Are you looking to go Mobile first? Are you waiting for the shift to happen? Well, if you are waiting, you might be too late. Why? Because it's already happened! Marketers are no longer asking "if" they should invest in Mobile but rather "how" they should invest? People is investing more and more ever year in mobile devices, they want things they can take with them, including portable digital wallets the ones in this Ledger Nano S vs Trezor review. Every year there are trillions of searches on google.com and over half of those searches happen on mobile. Learn more about the latest ads and analytics innovations designed to grow your business in a mobile-first world.
The global eLearning market has an estimated compound annual growth rate of approximately 25.2%. Back in 2012, the worldwide market for mobile learning products and services reached a total of $5.3 billion. The global eLearning market expects to reach $107 billion by 2016. With numbers like these, it's easy to see how profitable the eLearning market can be for thoughtful brands.
Wrecking Ball created Adobe Education Exchange, an education-based, eLearning community for the tech giant. The site features a large collection of educational resources to help instructors bring creativity into classrooms of all ages. Today it has gained a great deal of success with 55% of its members having participated in some sort of professional development activity. The Adobe Education Exchange's current catalog includes over 12,533 eLearning assets that have been viewed over 13.7 million times to date.
In this post, we will share with you key learnings from creating a successful, large-scale, eLearning platform.
Make search the star
By far the most critical feature of an eLearning platform is the ability to easily search through all available content. More than likely, you will have various courses/media/content in multiple categories. Without a good search feature, the site becomes cumbersome for a user looking to browse a website with lots of content. So having an easy and accessible search function is essential for the platform’s success.
This is why Wrecking Ball gave Adobe's Education Exchange search top priority when redesigning the homepage. The old page's design had "search" positioned out of the way and was not nearly as intuitive. By styling the search as a sentence and adding additional functionality to make it easier for the user, we made it simple to drill down to the exact criteria needed for a more qualified and refined search.
Keep the design simple
Another key factor is design. The design of an eLearning platform needs to be simple. While the design of the platform is important, it is not meant to draw all of the user's attention. The real purpose however, is to make it easier for users to find, discover, and interact with all of platform's content.
Wrecking Ball used a flat design style consisting of light grays, while blue's were used for links and buttons to draw the user's attention. Cards were used to display courses, programs, and discussions. While the core sections were consolidated onto the homepage as opposed to separating them into individual, bulky pages.
Make an eLearning Reward System
Creating a reward system is an excellent way to keep users interested in your platform by acknowledging their work and overall platform engagement. A badge can be given for a variety of accomplishments including the completion of a course and various other platform activities. The user's badges live on their profile so other platform users can see their accomplishments. Seeing others receive rewards for their achievements encourages other users to become even more involved.
Wrecking Ball took the reward system further by adding the ability to earn points. With a point system, users are encouraged to continue to add relevant data to their public profile so they can earn more points. This is an excellent way to keep users engaged and their profiles up to date.
Create a community
Today, social media is by far the most popular way for everyone to interact on the Internet. As humans, we are drawn to interactive communities. Building an interactive community is an excellent strategy for increasing audience and the popularity of your eLearning platform.
The community created by Wrecking Ball for Adobe Education Exchange also shares interaction design elements from Facebook and Twitter. Users can choose to follow each other and follow educators. They can also customize their profiles to further establish their identity and discuss eLearning topics in the discussion area of the platform.
Science fiction often influences the world of technology by showing us the impossible. Today's iPad is essentially the tablet computer from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Back to the Future II in 1989 got a lot right about the technology of 2015, now people use tablet and computers in their daily life to work, and play games with the help of csgo boost guide they can find online. In fact, the man who invented the world’s first flip phone, the Motorola Star-Tac, was inspired by the Star Trek communicator.
The future is definitely exciting when it comes to innovations in technology and in many ways, the future is already here! In this article we will review examples of how future UI design will impact our everyday lives.
