Tag Archives: how to

Creating a Perfect Webinar Tool: What Options Do You Have

In today’s world, a webinar is not only a remote lecture on video communication but a useful tool for generating leads and promoting on the Internet. By giving people the opportunity to find out the information they are interested in, you will receive contact information of potential customers already interested in your services in return. On gaining wide application in the advertising field, webinars received a powerful push to automate many functions. After all, to use all the capabilities of this tool you need to perform many operations manually. Therefore, we have prepared materials on how to make an assistant tool in conducting webinars, which meets all modern and personal needs.

Understanding Multiple Webinar Scenarios

Remote presenters. Of course, it makes no sense to consider the functions of tools without regard to specific use cases. Modern programs for webinars successfully merge on and off campus using remote interaction features. For example, as a webinar has two parties – learners and presenters – participants can access an event from all over the globe using PC or phone. That’s why if there are several presenters who are not in one place, they can either access all the features by joining the event or even run several programs on the presenter’s PC remotely.

Discussion management. An important role in the webinars is played by discussions. You can, at your own discretion, determine who can participate in the discussions during the webinar. However, it should be noted that not always the possibility of managing textual communication is the determining factor for the choice of the instrument. Sometimes basic settings are enough especially if there is only a need to deliver the same information right away to a large number of listeners.

Training integration. In training webinars within companies, there is usually a need to organize group work. Therefore, some of the tools allow learners to interact with each other in a mixed webinar which is combined with face-to-face activities. There are webinar tools integrated with the distance learning environment called Moodle. The creators of Moodle training courses have the opportunity to build in the learning process such training formats as online training, and master classes, into their webinars.

Promotion enhancement. Also, more and more often webinars are used not in training but promotional purposes. Some of them make it possible to create a landing page for an online event with a webinar description and registration form. After registration, a mass mailing of invitations to the webinar can be carried out directly from the platform.

Webinar Application Design

Research & training. First of all, to start the development you need to determine the target audience of the future application. Answer the following questions first:

  • In what kind of webinars will it be used? (advertising, training)
  • How many experts can be present simultaneously (for instance, round tables allow to collect several experts at one event to discuss the topic)
  • The number of participants (if you are going to develop a tool for your own organization) and the limit of participants by subscription (for application monetization)

To define a format of webinars which will be organized by means of application you can also use market research results.

Development. In the development of the application associated with the video signal, you will have to face the prevention of connection loss, the quality of signal transmission, video capture from the host computer screen, etc. Also, you may need to develop algorithms for remote connection and control of a computer.

Basic features to be implemented:

  • Waiting room
  • Timeline
  • Live Chat
  • Transmitting the screen & voice
  • Email automation
  • Participating confirmation
  • Capturing video of the webinar

Advanced features:

  • Whiteboard
  • Participants analytics
  • Mobile support
  • Ability to draw on the screen
  • Ability to mute some attendees
  • Monetization tools
  • Multiple host support, etc.

Quality assurance. Another important point is ensuring the quality of the application. Webinars require the simultaneous connection of a large number of people (from 2 to several thousand people), which implies high loads on the server side. Therefore, it is important to test the application operation in both ideal and unfavorable conditions – unstable connection, numerous simultaneous requests, etc.

Support. Technologies do not stand still, so it’s important to implement improvements to the application as often as possible. The support team will cope with this task.

Available Solutions: GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar

GoToMeeting is a well-known webinar and video-conference tool with a long history. This is the basic solution allowing to create conferences with up to 15 people first launched in 2004. In addition to the basic features, it gave an ability to record discussion for further playback, sharing access to individual applications, tools for drawing on the screen and for generating reports. It gradually evolved into one of the greatest webinar tools as it uses patented technology that allows access to an arbitrary application running on the presenter computer in real time. GoToWebinar is another project of the same company, Citrix Online, used to create webinars for 1000 people simultaneously.

