5 Ways 5G Will Aid Your Business

Business Tips & Advice from Outside Media Group Scotland - Web Design Dundee
I get asked often, where do you see things in terms of digital in 5 to 10 years time. Well, we don’t really need to look as far as 10 years, or even 5 for the next big turn in the digital revolution wheel. Let’s talk about 5G5G remains a work in progress, but that progress is getting closer to completion. Some are forecasting the network’s arrival as soon as 2020, though that remains just an estimate. Regardless, the functionality of the system, once operational, will be remarkable, far outstripping speeds of previous networks. This will undoubtedly have a massive impact on business – for the better.Wider bandwidth means more opportunities for companies, including stabler video conferencing, more options for streaming in-depth content to users and opening doors for distributed artificial intelligence applications.

While the system isn’t commercially available yet, members of the Forbes technology Council are already looking ahead to the potential it could offer to their businesses or the industry as a whole.

This is what they’re expecting:

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The Government wants the UK to be a ‘world leader’ in 5G
1. Older Tech Will Become More Mainstream 

I believe the biggest impact that 5G can bring for my business is actually a backdoor one. For every big new wave in the tech field, the previous high-end tech becomes mainstream. This means that 5G will indirectly enable 4G to be widely adopted across the globe and especially hitting developing countries, which will be great for SaaS companies that offer products built for small businesses.

2. There Will Be More Face-To-Face, Real-Time Virtual Interactions With Our Customers 

With 5G wireless allowing for faster internet speed, there is an opportunity for us to create more face-to-face, real-time virtual interactions with our customers. On the business development front, we anticipate new ways to virtually meet with clients, prospects, and providers. It could also help distribute powerful, original video content for training our employees and associates.

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The future of the Internet of things is not that far away…..
3. 5G Parameters Portend Greater Branch Synergy 

As a company reliant on cloud-based services for seamless data transfer between member branches and partners, faster connectivity and lower latency translates to increased productivity. Besides increasing reliability — and thereby decreasing attention to minor technicalities — 5G parameters portend greater branch synergy, allowing for smoother remote interaction and increased focus on company priorities.

4. Everything Will Be More Connected And Efficient

With faster data speeds, low latency and a more connected world, my business will become for efficient than ever before once 5G is a reality. A 5G network will also do wonders for the industrial scales we design and manufacture. Our customers’ businesses and operations will also improve efficiency and become more connected with 5G.

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It is almost vital to keep your business up to date in today digital revolution.
5. More People Will Move To Cloud-Based Software 

Faster internet speeds lower the cost of innovation. We’ll see more people move from downloaded accounting software to cloud-based accounting, which impacts the number of businesses looking for a product like Quickbooks etc.

It is almost vital to keep your business up to date in todays digital revolution. You don’t need to look too far for classic examples of businesses that fell complacent and failed to embrace peoples changing behavior towards buying online – as a result of the new digital landscape,

Toys R ‘Us, Woolworths to name few….

If you have any questions or need our expertise about the topics in this article, we are happy to answer them! You can contact us by clicking here or email us at love.digital@outsidemediagroup.co.uk

Hope this helps,

Greig

Click here to find out more about our Digital Makeovers

 

Business Tips & Advice from Outside Media Group Scotland - Web Design Dundee
We’re in the business of helping businesses get it right online and this includes streamlining the day to day tasks as well as generating business.

This guide will get you pretty close to running your entire business on free software. Sometimes, you’ll run into a limitation with users or disk space, but with these applications behind you, those are likely to be the only bumps in the freebie road.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries.

Hope this helps.

Greig

Click here to view the 10 recommended tools below
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1. Social Media Management from HootSuite

Most small businesses don’t need a mega social listening platform. A free, easy-to-use dashboard that lets you stay up-to-date on what your customers are saying should be enough. Fortunately, Hootsuite offers a free version of its software that’s good enough to do the trick.

