Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category

5 New trends in mobile publishing for 2014

Just three years after the launch of the iPad, mobile publishing is changing rapidly. Not only how we consume content, but the devices we use to interact with our favourite publications – . Here’s what we can expect in 2014….

Three years after Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, it’s clear that we’re looking at a new paradigm of digital publishing: content designed for and delivered through apps on touchscreen devices just isn’t the same as the web or print. Content owners everywhere – from traditional publishers to retail brands – have to recalibrate how they think about distributing content in this new space, because what users want and expect there is different than any other medium.

It isn’t yet entirely clear how everything will shake out. Publishers, advertisers, marketers, businesses and organisations are just now beginning to realise the full potential of the platform. The good news is nobody disputes that mobile touchscreen devices are the future of where you’ll find eyeballs for your content, and that means opportunity for everyone. Here are five areas we see being fundamentally changed by the touchscreen, app-based content ecosystem.

1. ‘Magazines’ will be less and less about paper products

Traditional monthly publishers need to rethink issue content and frequency for these new spaces – the old print and ad imperatives for monthly issues just don’t apply here. For many, that will means splitting their issues into smaller, compartmentalised editions designed for specific devices and delivered on a daily or weekly timeline.

This approach will put different types of content at subscribers’ fingertips in a way that it is most likely to be consumed in any given moment. Think: breaking news via push notifications on the phone, short pieces to be read while waiting for the train, more in-depth content for leisurely weekend read. The effect will be more touch points for the user to the brand, deepening value and brand loyalty. However this isn’t to say that print will completely die, you still can’t beat the smell of a freshly printed magazine and the feel of a glossy page that shows off the detail in a well taken photo.

Many publishers are finding that their print subscribers are very different from their digital customer base, for example a new digital subscriber who’s never been a print customer, is 36% more likely to renew a monthly subscription for 6+ months, compared to a new print based subscriber. Is this because they can do it all with the click of a button? Automatic renewal’s  on  your debit card? There are many theories and as 2014 unfolds, we are sure it will become even clearer with most publishers offering both options to their customers.

2. The long read will make a comeback

The success of the Kindle and iBooks apps, not to mention sites like Long Reads and Atavist, are proving that people will read on screen. While print and web based publishing focuses increasingly on ‘bite-sized’ news and features, apps will allow publishers both to design long-form stories for easy consumption on phones and tablets, and to enable offline usage and smart bookmarking.

Our clients are already seeing increased reading times on a dedicated application vs a responsive paywall page, so why is this happening? We believe that if you take take the time to install your content as an application on your device, then you are probably more dedicated to the publication than stumbling upon a freemium piece of content that you need to pay to view in full detail. It’s an interesting trend, some agencies would argue that applications are no longer essential to success if you can offer a responsive web page version that requires no installation or downloading to view the content. We believe the key to your success is looking closely at the analytics across all your mediums, then having a centralised hub that distributes the content giving the user a choice on how they wish to view the articles and content.

3. Travel magazines will become utilities

Tablet versions of travel magazines will tie back into booking websites with sponsored ‘Book This Trip Now’ options. This will mean pre-packaged deals for customers who want all-inclusive amenities listed as is within the corresponding article. Add to that location-based recommendation services and tie-ins with third-party services like Yelp & LiveBookings, and your travel magazine will become an invaluable travel companion. And then once you’re aboard the plane…

4. In-flight magazines will go digital

With the FAA lifting the ban on device usage, major carriers will be increasingly able to promote their in-flight titles from the gate for download and consumption before, during and after the flight, delivering fresh content based on location, user status or other factors, making the content more personal and more valuable. Virgin Atlantic , United Airlines and American Airlines already have iPad versions of their in-flight publications for tablets. And just imagine a ‘Buy Now’ version of the duty-free shopping catalogue delivered to your seat.

5. Fashion retail and publishing will be more intertwined

Real-time updating combined with subscription delivery will allow fashion ‘look books’ for major retailers to be more responsive and better at distributing hot sales trends between brick-and-mortar retail outlets. Now days you can order clothing via a mobile application and if your not sure of the right size, order two and simply return the items that don’t fit using the companies free return postage bag and a local postbox.

A new concept in the UK was rolled out by JustFab, a female clothing and handbag specialist that charges a flat rate per month to receive a pair of shoes or item of clothing, if you’re not happy with it, send it back for something else at no cost at all. The concept of shopping for clothing online got off to a shaky start, but these days most clothing chains allow online purchases and local brick and mortar refunds and exchanges with no questions asked. The seamless buying cycles that are now on offer make it very easy to find exactly what you’re looking for at the click of a button.

