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8 Apr 2014

Social Addiction

Choosing a CMS platform for your website can be a confusing subject. At Wickedweb, we are on hand to give you all the facts, so you can make an informed choice about which platform is right for you.

21 Feb 2013

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Social Networking APIs†: today they’re at the heart of most company websites which rely on them to display their latest news, promotions or the all important tweet that Lucy from Accounts has just reached company HQ with some delightful confectionery for all to indulge in. So what are APIs? Should you be concerned? And most importantly can they change over time and consequently stop working for you/your clients?

You’ve got the twitter feed on your brand-new homepage elaborately spewing out each tweet and mention in an aesthetically pleasing presentation. You’ve the abundance of Facebook widgets including Like, Follow our Page and Recommend us buttons throughout your super-responsive, fully-browser-compatible and SEO†-friendly website.

Well done, your website’s fully engaged with social media; but have you ever given any thought to maintaining those extensively developed widgets in case the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr wish to move goal posts on rules and implementations regarding your use of them?

In short what are APIs?

The likes of Twitter and Facebook provide APIs as a clear and supposed easy way for developers to interchange data between said social networks and their own websites/applications/platforms. Continually these social networks review, analyse and look to implement how these APIs work, their exposure and who uses them as well as how you use them.

Dependent on the API type, how it’s used and how much it’s used, it could be necessary to obtain an API Key from the social network. This is certainly now the case for Twitter who in 2012 released version 1.1 of their API which requires every user of its API for custom integration purposes to be authenticated through the protocol OAuth.

Ownership

Where the project you’re working on is on behalf of another company or client then you may also need to make them aware of the need to regularly maintain APIs. Who owns the API key could matter should it be stopped or a charge for its use be required, if not currently then potentially at a future date.

Centralising the placement of API keys and related code you have for individual or collective web projects may ease the process of adapting or upgrading them to meet new and tighter API requirements. This could be within a central repository or Content Management System that you use.

To conclude…

Whether you’re a developer, project manager or business manager, it’s essential for you to have at least some awareness of the continual evolution in the APIs of online social networks. The implications of changes in the API may require additional time and money in projects so that necessary changes can be made by the developer/s.

1.    Get to know what APIs you, and where applicable your clients, are using.
2.    Define an efficient, cost-effective strategy for maintaining them.
3.    Keep track of the changes to APIs well in advance of them being implemented.

†API: Application programming interface
†SEO: Search Engine Optimisation

23 Aug 2011

Wickedweb are the lead digital marketing agency for The Lifehouse spa, and we have had an exciting time working on their website launch and full technical systems integration.   

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The Lifehouse case study focuses on an interesting challenge: the marriage of brand positioning, technical consultancy and creative execution.  There were a range of objectives that needed to be considered as part of the brief spanning functional, business and creative requirements.  The solution executed by Wickedweb weaves these together.  In addition, The Lifehouse spa was not visible online. At the start of our work there were no keyword listings and little brand awareness beyond their name. Therefore, an SEO strategy was implemented to turn this around. 

This has been a successful case study and the results showcase the impact of the website and the SEO strategy.  Want to find out more? Read on to discover how we did it

Stacey Hedges, Marketing Manager at Lifehouse comments:

"Wickedweb have provided us with invaluable support, guidance and creatively in launching the website. The team have been a true extension to the marketing department and play an integral role in the development and evolvement of the site. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with them and we look forward to continue to drive traffic to the site and future developments"

23 Aug 2011

Wickedweb are delighted with our latest award win for client Cosmetics à la Carte – the IMA Outstanding Achievement Award for the 'Beauty / Cosmetics' category. There were 56 entries submitted for this category this quarter, and so we are proud to receive an award that is extremely challenging to win.

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The website for Cosmetics à la Carte excelled in all areas of the judging criteria and represents a very high standard of planning, execution and overall professionalism. The criteria Wickedweb are judged on includes design, content, feature functionality, usability and standards compliance and these scored very highly.

Congratulations not only to our client, but the talented team here at Wickedweb - in particular Kalli Daffin, Rob Hollander, Steve Coventry, Ian Jepp, David Pook, Lazlo Sike, Rob King, Mark Townsend and Billy Harvey.

If you would like more information on this project then click here to view the case study. Alternatively, give us a call to find out more.