With HootSuite Free, you’ll be able to manage multiple social networks, schedule posts, and interact with your followers. You’ll also be able to track how many followers you have on each of your social networks and monitor which posts are generating the most clicks. If your business grows, you can move up to one of three premium plans, which give you access to additional profiles, analytics, and multiple users.

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2. Wave Accounting

Wave is designed with the small business owner in mind. Not the small business owner with an MBA; not the trained CPA; but the everyday freelancer, independent contractor, or micro-business entrepreneur who believes in their work and their dreams. Wave supports multiple companies and unlimited users. Basic user permissions are available. A direct Etsy integration also makes Wave a great chose for these online sellers.

Wave “has always been and always will be free.” Unlike most free plans, Wave does not limit you to a certain number of invoices, customers, or transactions, making it one of the best free options out there. The software used to remain free because of small, unobtrusive ads within the software. Now, those ads are no more. The company generates enough revenue from credit card processing, payroll, and lending to keep the software completely free and your screen ad-free as well.

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3. Trello Project Management

Trello is a fun and highly visual online tool that helps teams collaborate and keep track of projects using kanban-style management. You can bend this flexible tool to your will.

Trello’s approach uses a kanban-style work methodology, which is highly visual. Trello is an online, collaborative workspace used to manage work of all kinds, whether they’re business projects or personal chores. It works fairly simply, with drag-and-drop capabilities and an intuitive interface.

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4. Mailerlite for email marketing

MailerLite is simple and affordable email marketing service. It is used by more than 200,000 customers globally. Most of them are small businesses and e-shops.

MailerLite offers a full range of email marketing features – from subscriber management, email templates, reports and analytics to webforms and landing pages. The drag-and-drop newsletter editor has received lots of praise and is named as the best email builder in many reviews.

You can start using MailerLite with Forever Free plan, that includes up to 1,000 unique subscribers and unlimited emails. Easily upgrade anytime you need. With MailerLite you’ll be paying 2 times less than using other email marketing services. You will get all the features and 24/7 customer support by live chat or email.

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5. Si.gnatu.re – professional email signature creator

Ready to make your awesome, free email signature?

Create a beautiful and professional signature in under 60 seconds, think ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ but without all the cars. Give your signature a personal touch with a selfie, so they can put a face to the name – no stick required.

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6. Hubspot CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

HubSpot CRM is one of the leading CRM apps currently available on the market and a winner of the Expert’s Choice Award for 2017.

Free and simple, HubSpot CRM is built to be a platform that allows sales teams to get started quickly without making much of a change in their existing workflow. It is a solution ideal for companies that are still starting to recognize the value of CRM and want to try it out or for enterprises that are not using their existing CRM systems to their fullest potential.

HubSpot CRM is a smart and easy option that carries all the necessary basic features but without the often confusing complexity many other CRM platforms have. Beginners and mid-market companies will also appreciate the fact that HubSpot CRM is currently a certified, premier Google partner, and is a solution that suits well all niches and industries.

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7. Mailtrack

Mailtrack.io shows you when your email has been read, now available for Inbox.

This is not an extension for the faint of heart. If read receipts on Messager freak you out, then read no further — this is not the tool for you. If, however, you want to know that you are being ignored, rejected, or otherwise put off, then go ahead, install Mailtrack. It’s a simple, easy-to-use read receipt for emails that can be equal parts incredibly useful and disheartening.

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8. Google My Business

The world’s most used search engine offers businesses a free profile to help you connect with your customers. Use Google My Business to post hours, location, and pricing information, and share pictures and even a virtual tour—all of which will then show up for your audience in Google’s search results.

Bonus: Having a more complete Google My Business profile can also help your website’s overall SEO ranking.

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9. Google Analytics

To know how well your marketing efforts are succeeding at converting leads, you first need to know how and from where your audience is accessing your website. Google offers amazing free analytics tools that help small business owners determine what is working in your marketing plan and gain insights about your web traffic.

