Tag Archives: engineering


Beyond The Browser: From Web Apps To Desktop Apps

I started out as a web developer, and that’s now one part of what I do as a full-stack developer, but never had I imagined I’d create things for the desktop. I love the web. I love how altruistic our community is, how it embraces open-source, testing and pushing the envelope.

Beyond The Browser: From Web Apps To Desktop Apps

I love discovering beautiful websites and powerful apps. When I was first tasked with creating a desktop app, I was apprehensive and intimidated. It seemed like it would be difficult, or at least… different.

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Beyond The Browser: From Web Apps To Desktop Apps

What Do Conversions, Your Homepage and Vodka Martinis Have in Common?

We’ve all been there: you’re sitting in yet another kickoff meeting, tasked with the impossible: find a way to get more conversions from your homepage with less manpower, fewer resources and a shoestring budget. P.S., can you get it done before the end of Q1?

You leave wondering if it’s too late to take the afternoon off and just let the vodkas martinis slowly wash the pain of your work life away:

Vodka Beach party for conversions, sake!

Don’t give up just yet.

One marketing team used their homepage, existing resources and some savvy know-how to increase conversions on their homepage from 0% to 6%… and you can, too. Read on to find out how (and save those martinis for a victory party)!

The Kiva Microfunds case study

Meet Adam Kirk, Head of Marketing for the US borrower program at Kiva Microfunds, a non-profit organization that connects low-income entrepreneurs all over the world with interest-free loans. Adam explains:

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAcLAAAAJGFkNzJmOGRhLTg1ODgtNDg2MS04MWFkLTExZTYwYTYzYjg2ZgWe’ve done just under 3000 loans to date in the US and over half have been to women-owned businesses, over half to people of color and over half to low income households.

Compared to other lenders in the biz, Kiva is impressively over-indexed in these categories — they’re clearly impacting the people who need it the most.

One of Adam’s main key performance indicators (KPIs) for the US borrower program is loan application completions.

His goal: first generate enough leads from the homepage… then drip content that encourages prospects to sign up for a loan.

His struggle with meeting this goal?

We know that when borrowers hit our homepage, they’re clearly interested in Kiva. But a lot of those visitors don’t do anything once they get there: they bounce.

Adam’s team is tiny (as in…it’s just Adam and an intern running all their marketing programs) and support is scarce. Without a ton of engineering resources, tools and A/B testing options, Adam needs to be scrappy about the projects he tackles.

The overlay conversion play

After doing some research, Adam decided his homepage needed a little something extra to give his abandoning visitors a softer step towards conversion.

His solution?

Use an overlay to focus attention on a single offer and grab email sign-ups for the monthly Kiva newsletter.

exit-delay-trigger_v2What is an overlay?

Overlays appear on top of a page’s content (in a lightbox), focusing the user’s attention on a single offer. They can be triggered on entrance, on exit, on scroll, after delay and on click.

That way, Adam would give visitors a quick next step before leaving and capture their contact information for future follow up (when they’ve warmed up to taking a loan).

Since he was already using MailChimp, he was able to quickly throw together some copy and design to test their free overlay tool on his homepage.

Adam talks about the goal and design of the pop up, laughing:

Well it was pretty ugly. It was just one form field and we couldn’t do any kind of targeting so it literally popped up all the time, after five seconds on the homepage.

To test it, Adam got scrappy and split his homepage traffic 50/50 from a total of 10,000 visitors a month. He then set the overlay live and waited to see if it would make a difference.

Despite the drawbacks, Adam’s experiment worked. From that overlay alone, 3-4% of visitors who would have exited instead entered their email address.

Boom! 150 net new leads from one “ugly” pop-up!

Testing Unbounce Convertables

Adam had reaped the benefits of an overlay, but was ready to start more segmented targeting, so he decided to give Unbounce Convertables a shot. He explains:

I had already shown how the first overlay worked despite its simplicity, so I figured, why not do something now with actual logic behind it.

With the same goal in mind and an arsenal of design and copy in his back pocket, Adam got his Unbounce overlay live in only five minutes.

Since his goal was to provide value by giving abandoners an easy next step before they leave, he set the overlay targeting to appear on exit to new visitors only. This ensured that users would only ever see the overlay once, and that it’d only be presented to people who were getting ready to exit (some visitors to their homepage were likely ready to take action).

Here’s what his overlay looks like:

Kiva Homepage Unbounce Convertable
Screenshot of the Kiva Micrfunds Homepage Convertable

The results?