The most memorable futuristic user interfaces were shown in the Minority Report and Iron Man. These interfaces are the work of inventor John Underkoffler. He says the feedback loop between science fiction and reality is accelerating with every new summer blockbuster. He goes on to say, "there’s an openly symbiotic relationship between science fiction and the technology we use in real life. The interface is the OS - they are one."
In the video above, view a real-life demonstration of the futuristic user interfaces as seen in Minority Report. You can see how simple hand gestures can perform complex operations. Now imagine playing video games with such capabilities!
LightRing from Microsoft Research uses infrared to detect finger motion and a gyroscope to determine orientation, and it can turn any surface into an interface. You can tap, draw, flick and drag on a book, your knee, or the wall. For now, the interaction is with only one finger, but still provides a really attractive and natural looking way for user gestures.
This technology puts wearable computing to a whole new level! Imagine controlling your device anywhere and any way you choose. As shown in the video, the nature of using this technology is similar to using a mouse, so we are already familiar with how the product works.
RoomAlive is Microsoft Research's follow-up to IllumiRoom, which was presented at CES 2012. Both are steps towards a "this-is-our-house-now" Kinect future. The new system goes beyond projection mapping around a TV by adding input-output pixels on top of everything in the room. RoomAlive uses multiple depth cameras and spatially mapped projectors to overlay an interactive screen from which there is no escape.
Imagine “real-life” video games that transform your living room into the world of the game. Or imagine virtual home decoration, projecting your vision of what you want to rearrange or add to your home's decor.
The Skin Buttons project uses miniature projectors to display interactive icons on the skin around the watch face. This technology expands the interactive zone around a smartwatch without making it physically bigger. The projector parts cost less than $2 and can even increase battery life by shifting workload from the main display.
The FlexSense is a transparent sheet of plastic, but its embedded piezoelectric sensors detect exactly what shape it's in. This allows for all kinds of intuitive, paper-like interactions. For example, flipping up a corner to reveal something underneath, toggling layers in maps or drawings.
Imagine cell phone cases that react as you peel the cover. Or interactive books or children's books that react as you turn a page.
HaptoMime uses ultrasound to create tactile feedback in midair, so you feel like you're touching a hovering image when there’s nothing there at all. It’s produced by a hidden LCD and an angled transmissive mirror. This technology has massive potential for any public display.
Zero UI isn't a new idea. If you've ever used an Amazon Echo, changed a channel by waving at a Microsoft Kinect, or setup a Nest thermostat, you've already used a device that could be considered part of Goodman's Zero UI thinking. It's all about getting away from the touchscreen, and interfacing with the devices around us in more natural ways. With methods such as haptics, computer vision, voice control, and artificial intelligence, Zero UI represents a whole new dimension for designers.
As these technologies become more intuitive and natural for the new generation of users, we will be treated to a more immersive computing experience that will continually test our ability to digest the flood of knowledge they have to share. The potential for change is both overwhelming and exciting for future user interfaces and it’s definitely something to look forward to when new technologies and ground breaking products come to market.
The time it takes for a page to load is an important part of any user experience. However there are times when you might choose to sacrifice load times in order to accommodate a better aesthetic design, new functionality or add more content to web pages. Unfortunately, website visitors care more about page loading times than an epic user experience. Also, website load times are becoming even more important when it comes to search engine rankings and mobile usage. Mobile visitors expect websites to load instantly, while using the slower speeds of mobile networks.
THE HARD FACTS:
- Nearly half of users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less
- Additionally, they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds
- 79% of users who have trouble with performance say they won’t return
- 44% of users would tell a friend if they had a poor experience
Site Analysis Tools
Are you interested in finding out how long it takes for your website to load? There are several free tools available. These tools report the number of requests, file sizes, and server response speed of your pages. Some even provide suggestions on how to improve your load times.
Ensuring fast load times
At Wrecking Ball, we go out of our way to ensure the platforms we build for our clients are optimized for fast load times. Our hosted content is delivered through Amazon’s high-speed AWS Cloud Hosting. Our CSS is optimized by the leading preprocessor, Sass. In the backend, such features as gzip compression and caching are enabled. Those are just some of our many practices for bringing down the loading time of our websites and applications.
