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Essential Skills Required To Become A Front End Developer

In this internet age you must be visiting many websites developer every day and you must have found some websites which looked and worked fabulous for you and you liked them the most. But have you ever thought how they were made? Have you looked at them the way they were laid out, the way you got response when you clicked at any of the button or link or any other related thought? You must have thought, “How to do that in your website?” These kind of things come under front end development. Web design is the way how a website looks while front end development is how that design is actually implemented on the web. Now you come to the point. A front end web developer is the developer who does that implementation.

Developer

Front end web developer generally uses CSS, HTML and JavaScript to code the website and web apps designs created by web designers. The code they write runs inside the user’s web browser which is different from a back end developer, whose code runs on the web server itself. A front end web developer also makes sure that there are no errors or bugs on the front end and also that the design appears as it should be across various web browsers and platforms. Due to their so much important role in the work of web development, front end developers are in great demand. But to become a front end developer, the developer needs to have certain skills which are the must. Many of you now might have already decided to make a career in this field but still you need an overview of the skills you will need for front end development as it will make your task bit easier.

If you search job requirements of front end developer mostly they ask for HTML, CSS and JavaScript but at some places you can also read about version control, preprocessing platforms, frameworks and more. Therefore, to make you familiar to all of the required skills of front end developer, here is the essential skills every front end developer should possess.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS OF FRONT END DEVELOPERS

HTML AND CSS

All of the job requirements of front end developer for the work of Front End Development require proficiency in these languages. It is a must. HTML is the standard markup language used to create web pages. A markup languages enable you to write code for a digital document or web page which is different from a regular text. It is the most basic building block you will need for developing websites of any kind. CSS is the language used to present the document you create with HTML so that it is readable and attractive. HTML is responsible for creating the foundation for your pages while CSS has the next job and it is used to create the page’s color, fonts, layout and the style. As we said both of these languages are essential to become a front end developer and without the knowledge of these, no developer can become a front end developer. It is as simple as that.

JAVASCRIPT

Next most important technology for a front end developer is JavaScript or JS. HTML and CSS are markup and style sheet language respectively while JS is the first proper programming language which the front end developer has to master. HTML and CSS work for the presentation of the page whereas JS works for its logic and function. Although there are many simple websites out there on internet for which HTML and CSS are enough but also there are so many functional websites which have interactive features like audio and videos, games, pages animations, scrolling abilities – for which JavaScript is used to implement these.

JQUERY

jQuery is basically a JavaScript library i.e. a collection of plugins and extensions which makes the development work with JavaScript much faster and easier. If you use jQuery, then you don’t need to code everything from scratch as jQuery enables a front end developer to add ready-made elements to projects and you can customize them as required. jQuery helps in doing common tasks which require many lines of code and compresses them into a format that can be executed with a single line of code. Front end developers can also use jQuery for things like autocompletion of the search form, countdown timers, automatically rearranging and resizing grid layouts in the websites. Use of jQuery saves lots of time of the developers.

FRONT END FRAMEWORKS

The most popular front end framework is Bootstrap which you must have heard of. CSS and front end frameworks also work similar to how JS Framework work for JavaScript i.e. they give you a ready-made code from where you can start coding. Hence they can save lots of the time of the front end developers. As most of the CSS starts with the same elements from project to project, a framework which defines all of these for you at the start is highly useful. Most of the front end developer job listings want you to be expert in how these frameworks work and how you can use them in your project.

JAVASCRIPT FRAMEWORKS

There are many JavaScript frameworks available in the market like Angular, ReactJS, Backbone and Ember. They provide a ready-made structure to your JavaScript code. There are many types of frameworks for different kind of requirements and the four mentioned above are the most famous and most sought after by most of the employers.  These frameworks speed up the development by providing you lots of useful code from where you can start coding. They can also be used with libraries like jQuery to minimize your coding efforts.

KNOWLEDGE OF CSS PREPROCESSING

Knowledge of CSS Preprocessing is highly useful for the front end developer while developing a website. Although CSS has many benefits but it also has limitations and one of them is that you have to write similar lines of code so many times for the whole website. Hence when your project grows in scale and code base, keeping in mind that in CSS you can’t define variables, functions or perform arithmetic operations, you will find yourself wasting lots of your time in writing repetitive code to make changes. Similar to CSS and JS frameworks, CSS preprocessing is another thing which can make life of a front end developer much easier. Using a CSS preprocessor like Stylus, Sass, LESS, you will be able to write code in the preprocessor’s language. The preprocessor then converts that code into CSS and it will work on your whole website. For example, assume you want to change the shade of a color you are using across your website. With a CSS preprocessor, you will only have to change the hex value at one place only instead of changing the hex values on all the CSS pages of the site.

Related:-What is the Customer Experience Journey

KNOWLEDGE OF RESTFUL SERVICES AND APIS

REST stands for Representational State Transfer. Actually it is a lightweight architecture which simplifies network communication on the web and internet and RESTful services and APIs are those web services which adhere to REST architecture. You should read about REST and RESTful services in more detail if you want to become an expert front end developer. Take an example, say you want to write an application which shows you all of your social media friends in the order as you became friends with them. You can make calls to Facebook’s RESTful API to read your friend list and return that data. You can do same thing with Twitter which also uses RESTful APIs. Actually the process for any service that uses RESTful APIs is the same and only the data returned will be different. The front end developers should become expert in using these. There are simple guidelines and practices to use them and you can learn how to communicate with a web service. They also make a web service to perform better, work more reliably, be easier to edit/modify and scale better and easier.

RESPONSIVE DESIGN AND MOBILE DESIGN

The days of only desktop and laptop PCs being used for viewing websites are gone. Now more than half of the internet traffic originates through mobile devices and smartphones. That means most of the people now use phones and tablets and rest use computers to look at the web pages. Have you ever thought how these pages adjust themselves to the device you are using without you doing anything at your end? This is where responsive design comes into picture. A front end developers have to fully understand the responsive design principles and how to implement them while coding for the website. One good thing about responsive design is that it is an integral part of CSS frameworks like Bootstrap. All of these skills are interconnected and you will learn them quickly when you start with any one of them while doing front end development.

KNOWLEDGE OF CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AND E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS

Nowadays most of the websites which are built use content management system i.e. CMS. Large number of them also use E-commerce platforms and they sell their products and services through the site. The most popular CMS right now in the world is no doubt WordPress which is behind the millions of successful websites. Reports says that more than 30% of all the websites on internet have been built using WordPress alone and almost 60% of websites that use a CMS prefer to use WordPress only. Some of the other most popular CMSs are Drupal, Joomla and Magento. Magento is basically a most popular E-commerce platform along with Shopify and OpenCart. Although you don’t need to go very deep into WordPress and these other CMS but knowing bit about these will give you a niche and you will be preferred by the companies who are using these or planning to use these CMS into their websites.

VERSION CONTROL SYSTEMS – GIT

Assume you have done all the work of marking up with HTML, Styling with CSS and programming with JS. In this process you must have gone through a number of revisions in your development and software code. Now if something goes wrong along the way, you will have to start all over from the beginning. Therefore, here comes the Version control software into the picture. Version control is the process of tracking and controlling changes to your source code hence this kind of problem will not happen with you. Git is an open source Version Control Software recently bought by Microsoft. It is a tool you can use to track those changes so that you can go back to any previous version of your work and find out easily what went wrong without undoing the whole thing from the start. The working knowledge of Git – Version control software is a skill which most of the employers want to have in their front end developers or even in other developers.

