all of us, especially those who have set out on a journey to discover and create something new to understand that there is no avoiding struggle. Instead of taking shortcuts or being let down by the struggle we have to start looking at it as it is- a golden opportunity, a teacher that is there to teach you of millions of things that nobody else has ever even mentioned to you. So it is time now for us to start embracing this incredible opportunity sugar-coated inside with the word- struggle!

UI Android vs iOS UI

Friday, January 24th, 2020

User Interface (UI) as dynamic as it is, individually takes yet another turn in the diversity section when we come to comparing Android and IOS.

You must have heard sagas of the differences between the android and iOS users each pleading a case of how their operating system is better than the other. But what you may not know is that this isn’t new, it has been the case for ages now. And, on no account can you term it as superficial. Android users do have a very tough time adjusting to iOS and vice versa. The “why” to this problem has a lot of little aspects and one major aspect. The major one is the differences in the UI of the two. Think about it, for instance, a layman while comparing two devices with these two operating systems may ignore for once, the differences in the complex configurations behind the processors in the two, but what he will always keep in mind is “how does is screen look?” “which icon goes where?” “how do you navigate through different pages?” and all of these have only one thing in common- UI.

Thus, it becomes essential for us to understand the differences between the UI in the two operating systems so that if need be we can make an informed choice and in a more competent fashion.

Now that we have started, we need to know where all will we be able to spot these differences. The best answer to this is — “If you scrutinize the subtle, then everywhere.” These differences are present everywhere — in the navigation bars, toolbars, types of control, buttons, and whatnot.

Out of these hundreds our focus first, obviously goes to navigation. Android is based on the material design guidelines, which is something widely accepted and followed globally even google uses them while developing its own applications. iOS, on the other hand, is based on the human interface design. One of the most noticeable differences in navigation is how android uses a “universal navigation bar” present at the bottom of the screen but iOS uses a combination of gestures and the home button. It also presents itself with an inbuilt “back button” in almost every one of its apps to help with the simple retracing of steps. Now you may be able to see how even a simple action as “going back” becomes so different with a change of UI.

Similar to navigation is another aspect — Menu. In Android, they generally have it in the form of a sidebar where you just tap and pull and voilà — you will have five to six apps ready to access. iOS, on the contrary, prefers a tab bar, which is placed at the bottom of the screen. These tab bars though according to various consumer analysis reports are easier to use, provide a lesser array of apps to be at the user’s disposal at one point of time.

The search field too is not left behind in this gabble of differences. In fact, the amount of comfort drawn from a device has a huge dependence on the accessibility of the search field and its placing and presentation in the two operating systems play a pivotal role in materializing the differences between the two. One of the most distinguishing in this arena is the placement. iOS demonstrates a certain amount of rigidity as the full search bar is placed at the top of the screen. Whereas Android provides its users with a little bit of flexibility on the matter. It gives the users an option to place the search bar on the top, which is majorly different from what was provided by iOS because this one only expands into a full search bar upon tapping the search icon. The second option enables the search bar to gain much-deserved mobility as Android presents the users with an option to access the search field in the form of a widget that can be placed according to the user’s whim.

Pages on the second or lower level of hierarchy use segmented control in iOS and a tab on the Android. Furthermore, all text tabs in Android are present in uppercase and in iOS as a title case. This coupled with a fact that Android UI comes with a “text-only” policy for these tabs, which allows no icons and texts to be present simultaneously on the tabs and that iOS has no such policy, gives another important point of distinction to the two operating systems.

Another fundamental difference between the UI of the two can be observed in the color and size of the apps provided, Android usually has a more multi-color approach, with icons which are big in size and have reasonable spacing in between, on the other hand, iOS prefers a black and white pallet with a more compressed outlook.

A large difference further exists in the form of buttons, dialogues, alerts, etc. But as we explore these and many more, we must also understand the fact that these are all very temporary. The general trend today shows enough cases that indicate that we are moving towards a more converging user interface present in Android and iOS. The addition of the “switch” option to Android from the exclusive domain of iOS being one of the many examples of the same.

So, after understanding the differences in the two UIs and analysing the various trends associated to it, one may also draw a parallel conclusion that with the passage of time as the consumer becomes more knowledgeable and demands for more and more freedom in mobility, structure and outlook, the products will begin to have more and more fluid user interfaces and thus skipping the boundaries drawn by the differences in the operating systems and ultimately being a junction of the two categories we see today!

