Importance of data visualisation

The most important common benefit of data visualization is that it allows us to access huge amounts of data in an easily and digestible way. Well-designed graphic representations are usually the simplest and therefore the most powerful to read.

Furthermore the amount of data that is being created by companies continues to grow each year in a bid to understand consumers for streamline operations. It is becoming more important to work with a agency that provides the technology to gather and make use of all this compiled data to understand consumers. However the use of data is not only confined to consumers and end clients. Good analysis of data can lead to valuable insights in streamlining business operations, improving profits, developing product design and identifying emerging trends.

However data doesn’t provide decision makers important valuable insights alone. This data must be well gathered, organized, made readable and presentable, and then analysed and acted on to provide any real meaningful value.

Today it’s common practice to have applications that go beyond the standard charts and graphics used in old software such as word and excel. This can be through displaying data in a more sophisticated and efficient way through infographics, dials, geographical maps, spark lines, and various types of detailed charts. When analysing and working with big data it’s more than ever important to work with an agency that provides these applications.

As Supafonica has breached more into research techniques we have the technical abilities to highlight trends through using such tools. We can provide interactive capabilities and enabling our clients to manipulate them or allowing them to scope further into the data collated. This means that our data visualisations can provide to be more meaningful especially matched with our capabilities into research.

Trends in video background web design

In 2012 we designed and made the Supafonica website with a background time-lapse video of London we made earlier, along with a customised music score to match. As internet speeds for consumers are increasing, browser technology advancing, along with capturing HD quality videos easier, it’s no surprise that the popularity of video background websites are becoming more popular. As we sit in the early part of 2016 we have decided to write up a quick brief of best practices and guidelines for this increasing design trend we were amongst the first to pioneer.

The benefits of background videos are clear to see, matched with audio you are able to present a clear vision of your service or product, how you work, and other important factors you wish to highlight and address to end users. Your brand that is so vital to your business can be strengthened and harnessed. However you must pay close attention to details and visuals in order to give the impression that your company cares and “who you say you are”, therefore working with a creative agency that can deliver would be sensible.

Partial height videos are often used because it may be more sensible to limit the height, for example giving access to the rest of the web page. Another popular trend from designers is parallax scrolling, with the video BG fitted to the divs page. The design often runs without any problems and scrolls just like naturally content. If you do not have any skills in coding and are not a creative agency like ourselves, then investing in a plugin can be the simple solution, however there is the fact that there aren’t many other solution plugins out there available so your options may be limited.

What we see lacking out there today is the lack of usage of audio, this can be a very important element to broadcast your story and vision. Audio can be initiated only from an end user, more so giving your website that extra leverage advantage. Yet we see so many websites and agencies missing out on this opportunity. We at Supafonica recognise this and have built our in house team of music audio producers to help fulfil this role.

The trends of background video have edged closer to modern website design, and although static image backgrounds are still far popular and common we see video backgrounds as becoming increasingly popular with increased support form the developer community, along with easier methods of implementation and build. Matched with the correct audio, we see this trend as staying.

Act quickly to get your free upgrade to windows 10

For those that have been put off upgrading their old Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 operating system over to the newest incarnation from Microsoft Windows 10, there is now an alternative to get get round to it. Microsoft has confirmed that 29th July will be the last day for anyone to get an upgrade without paying up front any money.

Microsoft promised end users upon the commencement of Microsoft 10 that the general public would be able to claim their free upgrade provided they fall between the first year of the OS, presumably to encourage users to upgrade and to stimulate more up take. However this freebie is coming to an end, and from 30th July of 2016 onwards Windows 10 will cost a significant £100 to get on your windows device. Bearing in mind apple does not charge a penny for their operating system or either to upgrade, we think it should remain a free to be on same level grounds as their main competitor.

Microsoft also took this opportunity to brag and create noise about their Windows 10’s successes. According to the company Windows 10 estimated that their OS is now installed on 200 million active devices around the world, with the new Edge browser, an evolution and different brand name over the clumsy internet explorer, recorded 63 billion minutes of use in March which is a a growth of 50% since the last quarter. Cortana which is their voice operated service answered more than 6 billion questions since launch, and Windows 10 apparently has the highest customer satisfaction rate of any Windows OS yet either. which we think is some pretty nice facts and figures considering the bad reviews from their last incarnation windows 8.

We urge you to not miss out and act now if you would like the OS which we think is the perfect blend of what old users found handy in old operating systems and the new such as applications which seems to be the going trend. Either way it provides good scalability and future proofing your system with what’s yet to come.

Microsoft has plans to integrate Swiftkey features

Microsoft has plans to integrate Swiftkey features

Microsoft and SwiftKey have made a joint announcement that they will be joining forces in an attempt to integrate Swiftkey features such as predictive text into it’s products in the future. Their plans seems to be wishing to integrate SwiftKey into its Word Flow Keyboard, which some of you might recognize having resembles with the older Swype application software interface. However this feature seems to be more common across a number of applications using similar software ui keyboards these days, SwiftKey’s has been showing off what they call their “neural network engine” as demonstrated in the video link below. They hope this will be useful in predicting whole messages, based on how the software records your writing style.

In the meantime SwiftKey has announced that their app across Android and iOS platforms will continue to remain free and available.


Changing face of web design

Recent innovations in web design such as developments in code, strategy & accessibility have shown a threat to webdesign as of the past, we recently read an article expressing the end of web design as a result of fashions in UI & UX. Some suggest that from this point there is no need to be creative as there are no further innovation possibilities & some even stating trying to get more creative can be pointless & harmless. While we agree that platforms, premade templates & a shift towards minimalist white design have made it more easy & accessible we don’t agree that this will be the complete end of website design.

The popularity of mobile & tablet devices have led to terms being created such as UI, & UX. Sergio Nouvel in a recent article on UX magazine expresses his concerns over how mobile is killing the web indicating in particular given the size of a mobile screen there are only so many things that can fit & be included. While we have experienced this in our agency first hand years ago when the emergence of apps on mobiles came around, we like the fact mobile interfaces & apps force you to take you to the bare minimal requirements & start from fresh. Because there is limited space on a mobile designers are presented with a new challenge, this is where the simplicity of design & UX really come into effect.

Certainly the emergence of social media platforms & the fact that a lot of business have started purely & rely on social media, you could argue the need for a website these days & more of a focus on brand establishment. Given trends you can say social media platforms & directory websites like Yelp, which work by a push-based content consumption model where content is being delivered to you based on context, are going to overtake the current paradigm of actively going to a certain business’s website to intake information. Webpages still remain a focus for informative resources, & as websites are still conceived on a desktop device which are much bigger than their new counterparts, we think there will always be a case for website design as long as the working environment revolves around larger screens.

Good websites do not necessarily mean relying on flat design, whilst we are a fan of flat design & minimalist approach, there’s plenty of scope to be different from the rest which is what we try to do. If anything simple flat design should ensure that the real creative agencies & individuals are easier to find & given more prominence as eventually good design will stick out from the rest who are simply following fashion trends which is not particularity difficult to do.

Today websites are apart of a larger ecosystem, with company’s brand identity & consumers at the center. Delivering an experience that’s rich & engaging is ultimately as important with making sure content is very easy to understand & get across to the end user. Simply making sure you have a nice looking website is not enough these days. Consumers are more alert & experienced to be fooled. For example is the content easy to understand? Is it easy to find? Is the identity of the business something your target end users can identify with and connect with on an emotional level & intellectual level? Are you excluding a large chunk of your audience by not paying attention to certain issues such as responsive design or accessibility for disabled users? All of these questions and more should be included & thought about in a business’s complete strategy.

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