TESTING AND DEBUGGING

Any developer even a front end developer can do mistakes. Hence bugs can come in the code they write. Therefore, having knowledge and experience in testing and debugging processes is very important for a front end developer. There are different testing methods for web development. Like Functional testing looks at the functional aspect of your website like a database and makes sure it does everything which you have coded it to do. It is also called UI testing, acceptance testing, browser testing or functional testing where you check to make sure that the website behaves and works as it should be when a user is taking actions on the website. You can write tests which will look for outcomes like particular HTML code on a page after an action is taken for example making sure that if a user forgets to fill out the essential fields in a form, error message pops up for the user. Unit testing is the process of testing individual or small blocks of source code and unit testing frameworks provide a specific method and structure for doing so. For each programming language they are different.
Debugging process is very important as it takes all the bugs and errors which testing uncovers, analyzes them to find out why and how they are happening and finally fixing them. Testing and debugging processes are implemented differently in different organizations but if you have worked on it somewhere then you can easily adapt to it at other place. Hence front end developer should have working knowledge of testing and debugging processes.

Related:-The need for consumer insights in content marketing

PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS

Good front end developers should have excellent problem solving skills whatever the job descriptions say. The have to use them number of times while writing code for the website. For example, they need the creative problem solving skills while figuring out how to best implement a design, how to fix bugs that come, how to figure out how to make your front end code work with the backend code and in most of their development and coding tasks. Hence front end developers should have great problem solving skills. For example, you have created a perfectly working website front end and you hand it over to the back end developers so that they can integrate it with the CMS of the website. Imagine, somehow many of your amazing features stop working. A top front end developer will view this as a problem which has to be solved rather than a thing to be highly disappointed about. Although an experienced front end developer will anticipate these bugs early and will try to avoid them in the first place itself so that he doesn’t need to spend time on resolving them afterwards.

BROWSER DEVELOPER TOOLS

Most of the users will access your website through a web browser. Hence how these web browsers render your website will decide whether your website will be a success or not. Most of the modern web browsers come equipped with developer tools. These tools allow developers to test and fine tune the site pages in the browser itself i.e. in ways specific to how the browser interprets your source code. Things may vary from browser to browser but browser developer tools normally have an inspector and a JavaScript console. The inspector allows you to see what the runtime HTML on your page looks like, how CSS is behaving with each element on the page and also allows you to edit your HTML and CSS and see the changes fully live as they occur. This JS console allows you to view all of the errors and bugs that occur when the browser tries to execute the JavaScript code. Therefore, it is desirable for front end developers to have the working knowledge of browser develop tools.

KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO WORK IN COMMAND LINE

Nowadays, almost all applications or software that come to the market have Graphic User Interface i.e. GUI as no one wants to type lines of difficult commands onto a black screen in order to get the things done. It is more easier to point and click on a white background screen having interactive menu. Even in the field of website development, GUI are highly preferred. But an all-purpose GUI may have some limitations for some specific applications. There can be times when you would need to open a terminal on your computer where you have to enter commands to get things done. There is a difference when your computer is giving results which are available on the surface and when you get what you need by digging in with specific commands. Although most of your front end development work you can do using GUIs but you will be highly preferred and sought after if your front end development skills also have a mastery of how to use command line.

How To Hire A Right Dedicated Development Team

Planning to develop a mobile app? If yes, Team then the next question clicks to your mind is, whether you should hire a freelancer, offshore dedicated development team(DDT), or go for an in-house development team for your next app development project.Team

Well deciding between these three options can be a serious concern for every business whether they are a starter or an entrepreneur. However, outsourcing the best mobile app development company can be an expensive choice but the unmatched product quality can easily cover up the initial cost.
If you are still in doubt whether you should outsource your app development needs to a dedicated development team, then you need to know about these benefits of collaborating with app development companies.

WHAT BUSINESSES CAN EXPECT WHILE HIRING OFFSHORE DDT MODEL?

Dedicated offshore development services come with great advantages. Still, we will take a deeper look to understand why enterprises and startups should choose the DDT model.

Strong Back of Skilled Engineers: Reputed software development companies are backed by a highly-skilled, experienced, and certified team of developers holding the ability to develop business-growing applications and bridging a gap between your goals and success.

Cost-Efficient Solution: The biggest benefit of outsourcing the app development services is you can easily save a cost in terms of infrastructure and overhead expenses that are usually associated with the in-house development team. Moreover, the average cost of working with an in-house development team is approx $70 per hour whereas the average cost to hire app developer is approx 35 dollars per hour. You may find the vendor that isn’t that cheaper, but they sure do offer the efficiency that you couldn’t expect from your in-house team.

Increase Your Focus: Handing the development work to the external app development company can increase your ability to focus on core strategies and services.

Reduce the Burden of Recruitment: The DDT team is a pool of professionals that has all the skills that you may be looking for in your development team that fit your company principles best from the shortlist. Collaborating with the professional software development company means hiring the complete development team in a single go. Therefore, it includes minor efforts from your end to set up a team.

Shorter Development Cycle: In contrast to putting an in-house development team in place and explaining your goals, technologies, and methodologies required for the development project, a dedicated development team can easily analyze your project needs and be able to customize the product under a limited timeframe.

Less Management Rick: Since DDTs are expertise in handling multiple projects at the time, therefore they better know how to manage the operating process and remain committed to the delivery deadlines.
Let’s assume that you are ready to hire software developer for your project, after knowing these benefits. However, now the central question is, with 23.9 million software developers all across the world, “how will you decide the best DDT team for your project needs”?

HERE ARE THE PRINCIPLES OF HIRING THE DEDICATED DEVELOPMENT TEAM FOR THE PROJECT:

  • What Exactly is DDT Model and What is DDT Made Up Of?
  • Step-By-Step Guide to Hire a Team of Developers
  • Where to Hire Best Mobile App Developers?
  • Final Thought

LET’S GET INTO THE DEEP TO UNDERSTAND EACH PARAMETER IN DETAIL

WHAT IS DDT MODEL AND WHAT IS IT MADE UP OF?

These days software outsourcing has become a very common solution, but sometimes you need to hire a team that dedicatedly works on your project and takes care of everything right from planning to the final launch of the project. DDT models refer to the team of dedicated programmers and experts that can handle the complexity of the project and are able to manage it flawlessly. Businesses can get a competitive edge by hiring dedicated teams as they can develop, test, and deploy solutions by leveraging their dedicated infrastructures and core teams.

Related:-What are the benefits of Agile web app development?

LET’S UNDERSTAND WHAT EXACTLY DDT MODEL COMPRISE OF

Project Manager: The main coordinator of your project who will take care of your project requirements and get it executed through the development team you hire. In addition, you won’t be required to explain your requirements to the developers individually as the project coordinator is there to handle everything right from executing your project requirements to providing project progress reports.

Dedicated Developers: The actual driving force of your development team. They basically include front-end, back-end, and full-tech stack developers who will turn your app design into practical products through coding.

QA Engineers: Launching your app without testing or final quality check is the biggest mistake that most businesses make. That’s where an app tester deeply analyses and checks your product to identify bugs and make it fixed before it is launched.

UX/UI Designers: App design is an important factor, therefore, these experts deeply analyze your business requirement, understand your targeted audience, and then create User Interface (UI) of the app. The UX/UI designers make sure your product is visually attractive and appealing that can easily attract the attention of the users and also simple to navigate.