Summary: How to Make a Successful Application for Webinars

Creating a reliable application for webinars is not much different from creating any other quality application. All you need to remember about the peculiarities of this sphere is that it needs to support working with a large number of participants in real time, which means high software and server loads. However, carefully designed application architecture and quality testing of all the elements of the system will allow you to create a worthwhile product for both mass and personal use.

 

 

Sincerely yours,

Itera Research team

Case Study: How To Simply Add A Static Page To The Navigation Menu in Magento

Magento is a perfect solution for E-commerce. There are plenty of features included to meet any requirements and needs of sellers. However, there is a problem when displaying common static pages, such as the About Us and Contact pages, which is called CMS pages in Magento.

There is an option to edit and add them in the Admin panel, but when a user needed to display links on the main navigation bar, there was a problem.

It was impossible to accomplish without code customization, which required a great deal of time and effort. Given how frequently we were asked about this type of development, we decided to create an extension to simplify the process.

The solution we found is based on using a catalogue categories menu, which allows one to render CMS page links and titles instead of category link and category name. To ensure user-friendly management, we reached a solution of adding a new tab to the CMS page edit section following the Meta Data tab. Our custom tab contains a categories tree, like on a product edit page in categories tab, so we can assign a CMS page by clicking checkboxes on the tree nodes. We had to completely rewrite the cms/page model and implement our custom “after save and before delete” logic.

At first sight, it would seem that all we need is to create a reference to cms_page_edit_tabs  block and insert our categories tree inside. However, tabs in the product edit page and cms page edit page are different. We could not use the adminhtml/catalog_product_edit_tab_categories block as a tab in the CMS page edit, because it requires that the tab block calls  the Mage_Adminhtml_Block_Widget_Tab_Interface interface, but the catalogue categories tree doesn’t implement this interface. Therefore, we created a custom adminhtml block and extended the categories tree block. Then, we overrode the methods specific for categories tree view.

We’ve spent about 80 hours on development, but now it will only take a few minutes to install the extension. It creates a new tab in the edit section, where an Admin can simply assign a CMS page to a selected category without using any URL rewrite management or redirects. Moreover, this extension supports multiple stores, which is quite important due to its growing popularity.

If this is something you were looking for, please visit the Itera Research account on Magento Connect

 

Sincerely,

Itera Research team

Simple Tricks to Increase Sales on Apparel Ecommerce Websites

There is no denying that ecommerce has become a huge part of modern life. In 2016, experts predict that more than $327 billion will be spent in ecommerce by Americans alone. More specifically, apparel ecommerce is a major contributor to that total, and is also a very competitive sector. As an apparel ecommerce website, if you want to stand out from the crowd and get noticed in the best ways, there are a few simple strategies that can increase your customer retention, efficiency, user experience, and revenue.

Below, we’ll discuss some of the best techniques for making your mark on the apparel ecommerce market.

Quick buy button

If you have many products that are very similar, a quick buy button is the perfect solution. Help your customers get started with their shopping. Managing your products has never been easier: sale items, most popular, new collections, new arrivals or any combination of these.

Focus on outfits rather than individual products

This is one of the hotter trends seen in ecommerce today and is a basic feature of smart merchandising. Even better, it can help to increase sales. By combining a featured outfit with extra product views on the same page, you’ll make it easier for shoppers to complete their look.

Use a mix and match tool

This handy tool will be hard to resist. Shoppers will get the experience of being in an actual dressing room and they’ll feel like a stylist while trying out different outfits.

Implement a true fit tool

Help your customers feel confident they’re choosing the right size. Simply provide many product details and add interactivity. This will help to minimize returns by helping shoppers to find the perfect fit the first time.

Creative category names

In addition to the common filters that are usually found on the side or top menu, we suggest adding unusual and unexpected categories according to style, color, or even client habits. This will particularly appeal to female audiences.

Focus on imagery

Using high resolution full screen photos of your products still works and is the best way to showcase what you have to offer. Don’t be afraid to use a full screen background video. It isn’t just for luxury and fashion items and it will definitely highlight your brand.