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10. Grammarly

Everyone makes mistakes, especially in their writing. Good writers edit their own prose, but producing clean copy without any help takes years of practice and serious dedication. Even when you get the basics down, higher-level grammar and style nuances can seem overwhelming, even for professional writers.

Grammarly, an online grammar and spelling assistant, wants to help out in those scenarios. This app suggests spelling, grammar, and style changes in real time, and it can also edit for specific types of writing, such as academic, business, or casual genre pieces.

Ready to implement and don’t want to do yourself?

get in touch and we can help

love.digital@outsidemediagroup.co.uk

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Business Tips & Advice from Outside Media Group Scotland - Web Design & Digital Strategy Dundee

With 2018 just around the corner, we look at 11 web design trends you should consider using. Balancing aesthetics with functionality is a difficult act, but get it right and you’ll set yourself up for increased user engagement and higher conversion rates. Find out how you can improve your online presence with these 11 actionable tips.

1. Making Mobile a Priority

According to Statista, “In 2016, 43.6 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, up from 35.1 percent in the previous year.” It’s true that the importance of mobile-friendly web design has been increasing for the past several years, and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Now, in the first half of 2018, Google will be rolling out its new Mobile First Index, placing more importance on the mobile version of your website by making it the first to be seen in the search results. This means that your website must have mobile-friendly design.

In 2016, 43.6 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, up from 35.1 percent in the previous year. – Statista

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are also becoming more important. If you haven’t already heard about AMP, it’s an open-source coding standard for publishers that allows them to load their sites quickly on mobile. Traditional mobile websites can be a bit clunky, but AMP ramps up the mobile experience by stripping down code, using external resources for media files and running scripts in parallel to allow pages to load instantly.

Whether you are designing a brand-new site or retrofitting any existing site, AMP is a must for 2018. No potential customer likes a page that loads slowly, and you don’t want to push prospects to one of your (faster) competitors.

2. Irregular Grid Layouts

Grid layouts provide an easy way for designers to tie all of the elements of their web pages together, giving each page a theme and making it easier to navigate. This design theory has been around forever, but there’s been a shift in the way they’re being used.

Many content management systems, including popular platforms such WordPress, use grid design as the basis of their templates. In March 2017, CSS grid was introduced to provide designers with more options. In 2018, we’ll see a shift toward designers using more neutral space and more irregular grid layouts for an ultra-modern design style. Simple styles that include the use of whitespace (or negative space) makes content stand out so that it’s easier to read and navigate. These styles are also easier on the eyes, encouraging users to spend more time on your site.

3. Bold Fonts & Bright Colors

To complement these modern design styles, you’ll need type font that stands out. Bold font styles help users focus on your content, while the whitespace makes it easier to read and skim through. Together, they’re a perfect complement. Because people typically only spend a few seconds, up to a couple of minutes, looking at your pages, you need to catch their attention with colors and designs that stand out. The goal is to create an easy and enjoyable experience for the user to keep them on your site for as long as possible and eventually convert them into paying customers.

In 2018, we may also see these fonts and colors taking the place of images. This makes sense for mobile especially. Unlike images, which slow pages down, scaling the size of your typography won’t impact performance. It also creates cleaner lines on your page that helps your calls-to-action pop. Large buttons, hero images, and clickable images are going out of style and making way for large typographic expressions.

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4. Increase in Micro-Interactions

Facebook and other social media networks have made micro-interactions extremely popular. Users love the ability to contribute a variety of reactions to posts and private messages, from the traditional “liking” of posts, all the way to a flurry of animated hearts you witness when you share the love in private Facebook messages. These micro-interactions allow the user to interact with others without reloading the page.

This is different to the traditional static website user experience, which requires users to reload pages to take action, such as submitting a review. Such a scenario may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it creates a speedbump for customers that will cause some of them to bounce from the page, meaning you lose out on potential conversions. Micro-interactions help level out these speed bumps and provide users with richer interactions.

