In our last responsive design blog post, we listed 9 examples of forward-thinking companies that utilize this technique across various industries. Though not a “one size fits all” approach, responsive web design and development is gaining popularity among brands that don’t feel the need for a custom app, but would still like to provide their customers with a mobile friendly experience.
Often times, website owners shy away from testing their website’s usability - and it is not hard to see why. Considering the amount of time and energy, not to mention the cost of hiring interactive usability experts, it can seem like a little much when compared to the benefits/revenue that they’ll receive in return.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again – you can have the best looking website on the planet, but if it isn't helping you generate new business, it’s nothing more than a fancy online brochure. At the end of the day, a successful website should always produce results; whether it is to sell more products, drive more traffic, or increase membership.
As January gets off to a rolling start, corporations around the country are getting their website budgets ready for the New Year. Regardless if you have 10k or 100k to invest in your online presence, we've compiled a check list to help get your website in order for 2013.
In recent times, rapid prototyping and interactive wireframing has become the latest industry darling for UX and IA persons alike - and it’s not hard to see why. The simplicity of implementing arrows and boxes, combined with the ability to effortlessly create interactive (click-able) elements makes it easier to convey our thoughts more accurately, without having to push a single pixel.
In 2010 it was predicted that by 2013 mobile devices will surpass desktop computers as the primary way people access the internet - which means no more wires and no more "one size fits all" approach. As we wrap up 2012, it's becoming more and more evident that the predictions were accurate.
As a company, we’re big believers in community participation – whether you’re a designer, marketer or developer. One of the best ways to gain exposure as a digital professional is to contribute top notch content on industry recognized publications and blogs.
As 2012 comes to an end, corporations all over the globe are gathering requirements, reviewing performance and allocating budget for the new year. And if there's one thing every organization has in common as we move towards 2013, it is the growing importance of breaking into the mobile market and creating meaningful connections with their customers while they're "on the go".
We absolutely love working with like-minded creative companies, so when we first met the team at ShirtPunch, we knew it was going to be a project worth remembering. Needless to say, when we found out last week that ShirtPunch cleaned up at the first annual Canada Post E-Commerce Innovation Awards, we were very excited!
Since the launch of Timeline and the new Facebook Pages, major brands all over the world have been ramping up their social media efforts in an attempt to capture a larger piece of the influential pie and improve customer engagement.
From the early days of General Ledger and ERP software applications to the $50+ billion marketplace that exists today, enterprise technology continues to grow at a rapid pace. According to a recent publication on Business Insider, “Enterprise technology is in the middle of a massive transformation cause by major technological shifts”.
Regardless of your role, working in the web agency space often requires you to be in a constant, almost subconscious state of curating and consuming information. After all, it is your job to be plugged in at all times, so when a client has a request, you should be able to dip into your digital reservoir of resources and pull a rabbit out of your hat, so to speak.
Since the dawn of the Information Age (circa 1970s) and the birth of the modern day Internet (circa 1990s), specialized services like website design, online marketing and computer programming have been in high demand. As companies continue to move their efforts online, the need for web savvy individuals will continue to increase – which is where we step in.
The amount of local businesses that are starting to leverage the power of Facebook is booming. More and more companies are increasing their online visibility through social media, and in our opinion, the best place to start is on Facebook.
No matter the size of your business or even the industry in which you dwell - if you have a website, you need a reliable hosting provider. Having a website "crash" or go offline can translate into losing big bucks, especially for those in eCommerce. In the world of enterprise web development, this means losing clients and potentially damaging your reputation as a solid agency to partner with.
When most people think of Instagram, it's usually followed by, "isn't that the app that makes garbage photos look awesome?" Yes, Instagram has some amazing photo filters with a built in camera that makes snapping and sharing pics dead simple - but there's much more to it than that.
Though it may seem like social media has been around for ages, the reality is that it hasn't even hit puberty yet - let alone the ability to grow a sustainable moustache. To put things into perspective; MySpace launched in 2003, Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006 and Pinterest in 2010.
Every independent retailer and local store owner dreads the day when they find out that a big-box competitor is opening up a new location in their neighborhood. The horror stories have been heard time and time again: another local business goes under because of their inability to compete with big-box retail i.e. WalMart, Target and Home Depot.
A content management system (CMS) does exactly what the name implies. When it comes to developing and managing a website, most people will choose a CMS-based website rather than hard-coding new pages or blog posts manually. In our experience, this is often where the decision arises to either build a custom CMS or go with a pre-packaged, open source solution like WordPress or Drupal.
Whether you operate a local business or work for a national brand, "word of mouth" marketing and online customer reviews can have a dramatic impact on your company reputation - and ultimately - your sales. You see, customers have become quite comfortable with the process of researching a product online prior to making a purchase. If you're like me, then it's not uncommon for you to have 17 browser tabs open, while feverishly comparing features, reviews and social media activity between products you're interested in buying.
If you've had any experience over the last 10 years with marketing your business online, it's a safe bet that you've probably heard people say "the money is in the list" - and by list, they mean email marketing. Though the size and industry of your company will usually determine the message and approach, experts agree that email marketing is still one of the best performing channels for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
From an agency perspective, it can be difficult at times to instill the value of social media / content marketing to clients within the B2B sector. For one reason or another, most B2B companies still fear a dedicated marketing investment into social media strategy - and it's fully understandable.