BASIC WORKING PRINCIPLES OF DEDICATED DEVELOPMENT TEAM

The dedicated development teams are working on such principles that they strictly adhere to, which includes:

  • Sign an NDA closure with clients to ensure project security.
  • Inspecting project progress reports monthly and integrates the best methodologies to drive excellent project results.
  • Building a strong client relationship is the simple success mantra of DDT models, therefore, they make sure to have facetime with clients through skype or get connected with them through chats to avoid a communication gap.
  • Establish proper communication procedures with clients and provide weekly project progress reports.
  • Provide a typical explanation of the specific project to guide clients what exactly goes best for the project and company.
  • Explain specific metrics and measures of the project to provide a clear picture of project development.

UNDERSTANDING THE DDT HIRE MODEL: A COMPLETE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Hiring the team of mobile app developers is similar to hiring an employee for your organization. Usually it includes 4 simple steps to get partnered with the dedicated development team. Let’s get started with the step-by-step guide:

STEP 1: ANALYZE YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS AND GOALS

What exactly are you expecting from the development team? To find the right group of experts, you must know what exactly your software development project needs…

To make your hiring process simple and straightforward, it is worth to take out some time to understand your project requirements and outline these few things before you get started with the DDT model:

  • What are you trying to achieve through this development project?
  • What are your business and tech stack requirements?
  • How much you can spend on the development project?
  • What level of skills and expertise are you looking for in the development team?

STEP 2: VERIFY VENDOR’S EXPERIENCE, PORTFOLIO, AND REPUTATION

The next step is to dig deep and check the background of the outsourcing company to determine how closely they fit your project needs or business requirements. You are advised to pay attention to the number of projects, types of services, geolocation and domain of clients, expertise in tech stack, and company size.

Moreover, you can check how trained or experienced they are in handling specifically your type of project and how the entire development project is managed. Also check whether the vendor is providing additional services including business support, business analysis, or marketing analysis.

Related:-Free E-commerce Websites for Start ups

STEP 3: ASSURING PROJECT SECURITY AND QUALITY

Outsourcing your project development needs to the DDT is the biggest decision as you need to share important information with the vendor. This is why it is crucial to check what measures they take to keep your business info secure and safe with their team and how smooth their communication process will be.

To check this, firstly make sure that the app development company must sign an NDA form with you to ensure project security. Secondly, they must have a dedicated infrastructure where the entire process, right from software coding to testing will be done in-house only.

Further, for project quality and transparency, you can ask these further questions:

  • Will their team be available in different time zones?
  • What tech stacks and programming language team will use?
  • What communication channels and tools will you use for further communication?
  • Who will be responsible for project handling or providing progress reports?

STEP 4: ASK FOR THE PROJECT ESTIMATION

If there is one thing that we all are majorly concerned about is its development cost and time. Considering the fact that the app development project takes time and expensive investment, still everyone is curious to know whether it fits their budget and timeframe.

In addition, the success of the project is not just depending upon the vendor and its development team, but also on the various factors including working flexibility on the project, fair estimation, process, streamline development phases and their timelines, etc.

ADDITIONAL ASPECTS OF HIRING THE DDT MODEL

Outsourcing the developers is one thing but hiring the DDT model involves some legal aspects to maintain the proper security and transparency of the project. They are the following:

    • Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): While working with the dedicated team, sometimes you need to provide them sensitive internal information of your businesses, but signing an NDA form can ensure you that your information will remain confidential with the vendor.
    • Statement of Work (SOW): This legal document will clearly specify the complete workflow of the project including its deliveries, development schedules, quality standards, and other terms and conditions of the project.
    • Master Services Agreement (MSA): MSA defines the mutual settlement of clients with vendors in terms of payment, product rights, and dispute resolution. It is important to sign while starting working with the DDT model as it states that you hold the copyright to all the work done by the team of external software development companies.

Web Designers Guide to Build your Professional Website

Are you getting involved in professional web design? Good, you have made the right decision. You are giving users more reasons to engage with you. But wait… do you know how to make the best professional website? Either, you will hire a website designing agency to do that, or you will do it on your own. However, there are some significant things that you have to consider while designing the website.  Website design plays an important role in engaging more customers to your website.  It gives them the reasons to stay longer. But, if you fail to introduce the best aspects, then get ready to face a higher bounce rate.

professional

If your webpage is taking ages to load and is not showing correctly to the customers, then surely, they will move to another website. So, all your efforts and money is wasted.

First of all, understand that it is not apparent that if you know the technical aspects, then you can design the website. If you only include the interesting design and high-quality content, then you cannot get productive results.  It is important to add the style that matches the expectations of the users with the functionality, which is easily understandable.

You must have heard that “Beauty lies in the eye of the mouse-holder”. It is understandable that distinctive users prefer several styles, but it does not imply there are no tricks that you should consider while choosing the website appearance.

So, if you have an urge that the users find you on Google, then now is the time to convert your visitors to customers.

But how will you do that? And how will you ensure that whatever you are doing is right?

Related:-How to Create the Ultimate Digital Marketing Team

We are here to give you the guide that can help you to build a professional website perfectly.  But, before diving into the core of the fundamental elements of professional website designing, spare some time to know the statistics to understand how the industry is evolving.

  • 48% of users indicated that the website’s design is the basic factor in determining the reliability of a business.
  • 94% are those who say that bad design is the principal reason do not prefer some websites.
  • 38% of the customers are not revisiting the website if the photos are taking much time to load, and the content is lengthy.
  • It has been examined that if the website loading speed is cut down from 8 seconds to 2 seconds, then the conversion rate will be improved by 74%.

Nevertheless, take a look below to know how better professional designing can enhance your brand visibility.

  • Customised uniquely

The experts of the website designing agency know how to make a website that reflects the aim of your business.

  • Make you stand out

With fewer errors and breakdowns, your professional website can be accessed on several devices and browsers.

  • Less loading time

Users prefer the website that takes less than 2 seconds to load. They love to stay there longer, and therefore, you can get more clicks. And, they make their decision in 0.05 seconds approximately.

  • Establishes your brand

The professional website is highly beneficial in building the brand.  Practicing this, you will gain the customer’s trust.

  • Make sure you are noticed

The website can help you touch the sky.  You are now keeping the competition high.

Ideas for designing a professional website

Gather and structure the website content

The website developer and the designers will not assist you in writing the content of the page on the website and in taking the photos of the products you are selling.  You are solely responsible for gathering the content and for finalising the final structure of your website. When it is about the structure, you have to include some important elements, such as:

  • Homepage
  • Blog
  • About page and/or contact page
  • Individual product pages
  • Product directory
  • Terms and conditions
  • Landing pages/marketing pages for promotions
  • Gallery

The elements mentioned above require important information, such as, each page should have the right content and different design.  Here, in this stage, you do not need the exact content; all you need to do it to make an idea that which content you will add in the website. And, make the appropriate plan accordingly.

Do you have the time to write copy, or do you need to hire someone to get it done? Will you hire some photographer for the photos?

Do you know that you need to store the custom images such as team and logo photos? Here, the web designer can only help you out in giving the sources you want.

Colour contrast optimisation

The element that defines how appropriately you are distinguishing the colors of the design elements from each other is color contrast.

To measure, you can go with the ratio aspect and should include only the minimum one. Consider that the different design elements are fulfilling the least color ratio, as mentioned by Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Here, it is not only improving the readability of the visually impaired users but is also improving it for those who are not visually- impaired.