Using micro-interactions on your site in 2018 will allow users to communicate real-time and increase the speed and connectivity that they have come to expect in a mobile-connected world.

5. More Advanced Scroll Triggered Animations

Scrolled animation triggers encourage users to keep scrolling down your website pages with specifically triggered interactive elements that increase engagement. Here’s one great example of scroll triggered animation from Apple. These animation triggers are nothing new, but they have begun to be used in a new way. The best scroll triggered animations are minimalist, educational and strategic, designed to increase conversions.

Scroll triggered animations can also clean up the look and feel of your website. Instead of having a collection of buttons and menus, your site will convey a true, interactive experience for your users.

6. Top Sticky Elements vs. Bottom Sticky Elements

You know your users read from left to right, but have you thought about the fact that your users are getting used to clicking at the bottom of their smartphones or mobile apps to navigate? Since mobile app design is so important to modern web design, website developers are beginning to make sticky menu items scroll from the bottom of the site, as opposed to the top of the site’s pages. Progressive web apps are somewhat responsible from this design evolution, as developers start to design for modern functionality.

7. Responsive Design

Responsive design is less of a trend than a principle, and it’s been around for a number of years. However, its importance cannot be overlooked. Responsive design is when your website is designed in a way that it resizes to look appealing across multiple screen sizes: mobile, tablets, TV, wearables or desktops.

Though the UX revolution has been happening for nearly a decade, it’s only recently been implemented on a wider scale. In 2018, we expect this design element will continue to expand to include new forms of technology such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

8. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

They may still sound like terms from a sci-fi film, but artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have hit the mainstream. In 2016, Google’s AlphaGo AI beat a skilled human Go player for the first time, a defeat that had long been sought after, and AI assistants like Siri are available on millions of devices.  So it comes as no surprise that Adobe’s Sensei promises to make AI tools easily available to web developers around the world, while TheGrid has been offering AI-based web designs since 2014. As AI and machine learning continue to advance, we’ll start to see them make their way into webdesign in other, more advanced ways.

9. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs)

Although they are not new, in 2018 you can expect this graphic format overtake more traditional file formats such as PNG, GIF and JPG. SVGs are vector images, not pixels, which gives them many advantages. They are incredibly scalable (while maintaining their quality), meaning they won’t affect page speed when animated because they don’t’ require any HTTP requests. SVGs are essential to providing quality multimedia experiences for users in 2018 (360-degree views, 3D images and Cinemographs).

10. Progressive Web Apps

Apps make up a large portion of mobile media time, and web designers are started taking notice and blending the best of web and app behaviors. This hybrid creation is referred to as a Progressive Web App. In 2018, we’ll see a trend in upgrading websites to add elements such as animated page transitions, push notifications and splash screens. Some websites like Medium, are already there, offering apps that are easily accessible with a click. Such apps will continue to evolve to meet each user’s personalized tastes.

They are useful to users from the very first visit in a browser tab, no install required. As the user progressively builds a relationship with the app over time, it becomes more and more powerful. It loads quicker, even on flaky networks, sends relevant push notifications, has an icon on the home screen, and loads as a top-level, full-screen experience.

11. Internet of Things Connectivity

Connecting web services to the Internet of Things has been a huge trend in 2017, and it will continue on this path in 2018. IoT devices can include objects as simple as a refrigerator to as complicated as a tidal turbine. These “things” use sensor arrays and server-side processing to receive and act on their environments. APIs that allow web developers to connect and communicate with these devices are currently being created, leading to even more interconnectivity of the next several years.

APIs that allow web developers to connect and communicate with these devices are currently being created, leading to even more interconnectivity of the next several years

Simple, Functional, Futuristic Design in 2018

In 2018, the focus will be on designing simple but powerful websites that are well optimized for mobile devices and heavily focused on user experience. These sites will feature new types of formats, styles and technologies. Is your brand’s website ready for what 2018 has to bring?

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