Late last night, we received notice that Climax Media's redesign of the Zavida Coffee Company website has been chosen as a finalist for the 2012 WebVisionary Awards in the category of Fantastic Typography! Naturally, we immediately hit Facebook to share this fantastic news with our fans and friends.
The process of redesigning your website can be a gift from the Gods or several months in hell – depending on how you approach it. For most businesses the need to redesign a website spawns from a lack of performance, such as conversions and sales, or a lack of vision caused by poor usability, irrelevant content and navigational issues.
Using only a printer, scanner, some paper and Adobe Illustrator, you can make a kick-ass vector illustration for use in anything from web, print to motion… and all without the use of an expensive tablet.
As designers our design projects become a personal affair. Although we know we are designing for a client with a target audience in mind, we still feel ownership over our designs and therefore we sometimes struggle with taking constructive criticism. When a design has gone through several iterations it can become even more difficult to continue to adjust the design if these changes mean that it deviates considerably from our original idea.
A recent study by Environics Analytics unveiled some very interesting user statistics pertaining to Canadian's and how we use - and respond to - brands and marketing messages on Facebook. We all know that Canadian's like coupons and contests, but is there more to it than that?
If you've been hiding under a rock for the last 6 months, you might not have heard about a little "social network that could" called Pinterest. Seemingly out of nowhere, Pinterest has risen up from a simple image bookmarking tool to generating more referral traffic than Twitter. First populated by crafty women who enjoy baking, fashion and photography, their website now boasts a diverse user-base of creatives, DIYers and spunky brands looking to connect with their audience in a visual medium.
As of Wednesday, Facebook officially launched Timeline for fan pages. At Climax Media, we're super excited about the new layout and options - it really seems that they put a lot of thought into how businesses should be using Facebook as a platform to connect and build relationships with their fans.
One of the most common questions we receive from clients who have an existing, established website is "how do we increase our conversion rate"? Often, business owners who are worried about their conversion optimization strategy have other web-related issues that have yet to be uncovered, such as design and copywriting. It's easy to think that fixing a few things and checking them off a list will skyrocket your sales, but the truth is, conversion optimization is an ongoing process that requires constant attention, tweaking and risk-taking.
It's day two of Social Media Week in Toronto, and one thing we've realized this year is how few people (outside of our digital space) actually know about SMW. In a nutshell, Social Media Week was started 3 years ago by the folks at Crowdcentric - a New York based strategy firm that specializes in bridging the gap between media, communications and technology.
Any moment now, the once beloved idea that started in a college dorm room is about to unleash it's public offering - with a valuation of $100 billion. Yes, we're talking about Facebook. While we're on the topic of $100 billion (which is really hard to imagine) how much money is that exactly? Luckily we found an article from Josh Rubin at TheStar.com who lists out ten other things you could buy if you had that much cash.
For those of you who haven't heard, the American government is trying to pass bills (SOPA and PIP) that will allow them to have unprecedented power to block - and take down - any website they feel is in violation of copyright.
2011 came and went with a raging fury of digital awesomeness and unforgettable techno-fails i.e. remember when the Playstation network was hacked? Well we've decided that rather than showcasing the halarious and unfortunate of this past year, we'd celebrate the unsung entrepreneurial heroes who followed their dreams, persisted and came out on top with some groundbreaking products/services.
Anyone who works in the web development, design or marketing industry knows that web-based tools and apps are a critical piece of the efficiency puzzle. At Climax Media, we rely heavily on tools like Harvest and BaseCamp to manage time, client communication and resources - but what about all those other cool tools that are relatively unknown and have awesome potential?
As a budding web design agency, we often encounter companies who've invested serious dollars into a new website, only to realize that their online objectives, business model and content have outgrown them - often in as little as 2 or 3 years. It's unfortunate, but the truth is we run into this scenario multiple times on a monthly basis.
It's becoming quite common when perusing "digital agency" style websites to see the recent work displayed in a case study format, rather than the standard portfolio layout. As a web design agency, we've been toying with the idea of scrapping the typical design portfolio page for something that presents prospective clients with more concrete, results-based content.
As a CEO or National Sales Director, the term responsive web design might not mean anything to you. But in the design and development world, we are drastically shifting the way we approach each project because of it.
One of the most asked questions regarding search engine optimization and link building is: what makes a link good? Unfortunately with SEO there's no single answer to that question. There are so many variables involved with building quality links to your website and as of recently, it was becoming hard to find up to date information pertaining to what makes a link worth your time and money.
There is a general opinion among professionals that most websites perform poorly when it comes to meeting the needs of its visitors. Factors such as high bounce rates, low opt-in rates and high abandonment rates contribute to less than profitable conversion rates; often resulting in a much higher cost-per-sale.
It's a shame to start off a blog post like this, but the truth is people don't read as much as they used to. With information being thrown at us from 6 million directions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the last thing anyone wants to do is read. Since the evolution of digital video streaming and the introduction of YouTube in 2005, video has become a crucial component to digital marketing and advertising firms world wide.