Of people trying to leave the Kiva borrower hub, Adam’s team is now capturing 6-7% of them. That’s 3x the conversions from what the original overlay provided.

It doesn’t end there. Adam now uses the thank you page (also an overlay) to shape his traffic to the Kiva community.

Showcasing a smiling business owner, the goal of the thank you is to put a face to the loan and entice potential borrowers to click through and read more:

Post-Conversion Thank-You
Screenshot of the Kiva Microfunds Post-Confirmation Thank-You

From farmers and foodies to artisans and app developers, the Kiva community is filled with real-life success stories of Kiva-funded entrepreneurs.

Kiva Community Page
Screenshot of the Kiva Microfunds Community Page

The results from traffic shaping?

We’re still testing! But I’m pumped to see what we can do next.

Lessons learned

Adam and his team at Kiva were able to stretch their existing resources, time and manpower to generate some pretty impressive conversion results — all with overlays.

So next time you’re in a kick-off meeting, tasked with the impossible, think of Adam’s success and remember:

What do conversions, your homepage and vodka martinis have in common?

The answer is VICTORY.


Psst. Already a customer? Log into Unbounce now and start using Convertables at no extra cost. You can use the same drag-and-drop Unbounce builder to drive conversions on both your campaign landing pages and your website!)

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What Do Conversions, Your Homepage and Vodka Martinis Have in Common?

Win More Conversions from Impulse Buyers | 4 Ways for eCommerce Enterprises

In-store is a clear winner compared to online when it comes to impulse buying, as established by a 2016 Creditcard.com survey. Does that mean that there is a dead end to encashing impulse buys online?  No.

Recent tests conducted at User Interface Engineering show that impulse purchases represent almost 40% of all the money spent on e-commerce sites. For eCommerce enterprises, it is rather the right time to innovate and evolve to ramp up sales from impulse buying. The first step, however, is to understand the user who is to be targeted for impulse buying.

Whether you are an established eCommerce enterprise or an aspiring one, the following practices can help you convert more impulse buyers:

Leverage Social Commerce

Social media promises a positive outlook for e-commerce enterprises when it comes to impulse buying. Major social media platforms such as Instagram have rolled out nifty new buttons that let users buy what they like, as soon as they see it online.


James Quarles, Instagram’s global head of business and brand development, analogizes an eCommerce website to something of a digital store window, a place to potentially win a sale when customers are in “discovery phase of finding something and not probably even deliberately looking for it.” Therefore, social commerce is, in a way, the answer to instantly gratify the consumer as soon as he realizes the want to buy something, regardless of the buying phase.

Pinterest launched buyable pins for the iOS and Android devices. Major retailers such as Macy’s and Nordstorm are early adopters of this move.


eMarketer, in its talks with Michael Yamartino (head of eCommerce, Pinterest) found out that since buyable pins are a mobile product, people might just make impulse purchases while browsing social sites on mobile.

Another interesting aspect of social media driving sales has been highlighted by Yotpo. According to its study, reviews as a social proof lead to higher conversion rates on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Such reviews and recommendations are likely to push suggestive impulse.

Social reviews and Suggestive Impulse

In context to the impact of user-generated content on impulse purchases, Instagram has played a major role. Nordstorm is again one brand that has taken to Instagram for leveraging its impact on sales.


Cognize Human Psychology

The Wall Street Journal lists reasons shared by professor Kit Yarrow at Golden Gate University, about who makes impulse buys:

  • People who are emotionally tapped-out because of family or work demands.
  • Inexperienced shoppers who tend to be swayed more by the stimulation overload they experience when they’re shopping. This makes them vulnerable to sales messaging and special offers.
  • People who are unable to express their anger. They typically have high standards of niceness or they’re simply overlooked by others. Impulse purchasing is often fueled by the anger that needs an outlet and the craving for relief.

All three reasons listed above reflect human psychology, and this is where the opportunity for eCommerce enterprises lies. The rule of persuasion is one such psychological trait that can be leveraged. 

To validate the rule of persuasion and increasing ‘clicks’, Dr. B J Fogg, psychologist at the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab says that three things must be present: motivation, ability and an effective trigger.