Progressive Web Applications

Friday, January 24th, 2020

In the era where our mobile phone devices have come to satisfy so many of our needs and have become so minutely integrated in all our daily functioning it is only logical that the features of the older machines that we had all been such vehement users of, in the past be adapted and enhanced in these mobile devices. Just think about it- when was the last time you used your laptop or computer to run a quick google search or even perform any other simple activity that required the internet?

The answer to this usually is a long time ago, so now that mobiles have become our window to the internet it was almost essential for it to be evolved accordingly. While most of the mobile-internet interaction occurs via the usage of mobile applications, in this age of diverse dynamism it is simply impossible to store an app for every activity you want to do. The amount of storage space you’d need for that would just be a preposterous number! Hence comes access to websites on mobile phones and hence comes the PWAs.

PWAs or Progressive Web Application is a kind of software development methodology, they can be understood as a hybrid model of traditional web pages and mobile application. In simpler terms, you may just say that PWA is the combination of the advantages and best features of mobile apps and web pages. It is this, that enables the browser to have a more mobile-friendly, a more comprehensive and more immersive experience.

By now I think you may have come to realize the importance of PWA in our mobile-internet interaction. There is however much more that it brings to the table. As an example, think you have admitted one of the web pages opened in the browser to the home screen (the option is provided on the pages). Now every time you would open the home screen, you shall have a little badge of this web page, which upon clicking shall enable you to skip the tedious process of typing and take you directly to the desired web page. It is not just that, it starts providing you notifications and at times even hides the UI and the page actually does start functioning as an app. The web pages are easier to access, faster to load and even have an offline presence. And with the onset of features like providing notifications and updates to the users, they have induced a much sought-after experience in the browser-user interaction. The best part is that it is not limited to mobile phones, it is also a feature just as actively present and exploited in your computers, bringing the two devices closer than they wee ever before.

With an analysis of PWAs in progression, it is of absolute importance that we discuss the Service Worker. It is if loosely defined, a script run by the browser in the background, and it is that which enables PWAs to load almost immediately without any concern for the state of the internet connection or speed. They add the feature of reliability to the PWAs as they enable intelligent caching, push notifications and other background functions.

The speed factor provided as a result of this entire charade should not be overlooked either. As numerous studies have suggested and you may yourself observe that as much as 53% of the users leave a website if takes more than 3 seconds to load. Thus, for companies developing such internet services, use of PWAs may as well be one of the biggest arrows in the quiver with it ensuring high-speed loading of web pages even on the diciest network conditions.

Another way to assess the importance of this incredible feature is the results it has yielded since its onset in the recent past. Google Chrome seems to have grown to 1 Billion users from a mere 400 Million in 2016. This monstrous growth and that too the short time of just two years is indicative of how the integration of the PWA with the browser has moved the users. It is in fact being suggested by the most notable experts in this field that the earlier trend to abandon a website and open an app (as done by companies like Flipkart) has in reality backfired. The rationalization is pretty simple, that with PWAs already bringing in the ‘best of the applications’ going through the trouble to download an app and follow the entire arduous process and then at the end compromise the limited data storage space that we have on our devices seems not to be worth the trouble.

With such grand tales of the accomplishments of the PWA it is important that at the end some flaws are pointed out as well. A major shortcoming would be that while many browsers like google and Samsung support this format, there still exist quite a few that don’t. Further, the competition between the mobile apps and web pages is still going strong and will take some more time to resolve, thus the inclusion of companies and users in this arena though on the rise, is yet to reach its true potential. Further, many of the added advanced features that are otherwise present in apps and devices like the fingerprint scanner are yet to make a notable presence in the PWAs.

Thus, its integration in every device still remains a question that can only be answered in time. Recent trends certainly give an optimistic result but at the same time, there is a need for PWAs to evolve constantly and immerse the latest of advancement that has become common in most devices and be even more handy to its dynamic set of users.

React Native vs Xamarin

Friday, January 24th, 2020

With an overly increasing market for mobile applications in both of its major platforms- Android and IOS, it is only probable that the developers continue to hunt for a faster, a more comprehensive way of creating these. This where open source cross-platform frameworks like React Native and Xamarin come to play. With both these frameworks topping the charts in their fields it is only necessary to closely examine and compare their features so that the user is better equipped to make a choice.