When it comes to designing the ultimate web-based user experience, data is probably one of the most crucial and underused tools in a designers box of tricks. Rather than assuming their design will work, many creatives are now turning to A/B tests (aka split tests) in order to measure the effectiveness of their design, content and overall site functionality.
Here's a video we put together to showcase the before and after process of our Toronto office expansion, renovation and redesign. Thanks to our friends at Lux Design for their hard work and creative expertise, as well as our Creative Director Luciano Castillo for putting together this awesome video!
In today's digitally-immersed society, the consumer has more power than ever before. If John Doe has a bad experience at the local "big box" retail chain, he can voice his frustration and opinion (freely) to the world, often within minutes of the occurrence. And depending on who Mr. Doe is and how far his online network reaches, his complaint could echo online for weeks to come - potentially causing a chain reaction of bad-mouth replies towards the big box brand.
If you haven't heard (or gotten an invitation), Google launched their very own social network on June 28th called Google+. Though reactions were initially mixed, its user base has grown significantly in the last month to well over 25 million users and counting.
When the topic of user experience is brought up - whether it’s in a Monday morning meeting or a Friday night out with colleagues - the understanding of its purpose is usually vague at best. And though opinions may be spread across the board, most credible developers and designers will agree that the core functions of creating a “great” experience remain the same – it’s all about how people feel when using your website, product or service.
It's time to finish off our blog series on the ever-growing topic of social media strategy. In the first two parts, we discussed various ways to define your voice and generate content ideas to ensure you're always broadcasting relevant, quality information. In this third and final installment, we will discuss automation and management using a social media dashboard.
In part 1 of our social media strategy series, we talked about the importance of defining your voice across the various social media platforms. In the next few blog posts, we're going to dive into the world of content delivery, timing, tools and automation to make the most of your brand and it's social efforts.
The amount of businesses that are jumping on Facebook and Twitter every day is growing at an astonishing rate. From “mom and pop” organic bakeries to fortune 500 corporations, they’re all trying to get a piece of the action while it’s hot - and sadly most efforts are ending in complete failure.
May was absolutely crazy here at the Climax Media headquarters. On top of finishing our office renovations, we've expanded our team and continue to develop new and exciting projects for some of the most innovative brands in Canada.
Since our last office renovation update so much has happened! We've completely expanded the office, now occupying two full commercial units. We've added a completely revamped boardroom, company lounge, and hired more talented designers, developers, marketers and strategists to keep up with our growing list of world-class clientele.
With so much “buzz” happening on the social web every second of every day, how does an individual (let alone a fortune 500 company) keep up with and manage all of the conversations, questions and comments without their brain turning into pink pudding?
With over 70% of the global population packing a personal mobile device, it’s no secret that the mobile web is the fastest growing segment online. Mobile apps, mobile websites and smart phone technologies have skyrocketed into the forefront of every major corporation’s agenda – regardless of industry or company size.
After a very busy 2010, Climax is preparing for another industrious year with many exciting new projects already underway! As our customers continue to grow, so must we in order to continue to provide the same high-quality, leading edge service. To accommodate these needs we have taken over the office next door and hired many new team members, nearly doubling our space and staff.
At 11:30pm on Thursday September 29 after 10 months of project planning and development, the brand new http://www.honda.ca/automotive went live. We want to thank our production partners Navantis & Grip Limited for a job well done.
Congratulations to Honda Canada on a successful site launch !
When you get a great idea, where do you write it? Post-It notes or a napkin? Here at Climax Media the team is great at coming up with endless ideas for new projects and approaches. We were writing things down everywhere, but we knew we’d have to have a brainstorm to draw all our ideas into one place.
Facebook is transforming the Web and how we interact with it. One of the great new features of this social networking service is the Like button, which you’ll be seeing throughout more and more sites in the future.
We are in the process of installing the Google Search Appliance for a couple of our enterprise clients. The Google Search Appliance (GSA) is a hardware box that brings Google’s search technology to your mid-sized to large organization.
We are proud to announce that NGI Designer Glass has retained us as their Agency of Record. NGI is an industry leader in custom commercial glass fabrication. NGI works with most major Interior Design and Architectural firms throughout the world. Most recently NGI worked on a large installation for the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Stay tuned... in the coming weeks and months Climax Media will be featuring the brand resurrection; complete with logo, stationary, interactive website, trade show booth and much more.
Along with our new digs, we've gone and updated our Web site for 2010. Since our last site update, we've landed many major new clients, and we've expanded our portfolio of services. This site design is crisp and clear, and gives us a chance to show you all the great things we've done and all the great things we can do for you.
We had a blast putting our demo reel together.
Looking back at every project we've done made us think of the good times we had, the crazy deadlines, and the killer creative we pushed out on time and on budget.
For marketers with products and services to build awareness around, social media is the newest and most efficient way to effectively reach targeted niche audiences. What we recommend to all our clients looking to start marketing in social media is that we work together and put a solid strategy in place. Below I have broken down the process from pre-strategy through to execution.