Category: Business Problems

Jun 07 2013

Three Tips for Using QR Codes

Three Tips for Using QR Codes

QR (quick response) codes are gaining in popularity as more and more mobile internet users scan them on their mobile devices; however, many of them are not being used properly.   The tips for using QR codes below can help you get better results with your codes and avoid costly mistakes.

Step 1 – Plan the full action cycle before you publish.

  • Spend some time thinking through what result you want the codes to achieve.   Start by determining a few specific actions you want taken by people when they scan them, such as calling you on the phone, or sending in their email address to get a coupon, or watching a video about your service.  
  • Next think of something of value to reward them for taking that action.  It has to be significant enough (in their mind) to get them to do it.  
  • Finally think about your internal system’s response to their action.  You might send them a coupon, or call them to set up an appointment, or  mail them a brochure.   You also need to plan for saving details of the interaction so that you can follow up later. 

Step 2 – Design the experience for the user.

  • Take them to a mobile landing page created specifically to get the result you want.  Don’t include anything else on the page that distracts from what you want them to do.  Make it simple and understandable – do “this” and you will receive “that.”
  • Keep it colorful, engaging and easy to use.  Finger-sized buttons with bold text.
  • Make it fast.  If the page loads slowly, they may not wait and you’ll lose them.
  • Use a thank you page or immediate email to verify that they completed the action.

Step 3 – Place the QR code appropriately using these considerations.

  • waiting area – the best placement is where people are waiting for something
  • size – make it prominent but not overbearing
  • safety – do not put it where a person would be endangered by scanning it
  • flat spot – do not place it near the fold of a magazine or on a curved surface
  • timing – TV commercial viewers need more than 5 seconds to get their phone out
  • motivation – with nearby text, explain why they should scan the code
  • usage – place it where people expect to find that kind of information

 

With thorough planning, well thought-out design and proper placement, your QR code promotions should achieve the results you want.   These tips for using QR codes should be helpful.  QR codes are an excellent tool, but they need to be used correctly to work best.

Jun 04 2013

Overcome Business Problems with Technology

The best thing about technology is that it can overcome business problems for us. It takes a little creativity, and often another set of eyes, but it’s worth searching for an answer.  Let’s take a look at some examples. Spread Your Contact Info – You want people to call you, but let’s be honest — almost nobody is going type all of your contact information into their phone.  However, you can use technology to make it easier for them to call.  By using a mobile friendly page, they can  download and save it in seconds with the push of a button.  When that technology is linked from your business card, it becomes the perfect way to solve this problem. Making things easier for smartphone users is just part of good customer service.  Gary Huff and the fine people at Premier Capital Corp used this technology to overcome business problems they faced.  
Educate Your Clients – A weight loss physician wanted his prospective clients to see his seminar before they became clients, so he spent time and effort to create DVDs of his seminars.  Then he had to order and stock the DVDs, distribute them, collect for them, replenish them, and also get hard copy verification that the patients had watched them.  This process was labor intensive and prone to errors, so he looked to technology for a solution.  Now the seminars are always available on a streaming server, and patients have to log in to view them.  There are no more DVDs, no paper trail, and very little labor involved to achieve the goal.  Dr. Jay Piatek of The Piatek Institute uses this technology to overcome business problems today, and he is glad that he does.   Take a Client Survey – A local organization wanted to know which of it’s entree’s was most popular in their food tent at the State Fair.  However, getting a hard copy paper survey filled out after eating seemed to be problematic, as well as expensive due to the cost of labor to count and record every answer.   They asked how technology could help, and decided to do a mobile survey.  After eating, mobile users scanned a QR code in the tent and quickly submitted their preferences.  A database captured the data, and an automated report sent the results to the owner without the need for human labor.  Sarah Ford of Indiana Pork overcame her problem with technology and is glad she did.
There are many ways to use technology to overcome problems in your business, but sometimes you can’t see them from where you sit.  We’d like to help you come up with solutions; we are anxious to help!

Give us a call 317-299-5150

or send us an email at info@provim.net

May 24 2013

Key Differences Between Responsive and jQuery Mobile Websites

Responsive and jQuery Mobile Websites are Different

There is a lot of discussion about which approach is better, and lots of opinions on the subject; however, one fact is true… mobile-friendly doesn’t automatically equal user-friendly.   This article will clarify some of the key differences between responsive and jQuery mobile websites.   Strategically, developers should always think from the perspective of the user to help them better identify user-expectations.   

If a business owner thinks that all users of their web site expect a similar experience, a responsive site might be better.  However, if mobile users might want only specific information or to see specific features, a custom JQuery mobile website might be better.  Here are some of the key differences in how the two types function. 

The main difference is in the structure and design, which determines where the work is performed.  

