Customized Videos for Clients

Written: September 4, 2015

In my household we have five cell phone users, so for each user we have a two year contract that allows us to upgrade and pick a new phone from a variety of choices. Our phone carrier is AT&T and they just sent me the neatest thing ever, an email with a link to a customized video on what to do when my new smart phone arrives.

AT&T customized video

In this customized video they displayed and spoke:

They also described a free app to migrate my existing phone content to the new one using AT&T Mobile Transfer. A final step was to let AT&T know that I had my new phone all ready to use, so I visited http://att.com/activations/

They’ve really made the process of upgrading smart phones easy to do, and that customized video was a first time experience for me, quite impressive, so I wonder how many other businesses would benefit from creating customized videos for their clients to be delighted with.

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What About that New Google Logo?

Written: September 3, 2015

I’ve been a loyal Google user for many years simply because their free search feature provides me the answers to my questions very quickly, and accurately. The folks at Google have a sense of humor and history, so they often show a different logo on their site to commemorate something important or fanciful. Recently they decided to change their iconic logo. Here’s the familiar, old logo with a serif font style:

Old Google logo

I like the serif font choice because it adds a touch of class to the logo, and is easy to read.

Now for the new Google logo with san-serif font:

New Google logo

With this new font the logo looks more child-like and simple, not at all sophisticated. There is a general trend now on the web to make graphics and logos super-sized, which to me looks a bit childish and doesn’t appeal to my sense of design. Of course, this is just my impression about the graphical feel for the new Google logo, others may just love it.

So it goes with your web site, the decisions that you make for your logo, font colors and sizes, type face, and combinations of graphics with text will all combine to create a feeling for your visitors. Do you want to come across as business-like, or playful? It all depends on your market place. A CPA or banker will want to appear more formal, while an author of children’s books may want to be rather playful in appearance and content.

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Windows 10, Should I Upgrade?

Written: August 21, 2015

The short answer is Yes, go ahead and upgrade to Windows 10. My technical son Solomon works at Staples in PC support and has only good things to say about Windows 10, and the vast majority of reviews on the Internet encourage us to upgrade, so that’s exactly what I did last week, upgrading for free from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 10.

Installation

Make sure that you have about an hour to wait for this upgrade to complete, although I wish that there was a faster way. Just follow the directions provided by Microsoft here.

Windows 10 upgrade

 

What’s New

Eye candy on the new login page.

Windows 10 eye candy

 

My only Windows apps are Quicken and Internet Explorer, so Windows 10 opens to the familiar desktop mode, not the tiled mode. The start window makes a long-awaited come-back in the lower-left corner:

windows 10 start window

 

Clicking the Start window lets me quickly navigate to apps, the File Explorer, or just quickly Power down.

start window details

A complete list of new features is provided by Microsoft here.

Summary

As a long time Windows 8 user I found Windows 10 quite easy to adapt and use with very little learning required.

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Ruth Hardie

Written: June 27, 2015

I first met Ruth Hardie at a networking event with the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce, and then learned that she was an artist creating watercolor prints. A few months after our introduction she contacted me about creating a brand new web site to showcase her art work. Some of the things that I learned about how she wanted to be portrayed on the web were:

We used WordPress as the Content Management System so that Ruth can update the site herself by using any web browser and logging in. Here’s the Home page layout with a slideshow:

Ruth Hardie, Home page

 

The Gallery page shows seven watercolor prints of dogs, where you click the thumbnail to see the full size image:

Ruth gallery

 

Clicking on the Black Lab thumbnail shows me the large version, and I can browse forward and backward through the entire gallery:

Ruth - gallery image

 

Art Prints is a page with links to Fine Art America, which has the e-commerce for visitors to shop and purchase prints.

Ruthie - art prints

 

The Merchandise page is similar to Art Prints, however the links are different:

Ruth - merchandise

 

For visitors to contact Ruthie, we are not showing her personal email address because that would invite spammers to flood her inbox with unwanted email. Instead, we use a contact form:

Ruth - contact form

 

Another useful feature is a Newsletter Signup and Social Media in the left sidebar of each page, inviting visitors to keep updated on the latest artwork from Ruthie.

Ruth - newsletter

 

When a person subscribes to the newsletter form, they receive an email with a confirmation link, this is called a double opt-in to verify that person’s identity:

Ruth - confirm email

 

Ruth can now send out newsletters to all of the names by logging into WordPress, instead of having a totally separate newsletter system with another username and password, this just makes business easier to run with fewer accounts to remember.

Finally, we knew that smart phones are commonly being used to browse web pages, so we made her site mobile-ready by choosing a responsive theme:

Ruth - mobile

 

Notice how on a mobile device the menu is activated by clicking the icon with three horizontal lines.

Ruth - mobile menu

Enjoy viewing Ruthie’s artwork on her new web site at www.ruthhardie.com

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