Planet4iT Blog

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Providing you with information on the IT and Digital marketplace.


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A bad User Experience (UX) on your website can cause customers to hit that back button pretty quickly. Check out these pet peeves and make your site a user friendly experience.

Red lights, people driving in the fast lane, cold french fries, dishes left in the basement, clothes left in the dryer, and the list goes on and on. It's amazing how many pet peeves you have once you start making a list. Pet Peeves can be an irritant that you can't control, such as slow drivers in the passing lane - grrr - in the long run you better get used to them and move over otherwise your pet peeve could become a tragedy. Dishes on the counter, toothpaste lids left off will probably cause a minor blow-up at your partner or kids, it will blow over and everything will be peaceful for a while and then you will need another blow-up.

If a business is irritating you, there is a good chance you will change businesses. Cell Phone providers are a great example of bad customer experiences affecting businesses. You just change carriers. Rogers and Bell have listened and now their products and programs are so alike it's hard to find any differences with them.

As the millennium approached, businesses had to find a whole new way to attract customers. The webpage and social media sites have become their first line of attracting and keeping you as a customer. Whether you are looking information up on Google or Bing, or just following a link from a Tweet or Facebook, it's important that your users not only stay on your webpage, but return to it.

I don't think of myself as being too fussy but here are 5 things that drive me crazy about websites:

Too Long to Load

High speed, high speed, high speed. I expect instantaneous results. Yes, I know this is not always the webpages fault, sometimes it is my provider but bam if that little wheel is spinning, I am out of there. Back to the search bar to the next article. There are 1000's of websites competing for your time, don't lose a customer because your website is too slow. Check the images, are they too big, are there too many? Videos are great but can be slow to load. News and sports sites are known for being slow mainly because of the large amount of information and video they are trying to provide. Check out TSN's website. It opens in a flash. There are lots of videos on the landing page, but none of them start up until you click them.

Advertisements

Everyone has to advertise but having to stare at an advertisement for 10 seconds before I even get into your site. Zap - back to the search bar. There is another website just waiting for my business. Pop-ups, banners, sometimes you can't see the story for the advertising. Make sure your priority is giving your customer value, not just trying to get more clicks.

White Papers/Phishing Articles

Twitter feeds have 1000's of tweets trying to catch your attention. There is nothing I hate more than finding a really interesting 280-character tweet, you click on it and before you can proceed to the story you have to sign up for their email newsletter and fill out all sorts of personal information. Not happening on the first date, sorry, you have to gain my loyalty before I start passing on my personal information!

Links that Hijack the Webpage

Make sure your links open in a new window or at the very least allow your user to use the back button to get back to your site. 

Mobile Friendly

Chances are if I have a favourite webpage at some point in time, I am going to want to read it on my laptop, my tablet and my phone. Scrolling up and down is inevitable on a phone but also trying to scroll side to side is a real turn off. Make your website mobile friendly. Mobile technology is here to stay and taking over the world. Don't lose all these valuable customers.

The world is a busy place and with the internet, everything we want to buy or know is at our fingertips. The Yellow Pages ad of "let your fingers do the walking" can be adapted to the internet, "let your fingers do the buying", "let your fingers do the surfing". Just make sure your customers don't bail on you because of poor website design and optimization!


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Twitter is one of our favourite social media platforms. Keep up to date, look for jobs, engage with like minded people. But be careful, your tweet could cost you your job. 

All social media platforms should be treated with kid gloves when you are job hunting. Companies will check your social networks out before they hire you. And after you are hired, if you are too offensive be prepared to be fired or reprimanded. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that you control, not only in your posts but also in who you let see your information. Facebook is used for more personal posts - announcements, things you like, things you don't like, etc. It again is safer because you have to allow people to connect with you. Unless someone else tags you and then voila! - you are open to their list of friends. Most Twitter accounts on the other hand are open to everyone on the worldwide web. 

When things happen on Twitter, they happen fast. Sometimes "trending" can be a bad thing. 

What types of things should you never tweet about on Twitter or post on any social media platform?