  • A responsive site is a website created for both desktop computers (larger display) and mobile devices (smaller display.)  All the content is in one location under one domain name, but there is additional coding in the website style sheet.  That coding guides the receiving device to  fluidly change and fit the displayed content to any device or screen size.  The device does the work by determining how to show the content, and since each device has different characteristics the display will be different on different devices.
  •  A customized jQuery mobile website contains only content that was customized for mobile devices and small screens.  It is located in a sub-folder under the desktop website so that it can be reached from the same domain as the desktop website.  When a mobile user with a smartphone goes to the desktop URL, they will be redirected to the sub-folder (domain.com/mobile) and the device will only download the mobile site. A tablet user will not be redirected to the sub-folder, but will see the desktop site just like the desktop user.   The server does the work by delivering a smaller page optimized for a smaller display when the user has a smart phone.  The display will be the same regardless of which of the smaller mobile devices receives it, and each of the navigation buttons and feature controls is customized in advance for an attractive and engaging user experience.  

Other key differences are:

  1. Speed:  Many websites were built for mostly desktop access and have accumulated resources on the home page that comprise many megabits of data.  When you display the homepage on a mobile device, it has to download all those resources before the information appears on screen.  With mobile users, slow downloads result in fast departures, so slow load times can be a serious problem for responsive sites, especially those that are rich with images.  Optimized jQuery mobile websites contain minimal resources to speed up load times, which is expected and well received by mobile users.    
  2. Updates to existing sites:  If an older desktop site exists, adding responsive code to it so that it will work on mobile devices can be complicated and expensive.  It is generally better to start with a new design that incorporates responsive templates, since each template is targeted to a different device, screen size and resolution.  So, instead of starting over to rebuild the desktop site with responsive code, it might make more sense to leave the desktop site alone and simply build a custom jQuery mobile site. 
  3. OS and Browser differences: In standard website design, developers need to test the site with each Operating System (OS) to make sure they won’t mobile website provim enerate error messages. They also test for several older versions of each of the key browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.) so that users who still have older computers and browsers will be able to use the site.  Responsive websites have that same requirement during development, but jQuery mobile sites don’t.  Instead of writing unique code for each mobile device or OS, the jQuery mobile framework allows you to design a single highly-branded web site or application that will work on all popular smartphone, tablet, and desktop platforms.
  4. Text control: The text in a jQuery mobile website will always break at the same location because the break point is determined by the server and is customized for a small screen, as this 1st image shows.  Look at  “… mobile is a lifestyle… .”  On a responsive website like the 2nd image, it is more difficult to get a consistent break point because the device decides how to display the site.  Sometimes the text breaks at the wrong place or isn’t aligned properly.  There are programming tools to overcome this, but it is more complicated and time consuming to overcome the inconsistency.  
  5. Entrepreneur screen shotFinger-sized Buttons:  With a responsive web site, different mobile devices may display the buttons in different sizes because they have to scale every element to fit their screen.  If there are multiple buttons, they could all be scaled down and hard to use.  With a jQuery custom mobile website, button sizes are fixed and they display the same size on any mobile device.  Apple, Microsoft and Nokia all recommend different minimum sizes for buttons, but a good web designer will make the buttons large enough so that each one can be touched without touching another one.   The average index finger is 45-57 pixels wide and the average thumb is 72 pixels so buttons need to be large and well-spaced to avoid “fat fingering.” In the 2nd image, notice all the small hypertext. If you wanted to press one of those words to go to the link, could you do it without a stylus?  Probably not, so linked text isn’t a good idea on a responsive site.  For more detailed information, you can read this article: http://uxmovement.com/mobile/finger-friendly-design-ideal-mobile-touch-target-sizes/
  6. SEO considerations: Google has said that it ranks sites optimized for mobile devices higher in mobile search results.  They also want people to only use one domain to get all the information.   If a company has a mobile site with a different domain, such as m.domain.com, and a desktop site at domain.com, they will be penalized in the rankings by Google.  Both the responsive and custom jQuery mobile sites discussed in this article use a single domain, so there isn’t much difference in the SEO results as long as the bots can crawl their site and recognize it as a mobile site.

In general, when trying to decide which is the better route:

  • If aesthetics are a major part of users experience, the consistency of JQuery mobile is best.  
  • If increasing conversion rates on targeted tasks, such as signup forms is important, the finger-sized buttons on JQuery mobile are best. 
  • If price is the only consideration, simple jQuery sites start at just a few hundred dollars.  
  • If consistency and speed are important, jQuery mobile are a great choice.


A
 responsive web site with good .css rules will give you a mobile friendly website, and there are some advantages to using them.  The most important thing is whether every user gets a good user experience from your mobile website.

Call us at 317-299-5150

We can help you make the decision! 

 

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