We are living in the age of mobile. Creating a mobile app is often necessary if a company wants to keep their name and services top of mind on today's mobile devices. As app users ourselves, we each have our own idea about what makes an app great. At Wrecking Ball, we have a lot of experience building awesome apps and we always ask the question - What are the characteristics that make a best-in-class app?
For Turner Studios, we created an interactive desktop publishing app. The app had attracted high ratings and waves of positive comments. You can learn more about it on Behance.
To understand more about what makes a great app, we polled our team of senior product managers, designers, and developers and came up with four areas to focus on for creating the best app possible.
Focus on one thing and do it well
The “less is more” principal weighs heavy in app design. A common mistake is to cram too many features into an app. Apps need to do one thing well. Those that focus on a simple concept have more of a chance to succeed.
Our app for Turner Studios focused on content delivery, showcasing their best work to stand out from their competition. With a simple navigation, you can browse featured content and videos.
Key Takeaway: Start with your core focus, execute it well, and earn the right to focus on additional features.
Know your audience
A great app is designed for its target audience. It understands its audience and caters to specific needs. It solves a problem that users struggle with on a regular basis that's unique to its target audience.
The essence of the idea needs to be unique to its audience. It talks to the specific needs of its users and either offers them something new that they didn’t know, something missed, or solves a problem that users struggle with on a regular basis.
Everyone knows about Turner Studios but their audience wanted to learn more about their amazing content. Our app made it easy to consume that content.
Key Takeaway: Research your audience and focus on meeting their specific needs.
Stability and speed are everything
Think about the main apps that you use every single day. They don’t crash, aren’t slow, and they do what you expect them to do. Great apps offer fast response times. In a matter of seconds, users can get in and out of the app and do what they were intended to do. These apps offer experiences like those of default apps put out by Apple and Google - they just work. We take this for granted. It’s not easy to get to that point. It takes patience and work to fine tune your app to reach this state.
Key Takeaway: Speed is a feature. Keep your scope tight to ensure your app is both stable and fast. Don't rush and always test for continuous improvement.
Keep it polished
Polish really helps separate an app. Focusing on the small details can help separate it from other apps and inspire both users and other app creators alike. Sprinkle a bit of design magic on it. Add something fun; anything that would make users smile.
Key Takeaway: The details matter. Animations, sound effects, interactions, and other little flourishes bring the app to life and make it impressive.
A great app is focused, intuitive, fast, and a pleasure to use. You should regularly explore apps featured on the app stores and those that receive awards from Apple and Google. By focusing on fulfilling the four criteria above, you'll have a greater chance at making the best app!
Welcome to Wrecking Ball Studio + Labs -- the relaunch of our brand and our website!
What happened to Media Group? Good question! And why Studio + Labs?
Since 2007, we have gone by the name Wrecking Ball Media Group. For many years, the name seemed apropos! Yes, we were focused on heavy tech work but we were starting to focus more on digital design, photography and video production. Ya know -- 'media work'.
So over the last decade our services vastly expanded while many people thought we were a 'media agency', a company that bought and sold ad space. So it got us thinking… perhaps it's time for a brand refresh and let the world know who we really are?
As a digital agency, we (and many others) are split into a few internal groups. When deducing it down to the core of the Agency, we are a Studio and a (Digital) Lab.
The Studio: Where greatness is forged, pixel by pixel, with sharp strategy and powerful design. From the dark arts of UX and UI, to video editing, digital publishing, integrated marketing campaigns, with the collaboration as agencies like SEO Cherry and others. In other words, problem solved.
The Lab: Our research center for all things binary. Where experimentation meets engineering, and curiosity is crash-tested then made ready for prime time. It's the playground for us geeks where we push technology (at times breaking it).
So, we adopted the name Wrecking Ball | Studio + Labs (or just Wrecking Ball). It is who we are and provides more clarity of our mission to the general public.
With the updated name we needed a new URL. As the squatter owner of 'wreckingball.com' is holding out for asking six-figures and up to purchase the domain name, obtaining that URL was not the best use of funds.