This is how basic designing is done with virtually zero effort. But how one came to know about the minimum requirement? Primarily, the color contrast analysers such as Stark were used for measuring the color contrast ratio.  Though, the minimum ratio relies on the element, that is, the qestion is whether it is a vital user interface element or not? Like, form field, or icon, an element is textual.

Is the font size large or small?

As a user, we know that larger fonts become more readable than the short one. There is no need to zoom in, zoom out, the font.  For your convenience, we have taken a color contrast ratio requirements from WCAG for text on the background.

  • 14pt bold or 18pt normal: 4.5:1 (7:1 is better)
  • 14pt bold or 18pt normal, and above: 3:1 (4.5:1 is better)

Use One-Click Installs

Installing any Content Management System (CMS) is an outdated thing. Though, it is simple but takes longer. Several web hosts nowadays are using the one-click installs to do all the work. Usually,  this feature is integrated into the hosting account control panel.

The whole process is painless and quick. Just fill in the required details with the information, like, website title and the login information. The server will manage the whole stuff from here.  You do not need to get the configuration file and build a database.

Related:-Game-Changing Email Marketing Strategies

Grasp the information of CMS

We all know that CMS is a web application and database. Basically, it permits the users to upload the content to visit the varied website parts.

If you are not familiar with how to change or edit the photos, text on the website, then you surely need a content management system.

The web world has many CMS, several incredible options like WordPress (for blogging), Magento, and Shopify (for hosting an eCommerce website), etc.  However, if you are in need of advanced functionality, then you should get it customized.

Keep visual hierarchy intact

With an evolution in technology, smartphones, a computer screen shows the required information with the best internet connection. The designer’s responsibility is to manage the content effectively. It only takes some seconds to make customer’s engaged and showing what your website is all about.

If you got succeeded in establishing a transparent representation of your information, then surely, you will get the best footfall. Apply size, contrast, spacing, and color for more accentuation, and define your consciousness while finalizing your website design.

Rectifying the mistakes

Usually, the mistakes make the users confused particularly when they do not have any idea what it is showing and how to get rid of it. Mistakes cannot be avoided, mainly when it is about the modern-day user. They want to get engaged with UI’s that define their mental model. When it fails, to do so, errors occur.

The typical mistake is one when the user fills the forms and, generally, being weak; they fill in the incorrect data.

If the errors are getting fixed programmatically, then there would not be any errors.  You can consider an example of integrating https:// to the URL submission if not integrated before and making the user get it done by themselves.

Find out the below tips for error reduction:

  • Use form labels always for defining the input fields
  • Use placeholders for displaying an example of acceptable input
  • Allow autocomplete and autofill to overcome typing error

Always:

  • Show the form errors simply in realtime
  • Verification from the use is necessary before submission

Assure website easy navigation

The website with reliable navigation assists the search engine to index your content by enhancing the user experience. It is advisable to link the logo to the homepage. Generally, the users are used to visit the home page again and again to get a brief. If you have not done it yet, then do it now. There are many tools that can be used to link.

The menu also plays an important role. It has to be at the top of the website. And, should be structured as per their importance.  Try to include vertical navigation. If your website has more content, then it is advisable to use the anchor menu. Just in one click, the user can navigate to the top and down or bottom or straight to the particular section of the website.

Working on the footer and keeping the critical content on the top will also work. Assure that the visitors must get what your professional website is all about without scrolling.

Secure the functionality you need

What actually the customers are looking for while spending time on your site? Are they need relevant information about your company, like phone numbers, company addresses, and opening hours? Do they only want to buy your products and services? Are your blogs and articles making them interested? Or might they know about your offers and discounts?

Only your functionality needs can give answers to these queries and can develop your website accordingly. This planning strategy will leave a significant impact on your budget constraints. So, you will need to resolve the various norms in order to get adequate results.

Be mobile-friendly

Advancement in mobile technology makes everything simple, right? So, where should we have to be focused so they can scroll the website pages down? Some logo makers develop a mobile-friendly version of the site so that you can stand out among this competitive mobile world. Hence, give a second thought to every aspect and check out every page, including call-to-action-buttons and other components.

What Makes a Great Website? 6 Web Design Trends

Web design trends are ever-changing, evolving and adapting to the latest user behaviors. Each year, marketers learn a little bit more about how to design remarkable, highly functional websites that service different types of businesses and organizations.

As new technology emerges and user behaviors change, marketers are forced to find new and better ways to deliver the best possible user experience. As more data becomes available through advanced analytics and marketing automation processes, predicting customer behavior becomes easier, and designing personalized and intuitive user experiences becomes an expectation.

Web Design

Your website is no longer a URL at which you park the existence of your online business. It’s often the first and most powerful presentation of your business – who you are as a company, what you offer, and why your products and services are better than all the rest.

Last year, we posted the blog, “What Makes a Great Website? 10 Website Trends for 2016“.  In this year’s edition, you will see a mix of old and new web design trends for 2017. New trends are emerging all the time, and some of the existing trends are becoming further refined. Whether you’re ready to invest in a complete website redesign, or you’re simply wondering what makes a great website, this list should definitely get the wheels turning.

2017 WEB DESIGN TRENDS

1. VIRTUAL REALITY AND 360-DEGREE VIDEO

The importance of video marketing in today’s day and age is critical and the demand for video content is on the rise.  One of the hottest trends in video marketing today is virtual reality and 360-degree videos, so why not integrate it into your website? More and more companies have been incorporating it into their everyday marketing, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a commonplace (see what we did there?) in website design across the board.

Although virtual reality and 360-degree video are similar, let’s explore the differences between the two. VR, or virtual reality, requires the use of headsets, and provides an immersive experience which the user can control. A 360-degree video experience can be viewed on any device, without the use of headsets, and is typically controlled by the creator of the video. In 360-degree video, the user sits back and enjoys the experience, where with VR, the user controls the experience.

In either case, presenting website visitors with powerful introductory experiences is bound to take flight in 2017.

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2. HIGH QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY

While stock photography certainly serves a purpose in a variety of situations, viewers prefer genuine, high quality photos to the overused image of people in business suits shaking hands. If you aren’t investing in quality photography for the majority of the images displayed throughout your website, your website may suffer in the long run.

Research indicates that photos that include real people can actually increase your conversion rates. While perfectly staged photos may seem intuitively more professional than candid photos, it’s important to remember that your audience is made up of real people who can relate to real images. By telling your brand story with genuine and high quality photography, your messaging will have a more powerful reach.

3. EXTREME MINIMALISM

In 2016, minimalistic web design grew significantly in popularity. This year, the trend has evolved even further, into an even simpler design philosophy. Beyond just being concise and straightforward with all aspects of your web design, extreme minimalism (also referred to as ultra-minimal) is the idea of using the least amount of everything possible, while still conveying a powerful message.

Depending on your industry and business type, this design trend may or may not work for your audience. It’s definitely worth taking a look at how others are using it before making a decision. For example, this site by designer Mathieu Boulet is as minimalistic as they come. Whether or not it’s your cup of tea, it certainly makes a bold statement.

4. MIXING TEXT DIRECTIONS

Who said text always has to go from left-to-right? What about top-to-bottom? Who says spacing has to be left-justified or centered all the time?  If you’re looking to catch your viewers’ eyes and make them notice what you have to say, this design trend provides a unique way to display your company’s message.

