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Top Front-end Development Predictions for 2015

Top Front-end Development Predictions for 2015

As a fast growing web development company, we feel the world of front end web development changes quickly – new tastes and fashions often guide the changes, but the world of tech also plays a part. New coding languages and platforms for developers shift the way we work with the front end of a website, and it’s important each year to be aware of the development and trends we’re likely to see evolving over the next 12 months.

In this post we’ll look at the top front-end development predictions for 2015 – from the evolution of Responsive Design to new JavaScript Frameworks, there are many trends and predictions worth keeping your eye on.

Extended Mobile Apps Development

We are starting to see the beginning of a mobile-first development approach – whereby the user experience and impression users get of your website and your business will be first experienced on a tablet or web. It makes sense, therefore, to put mobile development at the forefront of your web world – and in terms of front-end development we can increasingly expect to see this attitude amongst web designers. In addition, we’re therefore likely to see increased use of Bootstrap within the mobile-first community.

Bootstrap_front-end-trends-2015

New Responses to Responsive Web

With wearable devices rising in popularity – supporting a huge range of dimensions and screen sizes by major developers – we should expect to see new responses and attitudes towards the responsive web over the next 12 months. Responsive design will get faster, more intuitive and more advanced – frameworks such as Foundation and Semantic UI are set to rise in popularity, and it can be assumed that judging by the popularity of the responsive web over the last 12 months, it’ll become the new norm for designers and developers across the world this year. We’re also likely to see the evolution of device-agnostic approaches – essentially, a development approach that ensures the site you build is not dependent on knowing what device it is being displayed on.

Telling Stories Through Interactivity

We have got used to websites telling stories – sites such as The New York Times have become famous for beautifully crafted documentary stories such as High Rise and Snowfall. These however are largely static stories for everyone – although beautiful and well-designed they follow a conventional process for all users. One thing we’re likely to see more of in 2015 is interactivity and personalization on the web – not just in the content we’re offered but within the content and stories themselves. You may be likely to play the part of a character – and the decisions you make will affect how the story progresses.

Material Design

With Facebook testing a new Material Design overhaul for 2015, the issue has become too big to ignore and I think we can expect to see a lot of it throughout the rest of 2015. Google’s suggestions for Material Design for Lollipop - essentially a complete reimagining of the Android design and infrastructure – utilise to a great extent a floating icon and suggestions for Material Design have been posted on the Android Developers website here. In 2015, expect to see a lot of app updates to comply with these new guidelines.

The Rise of CSS Pre-Processing

There are many arguments online about why you should be using CSS Pre-Processing – but many people have been reluctant to add a new layer of complexity to their development workflow. This being said, in 2015 we’re likely to see more of it – it makes your code easier to maintain, it’s relatively easy to write and it introduces supercharged files that contain various mixins, variables and functions to your CSS.

If you’d like to get involved with Pre-Processing, visit Digital-Results’ introduction to pre-processing or go to one of the options out there – SASS.

Continued Evolution and Development of the Scroll

The results of various user tests from around the world all suggest the same thing. Given the choice, people will scroll rather than click. In 2015 we’ll continue to take performance of sites seriously, but intertwined with this is a need for developers to respond to users’ requests for speed and functionality. Scrolling is faster than clicking and it keeps users in a reading flow – we’re likely to see more focus on this as the year progresses.

Summary

We’re faced with an exciting time for web developers and for every web development company altogether – with a number of different trends and technologies converging to make a fascinating environment for today’s web developers.

We hope our front-end development predictions for 2015 have guided you towards some interesting concept or further reading. From the rise of the responsive web to Google’s new Material Design - there are many things worth keeping an eye out for this year that may completely revolutionise the way users navigate and experience the web and web development.

 

 

 

 

An in-Depth Look at Magento Mobile Solutions

An in-Depth Look at Magento Mobile Solutions

magento-mobile
The use of mobile apps and mobile websites on portable devices, from smartphones to tablets, is on the rise. In tandem is the tremendous growth of mobile commerce, often referred to as mCommerce. Many retailers recognise the enormous economic opportunity online, but are without an appropriate strategy to capture a significant portion of those mCommerce transactions.

Fortunately, eCommerce industry leader Magento now offers a number of mobile solutions. With the help of a trusted and capable eCommerce Development partner, along with some amazing plug-ins and tools out there, it is now easy to customise these solutions. That means it is now easier for you to fit in perfectly in your customers’ mobile life style in a way just as you want. Magento is owned by eBay, and is the preferred eCommerce and mCommerce solution for more than 240,000 merchants worldwide.

What Is Magento Mobile?

Magento has risen rapidly in popularity to establish itself as the third most popular eCommerce solution in the UK, United States and Canada.

Magento mobile solutions allow retailers to provide their customers with a comprehensive online shopping experience. In fact, Magento responsive designs represent 34 per cent of all responsive eCommerce websites in the Alexa 1M.

Why Is mCommerce Important?