So next time your reading a fashion magazine on a tablet, try to think at what point are you really just browsing a well designed e-commerce store ready to serve you a range specifically tailored to your liking.

For a small taste of the future, check out the InWear Trade Tool Fashion App in action in the video below.

Makemedia is getting a virtual facelift, looking back at the past 12 months.

Makemedia has been so busy working on our clients websites this past 12 months, that we haven’t really had the time to work on our own. It’s the age old story of the cobblers shoes or the plumber with a dripping tap in his home right?

We’ve been building responsive websites for just over three years now. In fact every web project we undertake, there isn’t a hesitation if we should build it to work on all devices, it just does. So it’s about time we put pedal to the metal and rebuild our own site.

Often people ask us, what does Makemedia actually do? What core services are you good at? We thought it would be a good idea to explain how our company is formed and showcase some of the projects from 2013.

Makemedia behind the scenes

So let’s start with our teams, starting at the top we have 4 founders/directors of which all have a very active part in the business and production of our clients work. We have the MD (Rob), 3D Director (Nick), Operations Director (George) and Technical Director (Ben)

Then we have our sales/commercial department who manage our existing clients and attract the news ones! Our finance team do a sterling job of managing the cash flow and day to day running of the business.

We then have two production areas that are housed under Web & 3D, within those teams we have various core skills that split the teams up even further.

For example in our 3D team we have our training and e-learning artists who create immersive 3D worlds and interactive games for our clients, we also have construction, aerospace and defence gurus who create meticulous renderings of intricate models that are used for a whole range of different purposes all around the world. Then we have our 3D mobile/tablet developers who cater for the portable market.

In our production area we have two core coding teams that work on .NET and PHP, our creative team is then split into graphics, UX, UI and then pixel perfect web designers that bring it all together. The web teams work on our publishing platforms such as data insight, directories, classifieds and helping our clients monetise their traffic and user base. Everything is responsive and works on desktops, tablets and mobile devices.

To oversee all this wonderful talent, the heart of Makemedia’s success is our project management team, these are the whip crackers that keep projects on time, to budget and communicate daily with our clients to be sure everything runs smoothly.

Put all these teams together and you have almost 30 people in our Brighton head office, we also have an office in Sydney that works on a 3D training facility born from the success of the ACT centre in Coventry in the UK.

Key Projects of 2013 at a glance

A quick overview of the key projects built this year, it shows our diversity within the 3D and web space.

Infrastructure Journal Online - Sold to Euromoney in October 2013 for £12.5 million
Makemedia’s Data Insight Platform / Responsive design / Self service / Payment gateway / High traffic & data volume

Love Local Jobs - East SussexBrightonandHoveJobs.com / gatwickdiamondjobs.com / Coastalwestsussexjobs.com
Responsive Web Design /  Multiple site skins / Central administration / Bespoke CMS

Building Learning Simulation Centre in Melbourne, Australia
Software Development /  Immersive Learning / Hardware Installation / 3D renderings and design

Classroom Learning – East Sussex County Council
Immersive Learning / Stereoscopic 3D / Animation

Used Trucks Classified Site – Road Transport Media
Makemedia’s Classified Platform ‘Parade’ /  Responsive web design / self service / payment gateway

Farmers Weekly Classified Site – Reed Business Information (RBI) – Largest B2B classified site online
Makemedia’s Classified Platform ‘Parade’ /  Responsive web design / self service / payment gateway

Wind Power Monthly Directory – Haymarket Publishing
Makemedia’s Directory Platform ‘Parade’ / Responsive design / Self service / Payment gateway 

Wrapping Up

As you can see lot’s of exciting things going on at Makemedia right now, we’re hoping our new web experience will be ready for the new year. Meanwhile if you want to talk with our team about a project you might have, use the contact us form or call us on 0845 0178777.

 

Euromoney acquires Infrastructure Journal for £12.5 million

It is always a proud day for any company when one of your clients is positively impacted by a direct result of your hard work. Yesterday it was officially announced that Euromoney purchased Infrastructure Journal for £12.5 million. (Press Release)

Infrastructure Journal is a leading information source for the international infrastructure markets. Its business model is centred on premium subscription content that tracks market activity and is delivered in real-time through its online platform (www.ijonline.com) which is accessible from desktops, tablets and smartphones. Infrastructure Journal also runs a portfolio of events which includes conferences, forums and awards attended by senior investment professionals, industry practitioners and advisors. The prestigious Infrastructure Journal Awards are held annually in London.