It may not work throughout your entire site, as it could become frustrating to the reader to constantly be tilting their head. However, it’s definitely a powerful way to introduce yourself to your audience.

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5. BRANDED ILLUSTRATIONS

While the use of unique illustrations to reflect your brand’s individual personality and tone is nothing new, it has recently become a more popular design trend. By using cartoon-like illustrations across your site, you can make the viewing experience a little more fun for your audience.

It’s important, however, to ensure that the illustrations are relevant and appropriate to your subject matter, and don’t take away from the professionalism of your site. If you can figure out how to use branded illustrations well, they may help to increase your brand reach and attract a broader audience.

6. MODULAR WEB DESIGN

Similar to Pinterest’s card design layout, modular web design takes it a step further by using blocks of different sizes that are purposefully positioned for the viewer. Each block may contain a set amount of text, an image (or multiple), or both.

By combining the use of distinct brand colors, simple blocks and concise messaging, modular design allows for an effective way to organize your website that is easy for users to view and digest. Here are two great examples of websites built using modular design: Swiss Watch Manufacturer, Corum and Native Shoes.

Not every web design technique is right for every type of business. It’s important to consider what design will resonate best with your audience, as well as what design will have the appropriate functionality based on your business needs and challenges. Knowing whether you should invest in a website redesign to better meet customer needs is a step in the right direction, no matter which trend you choose.

5 Tips for Designing Better Landing Pages

Landing pages are truly one of the most essential components to an effective marketing campaign. Whether you want to generate leads, sell products, or collect data, a well-designed landing page is the way to get there. However, according to an article by Neil Patel on CrazyEgg.com, “The best landing pages convert at rates of up to 27.4 percent. However, the median ranges fall much lower, with most industries experiencing between 2 and 6 percent conversion rates.”Landing

So, what’s keeping most industries from reaching higher percentage rates? And how can you ensure that your business gets the highest possible conversion rates from your landing pages?

When a visitor clicks on an ad or a call to action as part of a campaign, the page they are directed to is called a landing page. The landing page should be thoughtfully written and well-designed, with a goal of inspiring visitors to take a desired action – such as purchasing a product or service, signing up for an e-newsletter, or downloading an eBook.

There are 5 key elements to focus on when designing a landing page for success, and we’ve got some tips for making each of these components as impactful as possible:

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CREATE AN ATTENTION-GRABBING HEADLINE.

Good headlines can be tricky to write, as they need to be informative, but also concise, while at the same time powerful enough to capture your visitors’ attention. Remember; your headline will be the first thing your visitors see when they land on your page, so it must be bold, clear, and of course, relevant.

You may also want to include a subheading to further clarify what your landing page is all about. Whether you want to be clever or to the point is up to you; just make sure to summarize your offer in as few words as possible.

INCLUDE COMPELLING IMAGES AND/OR VIDEOS

Adding images, videos, and other graphics to your landing page a is a simple way to get more visitors to convert. Be sure to use images that are relevant to your visitors, and ones that help convey what your product offers. A well-thought-out image can connect with your visitors on an emotional level, making them much more likely to convert.

Whether it’s the cover of your e-book, a screen shot of your app, or a photo of someone reading your tutorial, including a preview of your product is a great way to entice your visitors. What better way to build trust than by putting your product at the front and center? Be proud of your work; show it off!

What’s even better than imagery? A video. According to UnBounce.com, videos “have been shown to improve conversion by up to 80%.” Have a mini-video of your app in action? Add it to your landing page for even better results. A compelling video may not even need to include sound, since many users watch videos in silence.

KEEP COPY CLEAR AND CONCISE, WITH A SIMPLE DESIGN 

The recurring theme for successful landing pages is to keep them simple, and this absolutely goes for your copy as well. Make sure you are expressing a single purpose and focused message by removing any irrelevant content. If it doesn’t have to do with the specific product you are promoting – nix it!

Your copy should explain your product in a comprehensive but simple way. And whenever possible, use bullet points rather than paragraphs to list your value statements – this will greatly enhance readability.

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INCLUDE A STRONG CALL-TO-ACTION

Your call-to-action or “CTA” button is the most important part of your page. It’s the last step your visitors need to take before they convert, so it’s important to make it impossible for them to resist.  Use contrasting colors so that the message really stands out. Using directional cues pointing at the CTA isn’t a bad idea either, since people will look where you tell them to.

When it comes to writing copy that converts, it’s important to be clear and specific with your CTA. Gone are the days of the boring “submit” button. Remind buyers exactly what they are getting when they click your call-to-action button.

For example, “Download Your Free Guide Now” is much more enticing (and explanatory) than “Sign Up Now”.

The latter may leave visitors wondering what they are signing up for, or worse, could turn them away from your offer altogether.

*TIP: Remember to place at least one of your call-to-actions above the fold, so your visitors don’t have to scroll down to find it. This is an especially important now that more and more consumers are signing up for things on their smartphones.

KEEP CONVERSION FORMS SIMPLE

The conversion form is where you’ll be gathering your visitor’s information that converts them into leads. Typically, visitors want to fill out as a little information as possible, for both time and privacy purposes, so don’t scare them away with an intimidating form.

But keep in mind, the length of your form may result in a tradeoff between quantity and quality of leads.

While more people may be willing to fill out a shorter form due to its simplicity and convenience, you may not get the right leads. In some cases, longer forms lead to a higher quality of leads. If visitors are willing to provide more information from the start, they are likely already more invested.

Whether your form is short or on the longer side, it’s important to know what your goals are ahead of time and create your form accordingly.

Emerging survey research trends in the times of COVID-19

research The current pandemic has not only disrupted routine lives across the globe but has also disarrayed operations for industries across sectors. As economies grapple with repercussions from sudden shifts in workspaces, technology, and unprecedented job cuts; each industry is now assessing the ‘new normal’ and how best to tackle these developments.

research

In market research, primary surveys to collect quality first-hand data are now being conducted via virtual platforms. This, in turn, is creating a host of new dependencies like device availability and internet accessibility. With face-to-face interviews out of the equation, research companies and industry analysts are evaluating alternatives that are here to stay. With the research community aiming to evolve and adapt to these times, here are some key emerging trends in survey research.

Digital meeting space

As the ‘Great Lockdown’ continues, workspaces become remote, mobile, and digital. What has now emerged as the ‘digital meeting space’ comes with its own set of pros and cons. For field researchers, this implies working outside the traditional primary methodologies of face-to-face interviews. The new digital mode resides in an individual’s personal space, thereby providing the comfort of familiar surroundings while nullifying commute time and proving undoubtedly more cost-effective. However, this sees a heavy dependence on good internet bandwidth that might result in several respondents dropping out. This could affect the quality and effectiveness of the data collected.

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Cost-effective solutions

Given the pandemic, digital operations undoubtedly prove to be more cost-optimized than traditional setups. As CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) operations are decentralized and involve manual data entries, the RDD (Random Digit Dialling) should be re-weighted and reduced to smaller sample sets to avoid the potential data loss, additional costs, and the possibility of rendering the survey futile.

With mobile phones seeing maximum reach, a well-crafted and thought out IVR (Interactive Voice Responses), and tailored SMS surveys present a smart alternative. To generate quality responses, researchers will do well if they pay close attention to the wording, simplicity of language, and ensure socioeconomic inclusivity, especially in developing countries within Asia and Africa.