Fear of missing out or the scarcity principle establishes the motivation for purchase. Creating scarcity is one tactic that eCommerce enterprises have been using to their advantage to get improve as well as quicken purchases. A post on Marketing Profs lists four ways that the scarcity principle can be used to push impulse purchases. Take a look at the following points talked about in their post:

  1. Create “open” and “closed” periods for ongoing offers.
  2. Create limited production runs.
  3. Provide benefits to early adopters.
  4. Don’t record webinars (this point is for SaaS).

Thom O’Leary, President, Fixer Group Consulting says, “Use countdown timers (on site or in emails) for increasing impulse buys.  Timing is everything, and no one wants to miss an opportunity. Customers have an easier time making a quick decision when they see time ticking away.  As email services and technology improves, it’s simple to add dynamic countdown timers to emails and on-site content, increasing urgency and making the decision to buy on impulse rather than making a well-considered decision.”

Seasonal sales, a technique that Ann Taylor and a number of other eCommerce players use, also create a sense of urgency in customers.  Promotional schemes such as ‘Thanksgiving Sale’ fetch more sales from impulse seasonal shopping.


You can also apply the persuasion principle by providing users with free shipping when they have made just enough purchases online to win it. Coupling this with product recommendations can help them buy a little over and above the free shipping threshold.

Explore Newer, Smarter Technology

If you are thinking about going mobile, and there is every reason that you must, it would be reassuring to know that mobile commerce is a major contributor to impulse shopping. Consumers are spending more of their time browsing apps on phones. The on-the-go use that mobile phones offer make it one of the most obvious technologies to engage users:

Push Notifications

Not all your consumers would be aware about the discount running on your website. And, even if they do, they might not remember. Sending them a can provide the nudge that they need. The eBay app sends out push notifications to its users, informing  them about the start or end of any auction. That is how ebay combines technology with the persuasion principle to get more people to buy without much preparation.

 ebay push notification

Internet of Things

Adding to the scope of conversions from impulse buys is the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT). The Amazon dash button has taken IoT to a higher level. This button allows its users to order from Amazon whenever their inventory/items need to be restocked, without signing in.


Focus on Ease of Use and  Online Experiences

Earlier, we have already discussed how mobile commerce is tapping into the impulse of consumers. If you combine the ease of use of mobile technology with trustworthy payment solutions, you can delight your customers with frictionless online shopping experiences. Mobile technology optimization can further increase conversions for your business, as it did for Your Tea. They used VWO’s IDEACT services for a full redesign of the product pages. Structured Conversion Optimization got YourTea a 28% boost in revenue.

For the sake of simplicity though, let’s split ease of navigation and online experiences into two points.

Website navigation, should also be designed with ‘ease of use’ in mind. For a quick read, check these 22 Principles Of Good Website Navigation and Usability.

Although designing is the first step, how do you know that this design in fact is effective? This is when A/B testing comes into play. Set up two different variations of a navigation menu to find out which one scores better. You can also read this VWO post about 8 Ways to Refine eCommerce Site Search and Navigation for quick product finds. For making it easy for users to find products on discounts, eCommerce enterprises can also use approaches such as allocating sections such as ‘Deals on Discount’ or ‘New in Store’ to their home page.



With an increase in touchpoints, the opportunities for converting impulse buys from online shoppers are growing each day. What eCommerce enterprises can do best is to leverage on each opportunity area that we have listed in this post, and innovate.

Have anything else to add? Drop in a line in the comments section.



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The post Win More Conversions from Impulse Buyers | 4 Ways for eCommerce Enterprises appeared first on VWO Blog.


Win More Conversions from Impulse Buyers | 4 Ways for eCommerce Enterprises

Redesigning SGS’ Seven-Level Navigation System: A Case Study

SGS (formerly Société Générale de Surveillance) is a global service organization and provider of inspection, verification, testing and certification services across 14 industries. SGS’ website (along with 60 localized websites) primarily promotes the organization’s core services, as well as provides access to a multitude of useful services, supplementary content and tools. Our goal was to transform sgs.com from being desktop-only to being responsive.

Redesigning SGS’ Seven-Level Navigation System: A Case Study

This presented a unique set of challenges, especially around the legacy navigation system, which in areas was up to seven levels deep (divided into two parts) and which consisted of some 12,000 individual navigable items.

The post Redesigning SGS’ Seven-Level Navigation System: A Case Study appeared first on Smashing Magazine.


Redesigning SGS’ Seven-Level Navigation System: A Case Study

Responsive Images In WordPress With Art Direction

Support for responsive images was added to WordPress core in version 4.4 to address the use case for viewport-based image selection, where the browser requests the image size that best fits the layout for its particular viewport.

