Are Stable Teams Realistic?

Today’s link provide some amazing metrics and studies involving project teams that are in it for the long haul. Whether you are talking about your favorite sports team, church small group, or even your own family: people that do work or life together for a long time are going to be better at whatever they are working towards.

Unfortunately, the reality of today’s IT landscape is teams don’t get to stay exactly the way they are for very long.

As much as I have experience that, though, there are many companies that managed to not only keep some semblance of continuity with their teams, but manage to hold onto employees as well.

I just don’t know how much that happens anymore. How long do teams stay together on one project at your place of work?

Blog Post: Are Stable Teams Realistic?

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Blog Post: More RWD Stats Mean More Questions

This is a fantastic read by a company that decided to take a responsive redesign project and throw some tracking numbers with it (more companies should be doing this by the way). The results were an e-commerce site made significant gains in conversions and sales transactions after converting the site to a mobile-friendly design.

Seems like a case to be made for all sites to make this change, right? How can you argue when the return on investment is so high?

The simple answer is: maybe.

Electric Pulp’s customer for sure made a significant return on their decision to become more mobile friendly. According to this blog post, there was a relatively small amount of work done:

“The [mobile updates] were typical mobile patterns. We made the site fluid. We collapsed the primary navigation menu, allowing visitors to expand it by tapping a Menu link. We increased the size of the font, the tap areas and detail photos. We reduced the number of columns.”

That’s not to say the changes were significant. Making the site more fluid is some serious UX work. The rest of the items were not too bad by themselves. Regardless, even if the effort is considered minuscule compared to all the work possible, this probably took a few months by the team.

Which brings me to the results. Testing the site after adding responsive elements brought increases to not only mobile usage, but desktop as well. It could mean people enjoyed the mobile UI so much they wanted to check it out on their desktop machines. It could also mean, however, that the numbers would have gone up regardless. The writer admits it’s hard to tell for sure.

Re-branding efforts by consulting companies are big business, regardless of the media and industry. Sometimes, a fresh coat of paint and new landscaping is all you needed to help your house. One could argue that these numbers were the result of that. 

Improving the user’s experience could also be a contributing factor. I know I tend to buy from companies that make shopping easier. One look at Amazon’s mobile site is support that a well designed site is better than a beautifully designed site. Oh, great prices help too.

Changing how conversion information is collected helps, and better navigation for sure helps. Bigger pictures and faster checkout are part of the picture too.

I think that’s why I have more questions than answers from this post. Being a huge fan of the responsive site movement, I want nothing more than these stats to be the real deal. Unfortunately  I have to make this argument internally and externally every day. These questions are the same I field.

While it is almost impossible to compare apples to apples for every aspect of this redesign, I think we must continue to try in every way or we won’t quantify a new industry standard of web design.

Blog Post: More RWD Stats Mean More Questions

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Blog Post: The Internet of Things In Action

This is a fantastic read from The Next Web about just how many devices are connected to the Internet and how that can affect our lives in a variety of ways. Maybe we aren’t thinking big enough when we say the words “mobile device”.

Think about it. Can an alarm clock be considered one? What about your thermostat? Or your shoes?

The possibilities are endless. If something is connected, transmits and receives data, and is aware of your surroundings…you get my drift. Before we know it, we will lament the days where we once thought just our phones and tablets were mobile devices.

Blog Post: The Internet of Things In Action

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Blog Post: Engineering Around A Barrier

I am encouraged by blog posts like this by Thomas Husson. Instead of seeing a technology like QR Codes as “dead”, companies like mobiLead solutions are engineering around the problem.

While I don’t think this is the only barrier, QR Codes are kind of an eye sore and difficult to weave into attractive marketing materials. What if, instead of sticking one in the bottom of a print ad, the logo had the target integrated?

That, and mobile devices having scanners fully integrated into the operating software, could give the technology a bump in the right direction.

It’s solutions like this that could benefit fringe breakthrough ideas like QR Codes, NFC chips and RFID tags. Identify the barrier and engineer around it.

Blog Post: Engineering Around A Barrier

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