The purpose and relevance of interviews

In these trying times, researchers will need to re-evaluate the necessity and relevance of their survey’s subject matter. With social distancing the new norm, ESOMAR in its statement, advises surveys to be restricted to essential and relevant topics. This does not mean that researchers should stop their fieldwork entirely, rather it highlights the need to augment surveys to be more time-sensitive and topical. Surveys that employ shorter questionnaires spanning 15 minutes and similar time-bound interviews will see better responses.

Response rate

This is one of the top concerns on the minds of most researchers. With greater awareness about the current crisis and its impact, findings show that questionnaires centered on the pandemic evoke greater responses as opposed to routine subjects. Even though mobiles-users form a majority of the global population, the survey’s reach is restricted to demographics with Internet accessibility and a social media presence. Moreover, several factors such as usage frequency, answering probability, and the respondent’s literacy level remain uncertain.

Surveys are most effective when questions are short, simple, and relevant to the respondent and the topic being assessed. With the lockdown bestowing more free time to respondents, well-designed surveys that are targeted to the right audience posing the right kind of questions, help achieve higher response rates.

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Maintaining research quality

Retaining the pre-pandemic standards of research quality enabled by face-to-face interviews seems challenging. To bridge this gap, a mixed-mode of research combining both qualitative and quantitative approaches is gaining momentum. Despite delivery and quality uncertainties, the research community can stay relevant by constantly evaluating the feasibility of different survey modes and emerging market developments.

The post-pandemic world is sure to see global companies across sectors armed with renewed survey approaches and innovative ways of conducting research. However, setting right the data course of the current pandemic from turning into an ‘infodemic’ is a pressing concern most global communities are currently battling.

Finally, as the current crisis raises physical barriers, virtual barriers are only breaking down further. As survey research transforms with digital as a leading enabler, the future will belong to those who can discern its use and exploit its benefits. With concerns for cost-effectiveness, response quality, and effectiveness of surveys, researchers and organizations will be well served to evaluate the current trends and emerging technologies that mitigate these challenges.

A Beginner’s Guide: POC vs. MVP vs. Prototype

Many companies struggle to decide whether creating a proof of concept (POC), prototype, minimum viable product, or a combination is the right way to approach mobile app development. Understanding and carrying out these three methods of mobile product validation properly can significantly improve the chances of winning investor buy-in and acquiring funding, reducing project costs, as well as establishing longevity in the mobile app market. Prototype

The first step in the mobile app development process is to understand what you’re building. All three methods of product validation set a mobile app up for success by challenging assumptions, revealing user needs, and defining an explicit direction for product growth. With a proper validation strategy, you can be sure the proposal you take to investors and stakeholders makes a strong business case with several clear return on investment (ROI) opportunities.

TL;DR 

Mobile App Prototype

Implementation: Mobile app prototyping is a form of user research to validate the strategic design direction of a product. A prototype is a preliminary visualization of a working product. Prototypes build an understanding of the mobile app’s look and feel, which helps test how customers use and react to the overall user experience (UX) design. Using a prototype for usability testing gives you enough time to make changes to critical design issues before the product reaches development and it’s too late (and too expensive) to make major changes to the UX.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) 

Implementation: A mobile app MVP is a minimal and usable form of your complete product to release and test in the app market. The MVP development method allows your team to learn how the product’s target users experience and respond to the app’s core business purpose. Using the insight and learnings from real users, you can allocate your time, effort and budget to areas that best satisfy your overall business objectives. Building an MVP is an iterative process designed to identify user pain points and determine the proper functionality to address those needs over time.

What is a POC? 

A mobile app POC is typically a small, internal validation project. The POC approach to product validation is about demonstrating functionality and verifying whether a particular idea is feasible for development. Using a POC is also an excellent method for sharing knowledge internally about a product’s core functionality. Decisions about usability and UX are not considered for a POC because mapping our UX is not only time-consuming, but UX design can also interfere with proving viability. A POC will provide a definitive “yes” or “no” answer; either the concept is viable or it’s not. Even if a POC proves that the concept won’t work, it’s possible to find other solutions from the same starting point.

Creating a POC is particularly important if the concept doesn’t exist in the app market, or to differentiate the concept from competitor products. There are certain types of mobile apps that already dominate the app market – messaging apps, for example. Developing an app with heavy competition doesn’t require proof that the idea is feasible, but to build a user base, the product needs to include a unique feature-set to stand apart from similar concepts, which requires a POC.

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What is a Mobile App Prototype? 

While a POC shows a product concept can be done, a mobile app prototype shows how it will be done. There are countless methods for prototyping, but in mobile app development, a prototype typically starts with sketches or a paper interface and evolves into an interactive model that resembles the final product. The purpose of a prototype is to communicate a product’s design and navigation flow to maximize the efficiency of development. Prototyping is a valuable exercise which results in visualization of how the app will function by demonstrating user flows and depicting a working design and layout. Naturally, there will be errors in a prototype, but discovering these errors during the early stages of a project is one of the purposes of a prototype.

Testing a mobile product with a prototype is essential for user-centric design and development. Prototyping is a central part of the design thinking research process and uses rapid iteration to arrive at a product that offers maximum user value. Often the prototyping process will expose new ideas and confirm the best direction to take during development. Developing a prototype is a cyclical activity where product teams continually review and refine the product concept, returning to the beginning of the process several times until the concept meets business objectives and user needs. Overall, the process helps identify and fix problems early on in the project when it’s far less expensive to make changes.

What are the Benefits of Mobile App Prototyping? 

There are many benefits of working with an interactive model before reaching the final product. Mobile app prototyping keeps the user at the forefront of the design process and involves stakeholders when exploring new ideas for development.

Let’s go over a few of the benefits in more detail.

Exploring New Ideas and Identifying Product Improvements

Mobile app prototyping validates an early concept and provides opportunities for the exploration of new ideas early on in the development process. During the prototyping phase of the design thinking process, user testing can help identify possible improvements to make before the product is complete. A prototype is the product foundation that is continually improved until the mobile app meets business goals and is marketable. Testing a mobile app prototype will uncover new ideas and confirm the most profitable direction for the product roadmap.

Cost-Efficiency

Starting a project with a mobile app prototype saves costs in the long run. It’s far less expensive to solve problems at the beginning of the process rather than towards the end.

Consider the image above; if you only start testing on an “almost-finished” product, you run the risk of finding serious issues too late to make changes. Prototype research is the mitigator – you’ll spend less if you do upfront research. The closer you get to launch the more expensive changes are. Conduct prototyping research early and iteratively to ensure the design is easy and enjoyable to use, as well as to align all strategic design decisions to user needs and safeguard the project’s ROI.

Client and Stakeholder Involvement

During the prototyping phase, it’s beneficial to involve the most important stakeholders in the planning process. As much as possible, stakeholders need to have co-ownership of the project’s design ideas and decisions. For example, developers might think a particular design decision is appealing, but the concept is technically difficult and time constraints prevent them from experimenting with alternate solutions. At the same time, other stakeholders might want to implement other components first which align more closely with the long-term strategy of the project. Or maybe the marketing department already did market research on an entirely different set of users. When the most relevant stakeholders are involved in the prototyping phase of a project, it creates a broader perspective and you can be sure you’re making the most efficient use of your time.

To summarize, it’s important to involve stakeholders for several key reasons:

  • Stakeholders can help collect all the information about the project’s strategic direction.
  • Involving stakeholders can help ensure research makes the most impact.
  • Working with the right people establishes support and secures funding for the time and resources for each necessary design iteration.
  • You’ll know you haven’t done the same research twice.