Good news is, 'getwrecked.com' was available.
The double entendre speaks for itself to the sense of humor we have as an agency. It definitely raises an eyebrow and gets others to chuckle. Ultimately, the true meaning is -- If you have a challenging project that needs to be done right, then work with us - Get Wrecked!
In January, Wrecking Ball was nominated as a best place to work in South Florida and the accolades didn’t end there. The South Florida Business Journal (SFBJ) also ranked Wrecking Ball #7 for this year’s Website Design & Development Companies list. Bringing Wrecking Ball into the Top 10 out of 80+ entries for the first time.
This is an accomplishment that the entire company is extremely proud of and we attribute our success to the hard work of our staff and colleagues. We would also like to thank the loyalty of our valued, client partners.
See the official companies list below from the South Florida Business Journal. Get wrecked!
You can view the full list and learn more at South Florida Business Journal's announcement article.
Behance is the most popular website for creatives to show off their work. Naturally, showcasing your portfolio on a site like Behance is one of the most effective ways to promote your skills and talent. There are many approaches toward creating a portfolio on Behance. The 'boring' way is to simply insert pieces of your work on a solid background. The exciting way is to design all your portfolio pieces together into a single, harmonious design.
Here are a couple of fully designed portfolio page examples from Wrecking Ball:
Awww yeah! Pretty cool, huh? Are you interested in taking your Behance portfolios to the next level? This article we will give tips on how to make a knockout portfolio that gets you noticed.
1. Select your best work
Your Behance portfolio is most effective as a series of projects: one project per Behance page. If you don’t have much work to show, you could bundle many projects into a single Behance page. A Behance page shouldn’t display all of your work. It’s best to keep it short and sweet, selecting only your best pieces. We recommend selecting, at least, five pieces for a single Behance page.
Remember, it’s better to have a portfolio where you show a few of your best projects that are stunning. Showing many average projects would not be as attractive. The quality of your portfolio is only as good as your weakest project.
2. Share a backstory, complemented by a theme
Deep dive into your work and think about how you will present it. People are drawn to stories. Developing a brief backstory for your project will pull your viewers in. Talk about your story from the initial concept to early sketches, to the finished product. Start your story by showing the finished piece first, followed by your progress which led you to it.
Think about the style and general look and feel of your project to come up with a design for the layout. The design elements you come up with should compliment and enhance your project. Take a closer look at Wrecking Ball’s TWC onDemand project for an example:
Notice how artwork featured in the Adobe Inspire Digital Magazine is used as a decorative background.
3. Flaunt the medium
Did you make a website? Then show it on a desktop, tablet, and smartphone. Did you make an app? Show it on its target device. Did you make a magazine? Then show people reading it. Emphasize the medium for the intended work. If possible, take pictures of people interacting with it. Otherwise, Google around for free templates where you can easily insert your work for a nice presentation. Here’s a collection of free tablet/smartphone templates.
4. Keep it simple
The design of your Behance page needs to be simple. We can’t stress the KISS principle enough. Avoid the temptation to make an elaborate design to push for a wow factor. Simplicity pushes your work to the surface, where it should be. Pick one font, pick a color scheme, and stick to it; keep the style consistent.
5. Craft a bio
An important part of your Behance portfolio is your Behance profile. Fill in your profile’s description with your story. Ask yourself, what’s your point of view? What’s your unique perspective on the creative world? What led you to develop this perspective? Answering these questions will help you zero in on your passion. Passion is infectious; putting it into words will make you shine.
6. Keep your Behance gallery fresh
Behance is a large, active community. Posting just once gets you ignored. Those who post on a regular basis attract an audience. Popularity is measured by likes and comments. Your posts on Behance become more reputable when you consistently attract engagement. Popularity has a snowball effect which increases the number of likes/comments. As you create new and better work, make sure you make additions to showcase your latest projects, but with the same focus on careful curation.
To view more examples of awesome Behance portfolios, check out Wrecking Ball on Behance.