Allow users to adjust the frequency of your newsletter

Make your customers feel in control by letting them choose how often they receive your newsletters. This shows that you are considerate of your customers, which is something that they will definitely appreciate. We are confident you will see your subscription rate grow.

 

Involve clients

Add a small photo gallery showing customers wearing your apparel. This is an amazing tool for impressing visitors to your website and increasing conversions. Invite shoppers to tag you in their photos by giving special offers and discounts.

 

 

Sincerely,

Itera Research team

 

4 Steps to Starting a Mobile App Development

The global smartphone market share is continuously growing. Nowadays, a responsive website or native mobile app is a MUST-HAVE in order to support your presence online.

So, how to start a mobile app from scratch?

Step 1. Specify The Application Concept

Depending upon the type of application, different amounts of time and effort may be required to achieve it. For example, an ecommerce mobile app, a healthcare app, game or augmented reality – each of these requires a different approach and each varies in terms of the technology that must be used for completion. Once the concept is defined, it’s time to hire professionals (preferably a contractor who has expertise in a similar area). In terms of technology and general expertise, for example, you may need an IT professional from a development background who is focused on business mobile apps, e-learning iOS apps or CRM; the mobile market differs from the game studio.

Step 2. Competitors

Review successful competitors. Time is money, so forget the idea that a large-scale successful project can be replicated quickly and for a low price. Remember instead that each product/service has its fair market price. For all large-scale and feature-rich projects I would suggest starting from proof-of-concept, which is just Phase 1. During this phase you will see how the development is going and how fast feedback arrives, and based on that proof-of-concept you will have a clear project plan for the next stages.

Step 3. SOW (Statement of Work Document)

Generate a brief describing the workflow for the entire app. The major focus here is that if you are planning a large app, it is best to have the Statement of Work document ready BEFORE development starts. This will save you money and time in the future. Prepare mockups to make the user flow and use cases crystal clear and design graphic concepts for any major page(s). Share your GO-AHEAD to a development team only once the SOW / specs/ sketches / wire are completed (at least briefly).

Step 4. Data Flow

There are 2 types of mobile apps: stand-alone; and client-server (with the server-side integrated via web services). A stand-alone is a static app where there is no server-side so that each time you need to add anything, you need to use a developer and resubmit the app into the marketplace.

A client-server mobile app allows you to add and edit data under your mobile application via a web-based user interface; when planning a client-server app, please consider that you will have to discuss that interface with a web developer as well.
3rd party API integrations should be discussed with a development team before starting the project (starting from Facebook and Twitter API and up to some specific 3rd party services for retrieving products, services, shipping etc.).

All new data, such as product listings, new posts, new videos, and all new info appearing under your mobile app should be retrieved from some server side; it can be either your current website or external services. Remember that both platforms (iOS and Android) do have serious limitations in terms of the formats supported. So, for example, if you’re planning to retrieve a video under a mobile app from some cameras online, always take some time to discuss the available formats for streaming so that your development team can come up with suggestions regarding formats.

Summary

In order to succeed with a mobile business app or on the gaming market it is essential to follow these four simple steps. As a result, you will have a clear understanding of the scale and scope of the app, so you can track where you are with the development progress. You will easily be able to plan the budget and costs as well as effectively planning the launch date and marketing activities.

The right beginning makes for a good ending.

 

Sincerely,

Itera Research Team

How to Start Your Website

If you’re planning to start a new business online, but are not particularly tech-savvy, it can be difficult to know what the proper steps are to follow. This brief will get you started in the right direction.

Step 1 Concept

Think of your target audience and briefly define your concept. Review your competition, namely a company that has already “made it”. You will save a lot of time and money by going through this brief review. For example, if you’re planning an ecommerce business, then it would be great to review the TOP 3-5 links from your most well-known competitors and see what their key features are. It is not necessary to copy what they’re doing, but it will help you to obtain some idea of what is needed for the success of your project.