  • Your current company in a negative light

  • Your current boss, make that even your previous boss either in a negative or funny light. OK maybe he was really drunk at the Company Golf Tournament, and you took a picture - don't post it, ever!  
  • Getting a little too cosy with the boss' wife could be a deal breaker too. Just to be careful leave your phone in your purse at company functions. What seems funny at the time, might not be 24 hours later.  
  • Racist comments are always a big NO/NEVER
    • Justine Sacco a PR Exec with only 200 followers was fired over comments made on her personal account. (DailyMailUK)
  • Sexist comments.  
    • 2 Toronto Firefighters were fired over sexist comments on their personal twitter accounts. (National Post Story)  
    • Ted Bishop, a very well respected PGA of America President, until he sent what he thought was a harmless tweet. (Golf.com)
  • Accidentally posting on a company website, not only was the employee fired but Chrysler cancelled their contract with the agency where he worked. Huffington Post)


  • Don't rant on Twitter - rants should be done in the privacy of your own home, preferably when no one is around.  
  • Don't joke about bombing or hurting someone.  
  • Watch out for tweets that could be breaking your company's confidentiality rules, this could not only result in you being fired but also in a court case. 

Follow these "Rules of Thumb" when thinking about posting something:  

  • Don't post when you are intoxicated.
  • Be careful posting late at night, it is harder to call something back if you are heading into bed. Do you really want to wake up and find out you have gone viral?
  • The "24 hour" rule. If something is really bugging you, wait 24 hours to see if you calm down.
  • Funny - maybe not when you look at it later. Funny comments in the privacy of your own home stay there. If you offend someone they can mention it right then. Funny comments on Twitter will probably be found offensive by someone so be careful.  
  • If you start to write something and have doubts about how it will be perceived. then delete it.  
  • Use the "Mom Test". If it won't pass Mom, then don't post it.  

In this day and age is there anything truly private anymore? Have a little fun at your birthday party - *click* someone takes a picture. A conversation around the dining room table - someone tapes it. It isn't just affecting the rich and famous anymore. Everyone is under scrutiny. And this is especially true when job hunting. Keep your social media clean and your tweets scandal free!


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A noted Enterprise Architect and I were chatting over a coffee one day a short while ago about next- generation Enterprise software. The enterprise that employs him needs a global offering. The software Vendors were asked to meet 2022 needs for this strategic recruit, train and retain initiative. The project is fully funded by the top Executives. My friend was reflecting that the short listed Vendors who can offer ‘off the shelf’ ERP software were only able to meet 1st Quarter 2018 enterprise needs. The build solution seems to be the viable alternative at this time.  Our reflection was that this project is only the tip of the iceberg on what Corporations and companies are now facing if they are to survive.

Current fad is to use expressions in the likes of incorporating AI based behaviours; IOT; Cyber currencies and crypt based attestations; Data science and analytics; Cloud; collaborative source development; and voice activated activities. These have real meaning when a business entity is looking to build.

At the end of 2017, the top tech jobs noted by Industry experts are: Machine Learning Engineers; Data Scientists; Customer Success Managers; Big Data Developers; Full Stack Engineers; Unity Developers; and Full Stack Developers to name a few in the top quadrant. Shortages for each of these positions start at 10:1 for the machine learning folks to 4.5:1 for the full stack developers.

The pace of job change is nothing like I have ever seen in my 30 years as a career manager. However, from a job advice perspective, I want my professionals to get on these projects now or invest in education immediately to join a project this 2018 calendar year. No one can aptly predict the journey to 2022 and beyond, but many of the world’s great Seers have already stated in multiple publications what business and consumerism will look like.

Your mission, is to get yourself on one of these projects immediately. Taking on any maintenance and enhancement (read Legacy) role may be career limiting if you are not a ‘Boomer’. If you current Employer is staying the course in 2018, they will be in peril by 3rd Quarter 2019 or sooner! Technology companies are building, buying and introducing immediate Gen technology across multiple channels. Ideally one wants to be involved in the application and integration of these technologies and products.

The Build era is where I come from. The Boomer philosophy in those days was anything was possible. Great new companies rose and stalwarts fell. Leaders were identified and careers made. It was easy to reminisce over coffee with my fellow Boomer colleague on the good old days. However, what got our brains burning is the opportunity to forge a phenomenal career in today’s environment. The pace of change is very fast. Just by recognizing this gets you well positioned. The next step is to join a software or infrastructure build project, company or alternative initiative now. To borrow a corny expression: embrace the change and get on with it.