 

The data insight platform www.ijonline.com was an integral part of the sale and is mentioned in the official press release, Makemedia was awarded this project almost three years ago and at the time it was one of the first and largest responsive websites online. Makemedia undertook a massive data migration project to move 66,000 articles, 10,000 projects and transactions and 11,000 company listings over to the new website.

Tables and large data display has historically been a tricky one for small devices such as tablets and mobile phones. Data graphs were designed to interpret data in an accessible way and are updated on a real-time basis – meaning IJ Online retains its place as a market leader and its reputation for innovation and delivering value for subscribers. Makemedia gained instant industry respect when we rolled out this site with some extremely creative ways to display the data on the varying display sizes. Visit www.ijonline.com from a desktop computer and change the width of your browser window to see for yourself!

We also created an innovative way to attract new users without giving them a virtual tour or asking for registration, our experience shows that asking for information from a user upfront causes significant bounce rates, yes it’s nice to have contact data to try and sell an abandoned shopping cart – but in reality providing just a handful of real results with key information blurred out and limiting to 5 search results had a massive positive effect on signups. (See image below)

Makemedia is looking forward to developing the site further with Euromoney and are very excited about the possibilities and future ahead for the IJOnline.com website.

If you have a digital project or data insight challenge you want to discuss with us, please get in touch with our Sales & Marketing Director on +44(0)1273 718005 or email ash.lomas at makemedia.com

Makemedia’s Tom Prior is speaking at the PPA digital conference

Our Creative Lead, Tom Prior, will be speaking at this year’s PPA Digital Conference in London on the 18th September, tackling the topic of Responsive and Adaptive web design.

Speaking as part of the event’s developer spotlights, Tom will be demystifying these closely related approaches. The talk will highlight the enduring strengths of web standards and progressive enhancement for the publishing industry, showcasing the success of this approach for a number of high-profile publications.

Tom will share his own experience of developing flexible websites for the publishing industry, and discuss how Adaptive techniques can be used to layer on device-specific enhancements to your Responsive foundations. Comparing them with a native-only approach, he hopes to highlight how these techniques work together to deliver content across an ever increasing spectrum of devices.

To catch Tom’s talk, choose the Developer Spotlights stream at the PPA Digital Conference from 14.25 – 15.10. Follow the #ppadigital hash tag on Twitter to participate in the live conversation during the event, Tom will also be available for questions after his talk.

About Tom

With over ten years experience designing digital products, Tom has helped deliver websites for RBI, 4C, Haymarket, Wilmington Group and Road Transport Media.

He was a key part of the team behind the responsive re-launch of IJ Online in 2012, working closely with 4C to successfully deliver this financial news and data platform.

Tom has appeared in Web Designer and .NET magazine, and enjoys sharing his experience as a speaker at design events or through his own writing.

Visit Makemedia at the PPA Publishing+ conference!

This year the PPA celebrates 100 years of existence and Makemedia are proud to be supporting the Association at the Publishing+ conference on  the 8th May.

PPA-Publishing

Visit us at Stand 23 where you can find out more about why clients such as Emap, 4C-Group, Haymarket, Reed Business Information and Road Transport Media are already doing business with Makemedia.

You will see demos of:

  • Our classifieds and directories platform.
  • Bespoke large-scale websites for a range of publishing clients.
  • Innovative 3D technology for advertising.

Want to find out more about how our solutions can benefit your strategies and excite your client base?
To arrange a meeting with Makemedia at Publishing+  call us on 0845 017 8777 or email info@makemedia.com

Meet Makemedia at the Digital Media Strategies Event, 19th-20th Feb

Makemedia will be attending the Media Briefing’s Digital Media Strategies event next week on 19th-20th February – why not meet us there?

Digital Media Strategies conference

To arrange a meeting with Makemedia at Digital Media Strategies call us on 0845 017 8777 or email info@makemedia.com

It’s a challenge for all publishers to stay ahead of the competition and generate subscriptions and revenues online, whilst providing top quality user experiences across a range of mobile devices. Makemedia are a specialist supplier to the publishing industry who understand these challenges. Meet us at the event to discuss how our digital solutions can work for your business, such as:

  • Classifieds listings
  • Directory listings
  • Editorial websites
  • Data insight subscription websites
  • Community websites

Don’t worry if you miss us at this event, we will be exhibiting at Publishing and Media Expo at Stand C47!

Stay in touch: Sign up to the Makemedia newsletter here.