Approaching prototyping collectively helps ensure the final product closely embodies the company’s ideas and features, while ultimately meeting specific project goals. Involving everyone – upper management, product managers, marketing, developers, designers, stakeholders, and clients will help examine problems in greater detail from several perspectives and backgrounds. Encouraging feedback and discussion goes a long way towards creating a product that solves user pain points well.

UX Validation

Creating a mobile product that results in deep user engagement is a difficult task to accomplish. Running a prototype through a user test is one of the most effective ways to validate usability and UX.

According to Localytics, only 32 percent of users continue to use an app after three months and 21 percent of users abandon an app after one use. It’s vital to have a goal that goes beyond the mere number of downloads. Retaining users by providing continual value is an essential goal of UX design and a prototype will test the product’s potential for app engagement, longevity and lifetime value. Again, saving on costs before proceeding with further development.

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What is a Minimum Viable Product? 

Prototypes often influence an MVP and the two work together to create a successful end product. An MVP is a minimal form of your complete product that is tested in the market. This approach to development allows you to learn how your users will react to your product before you waste a lot of money and resources building something no one wants or needs. While prototypes solve problems during the early stages of development, an MVP’s iterative process is designed to identify users’ pain points when the product is actually tested in the market.

The risk of developing more (or less) than you need is why validating your product assumptions with an MVP is so important. Starting with a core feature, learning how users react to that feature and building in accordance with user feedback is essential for determining the appropriate amount of functionality your product needs to acquire and retain users. Over time, the learnings that come from an MVP define your product roadmap and guide the evolution of your app.

An MVP is a version of a product that includes only the features it needs to be marketable. With the MVP process, you can verify the following:

  • Product viability
  • Product assumptions
  • Usability
  • Market demand

MVPs provide immediate value while minimizing development costs. Ultimately, an MVP allows you to build a product with minimal features and iteratively build it out to create a better, more polished product while leveraging user intelligence to make the best decisions possible. With every release version, the product evolves to maximize ROI and move towards a fully mature application.

What are the benefits of a Minimum Viable Product? 

Today’s most successful apps all started as something much simpler than they are today. Apps like Uber, Instagram, and Spotify, for example, are all mature apps; they’re the result of years of development and large amounts of capital. Developing an app of a similar scope requires a lot of time and a large investment.

This is where an MVP comes into play. An MVP provides immediate value, quickly, while minimizing development costs and revealing the most suitable direction for further development.

What an MVP entails can be very subjective, differing from organization to organization based on business needs, industry, and competition. In some verticals, for example, the minimal feature set for an app could be quite complex as it is the industry standard. Nonetheless, there are major benefits to choosing an iterative, agile process over the all or nothing approach to app development.

A Core Set of Functionalities to Test Business Concepts Early On

An MVP allows you to get a version of your product to market early to test your business concept. By offering a core set of features, rather than a full-blown, feature-heavy product, you can test key hypotheses, gather user information and intelligence, go-to-market quickly, and keep costs down.

Cost-Efficiency

As mentioned above, mature products are the result of years of development, with the price tag to match. However, these apps were created iteratively over a longer period of time, and as a result, the cost is spread over time, often with reinvestment of the revenue generated from earlier versions.

Iterative Process Drives Product Evolution

Since an MVP entails going to market with core features and functionalities, it allows you to begin building up a user base to gain insight into what works and what does not. This is vital information as it allows product teams to use data to make decisions on future iterations of the product, including what other features to add, what aspects will increase sales, and exactly where to allocate budget.

Which Method is Best?

These three methods are quick and cost-efficient ways to validate a mobile app idea; however, they have many other added benefits including eliciting new ideas and areas for improvement, client and stakeholder involvement and making sure the entire team is on the same page throughout the project lifecycle. If you want to enhance your product launch and increase the likelihood of success, using one or all of these techniques will help you avoid common product mistakes, from faulty features to a product that has no place in the market altogether. Each method is individually advantageous when used properly whether testing key business concepts early, winning over stakeholders, or validating marketability.

5 Pillars of Effective Data Management Excellence

Management Enterprises today are relying more than ever on having good data with which to work. Critical business decisions, from an organization’s strategic direction to the details of its everyday operations, depend on having information that is accurate, complete, and timely.

Management

However, achieving that level of data excellence doesn’t happen automatically. It is the result of a company actively and effectively managing its data to ensure it meets a high standard of quality.

The Importance of Data Quality

In a recent study by Gartner, responding companies estimated that inadequate data quality control was costing them on average $14.2 million per year. As data management expert Dr. Philip Russom says:

“Failing to ensure high-quality operational data may put many worthwhile business goals for operational excellence at risk.”

When the data a company depends on is inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent, the result is often a pattern of faulty decision making that can ultimately compromise the organization’s ability to remain competitive as market conditions change. On the other hand, when a company effectively manages its data to maintain a high level of quality, better decisions will likely follow. That typically results in significant improvements in productivity, agility, and security, as well as in customer, supplier, and partner relationships.

In addition, regulatory regimes such as the European Union’s GDPR and California’s CCPA impose a legal requirement that companies maintain a degree of data quality sufficient to ensure the integrity and security of records containing personally identifiable information.

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Components of Effective Data Management

How can you manage your data to ensure that it is of the highest quality? Take a brief look at five critical components of an effective data management program.

1. Data Cleansing

Data cleansing is the process by which records that are inaccurate or corrupt are identified and removed. Common sources of such errors include mistakes in data entry, punctuation, or spelling. More generally, data cleansing is used as an umbrella term for the entire process of analyzing and correcting data records to ensure their accuracy, completeness, and consistency.

2. Data Validation

Data validation assesses whether data records are accurate and complete. Checks are made to ensure that data items are of the correct type, that there are no blank, null, duplicated, or incorrect values, that values are within the range defined for that field, etc.

3. Data Linking

With data linking, information from corresponding records in different internal datasets is combined to create a new master record containing the full scope of information available for a particular entity.

4. Data Enrichment

Data enrichment brings in third-party sources to augment your records with external information, such as geolocation, demographic, and firmographic data, that is not available internally.

5. Data Deduplication

Data deduplication is the process of removing all redundant information from your data pool. This ensures that each entity, such as a specific customer or product, is uniquely represented, thus eliminating inconsistencies between different instances of the same data.

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How Syncsort Enables Effective Data Management

Syncsort offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to address each component of the data management process and achieve high levels of data quality. For more than two decades, the Syncsort Trillium family of products has been an acknowledged leader in the data quality marketplace.

Trillium DQ allows you to implement data quality processes quickly and easily. It efficiently cleanses data from varied sources and facilitates data validation and linking, allowing customer data to be synthesized into a single authoritative view. It also includes 40 distinct data matching algorithms to facilitate deduplication.

Trillium Global Locator features data enrichment functionality that allows verification and consolidation of customer contact information such as age, gender, phone number, email, and mailing address. It can even add worldwide postal and geocoding data.

Difference between Good and Great Developers

If writing the code were a science, all developers would probably be working the same thing as the other. To begin with, just in case of the art, no two developers have the same thinking or perception or the way of working, and so it -in the case of writing codes.

developers

Struggles

Some struggle to produce the desired outcome, to a few, it comes almost naturally, as if an insight hits them at the moment they sit to create programs or solve a problem. It’s not an exclusive challenge.