Each year, the American City Business Journals asks employees across the country to provide honest feedback about their work experience and company cultures.
The survey is strictly confidential. All employee feedback is collected and processed by Quantum Workplace. The Journal then publishes the results online in a special edition issue called The Best Places to Work and ranks the top companies by staff size.
Well, the results are in, and Wrecking Ball Studio + Labs is honored to be selected as a finalist for the 2016 South Florida’s Best Places to Work. The recognition is the result of our determined work ethic, our high quality standards and a forever grateful crew of talented Wreckers.
What does it take to make a good commercial? I’m sure in your lifetime you’ve seen plenty of good ones on TV or online. In 2015, some of the best commercials were the Budweiser lost dog, the Always Like A Girl, and the Fiat Blue Pill. These commercials are fun, entertaining, and leave a lasting impression.
Wrecking Ball recently produced a commercial for Atlassian’s product: HipChat. It stars Wrecking Ball’s own employees using the product. Check it out:
Nice, huh? Are you interested in producing a similarly awesome commercial? In this article, we’re going to discuss the proven strategies that Wrecking Ball utilized when we produced this successful commercial.
1. People Are Essential
Your commercial must include people. As humans, we are drawn to images of people. In addition, the people in your commercial need to belong to the target audience of your product. Viewers want to see people using your product. Try to avoid going over the top expressing satisfaction using your product. You don’t want something as cheesy as women laughing alone while eating salad.
2. Plan Out Your Video
It’s tempting to cover every detail about your product, but you must be mindful of the limited time you have. Try to focus on essential highlights and key features of your product. Display them in such a way that viewers can tell the story of your product even if the volume is turned down.
3. Write a Script
Having a plan and putting together a script is essential. The shorter your script time the better. The traditional duration for a commercial is 30 seconds. We recommend that commercials made for online viewing (i.e. YouTube) should not exceed 15 seconds. Keep sentences short and in simple language. Audio should be clear enough that if the viewer is in another room and your commercial plays, they can understand what the commercial is about.
4. Audio and Video Must Match
This detail is easily overlooked: audio and video must match. For example, if the audio is mentioning a TV, show the TV being mentioned. Don’t show an irrelevant shot such as the camera panning over your store’s building. Merging audio and video creates a powerful sales tool.
This scene from Wrecking Ball's video matches the speaker's dialogue
5. Never Forget Your Call to Action
The most vital part of a commercial is the call to action. You want your customers to buy, act now, visit today, etc. Include the URL to your website, your phone number, and (if you have a storefront) your street address. I recommend this article for help coming up with a great call to action: Hook, Line, and Sinker: 7 Tips for a Killer Call-to-Action.
6. Stick to Time
Be mindful of the duration of your commercial. If you hired a production company, you might have bought a 30-second commercial package. Resist the temptation to make it longer. Don’t forget that commercials for online viewing should not exceed 15 seconds.
7. The First Few Seconds Are Everything
Studies have shown that the average Internet user has an attention span of 7-12 seconds. With such little time to grab the viewer’s attention, it is essential for the beginning of your commercial to be engaging, showing only the juiciest parts. You could begin with an interesting, open-ended question. Or maybe sprinkle a bit of controversy with something shocking. To stand out you need to be bold. Most importantly, have fun! Your commercial doesn’t have to be stiff and strictly professional.
8. Hire a Production Company
This point should be obvious: to have a professional commercial you need to hire professionals. They’ll do all the work for you and handle all aspects of your commercial. If you’re on a budget, some production companies even offer $100 commercial packages.
You could, however, get away with an amateur commercial for YouTube at zero cost. The tricky part here is that your commercial can’t be commercial. It would need to be 99% educational on an interesting topic, and 1% commercial at the end with only a brief mention of your product. If your YouTube video feels too much like a commercial then people will ignore it.
In this article, we discussed the proven strategies that Wrecking Ball used to make a successful commercial. In short, it all boils down to good planning. Something as important as your product was not meant to be advertised with something rushed. Take your time and do it right.
We recommend viewing the following video for learning more about making a successful commercial: