YMCA Derbyshire ‘goes mobile’ with This Is Media

YMCA Derbyshire has joined forces with This Is Media to mobile optimise its website so as to appeal more effectively to its target audience across Derbyshire.

The move came after it was found that many of our clientele access our services online through their mobile device, in their quest to access supported housing, innovative learning and development programmes, various schemes for children and their families and other projects aimed at achieving sustainable community development.

Managing Director at This Is Media, Dave Morgan said: “We arranged a meeting with YMCA Derbyshire through a previous strong working relationship with them. It was established that many of the people the charity helps, access the YMCA Derbyshire website through a handheld device such as a mobile phone or tablet, and they were looking for a better way to get information to them.”

After an initial meeting, This Is Media created a mobile optimised version of their existingwebsite and after the initial set up, changes were made to remove unnecessary content that wouldn’t be required for the mobile visitor and certain features were highlighted to increase mobile user activity. Such features involve -

  • Easy click to call button
  • Easy to book/purchase rooms and courses
  • Easy access to social media bar
  • Latest updates & contact details highlighted
  • Maps and GPS directions for easy access

The Mobile Engine can detect more than 13,000 combinations of handsets and browsers, including iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson. No matter how customers access your mobilised site, it will be updated and synced to the desktop website and be made to fit on all devices.

Dominic Baster, Marketing & Communications Manager for the charity said: “The feedback from the new mobile optimised version of the website has been extremely positive, we were impressed with the work This Is Media had previous done with Derby Homes, and felt that this would allow us to better appeal to our target market.”

Dave Morgan, from This Is Media added: “We were delighted to be selected by YMCA Derbyshire for this project and hope that many other charities in the local area will follow suit. Making sure your website is mobile optimised is a essential part of communicating with your audience and is becoming increasingly necessary as smart phone become more popular and affordable.

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The Two Most Important Mobile Optimisation Factors

When optimising a site for mobile devices, there are two things that will keep your customers happy and ensure that the mobile site is effective. One, easy to find contact information; and two, as user-friendly of a design as possible. By concerning yourself with these two important factors, your mobile site will be well worth your while.

When it comes to contact information on a mobile website, these are essential:

  • Location or operation hours
  • Click-to-call functionality
  • E-mail address
  • Social Network Sites

Four key ways to make your mobile site user-friendly are:

1. Bigger buttons that are easier to press. This is pretty straightforward if you think about it. Our fingers are a lot larger than the typical pointer on a computer, and touch screen phones have limited space. I can only complain so much of the annoyance when trying to click-through a site and accidentally pressing the wrong button.

2. Navigation that only requires one to two clicks to get to desired information. See above. Not only do visitors have to go through buttons that may or may not cause aggravation, but if it takes several clicks to find something, its even worse than when looking online. There’s more leeway with a normal website as clicking through a site is easier, but with a phone, patience is already thin.

3. Better smartphone screen fit. Thankfully my Droid has a wonderful soom feature but it can prove annoying when I have to soom into the site and scroll left to right just to read information. Considering the sise of phones when designing a mobile site should be step one in the process.

4. Clean and efficient look and feel. Limited space and time means less is more. What may look awesome due to extravagance on your computer screen will surely not on a mobile phone.

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Mobile Website Visitors are like children

You know you need to build a mobile website for your business and you definitely know who your own audience is. Did you ever stop to think about how your target customer acts on a mobile device?

mobile-visitorsWhen helping people understand who their mobile user is and how they act, I like to equate this user to a five-year-old child. Similar to five-year-olds, mobile web visitors want your information and they want it now. Searching and waiting for the answer they need is not an option. Remember, they’re on-the-go with Smartphone in hand.

Compuware discovered that a total of 71% of users expect a mobile site to load as fast as (or quicker than) a desktop site. In the same study, they found that 60% of users expect a mobile site to load in less than three seconds.

Like a well-prepared mother taking her children out for the day, you need to get your mobile website ready for the potential worse of the worst. Mobile web browsers are prone to fits of frustration, patience shortages and have extremely high expectations about what their mobile experience should be while lacking knowledge of how the web actually works on their phones. To avoid a meltdown, you must be prepared with a mobile site that loads quickly. Here’s how to do this:

Limit your mobile site to no more than five pages total.

Cut down the amount of images to one to two per page.

If videos and other multimedia elements aren’t crucial, delete them!

Place the redirect script as close to the top <head> tag as possible, so your visitors are redirected to your mobile site immediately.

Unlike five-year-olds, visitors to your mobile website have a strong influence on what others think about your business. In a Compuware study, 57% of people would not recommend a business with a bad mobile website and are likely not to return. Ouch. Who knew that your smallest website could have such a large impact on your business?