Responsive Images In WordPress With Art Direction

Images that are inserted within the text of a post automatically get the responsive treatment, while images that are handled by the theme or plugins — like featured images and image galleries — can be coded by developers using the new responsive image functions and filters. With a few additions, WordPress websites can accommodate another responsive image use case known as art direction. Art direction gives us the ability to design with images whose crop or composition changes at certain breakpoints.

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Responsive Images In WordPress With Art Direction

Diverse Test-Automation Frameworks For React Native Apps

The bar is set high for today’s mobile apps. First, apps must meet the standard of quality that app markets expect. Secondly, mobile app users are very demanding. Plenty of alternatives are available to download, so users will not tolerate a buggy app.

Diverse Test-Automation Options For React Native Apps

Because mobile apps have become such a crucial part of people’s lives, users won’t be shy about sharing their love or hate for an app — and that feedback gets in front of millions of users in seconds.

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Diverse Test-Automation Frameworks For React Native Apps

72 Home Appliance And Real Estate Icons [Freebie]

When it comes to web projects, real estate and home appliances go well together, so today we’re happy to release a lovely free icon set with 72 related icons. The set includes icons in 4 sizes and in 8 formats: AI, CSH, EPS, SVG, PDF, PNG, Sketch and Webfont. The icon set is free to use in personal and commercial projects.
You may choose from five colour themes. (View large version) The icons are available in four versions .

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72 Home Appliance And Real Estate Icons [Freebie]


How your Color Choices can help you Increase Conversions (Part 1)

This is Part 1 of a 2-part blog post written by David Rosenfeld and Milad Oskouie on how colors can help increase your website’s conversions and revenue.

David Rosenfeld is a director at Infinite Conversions. David spent five years working as a lawyer in Australia and London and three years as an associate in the Mergers and Acquisitions department of a global Investment Bank focusing on technology startups. David’s experience has included significant work on campaign specific conversion optimisation. David holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Software Engineering from the University of Sydney and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

Milad Oskouie is a former lawyer and current analyst at Infinite Conversions. Milad has a background in the law as well as in funds management and financial services.

Most people can choose their favorite color if you ask them to, and most people understand that we typically associate color with emotions. This makes color choice an important tool when trying to influence the choices consumers make, or so says the University of Winnipeg’s Professor Satyendra Singh. Singh has noted how retailers attempt to influence consumers using colors in order to drive up profits. Tactics that are used range from targeting consumer color preferences based on gender, to employing subliminal “tricks” such as using specific colors to entice customers to make a purchase. Online retailers take care in choosing their brand colors too, using color psychology to attempt to improve conversion rates when they design their site’s landing pages. If used appropriately, color becomes less of a tool, and more of a weapon.

Using colors to convey your Brand Personality

If you’ve a brand new detergent to send to market, then you’ll want it to be associated with cleanliness and purity, so white seems the obvious branding choice. If you want to express urgency on your site to entice your potential customers to finalize their purchase, then make the “Buy!” button green, as green equates to growth. If you’re an attorney, and you want to express your authority and to make people trust you, then blue is the correct choice.

Color is not just about capturing attention. Color also has a lot to say about a company’s branding image. What do the chosen colors say about a product’s personality? What message is a company trying to communicate? Branding choices need to take into account the way that people typically associate specific colors with different emotions.

Subway Homepage

The sandwich retailer Subway’s site is mainly branded green, which is the color of harmony, growth and good health.

Here are some more “green” businesses.

John Deere Logo

John Deere, a manufacturer of farming and lawn equipment

BP Logo

BP is one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies

As I stated earlier, the color blue inspires confidence and trust. Here are 2 examples where companies use this color to convey this particular emotion.

Deutsche Bank Logo

JP Morgan Chase Logo

So, what are you trying to sell? Life insurance, organic bread or console games? For life insurance, choose the blue path, as blue is associated with confidence and trust. Organic bread? How about green and browns to create a natural, rustic and wholesome image. Console games? Black and reds will excite the minds of your target audience, which is likely to be male teenagers and young adults.

Everything of course depends upon the atmosphere that you are seeking to create, and the way your potential consumers will react to your marketing. Making the proper color choice can mean the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful conversion.

Creating red-hot logos and headlines – even if they ain’t red!