6 Jun 2011

Wickedweb are excited to work with one of the world’s first companies to launch a brand dedicated to iPod accessories. Gear4 are owned and managed by Disruptive Ltd, and are passionate about music and the capability of the iPod, iPad and iPhone. This presented an interesting project to Wickedweb as we needed to translate this passion into a brand led ecommerce website with an exceptional user experience.

Wickedweb had two key objectives to deliver against: firstly to showcase Gear4's product innovation and secondly to provide an additional channel to market alongside their offline focus.

In order to engage the user, Wickedweb's approach was to ensure first and foremost that the creative execution was brand led, and subsequently arresting enough to evoke desire to purchase.

 

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Creating awareness of Gear4's innovative technology was fundamental and Wickedweb mirrored this in the design and functionality of the site. The Product Showcase area is a testament to this, using Flash and Javascript (for non Flash enabled devices) for an engaging user interface. As a result, the user can interact with Gear4's products via the website. The UnityRemote product is a good example of how the website achieved this.

Our solution to Gear4 also involved implementing the award winning Wickedweb content management system and ecommerce platform across different localities. Our in-house platform was perfect for this task as it allows the CMS user to indicate different tax levels according to the location of purchase. It also integrates seamlessly with payment providers and fulfilment houses.

For more information and to view further visuals see the case study.

6 Jun 2011

Wickedweb are excited to share the details of a website we have recently launched for Cosmetics à la Carte, a complex eCommerce solution delivered on the award-winning WickedwebCMS.

Cosmetics à la Carte are a premium, multinational brand and have enjoyed customers such as the late Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana to Blondie, Kylie, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga. Conceived in 1973, Cosmetics à la Carte pioneered the concept of 'made to measure' make up, and have been pushing the boundaries ever since for innovation. With the desire to overhaul their image and launch the brand online, Cosmetics à la Carte approached Wickedweb for an exceptionally stylised  e-commerce solution.

Our brief was quite simple - to create the most interactive and personalised experience possible for a cosmetic brand online, and to replicate the 'human' element usually experienced in the stores. Wickedweb were tasked with elevating the existing Cosmetics à la Carte brand, and rolling this out across the website.

In terms of reporting, it is early days.  However, Google Analytics already shows conversion to be anything between 2.9% and 5.9% which is well above average.

Goal conversions are strong at 6%, indicating that key junctures of the user journey are robust and intuitive.

The email campaign that followed the launch of the site is extremely encouraging, with click through rates at 30%. We look forward to building on this as we work further with Cosmetics à la Carte’s e-marketing strategy going forward.

View the full case study here

13 Oct 2010

Wickedweb has been working with Bluefin Solutions, a global SAP consultancy, over the last four months to fully understand their audience, design and develop their new website and integrate with Alterian's new Content Management System, ACM-p.

Bluefin Solutions Homepage

Bluefin Solutions works with clients to improve their business performance, including the BBC, Barclays, Royal Mail and Shell, to name a few, and the website was tasked with reflecting the organisation's premium position, and service, to present a more credible online solution and powerful tool for growth. 

Objectives included awareness building, lead generation and improved communication of the company's focus on delivering better outcomes for clients through a higher level of expertise, versus key competitors.

Our strategy included user research, with consultants and clients, to fully understand the website's audience.  Conducting one-to-one interviews provided invaluable insights and shaped the user experience strategy.  Personas focused the creative rationale and the concept, which considers the end user throughout, answers both business and target audience requirements.

The website is dynamic and engaging, with unique and compelling creative and photography taken with the Bluefin Solutions team, at their new Chiswick Park address, portrays the approachable personalities and people-focus at the heart of the consultancy.

Using a different design template for the careers section, the website caters for both clients, existing and prospective, and employees, as the very best candidates are encouraged to apply by the high level presentation and confident, professional approach.

Bluefin Solutions Careers Landing Page

Using Alterian Content Manager, Professional Edition (ACM-p), Bluefin Solutions is the first website in the country to enjoy the suite of components on this new platform, including the blog functionality, forms and tag clouds.  With the use of javascript, Wickedweb has delivered a slick user journey and with an advanced level of tagging, the user is presented with relevant blog posts, case studies and insights on each page, engaging the audience and ensuring a positive user experience.

Optimising the website from the ground, up, means that it is set to excel from an SEO perspective too.

We are closely monitoring the website's performance to ensure it delivers against key targets, and will work with Bluefin Solutions to continually enhance the website and grow ROI long-term.

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