Thursday, March 9, 2017

Help Us Help You

When starting a project to either build a new website/app or update an existing website/app, there are questions that any good designer/developer should ask.  With some of the questions, it's easy to understand why the designer/developer needs to know the answer - questions like, "how many forms will you need?" and "will you be accepting payments online."  Others are not so obvious, but are still understandable.  Questions like, "who's your target audience?" are not always expected, but with a little thought, you can figure out why the designer/developer would need to know this. (Note: for the rest of this post "developer" will refer to designers and developers).

But, it seems that there are five questions that always cause confusion - "why do you want to know that??" is often the first response. Below are the five questions and I'll try to explain why these questions are important to a developer when planning your project.

Why do you want the new website/app?
The 'why' is often overlooked.  You want a new site or app and the developer wants to make some money.  So, skip the why, just do.

Maybe you are trying to meet an industry standard or government requirement. With this information, a developer can build the standards/requirements in from the start of the project and check to make sure they are followed during the project.

Also, a good (honest) developer will let you know if your reason for 'why' is even valid.  For example, if you want a new app to rapidly increase sales, your developer should explain that an app can help increase sales, but it is seldom 'rapid.'

What do you think this project will improve?
"I want to improve my image with a new, modern site," or "I want to appeal to younger customers with a mobile app," are totally valid answers.

It is important for your developer to understand what you are trying to improve with your site or app.  Answering this question helps the developer understand your vision for the project.

What are your long-term goals?
This ties into the questions above. It helps the developer to understand more about what you would like out of the project. For example, how long will this app/site be around - are we designing for the future as well as the present? Should we create for expansion or do you see a new project to meet future requirements?

What's the timeline for the project?
A clear timeline for the project needs to be established. What can realistically be completed in that time? If the project cannot be completed in the desired limit, can a scaled down version be developed that meets your needs? If a full version must be completed, can we adjust the timeline? 

What is the budget for this project?
This is somewhat related to the above question. Understandably, the developer is thinking, "Realistically, can I still make a profit AND give the client what they want and in the time they want?" Potential clients fishing around for the best price is understandable. (But don't forget the adage, "you get what you pay for.") Knowing your budget will help the developer know what he/she can realistically deliver.

These questions are often difficult for the developer to ask.  And I find that often, the client has not given them much consideration.  But, the discussion and answers to these questions will help the developer-client relationship and improve the outcome of the project.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March 2017 Special - It's a Redo!

Our February special was such a hit that we decided to do it again for March!  So, if you liked it last month and missed out... here's your chance again! Get 20% off the development of a custom mobile application when paired with the development of a website or web application!


Contract with us in the month of March to create a new website or web application and get a 20% discount on the development of a companion mobile application.

For more information, contact us at questions@freelanceitsolutions.com
If you would like to get a quote for your project, you may start by using this link.  We will review the information and get back with you within 24 hours.

Also, visit the website for a look at out portfolio and testimonials.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chat App Demo

Here's a little demo that I recently complete that shows how a business could implement a chat
app on their website.

The Chat App uses sessions to keep track of the visitors using the app - for the demo, there is a Representative and a Guest.

The web application can be customized for use on your website.  It would allow clients and potential clients to contact you for help and information.   If you have an employee at the computer or answering the phones, they could also monitor the app for active users.

For a production version, you could keep track of client information, guest names and/or email addresses, etc.  And the complete conversation is saved to a database for future reference.  The app can also be set up to allow the guest/client/visitor to have a transcript of the conversation send to their email.

To try the demo, visit our site at: http://demos.freelanceitsolutions.com/myChat/
You will find information and directions on this page as well.

If you have any questions on how this app could be set up and customized for your site, please contact us.  You can also comment below.  We will not publish comments that include personal or business contact information.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New App Mockups and A/B Testing

Below are some mockup screenshots for a new mobile application we are developing.  First, I'm just kind-of showing them off.  But also, I'd like to know which set you prefer.  Please comment below with "White and Red" or "Black and Yellow" to indicate your choice.  ~Thanks 😊


Black and Yellow White and Red

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2017 Special - Web + Mobile and Save

For February 2017, get 20% off the development of a custom mobile application when paired
with the development of a website or web application!

Contract with us in the month of February to create a new website or web application and get a 20% discount on the development of a companion mobile application.

For more information, contact us at questions@freelanceitsolutions.com
If you would like to get a quote for your project, you may start by using this link.  We will review the information and get back with you within 24 hours.

Generate Truly Random Numbers for the Lottery

Today in the office we were discussing whether the different lottery game systems generate a truly random set of numbers where you play 'quick pick.'  We had different opinions.  But, it got me thinking about creating an app to do just that - generate a truly random set of numbers for lotto games... and then I went ahead and wrote the app.  https://goo.gl/vbg4zu


The app allows you to specify how many numbers you need and the range of numbers (example, 6 numbers in the range of 1 through 53).  If the game you want to play also has a 'special ball,' like the PowerBall game, you can have the app generate that number as well.  Check it out at this link: https://goo.gl/vbg4zu

Next, I'm planning to use this to create apps for iOS and Android devices.  Stay tuned for links to the mobile apps.

This was a fun, quick app to create.  And it's meant for fun only!  You can use it to generate your numbers.  But, it will in no way help you win any lottery game!!

For developers: this app is written using raw Javascript to generate the numbers.  HTML/CSS for the UI.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Google Starts Warnings for Non-Secure Info Collection

If you have a website or manage a website, take note!  If your users are using Google Chrome when visiting your site, and they land on a page that asks for a password, social security number, credit card or other sensitive data, they will begin receive a warning message.

These warnings are the first steps in Google’s plan to make all pages that collect sensitive information use a secure protocol (HTTPS).  Along with this, Google will begin ranking pages with SSL Certificates higher then pages without (even if those pages do not collect information through forms).

How do you make sure your visitors don’t see these messages?  You can purchase an SSL Certificate for your domain.  Install the certificate to protect the whole site, or just the sections / forms that collect the information.  If you are going through a third party for login or to process payments, make sure those sites use SSL.

For more information about SSL Certificates, visit our "SSL/TLS Explained" page.  Comment below with questions.