If simple facts are to be believed then React native has about three times more users than Xamarin, on the various platforms where the users of these frameworks form communities and interact we can see a wide disparity in the number of people committed to one of the two, be it Github or Reddit. But this does not necessarily indicate better technical prowess. What it does show is that Facebook is making extra efforts in securing a community for its framework, a field where Microsoft effectively lacks.

If we care to examine the technical aspects of the two, we see the amount of ease of usage that React native provides to its customers- basic knowledge of the Java Script and you are ready to develop mobile apps. Xamarin, on the other hand, uses the C# language, which is more popular with the native users of Android or IOS.

This also introduces to one of the areas where React Native falls short of customer expectations is that it has no provisions for the native features of Android or IOS, the need to be created from scratch every time you have to include them in your development process, this tedious task compels you to write in both Java and Objective C. Whereas Xamarin offers no such problems.

As far as the need for emulators is concerned, in Xamarin one has the compulsion to integrate them in order create anything, whereas React native can function without it, but for a better or more complex application your work has to be integrated with these external emulators at the end.

Another area where React native has not been scoring high is the lack of maturity in its framework, it is easily susceptible to damage and prone to attack via bugs, etc. It has taken a lot of public heat, since often, these bugs are hard to fix, and time taken in doing so might range to days.

So, while React native might appear to be more lucrative a strong proposition can be made claiming that Xamarin with its impeccable centralized support among other things is a better boat to sail in for the long term.

A facelift to the business world — Digital Transformation

Friday, January 24th, 2020

How is digital transformation reshaping businesses?

There is a fixed pattern or way in which businesses operate. When that changes its course from its traditional fons et origo due to modernization and technology, it is referred to as digital transformation.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” — Benjamin Disraeli

Hence, digital transformation has made its mark in a wide range of arenas like hospitality, automation, information technology, finance, and even medicine. It has carved a niche for itself in all kinds of businesses — be it small, medium or large. However, it’s being ubiquitous comes at a price. It needs to prove itself worthy to the customers and the employees and this can be achieved only by employing voguish business applications. Organizations should be able to churn these out at lightning bolt speed because it is the only way they can survive in the extant cut-throat competition.

The essence

The pith of digital transformation is a reduction in operational costs and enhanced customer experience. It does not just circumscribe around new innovative technologies but also revolves around a change in mindset and work culture. Thus, enterprises ought to cater to fluctuations in the business environment and business demands by inventing appropriate strategies.

“…the key to digital transformation in re-envisioning and driving change in how the company operates. That’s a management and people challenge, not just a technology one.” — Capgemini Consulting

The factors

It is hence, pivotal for the management to join hands with IT teams and cater to business needs, motor innovation and head towards continuous development. These form the core of digital transformation — progress in business activities, reduction in costs, improvement in marketing time and so on. Influenced by major factors like technological innovations, customer expectations and demands, market scenario and environmental changes, digital transformation is a force to be reckoned with.

Advancements in technology lead to disruptions. Those operating on obsolete and outdated computer systems are shunned for latest and more modern versions of the same technology. Cloud computing, big data, internet of things, machine learning and others have taken the limelight and if harnessed, are done throughout the organization for better results, higher efficiency, and lower costs.

In the case of customer behavior, it refers to the desires and expectations that they have from the business and from the technology being employed. Consumers want sophisticated and latest technologies but also want them to be handy and easy-to-use. They must be satisfied with the service and should be willing to speak highly of your organization to others. Hence, it is extremely important that these expectations of the customer and technology changes catering to business demand must be in sync with one another. Digital transformation, therefore, helps in the evolution of organizations towards being more customer-centric.

The aftermath

Now, let’s move to different aspects of a business model that digital transformation influences or is capable of influencing. It can affect the normal functioning of the business across different departments ranging from human resources to administration. It can also streamline business models, increase the efficiency of underlying processes and balance business ecosystems. Dealing with customers and information, the two main intangible assets of any business, also become much easier.

Back to the essence

Profitability, customer care and faster market time are key components of digital transformation. Large amounts of data can also be analyzed easily using the latest tech to make decision-making more efficient and improve overall performance. Due to its camaraderie with the business world, digital transformation is often also referred to as business transformation.