To answer this question, we would rather have the numbers talk. Here are some quick facts that are no less than eye openers while we talk about mCommerce:

  • The number of global smartphone users will approach 2 billion in 2015
  • Mobile phone penetration has climbed to a global average of 93 per cent
  • mCommerce sales accounts for around a whopping $58.5 billion in annual

The choice for retailers who wish to remain competitive is not whether to adopt a mCommerce strategy; rather, it is whether or not to remain solvent.

Magento Responsive Design

For many retailers with an existing eCommerce portal, a responsive website design is the obvious mCommerce solution. Simply put, a Magento responsive design means that your existing website will display perfectly on devices of every screen size. This includes devices with smaller screens, such as smartphones and tablets – the very tools used to perform mCommerce transactions.

Switching your eCommerce website to a Magento responsive design means:

  • The talented team of Magento experts will complete the entire project for you.
  • Your existing eCommerce portal will continue to function with minimal downtime, if any.
  • Your layout, video and images will begin scaling according to the screen size of each user, but the functionality of your existing eCommerce portal will not be impacted.

Dedicated Magento Mobile Development

Many eCommerce powerhouses, including Amazon, choose to develop a mobile application independent of their website. This provides consumers an alternate way to make purchases from their mobile devices.

While most online shoppers prefer a mobile browsing experience over an additional download, the development of an application is still with significant merit.

As in the previous example, Magento mobile offers comprehensive solutions that will allow you to easily develop a mobile application to complement your existing website.

Thanks to an assortment of APIs built in to the platform, an experienced web development company can now help you develop bespoke Magento mobile apps with a seamless and tight integration to your existing eCommerce portal.

The most important thing to remember with Magento mobile apps development is to ensure that your branding and key features carry over to your application accordingly.

Which Is the Right Solution?

Whether you choose a mobile-first or a web-first strategy for mCommerce, the other option cannot simply be ignored. The second option becomes a value add for your business.

In most cases, a responsive website is the logical choice for disseminating product information, while an application is useful for strengthening engagement – such as offering review functionality. That being said, those who are serious about capitalising on the rise in mCommerce need both a Magento responsive design and Magento mobile development.

Conclusion

In order to remain effective and relevant, your eCommerce website must be fully responsive. If you do not have a mobile application already, there is a substantial portion of the market your business is forfeiting.

Magento mobile solutions have overtaken Oracle as the top choice for businesses in several markets, featuring stunning visual merchandising effects and functionality.

Take advantage of this comprehensive platform to meet the changing needs of consumers. Magento makes scaling your mCommerce enterprise into the future not only possible, but streamlined. Now is the time when you should start looking for the right eCommerce development partner that can help you leverage mCommerce in the most fruitful way.

After all, mCommerce is the future of how consumers will shop online. The question is whether your business will adapt or be left behind.

How To Effectively Outsource SaaS Product Development

How To Effectively Outsource SaaS Product Development

 

Outsourcing product development projects most often results in an effectively executed project. This is especially true when it comes to developing software as a service (SaaS) solutions, which can present a unique and compelling list of challenges.

Fortunately, outsourcing SaaS product development has never made more economical sense. Outsourcing multiple different types of projects has grown on a significant scale in recent history, and SaaS product development is a prime example.

Through this post, we will explore what makes SaaS development different, the necessary ingredients for successful SaaS product development, how offshore SaaS development has evolved over the past two decades, and how you can ultimately benefit from outsourcing your SaaS product development.

SaaS Product Development Is Different

SaaS_Product

SaaS product development is different in many respects from the development of more traditional products. This is largely due to the sheer volume and scale to which the product is being developed.

Development teams need to be highly skilled and adept to truly understand the end goal for the product, and to plan technical advancements and deployments accordingly.

As a result, maintaining an existing SaaS product – or developing a new one – in-house can be both expensive and frustrating. The availability of required skillsets are often challenging to acquire, hiring qualified developers is usually a time consuming and expensive process, and the changing landscapes of technology are sure to further complicate the issue.

Effective SaaS product development necessitates a crystal clear vision, a well-defined plan, and the ability to swiftly react to new challenges as they arise.

The Ingredients of Successful SaaS Product Development

The following ingredients can often be found in successful SaaS developments:

  • Effective use of offshore  SaaS development
  • Implementation of Agile development methodology
  • Sufficiently qualified and capable product developers

The absence of any of these three factors has been known to slow or halt product development projects, or to significantly increase the demand on your most valuable of resources – time, money, and energy.

Offshore SaaS development, as this article will go on to explain, is important to acquire sufficient skillsets in a cost effective manner.

Agile development methodology offers a communication-oriented, team-based approach to product development, offering the additional benefits of flexibility and speed.

Qualified and capable developers are the cornerstone of any SaaS product development. By choosing to assemble a distributed offshore team, the precious aforementioned resources of time, money and energy can be wisely invested.

The Evolution of Offshore SaaS Development

Global developments in internet technology have made offshore SaaS development not only possible, but necessary to remain competitive.