Decide whether you are aiming for a static HTML vs. dynamic website. A static site is where nothing changes; content is uploaded and displayed “as is”. A dynamic website, however, will have data pulled from a database so that you can display your website content by date, category, etc. (e.g. social networks). Here is one trick we would suggest that you consider: It would be great to come up with a minimum and maximum list of MUST-HAVES. In other words, it’s unnecessary to copy ALL OF EBAY, but it would be great to make a list of the major feature sets that align with your vision. This will help you to reduce your initial cost, define a feature list for proof-of-concept with minimum required functionality, and make the concept scalable in the future when it proves to be successful.

Step 2 Workflow brief

Generating a workflow brief is something that helps you analyze:

  1. How new info is coming to your website
  2. What happens next (major user scenarios)

This step will help you give a clear vision for your entire workflow. For example, if you are planning to develop a new social network with video sharing, or an online radio station, or interested to start sports betting website, first you have to review where you are planning to take the content from and in case if you need 3rd party content like live video stream or match scores,  it’s important to identify where that data would be retrieved from via API services and review the API in terms of availability and documentation provided; for example, all betting feeds for match scores, or sports results are usually paid.

We would also suggest creating small sketches to illustrate your vision. Itera Research would be glad to do that for you upon your request.

Step 3 Technology and Price

When you have your concept and the vision for workflow, it’s time to start looking for quotes.

The general recommendations for this are as follows:

  • One should consider that CMS-based development takes less time, although
  •  sometimes CMS is not a good fit when there is a lot of sophisticated, custom-tailored functionality required. In this latter case, it would be more reasonable to consider custom development (e.g. Open source).

For example, for a regular blog, using WordPress would be fine, but for custom product configuration, you may need a strong PHP developer who will be able to add that functionality to your website.

Itera Research comes up with suggestions regarding technology based on the tech review conducted for the requirements provided. We work on websites using .NET and PHP (WordPress, Magento, custom), as well as options to use Symfony2, Yii, and ZEND for custom development.

Step 4 Implementation

Implementation usually consists of the following stages:

  1. Graphic design;
  2. HTML/CSS programming;
  3. Web development;
  4. Testing and deploy.

If you decided to move on based on some CMS like Magento or WordPress, there is an option to consider already one of existing WordPress templates or WP themes, and in this case the first two stages mentioned above, would be done, the cost would be covering just template review and customization but remember that the design and theme will not be unique. Itera Research is glad to offer you full-color graphic design for all your WordPress or Magento projects.

Web development is something that should be planned in advance. When our customers are considering quotes and choosing contractor, we are happy to submit a project plan, milestones, and deliverables per milestone for customers review. Itera Research suggests to divide delivery process by Milestones, and summarize features set to be done per each Milestone along with calendar plan.

The customer is then invited to check the results from the staging server (Itera Research performs deploy into staging server, so that our clients can check the website pages throughout the development process once we have something done and available for a tech review.).

Step 5 Domain Name, Hosting

When you’re ready to deploy your site, it’s time to look for a domain name. The main principle is to make it short, recognizable, and related to your business name or industry.

I would avoid taking the last name of a real person (unless you are Mr. Gates, of course), or choosing famous brand names with one letter changed. Sometimes the strategy can work, but it can make marketing efforts quite difficult, which is part of your overall strategy that you’ll want to be effective.

Consult with tech personnel regarding hosting (this depends on the expected peak loads, technology used on the website, and other factors). For example, clouds are very popular in recent years, and they’re perfect for large-scale heavy projects (with shared servers and large data flow). However, the secret is that some websites simply don’t need to utilize clouds when dealing with small or even mid-sized web apps or websites with small to average dataflow.

Itera Research provides server set-up services for our customers and we would be glad to share our recommendations for hosting (according to project size and technology employed).

 

Sincerely,

Itera Research team