“Digital transformation is a journey for the entire company. It’s no longer just about marketing transformation. We’re entering a new phase where all internal stakeholders are involved.” — digitaltransformationbook.com

It is indeed reshaping the business world to transform not just operations management but also organization at all hierarchies. Taking the world by the storm, it is no surprise that a significant number of Global 2000 companies deem it a priority in their corporate strategy. So, watch out for this one!

Also, feel free to reach out to us in case of any query regarding the digital transformation of if you just feel like having a construction discussion regarding the same. We will be more than happy to help out. Thanks for reading!

How To Uplift Your Brand Using Chatbots

Friday, January 24th, 2020

A chatbot is a program, powered by rules and AI, which simulates a real interaction with users via a chat interface. In other words, a chatbot is a service that can have a conversation with you just like a real person. Chatbots are based on Machine Learning to gather conversational cadences that allow them to copy human conversations and react to written or spoken requests to deliver a service. They comprehend language, not just commands, since they use AI. Therefore, the more conversation chatbots have with users, the more intelligent they become. The purpose of chat bots is to support and scale business teams in their relations with customers. It could live in any major chat applications like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc. They are changing the way companies and customers interact, helping to create powerful, engaging human-to-AI agent experiences.

The number of businesses using Chatbots has grown exponentially. Chatbots docked to Facebook’s Messenger have increased from 30,000 in 2016 to over 100,000 today. Every major company has announced its own Chatbot and 60% of the youth population uses them daily. These statistics prove that Chatbots are the new-gen tech. No more waiting for the right time to incorporate them into your business. By the year 2020, nearly 80% of businesses will have their own Chatbot. And shipments of virtual digital assistant systems are beginning to touch every industry, from the banking and financial services space to travel, retail, education, and more. It’s estimated to grow into a $7.7 billion market by 2025

Below are some of the benefits of Chatbots.

1. Chatbots will excite your customers, keep them satisfied

“When the customer comes first, the customer will last.” — Robert Half

People are very excited about technology and love exploring it. According to an online survey, about 44% of U.S. consumers prefer Chatbots over humans for customer communication. Therefore, businesses excite their customers when adopting a new Chatbot.

Still, it’s the businesses’ responsibility to ensure a smooth experience. To be successful, they must ensure their Chatbots are:

  • Professional and bug-free.
  • Aligned with the brand rather than just random affairs.
  • Providing good linguistics.
  • Providing well-defined tasks.
  • Answering queries with proper answers.
  • Working seamlessly on a variety of devices.

2. Always-Available Customer Support

According to research by Gartner, customer service is the most important factor in success. So, whether you are an international or a local business, having a good customer service 24/7 has a positive impact on your customer satisfaction.

Customer support process can be improved with the help of chatbots. Bots can be programmed to give automated answers to repetitive questions immediately and forward the request to a real person when a more complicated action is needed. This enables human customer service representatives to save time and assist more important cases rather than time-consuming simple tasks.

Additionally, with the help of chatbots, organizations can handle more tasks at the same time so that no customer has to wait. This will allow companies to scale up their operations to new markets globally without multiplying incoming requests to be handled.

3. Extensive Customer Assistance

A survey shows that 83% of online shoppers need support during shopping. So, your customers may require help trying to understand which products fit their needs/budgets any time of the day. Moreover, shoppers may not find what they are looking for due to navigation issues when they are on your site, they may have a registration, payment, checkout, and delivery questions or there may be a lack of information about a product.

In all these situations, chatbots can provide assistance real-time like a salesperson in a real store. Moreover, chatbots can offer interactive communication where they also ask questions to understand the real problem. Furthermore, along with text and voice, they can present customers rich content with product pages, images, blog entries, tutorial videos based on their responses that can help them through their journey.

4. Chatbots won’t replace the humans

The biggest Chatbot misconception is that they’ll take over services and automate everything so businesses wouldn’t need humans to function.

This won’t happen; at least not completely. While Chatbots may appear to replace apps and will minimize human efforts for more productive outcomes, they cannot completely replace people and services.

Chatbots merely interact with people to clarify their queries within the preset scope as much as possible. For issues outside the scope, Chatbots are still able to determine a customer’s initial query. A chatbot is more helpful when customer ask repetitive questions because all information required for further resolution has already been gathered, saving time and energy, resulting in more expediency and accuracy.