We’ve seen many large enterprises and companies across industries struggle with the same issue. Many have created a filtering process by means of various tests. Just writing down the great code doesn’t allow anyone to judge the programmers’ hence, the overall potential of whether it is good or a great programmer.

Furthermore, there’s a way.

There are some other indicators apart from the quality of code written that separate great programmers from good ones.Who are Programmers?

-Good Programmer

Anyone who can write working programs to solve problems is a programmer.

A good programmer, one who collaborates with others to create defensible, elegant programs suitable for use by the customer, on time and with low defect rates, with little or no interpersonal skills.

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-Great Programmer

Here makes for a great programmer is one who understands:

  • algorithms and architectures
  • can build self-consistent large systems with little supervision,
  • can invent new algorithms,
  • achieve refactor live systems without breaking them,
  • Communicate effectively and cogently with nontechnical staff on technical and nontechnical issues
  • understands how to keep his or her ego in check
  • Can teach his or her skills to others.

Here the ultimate question, how do you identify a great programmer?

  • The person will quickly get to the depth of your problem
  • Giving instant solutions, difficult, but he/she will stick to the problem and provide a solution.

The Dilemma of Great Developers

  • Great developers are subtle.
  • Their productivity is 3 times that of an average developer and 10 times that of a bad developer.
  • The top 1% of developers in the world don’t just write solid code but have important intangible traits.

Characteristics of Great Developers

1. Confident Approach

  • A great programmer cares about your project.
  • They maintain a positive attitude towards their work, willing to go for their job every day and always being dedicated to their job.
  • It should be noted that the program should not be burdened with loads of deadlines, sometimes it sets the productivity down.
  • When you need to bring a product to market or need to ship a certain feature out by the deadline, the great programmer will step up and get the product released whenever possible, because they care.
  • A great developer doesn’t let their ego come in between their work.
  • A good way to engender a positive attitude is to give them interesting projects to work on, give them a sense of ownership and praise them for good work.

Start-ups can:

  • give out stock options,
  • pay employees for working overtime,
  • provide compensated paid leave,
  • Find other perks that ensure great programmers are retained.

2. Excellent Communication Skills

  • Good communication skills directly correlate with good development skills.
  • A great developer is able to understand problems clearly,
  • break them down into hypotheses,
  • Propose solutions in a coherent manner.

3. Assignment Management

  • Great developers have a highly reliable attitude.
  • know how to maintain ethics at work
  • Have the ability to analyze how much time needed for work completion and delivering it on time.

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4. Abrupt Learning Capability

  • Great learners normally have the ability of self- learning.
  • They have the ability to learn new technologies and aren’t browbeaten by new technologies.
  • Great programmers will find the resources, talk to the right people and always get their work done.
  • The best thing about great programmers is that they are always motivated to do self-learning.

5. Technical Experience

  • Great developers have experience of working with great technologies and are capable of working with them with ease.
  • The right program for your project will be able to hit the ground running because they already know the right technologies.
  • They will follow coding standards and will write code that is understandable.
  • By combining their cognitive abilities and diverse industry experience, they’re able to arrive at optimal solutions quickly.

6. Team Player

  • Another good quality of great developers is that they are always ready to share their work experience with others.
  • They like to help their teammates and also teach them good skills which will help them not only professionally but also personally.

7. High-end user focus

  • A good programmer does what is asked of them while a great programmer thinks of the end user of the software and works to solve problems for them within the abilities of the organization.
  • A great programmer wants to know the feature they’re building is of high value and pushes back when a feature creates no value for anyone.

How to become a Great Developer?

  •  Hone The Mind
  • Follow Your Heart
  • Hike The experience
  • Form Your Toolbox

What is an API as well as How Does It Work?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. In other words, an API is a messenger that delivers your request to the provider that you’re requesting it from as well as then delivers the response back to you.

API

Functionalities of an API

An API defines functionalities that are independent of their respective implementations, which allows those implementations as well as definitions to vary without compromising each other. Therefore, a good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing the building blocks.

When developers create code, they don’t often start from scratch. Fundamental to developer productivity is how APIs make often repeated yet complex processes highly reusable with a little bit of code. The speed that APIs enable developers to build out apps is crucial to the current pace of application development.

Developers are now much more productive than they were before since they had to write a lot of code from scratch. With an API they don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they write a new program. Instead, they can focus on the unique proposition of their applications while outsourcing all of the commodity functionality to APIs.

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The principle of API abstraction enables speed as well as agility

One of the chief advantages of APIs is that they allow the abstraction of functionality between one system as well as another. An API endpoint decouples the consuming application from the infrastructure that provides a service.

As long as the specification for what the service provider is delivering to the endpoint remains unchanged, the alterations to the infrastructure behind the endpoint should not be noticed by the applications that rely on that API. Therefore the service provider is given a great deal of flexibility when it comes to how its services are offered.

For example, if the infrastructure behind the API involves physical servers at a data center, the service provider can easily switch to virtual servers that run in the cloud.

If the software running on those servers such as credit card processing software is written in, say, Java running on an Oracle-based Java an application server, the service provider can migrate that to Node.js (server-side Javascript) running on Windows Azure.

The ability of API-led connectivity to allow systems to change as easily as plugging in a plug to a socket is key to the modern vision of enterprise IT. Gone are the days of messy point-to-point integrations for connecting enterprise solutions which take time and resources to maintain.

How do APIs work?

A real example of an API:

Imagine a waiter in a restaurant.  You, the customer, are sitting at the table with a menu of choices to order from, as well as the kitchen is the provider who will fulfill your order.

You need a link to communicate your order to the kitchen as well as then to deliver your food back to your table. It can’t be the chef because she’s cooking in the kitchen. You need something to connect the customer who’s ordering food as well as the chef who prepares it.  That’s where the waiter or the API enters the picture.

The waiter takes your order, delivers it to the kitchen, telling the kitchen what to do. It then delivers the response, in this case, the food, back to you. Moreover, if it’s designed correctly, hopefully, your order won’t crash.

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How are APIs used in the real world?

Here’s a very common scenario

When booking a flight:

When you search for flights online, you have a menu of options to choose from. You choose a departure city as well as the date, a return city, and date, cabin class, as well as other variables like your meal, your seat, or baggage requests.

To book your flight, you need to interact with the airline’s website to access the airline’s database to see if any seats are available on those dates, as well as what the cost might be based on the date, flight time, route popularity, etc.

You need access to that information from the airline’s database, whether you’re interacting with it from the website or an online travel service that aggregates information from multiple airlines. Alternatively, you might be accessing the information from a mobile phone. In any case, you need to get the information, as well as so the application must interact with the airline’s API, giving it access to the airline’s data.

The API is the interface that, like your helpful waiter, runs as well as delivers the data from the application you’re using to the airline’s systems over the Internet. It also then takes the airline’s response to your request and delivers right back to the travel application you’re using. Moreover, through each step of the process, it facilitates the interaction between the application and the airline’s systems – from seat selection to payment and booking.

APIs do the same for all interactions between applications, data, and devices. They allow the transmission of data from the system to system, creating connectivity. APIs provide a standard way of accessing any application data, or device, whether it’s accessing cloud applications like Salesforce, or shopping from your mobile phone.

Different Types of APIs

There are numerous types of APIs. For example, you may have heard of Java APIs, or interfaces within classes that let objects talk to each other in the Java programming language.

Along with program-centric APIs, there are also Web APIs such as the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Remote Procedure Call (RPC), and perhaps the most popular Representational State Transfer (REST).