 

Makemedia are exhibiting at Publishing and Media Expo 2013

Makemedia will be exhibiting at the Publishing and Media Expo 2013 at Stand C47.

Makemedia are a full service digital agency who specialise in providing solutions to the publishing industry. We understand the challenges that you face when it comes to increasing suscriptions and revenue generation through digital channels. We understand that pushing innovation through your digital strategy is important for you to stay ahead of the competition. We understand the latest web development techniques and how to use them to drive traffic, improve SEO, reach your mobile users and then provide them with a great experience.

Why should you meet us at Publishing and Media Expo?

Enter the prize draw on our stand to win :

  • Tickets to the Heineken Cup Quarter Final at Twickenham in April (Saracens vs. Ulster).
  • Tickets to a BHAFC football match of your choice. Be our guest in sunny Brighton for the day!

You can also visit our stand to:

  • Test a demo of our Classifieds and Directories Platform. 
  • See how we use the latest web technologies to target mobile audiences.
  • Discover something different – how could our 3D solutions work for you?
  • Understand why publishers such as Emap, 4C-Group, Road Transport Media and Reed Business Information are already working with Makemedia.

To arrange a meeting with Makemedia at P&ME call us on 0845 017 8777 or email info@makemedia.com

Stay in touch: Sign up to the Makemedia newsletter here.

Makemedia at Publishing Expo 2013

LATEST LAUNCH: Farmers Weekly Classified Website

Makemedia are proud to see the launch of the Classified Platform for Reed Business Information brand Farmers Weekly. Find out more about our latest project…

Farmers Classified website is ready!

Farmers Weekly Classified provides a revamp to the design and functionality of their online listings for used farm machinery and equipment; which means an improved experience for both buyers and advertisers.

The new site utilises responsive web design to target mobile users, providing best experience for both buyers and sellers on a range of devices.

Tony Hill, Marketing Manager at Farmers Weekly said:

We worked closely with Makemedia on the new look layout and made improvements to the search functionality. It allows our  agricultural and farming professionals to easily find listings that are relevant to them. It is also quicker to post ads; this area has had a major overhaul to improve navigation and make it easier.

See the Farmers Classified at http://classified.fwi.co.uk/

Do you want to incorporate a classified listing or directory into your online offering? Speak to Makemedia to find out how this could work for your business: call 0845 017 8777 or email info@makemedia.com

Sign up to the Makemedia newsletter here.

Better ROI Through Responsive and Adaptive Design

When it comes to targeting your mobile audience will you go for an adaptive or responsive solution?

The BBC has recently relaunched its news offering for mobile users, directing the majority of smartphone users to a dedicated mobile-optimised website. This is a smart move with so many of their visitors now arriving via portable devices:

“In an average week, 13.3m users worldwide use their mobile or tablet to visit the BBC News site and apps – around one-third of total users to BBC News Online.”

We have noticed the same trend in our own website visits with an increase of 64% from mobile visits year on year – with this in mind, we’re in the process of a responsive redesign which will go live in 2013.

It’s worth noting that the BBC news mobile website is not responsive, rather an adaptive design which enhances the mobile experience depending on the capabilities of the user’s device. The BBC team chose this route of progressive enhancement in response to the vast range of browsers used to browse the site:

“We have ~80 significant browsers / operating system combinations regularly using our application across the globe and a long tail of hundreds more… So this is the conundrum of our project from a technical perspective. How do we continue to support the vast number of older and less capable devices while delivering to our brief of creating a world class news experience tailored to smart phones and larger resolutions?” BBC Responsive News Blog

The BBC built a simplified website that would work for the lowest common denominator (IE6), and then add layers of improvement depending on the device used. By identifying the browser, it’s level of feature support and connection speed, the BBC then service enhancements to the UI complexity based on the detected capabilities.

Adaptive design techniques are often used in conjunction with Responsive Web Design. Whereas Responsive websites adjust layout based on viewport size, applying the progressive enhancement ethos of adaptive design brings an extra layer of optimisation based on device capability. Those who can’t benefit from the extra enhancement are still delivered a good baseline experience for their device. The video below shows how the responsive design of the Infrastructure Journal Online website works to deliver optimised navigation and layout depending on the user’s screen size.

How can a responsively designed website provide better ROI?

Responsive websites are designed to be device agnostic and can save on development costs (as this is one build as opposed to building multiple Apps for devices) and can communicate a cohesive design no matter what device they are accessed from, therefore providing a better experience for users and more value to subscribers.