For instance, applications such as Skype and Google Hangouts have created the unprecedented ability for every team member to see, communicate, and share with each other regardless of geographic location.

Furthermore, project management applications such as Jira and Basecamp allow teams to sort complex SaaS product development tasks into meaningful phases, or sprints.

Dramatic changes in the last two decades have resulted in an assortment of emerging markets, such as India, to become a globally recognized powerhouse in effectively managing outsourced product development work.

Well before the turn of the century, SaaS product development was not a major component of most developed markets. Instead, the primary industries at the time related to manufacturing and textiles. Fast forward to today and we find that outsourcing is not only a common business practice, but the service sector now dominates the economies of developed nations.

Why Outsourcing Saas Product Development Is a Good Idea

Outsourcing SaaS product development results in a number of key benefits to your business, including:

  • Decreased costs and hence improved profit margins
  • Access to larger pools of talented and capable developers
  • Improved operational efficiency thanks to diminished internal strain on resources
  • Increased team efficiency, with particular respect to Agile development methodology

Conclusion

“Any project to be done at significant scale, including SaaS product development, needs to be outsourced for optimal efficiency”

Do you agree with this statement?

What has your experience been with offshore development, with particular reference to SaaS products?

Does your development team take an Agile, iteration-based approach to product development?

What other benefits are there to offshore SaaS development?

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below

Drupal vs WordPress – Open Source CMS Comparison

Drupal vs WordPress – Open Source CMS Comparison

A content management system, often abbreviated to CMS, is an application allows publishing, editing, modifying, organizing, deleting, and maintaining online content from one central user interface.

Most often, popular news websites, blogs, and other popular online destinations that frequently publish new content make use of a CMS. In so doing, content writers with minimal or no exposure to coding and design can regularly publish great content without any roadblocks.

The purpose of this article is to offer an unbiased look at two different platforms – Drupal vs WordPress, the two most popular CMS choices available. When choosing the platform will power your website, you will need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Drupal vs WordPress

To put it simply, whether you prefer to power your website with Drupal or WordPress will depend largely upon your intentions and objectives for your website.

Each CMS has its own strengths and weaknesses including the availability of its themes, plugins, and updates, as well as the necessary skills you will require for its use.

Before diving into the specifics of Drupal vs WordPress, it is important to mention that both are great choices for creating a website. They are both built on PHP and MySQL, and both are open source CMS solutions.

Understanding Open Source

With the intention to promote universal access to software, the open source development model grants a free license to the design of any product, plus redistribution rights.

As we compare Drupal vs WordPress in this CMS comparison, it is worth noting that both options are open source. In a nutshell, that means both CMS choices have been edited, modified, and improved by developers all over the world.

In other words, both options in this open source CMS comparison could be described as finely tuned products. New plugins, modules and themes – including both free and premium choices – are frequently produced by experienced developers, allowing both Drupal and WordPress to remain relevant and competitive.

What Makes Drupal Great

Drupal is the second most widely used CMS, right behind WordPress. Having first launched just after the turn of the century, its current iteration includes more than 60 billion lines of code.

While this figure is not intended to intimidate you, it does reflect a nearly unlimited capacity for Drupal to handle new content. Drupal can easily manage several hundred thousand pages of unique content, giving this platform a distinct edge for search engine optimization.

Although WordPress can certainly be used for eCommerce and business transactions, Drupal includes strong version controls and access control list capabilities. This means a website powered by Drupal is more secure and stable, and also generates detailed security reports for its users.

Drupal offers far more flexibility in terms of design, although it comes with the trade-off of needing to have a stronger understanding of code.

What Makes WordPress Great

WordPress is the most widely used CMS in the world.

As an additional point in its favor, WordPress boasts thousands of individual plugins that add a variety of features and functions to your website – the majority of which are free to download and install. Drupal, on the other hand, does not offer any free plugins – or modules, as Drupal calls them. WordPress is far more cost-effective in this regard.

WordPress is also far easier to use than Drupal, allowing almost anyone with a limited knowledge of HTML and CSS to quickly create a beautiful and engaging website. WordPress offers a much simpler user interface, as well.

Originally intended mainly as a platform for bloggers, WordPress does a much better job than Drupal at managing multiple authors. It also allows you to create a clean and attractive website in a few clicks, using one of thousands of free or premium theme choices.

Drupal vs WordPress – Which Is Better?

While it isn’t possible to choose a clear winner in this open source CMS comparison, it might be fair to say that WordPress would be a more attractive choice for less experienced developers, or those that require a less feature intense website.

On the other hand, if your website requires more custom features, scalability, security, and complex content organization, Drupal might be the best CMS for you.

Here is a side-by-side graphical CMS comparison of Drupal vs WordPress, plus a third – CMS ex-heavyweight known as ‘Joomla’:

CMS-comparison-chart

image credits – WebsiteSetup.org

Joomla is often thought of as the perfect option in between Drupal and WordPress, offering complex features like the former and a simple user interface like the latter.

Still not sure which CMS option is right for your website? We would love to share some tips.