Bottom line: Your mobile website needs to be faster. Before you go out to spruce up your site to appeal to your audience, think to yourself: If my customers were five years old, what would they want from my mobile site?

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A Derbyshire County Cricket Club Triple Bill

A Derbyshire County Cricket Club triple bill for 2012…

2012 has seen This Is Media produce 3 websites for Derbsyhire County Cricket Club, 2 being redesigns while the 3rd is a brand new site.

Up first was a complete redesign for the Official Derbyshire County Cricket Club website – www.derbyshireccc.com, that involved moving the site to a new development platform and changing the design to bring it inline with the latest club branding.

Alongside this was the launch of a brand new new website for The County Ground, Derby – www.thecountygroundderby.com, which details the full range of facilities available for Corporate Events, Celebrations, Gala Dinners and Weddings.

Finally, the official Online Store – www.dcccshop.com, received a redesign and upgrade to the eCommerce platform, launching just as the new range of Derbyshire County Cricket Club clothing hit the shelves.

These 3 sites have certainly kept us on our toes here at This Is Media over the past few months, so please take a look and if you get the chance let us know what you think!

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Job Vacancy Update – Position Filled

We are please to welcome Ben Wilson, our new Creative Artwork Designer, to the team. Ben started work with the company on the 6th of February 2012 and is now the main contact for any artwork queries regarding website adverts.

Some of the other responsibilities that Ben will be undertaking in next few months will also include customer website updates, personalised ecommerce stores and mobile optimised website creation. Ben can be contacted directly on 01332 253616 if you have and new or existing customer queries.

Obviously all the existing team wish him well in his new role in 2012 and beyond.

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Should a Mobile Optimised website be designed separately?

Due to the rapid increase in mobile Internet usage we are now being asked by our new and existing clients to design a mobile version of their main website. In the past we used to create a stand alone mobile optimised version, but in the last few months we have started to believe this is the wrong way to go.

We have now noticed that if we optimize a clients main website using our optimizing software and place it on a separate .mobi domain then every time the main website is updated so is the optimized version. This method saves the customer a lot of money on the per page design costing whilst still giving the mobile user all the essential features of the main website, but in a stripped down version.

With an automatic redirect in place on the main website to the mobile optimsed version it then makes no difference which site is accessed on a mobile device. The website can then be built on the fly to fit each mobile no matter which make of mobile or mobile operating system is being used.

You can see this in action if you visit www.thisismedia.co.uk on your smartphone or scan the QR code below.

We would welcome any other ideas from people on the most cost effective way to optimise websites? Free bottle of Whisky or your favourite tipple (priced up to £50 – not much left in petty cash after Christmas) for any ideas that help our clients save time and money.
ThisIsMedia.co.uk QR

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Job Vacancy Update

If you are in the #Derbyshire area and would like a #job working a few days a week as a Creative Artwork Designer see This Is Media Jobs. The position could be carried out from our office or from home and requires the candidate to set button and banner adverts for websites.

The position could also be a permanent one if the right candidate was found. If you think you may be interested in this role, part time or full time then take a look at our site or reply to this blog post. 

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Job Vacancy

We have only just arrived back at work today (3rd Jan) and are plunged straight into changes within the design department at This Is Media.

We urgently need a Creative Artworker/Designer to come and join us, as Amy has decided it’s time for her to move on… obviously we wish her all the best for her new start in 2012!

If you may be interested in taking the role, take a look at our Jobs page. If you then think that you could be the one to step into Amy’s shoes, send over your CV and Covering Letter!

A new job could be the first resolution ticked off the list!

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Tis The Season…

So Christmas is upon us once again, and as the office parties draw to a close the wind down begins. Looking back its been quite a year (London riots, Libyan democracy, iPhone 4S, our new-look website, ho ho ho) and like many people I’m beginning to wonder what lies ahead in 2012?

Christmas Holiday Notice:
Our holidays start today, and we all get back (somewhat bloated and bleary-eyed) on Tuesday 3rd January, 2012. Should you feel the need to give us a call in the meantime (to simply wish us a very ‘Merry Christmas’ or politely inform us that your website needs some ‘Urgent Attention’) then you can reach one of our team on:

08708 500 501 (local call rates apply)

So to all of our customers, partners and just about everybody else in the world because it is Christmas after all…

Have a Happy Christmas and New Year!

See you in 2012.

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Our New Site Goes Live!

As the title above suggests, today is launch day for our new-look This Is Media website… Hope you like it? You can always let us know what you think and leave a comment.

Anyway, the site details our services and portfolio, and is designed to be filled with just the right amount of content for each of the services that we offer.

If you want to find out about anything that we (or the site) can do then please get in touch!

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