However, projects such as this should be judged on a case by case basis; truly understanding all aspects of a business and their targeted audience could mean you oversee an alternative – and potentially more appropriate – solution. Although demand for app development as a mobile solution has been extremely popular, it is an example of a technology which may not be appropriate in all cases. Responsive web design allows organisations to cover a greater user base by using technology most modern devices understand, although web technologies cannot utilise all of the hardware on some smartphones and tablets like a native app. Whether web or native is appropriate for you will depend on your businesses audience and goals.

Businesses with an online presence should be aware of competitors who are beginning to offer a better web-based mobile experience using Responsive Web Design. Where a business relies heavily on website visitors as a source of revenue (either through selling services and products, data collection or advertising to them) an un-optimised experience risks users jumping ship for better mobile options with competitors.

Examples of large scale responsive design websites

  1. The Boston Globe website was one of the first large-scale responsive websites.
  2. Recently, the government have relaunched GOV.UK - a replacement for numerous outdated central government websites.
  3. Microsoft recently relaunched with a responsive website, reflecting the new Windows 8 visual language.
  4. The Guardian are experimenting with a beta responsive version of their website.
  5. Infrastructure Journal Online – staying ahead of the competition and adding value to a small set of subscribers who pay for high value data.

In conclusion we are seeing more and more big players relaunch their websites responsively, either as a whole or in parts as a staggered rebuild. To do so is to meet the needs of your mobile users, increase your ability to generate revenue from those users and set yourself ahead of the competition.

If you would like to learn more about the Infrastructure Online project or how Makemedia can help you with you mobile strategy or large scale website build please do get in touch by calling 0845 017 8777 or by emailing info@makemedia.com

Sign up to the Makemedia newsletter here.

 

5 things you are forgetting to put in your brief

Writing a good brief

Writing a good brief doesn’t need to feel like this! Clear and concise is best.

Starting with a clear brief is the first step to a successful project, whether that is a website build, a training simulation or any kind of web application. It makes life a lot easier in the long run to get it right first time – and time is money! There are many articles and brief templates out there that are a good starting place, however there a couple of things that seem to always get missed or thought about later on the project that should be considered up front.

So here are Makemedia’s suggested top 5 items you may have forgotten to include in your brief.

1, What is your content strategy?

Although it’s important to consider what your website will do and who it aimed towards, many brief writers forget to consider the nitty gritty of content. Who will export the content from the old site or who will be writing your new content? Do you need to use an external provider for copy writing or to review SEO quality? Will all the copy be ready by the go live date? What are your deadlines? A web build that is held up by late content is going to eat away at your budget.

2, What is your mobile strategy?

It can be a mistake to jump on the “lets-build-an-app” bandwagon without considering the true needs of your business. Clients need to consider their own unique aims, then how these would be best served. This may be by building an app OR a responsively designed website may serve these needs better. What is essential is that you consider your mobile strategy to extend the relevant life period of your investment and remain competitive.

3, Who is really the decision maker?

If you don’t clarify who really has the sign off on the project there is a strong chance you will be wasting your time and budget later on. Imagine the following scenario. The head of department gives a department manger the responsibility to sign off phases of the project. The manager is happy with a phase and signs it off. However, when the head of department sees it later they want changes. To implement the changes at this stage is far more costly than to have done it before the sign off where time is built in for amendments. Either the manager needs to have full culpability for the project or the head of department needs to be identified as the true decision maker.

4, Don’t be shy about your budget.

You might not want to give an exact figure but even a ball park range will help to identify that you are approaching the right size of agency and set expectations. Having a full proposal written up for you from an agency that is far too expensive or not well resourced enough to serve your needs will waste time on both sides. The scope of what you want to do could be highly varied with many different possible solutions but a good agency will give you the best possible solution to fit your budget – and they will want to work with you again in future so giving you the best value is in their interest too!

5, Keep aims and objectives clear throughout the development of the scope.

Your brief should communicate clear business objectives and the critical success factors for the project. Anything added to the scope should lead back to these aims. Have a colleague read through your brief to check that it is clear and concise. Are you communicating what you are trying to achieve to a new potential supplier who hasn’t got to know the business fully yet? Naturally, a good agency will be practiced in extracting this information but it will save you time during that process. Save even more time by ensuring that your internal team all understand the project aims so you can relax in the knowledge that your team are communicating your needs correctly.

Please do add your tips in the comments!

If you are looking for a supplier for a website, simulation or other digital project please get in touch on 0845 017 8777 (select option 1) or email us at info@makemedia.com.