Mr Average has an attention span of around half a minute. A website is lucky if it can maintain the attention of a semi-interested visitor for longer than ten seconds. The average consumer, according to Jakob Nielsen, will spend between 10 and 20 seconds on a page looking for what they want before giving up (if they don’t find it) and looking elsewhere. Amazingly, in this short expanse of time, nine out of every ten purchasing decisions are influenced by color alone. Is this surprising? Well, most of the information we receive about the world ends up in our heads via our eyes, after all. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Coca Cola color scheme

Coca-Cola’s red and white scheme has been a permanent success. Red evokes feelings of courage, vitality and strength. The palette also allows headlines and text to be used that’s both eye-catching and easy to read. It’s a palette that’s served Coca-Cola effectively for over a decade.

Apple color scheme

When it comes to their branding, Apple likes to keep things clear, uncluttered and simple. Black and white creates the impression that Apple’s products are technological marvels, and yet are easy to understand and operate.

Rocket Lawyer color scheme

The site of Rocket Lawyer makes excellent use of the color red which makes their site look vibrant and energetic. However, they also make effective use of whitespace to make sure a visitor’s eyes are not overwhelmed.

RIPT Apparel – a Case Study

RIPT Apparel, a Chicago based online retailer, managed to up their conversion rate by a whopping 6.3 percent simply by A/B testing the color of their CTA button from red to green using Visual Website Optimizer.


RIPT apparel - control


RIPT apparel - variation

The question that arises here is that, if green is such a compelling color, why isn’t every single CTA button you see on the internet colored green? The answer is that in this scenario, it wasn’t the specific color of the button that mattered, it was how that color contrasted with the rest of the page. The green button blended in with the rest of the site’s palette, while the red button created a contrast. This is what drove the increase in conversion rates.

Convincing colors to convince customers

People generally do not like to make decisions. From minor decisions like deciding what to have for breakfast, to life-changing decisions such as breaking up with a long-term partner, people prefer to have decisions made for them, or to have only limited choices.

In addition, as discovered by Psychology Roy Burmeister, they don’t like to read, either. To be an effective businessman, it’s really down to you to help your consumers make an effective choice in a way that takes little effort. You can give them a gentle shove in using color to highlight what you think would best solve their needs.

For example, consider Coca-Cola again. Their easy-to-recognize red and white logo has worked so successfully for them since it was created in 1885 that they’ve barely ever changed it. But what’s the secret behind their success?

The rather simple yet sleek design is intended to be associated with youthful exuberance. If a friend or vendor asks you if you’d like a Coke, then the Coke logo instantly pops into your head, re-awakening memories of the beverage that supplies that all-important buzz.

How different would Coca-Cola’s logo appear if they chose to drop red in favor of, say, yellow? Yellow is often used as a branding color that hints at fun and frolics, but it’s also associated with illness and cowardice, which are not aspects you’d necessarily want associated with a thirst-quenching soda (although such a re-branding may work brilliantly in Egypt where the color yellow is associated with prosperity and happiness.)

In Conclusion

The internet is still in its infancy, so further color studies need to be undertaken to ascertain how effective color choices really are when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions. There already exists a wealth of evidence to suggest that the correct use of color in the correct context goes a long way to reassure and inspire site visitors in a way that will boost conversions. In short, taking the time to increase your knowledge of color psychology will help you in making intelligent branding decisions and turning people on to the idea of purchasing your products.

How to Create WInning A/B Tests through Stronger Research

The post How your Color Choices can help you Increase Conversions (Part 1) appeared first on VWO Blog.

Originally posted here:  How your Color Choices can help you Increase Conversions (Part 1)


A Roadmap To Becoming An A/B Testing Expert

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the method of pitting two versions of a landing page against each other in a battle of conversion. You test to see which version does a better job of leading visitors to one of your goals, like signing up or subscribing to a newsletter. You can test two entirely different designs for a landing page or you can test small tweaks, like changes to a few words in your copy.

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A Roadmap To Becoming An A/B Testing Expert

How To Raise Your Email Above Inbox Noise

If we look at email from a signal-to-noise perspective, then one-to-many emails are undeniably in the “noise” category; people are exceedingly good at ignoring them. Even Gmail and Hotmail are helping us ignore them by providing smart inboxes that sort incoming messages.
Emails from our families, friends and coworkers, however, are “signals.” We go out of our way to read them. But those emails aren’t the only ones — on occasion, we’ll happily read messages from businesses or complete strangers.

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How To Raise Your Email Above Inbox Noise