Blog: Design, technology, business and other thoughts

Replacing a water damaged iPhone is expensive, but not as bad as you might think

Last week I discovered, to my cost, that an iPhone 5 won’t survive being put in a washing machine, even if you realise your mistake and stop the wash cycle after 10 minutes in a blind panic.

Read more

The top 6 email marketing mistakes

Email marketing is cheap, instant and effective, with easily quantifiable results. No wonder so many businesses use it. But if you don’t do your mailshot properly, at best you could be missing out on a lot of sales opportunities and at worst you could be doing your business more harm than good. If you want to avoid the pitfalls and stand out from the competition, read my list to ensure you take advantage of the enormous potential.

Read more

Back up your computer! New online shop for hard drives

I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new online shop, Driveshopper.co.uk. Backing up your computer is something important that I bang on about frequently (see this post for example) and I’m always amazed at how most people just don’t bother, despite how easy and cheap it is. So I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is and come up with something that makes it even easier and provides people with the tools they need.

Read more

Is Microsoft Office for iPad and iPhone doomed?

Technology sites are reporting that Apple and Microsoft are engaged in a dispute over the 30% cut Apple takes from all sales including in-app purchases through its app store. Apple argues that the rules have to be the same for all developers, whether big or small. Microsoft argues that subscriptions to its Office365 subscription service should be treated as a special case, since iOS access is just a small part of a service that can be accessed through desktop devices.

Read more

Has Google shot itself in the foot?

Google used to be my friend. In the early days, when most other search engines were trying to rebrand themselves as bloated ‘portals’ and move away from their original purpose, Google emerged like a breath of fresh air and took things back to basics.

Read more

Apple: Driving down the cost of software

Looking as I do frequently on the Mac App Store and iPhone/iPad App Store, I can’t help but notice how cheap software is now, compared with the old days before the App Stores existed and software was sold mainly on disc in big box packaging. Apple have led the way with their own apps. All the iLife and iWork apps have always been absurdly cheap, they were only ever a loss leader to sell more hardware, which is Apple’s core business after all.

Read more

Graphic design on an iPad

Following my earlier post on my first week with the new iPad, I’ve had a chance to test out some of the design software. I chose one graphics app in particular, ‘Inkpad‘, which describes itself as a professional vector illustration app designed from scratch for the iPad. I decided that some social media buttons for my website would be an ideal small project to test a few of the app’s capabilities, and the result can be seen at the top right hand corner of this and all my other pages.

Read more

First week with the new iPad

Apple’s new iPad sold over 3 million units in the first 3 days. To put this into perspective, the first iPad took nearly 3 months to achieve the same figure, and even this was considered a massive success that had far exceeded all expectations. I got my hands on the new model unexpectedly in the first weekend. After a week of playing, my first impressions are very positive and even as a designer who favours a big screen and total control over my file system, I’m convinced this is the future of computing.

Read more

Don’t get caught out by the worst domain name companies

Why do some domain name sellers make it so difficult to transfer a domain name away from them? There are loads of domain name registrars, and most of them offer very cheap domain names and website hosting packages too. But there may come a time when your circumstances change or you find a better deal elsewhere. When that happens, you need to have a quick and hassle free way to move your domain name to whatever host you choose.

Read more

A M Cassandre: Designer, graphic artist, genius

In my life as a designer, there are many others I admire and respect. Some are contemporary, others have long since passed away. Top of my list of design heroes is A M Cassandre, who lived and worked throughout the Art Deco period and beyond. Inspired by the Surrealists and Cubists of his era, he was known primarily for his poster art, but was also a designer of magazine covers, typefaces, logos and theatre sets.

Read more

Does anyone actually use Yellow Pages any more? Or Yell.com?

It used to be simple. If you wanted a plumber or an electrician or even a bookshop, you just picked up the big yellow book and turned to the index. Who could forget those successful TV ad campaigns of the 1980s. Apart from a bit of minor competition from Thomson Local, they had it all sewn up.

Read more

Marketing VP reveals the four keys to Apple’s success

Apple’s Vice President iPhone Product Marketing, Greg Joswiak, gave an insight into the secrets of Apple’s success this week. He was speaking at a recent event in the UK called “Silicon Valley Comes to Cambridge.” None of this will come as a huge surprise to anyone who follows Apple, but it’s interesting to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Here’s what he told the audience were the four key lessons he has learned during his 20 years at Apple.

Read more

10 things I hate about Twitter

I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. I love the fact that it has been directly responsible for getting me some valuable business, and I love the fact that organisations can use it communicate with their audience instantaneously. I also like the thought that people in the public eye can report the truth directly to the world without having their words twisted or deliberately misquoted by the press. But I hate the fact that Twitter is infested with fraudsters, spammers, wannabes and attention seekers.

Read more

Let’s rid the world of Adobe Flash

Many web designers and tech savvy internet users share a common belief that Flash is bad. Sure, it brightens up web pages with pretty moving graphics, but in technological terms it’s a relic from a bygone era. Flash is the nasty, buggy, resource-hungry browser plugin that has been the scourge of the internet for over a decade. But now the anti-Flash sentiment is starting to gather pace and we may see a time in the future where it is banished from our desktops for good.

Read more

Why a blog is good for your business

Do the experts keep telling you to get a blog? Are you unsure exactly what benefit your business will gain from it? Then read on. Many business owners think they should start a blog, perhaps with a vague idea that it might help their profile, but they don’t really know how or why. Or, more commonly, they haven’t the faintest idea what to write about. But it’s easier than you think, and while it isn’t a magic wand, if you use it correctly, there are a few advantages that can combine to make it a powerful tool.

Read more

Why your website isn’t making any sales

I was approached recently by a website owner who asked my opinion as to why his e-commerce site wasn’t performing any better than “the odd sale here and there” despite having been launched more than six months ago. His situation was immediately very familiar to me. A lot of businesses launch a site and then just sit back and wait for the sales to start racking up. When that doesn’t happen, it comes as a surprise and disappointment to them.

Read more

Fight the downturn and stay ahead… without spending a fortune

When the going gets tough, many businesses panic and start to cut back on the things that could actually keep them ahead of their competitors. It’s very easy to cut your advertising or cancel that new corporate brochure you promised yourself. Or you could let the company website stagnate for a while longer. A downturn often produces a knee-jerk reaction, and sadly the marketing budget is often one the first expenses to go out of the window.

Read more

Your web site is live. So what’s next? Answer: Keep the updates coming!

Once you get your shiny new website up and running, you may be thinking that the job is done, and all you have to do is sit back and wait for the business to roll in. But sadly it’s not as simple as that. Even if your web designer has submitted the site to the search engines and done all the other things they normally do to give it a kick start, your work is not over.

Read more

10 Ways to make Google like your site

Google may not be the only search engine out there, but all the others are tiny in comparison. Over 90% of search engine traffic in the UK comes from Google, and that figure isn’t getting any smaller, despite the best efforts of Microsoft and Yahoo. So you need to make sure Google views your site in the best possible light if you want to appear near the top of the search results page. Make it easy on yourself by taking a few steps to ensure Google prefers your site over those of your competitors.
Read more


Menu
x
Menu