5. Chatbots help reduce costs

Every year, around 265 billion customer support requests are made and it costs businesses whopping $1.3 trillion to service them. These costs can significantly be reduced with the help of AI Chatbots. Implementing virtual agents or Chatbots can help businesses to save up to 30%.

Chatbots ensure lucrative productivity from the investment in agent or employees. Hiring agents for 24*7*365 and adding resources to give support to the customers round the clock can be too costly for the company. Virtual agents or Chatbots will be the first point of contact and for more complex queries it can be escalated to human agents, hence Chatbot helps in improving customer service and reduces cost.

6. Lead generation and pattern recognition

Users interact with chatbots in very personal ways, much like they do with friends and family, chatbots are able to ask much more personal questions as well — questions that would normally be intrusive and annoying coming from a company or brand. These can range from ‘What music do you like? to ‘Where do you like to go on holiday?’. The answers to these questions provide valuable data that can be referred back to in follow up conversations and offer ways to further personalize the experience the customer has with the brand. Chatbots can, for instance, offer special discounts on a customer’s birthday, or suggest songs as per the previous requests and genres.

A bot can ask the necessary and related questions, persuade the user and generate a lead for you. Chatbots ensure the flow is in the right direction to get higher conversion rates. Of course, this also raises privacy concerns, and companies will need to find a balance between privacy and their quest for increasingly extreme personalization.

7. Increased Customer Engagement

Needless to say, it’s important to keep your customers engaged with your brand. According to research, companies that engage with their customers on social media were able to increase the customer spend by 20% to 40%. While social media is doing its job, chatbots can contribute by making the engagement more interactive — usually with a great sense of humor!

A conventional customer service interface usually provides more information than it receives from the users. However, Chatbots, in contrast, give only a slice of information at a time and can lead the interaction based on the input the user provides at each specific time. Therefore Chatbots don’t bore customers with irrelevant and unnecessary information and keep your customers on your platform longer and keep the content flowing by maintaining the conversation.

8. Easier Approach to Global Markets

Whether you are already an international brand with customers all over the world or a local brand who is ready for global business, chatbots can solve your customer care problems in multiple languages and 24/7, 365 days a year. This allows your business to scale up its operations to new markets without having to worry about multiplying incoming requests to be handled.

6 Future Technologies you should know about

Friday, January 24th, 2020

There has been a huge increase in the technology involved in the daily life of humans in the past 50 years. From engineers feeding in 0s and 1s into a room-sized computer to a wrist watch reminding us to complete our daily goal of 20,000 steps, technology has come a long way. The common man hadn’t even heard of a smartphone 12 years ago and today it’s hard to spend even a few hours without it. The technological advancement seen in the last decade was unseen in human history and it’s natural that we will one-up ourselves in the coming years. With a lot of new tech being conceptualized developed and tested, the future looks more exciting than ever before. There are many exciting new technologies that will continue to transform the world and improve human welfare. Here are six of them.

1. Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars exist today that are safer than human-driven cars in most driving conditions. Google, Uber have been testing them for over 2 years now. Over the next 3–5 years they’ll get even safer, and will begin to go mainstream. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.25 million people die from car-related injuries per year. Half of the deaths are pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists hit by cars. Cars are the leading cause of death for people ages 15–29 years old.

Just as cars reshaped the world in the 20th century, so will self-driving cars in the 21st century. In most cities, between 20–30% of usable space is taken up by parking spaces, and most cars are parked about 95% of the time. Self-driving cars will be in almost continuous use (most likely hailed from a smartphone app), thereby dramatically reducing the need for parking. Cars will communicate with one another to avoid accidents and traffic jams, and riders will be able to spend commuting time on other activities like work, education, and socializing.

2. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Computer processors only recently became fast enough to power comfortable and convincing virtual and augmented reality experiences. Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are investing billions of dollars to make VR and AR more immersive, comfortable, and affordable.

People sometimes think VR and AR will be used only for gaming, but over time they will be used for all sorts of activities. For example, we’ll use them to manipulate 3-D objects.

To meet with friends and colleagues from around the world. And even for medical applications, like treating phobias or helping rehabilitate paralysis victims.VR and AR have been dreamed about by science fiction fans for decades. In the next few years, they’ll finally become a mainstream reality.

3. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has long been talked about amongst tech insiders as the next big innovation in-home technology. In recent years, IoT has begun to carve a niche for itself in everyday life with the growing adoption of systems like Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa. These devices will continue to integrate more aspects of the home into one harmonious system by utilizing the internet, allowing a user to control anything from the air conditioning to their security via voice command and a small personal assistant.

Apple has announced its plans to roll out the HomePod this year and Samsung is reportedly working on their Bixby technology in order to compete with the success of the Google and Amazon systems. You can expect that one of these devices will be simplifying life in your home and the homes around you by 2020.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has made rapid advances in the last decade, due to new algorithms and massive increases in data collection and computing power. AI can be applied to almost any field. For example, in photography, an AI technique called artistic style transfer transforms photographs into the style of a given painter.

Google built an AI system that controls its datacenter power systems, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs. The broad promise of AI is to liberate people from repetitive mental tasks the same way the industrial revolution liberated people from repetitive physical tasks.

Some people worry that AI will destroy jobs. History has shown that while new technology does indeed eliminate jobs, it also creates new and better jobs to replace them. For example, with the advent of the personal computer, the number of typographer jobs dropped, but the increase in graphic designer jobs more than made up for it. It is much easier to imagine jobs that will go away than new jobs that will be created. Today millions of people work as app developers, ride-sharing drivers, drone operators, and social media marketers- jobs that didn’t exist and would have been difficult to even imagine ten years ago.

5. Internet for everyone

We can’t seem to live without the internet (how else would you read sciencefocus.com?), but still only around half the world’s population is connected. There are many reasons for this, including economic and social reasons, but for some, the internet just isn’t accessible because they have no connection.

Google is slowly trying to solve the problem using helium balloons to beam the internet to inaccessible areas, while Facebook has abandoned plans to do the same using drones, which means companies like Hiber are stealing a march. They have taken a different approach by launching their own network of shoebox-sized microsatellites into low Earth orbit, which wakes up a modem plugged into your computer or device when it flies over and delivers your data.

Their satellites orbit the Earth 16 times a day and are already being used by organisations like The British Antarctic Survey to provide internet access to very extreme of our planet.

6. Cryptocurrency & Blockchain

After Bitcoin’s meteoric price jump in 2017, major tech players have begun to take cryptocurrencies seriously. Along with major Initial Coin Offerings that have hit major news outlets like Etherium, smaller companies are developing Stablecoins that provide an attempt to provide all the pros of cryptocurrency transactions without the price fluctuations that have plagued the system. As these coins begin to work themselves out and exchanges even out the fluctuations in prices, expect these assets to be mainstream methods of payment by 2020.

Blockchain, the decentralized ledger that holds together cryptocurrencies, has applications reaching far beyond financial transactions. Companies have applied the technology to everything, from simplifying tracking and access to information in academia to interesting and amusing games that use complex algorithms to create unique experiences.

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How to Design an Amazing UI for a Web Design Project

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Website design UI is an intricate discipline that dictates how users interact with your website and your brand. A good website should always focus on the user while they are on the site so that they can deliver a smooth and seamless user interface.

Below, we take a look at how you can deliver such an experience for a web design project.

Everything users need should be easily accessible

One of the most important rules to follow is to make everything easily accessible for the users. When people visit your website, they should be able to find everything they need quickly so that navigating through the site becomes easy. Otherwise, they will likely get frustrated and leave your site, thereby increasing your bounce rate.

This means that you should organize your tools using tabs, hover tooltips, shortcuts, etc. every option or button should be clearly labelled so as to avoid confusion.

Be smart about element placement and design

All the elements of your website should be well designed and strategically placed so that it supports a smooth UI. A common rule is that the most important functions should be placed at the top of the page so users don’t have to struggle to find them. They should also be larger and generally more prominent. When users scan a page, they usually go from left to right, and top to bottom, so make use of this when it comes to element placement.

Color and contrast, and whitespace are also important elements that can help guide users through your page.

Help users understand what is going on by giving feedback

By providing your users with feedback while they are on your site, you help them understand what is going on. For example, if they press a button that downloads something, you can notify them that the button was successfully clicked on by making the button appear to sink into the page. You can also let them know that the download is in progress by adding an icon that shows the download progress. The idea here is to assure your users by acknowledging that an action has been taken.

Follow design standards

This may sound simple and silly but it is something that many designers need to be reminded of. If design standards work well, there is no need to try something completely different. Visitors to your site are already used to certain design standards such as certain icons standing for something or element placements, and it’s best to carry over these standards to your site as well.

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