Category Archives: Digital Solutions

History of browsers infographic

You may or may not know this, but March was a big month for browsers. Three of the big four web browsers – Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer – all released their latest versions!

What they bring for us are improved standards compliance, support for all of the latest technologies including HTML5 and CSS3 and importantly, improved user interfaces, but most excitingly … speed improvements!

If you use the internet at all (and I assume you do if you are reading this), you should race to your favourite browsers website and play the update game as soon as possible.

In the wake of all of these updates, SmashingApps posted an infographic that details the history of web browsers. It shows their creation date and popularity. Take a look and see just how far we have in the 17 years of the web browser!

Yours in internet archaeology ,

Lee

The History of Web Browsers - TechKing via SmashingApps

#epicwinning with ASOS Facebook competition

asos facebook competition

I won, I won, I won!!!! Can you tell that I’m super excited? It’s because I’ve won $300 worth of ASOS gear for free! In the words of one wise Charlie Sheen I think that makes me a “#biwinner”. “#epicwinning” indeed!

After I ‘liked’ ASOS on Facebook – one of the largest online fashion retailers which is based in the UK – I entered into their ‘Have one on us’ competition which sees one lucky buyer win their order for free. A winner is drawn every hour of the day, every day and you go into the draw to win your order’s worth of gift vouchers – lucky I had a big order then! They’ll send them to me via email within a week and I’ll have 300 clams to throw at some sweet British threads. ASOS have a serious good range, from super cheap to super designer and expensive, I love it!

Just another reason why I love Facebook! Small giveaways go a long way to keep your customers happy – and keep them coming back!

Sorry my life is so bitchin’ guys – I win here, I win there – ok enough Charlie Sheen quotes!

Yours in #epicwinning,
Janet

Eat your way to the music

Eclectic alternative rock heroes, the Flaming Lips, have always been known for their creative approach. Last year frontman, Wayne Coyne, took his obsession with fake blood to a new level, and created a one off poster made from his own blood. Earlier this year, the Flaming Lips released the track ‘Two Blobs Fucking‘ as 12 separate youtube clips that need to be played simultaneously on iPhones.

The band have continued to think progressively and embrace technology as they plan to release their new four song EP on a USB stick… inside a gummy brain… inside a gummy skull. You have to eat your way to the music! In Coyne’s words:

“It’s a life-sized human skull completely made out of edible gummy bear stuff. It also has a gummy brain inside of it and, inside of that, there’s a USB flash drive that has three new songs on it. It’s pretty outrageous.” (pitchfork.com)

They found a gummy-innovation-expert who turned out to be a big fan and took an enthusiastic interest in the project, which will be released in April.

Yours in creativity,
Anya

The ‘Bandwagon’ that’s not for everyone

Apple’s strong marketing campaigns, amazing hardware and great software have definitely been stealing the technological spotlight almost to the extent where (and I don’t mean to start arguments about this) people seem to be forgetting all about Microsoft and what they have been up to. So I would like to take the time to talk about something that hasn’t even been rated enough to be under-rated, if that makes sense!

While we have all been staring or drooling at the pretty screens of the new iPhones or iPod Touch or iPad, we as consumers, and Apple’s competitors have had the blinkers pulled over our eyes. Apple’s icon-driven user interface on their iOS devices works. And it makes sense. It helped them sell their products in the volumes they have and it has also inspired their competitors to follow the trends they are setting. Google’s Android operating system jumped on the bandwagon and followed with very similar core design principles. With two of the major mobile operating systems choosing to go down this path, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing a lot of the same things carry over interface designs, but what about Microsoft? Have they fallen off the radar, stuck in user interface dark ages of the old desktop metaphor or will they jump on board the bandwagon and give us some more of the same?

SURPRISE!

They have actually done something completely different! Their approach to the touch screen user interface for smart phones is actually very cool. I like it because of their clever use of typography and iconography. It’s subtle, simple and clean. Take a look at these screenshots:

Windows Phone 7 Start Screen - Source: Microsoft

Windows Phone 7 Music Player - Source: Microsoft

They call the design language behind this user interface “Metro”. Its key principles are the fact that it’s incredibly clean and modern, it’s all about typography and all about doing something authentic and original. If you’re interested to see its slick animations or play with its incredibly responsive menu system or just look at something different, the next time you get a chance to, pick up a Windows 7 phone and see that no everyone has to follow the crowd.

Yours in technology,

Lee

Fastest Selling Gadget Ever? You’ll be surprised!

Which is the first company that pops into your head when I ask the question, who manufactured the fastest selling gadget of all time to date?

If you guessed Apple, I wouldn’t blame you, but you’d be incorrect – it’s actually, believe it or not Microsoft!

That’s right, a new Guinness World record for the Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics item has been set by none other than Microsoft with its controller-free gaming device Kinect.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

The Microsoft Kinect system broke all sales records for consumer electronics, selling 8 million units in just 60 days. This smashes iPad sales figures by Apple (they sold 2 million units in the first 60 days of launch). The average of these sales by Kinect means they have achieved roughly an average sale of 133,333 units per day.

The record was confirmed Friday by Guinness on their blog.

If you read our blog often, you’ll know that I posted about Kinect just prior to its launch back last November. Since then, the number of games available that are compatible with the Kinect platform have increased and it has become one of the most popular additions to the Xbox 360 console ever.

Have you tried Kinect?

Yours in record breaking games,

Trish

Wedding Inspiration at The Lane and Once Wed

To all of you other there who couldn’t give a rat’s arse about weddings I apologise and suggest you tune out now as I’m about to bore you to tears. But to those who might be planning a wedding or helping someone else do so then hopefully this might help…

Once Wed and The Lane

Well I’ve well and truly progressed into “wedding mode” and have been trawling the net for ideas and inspiration. I found two sites that keep me coming back for more – The Lane and Once Wed – and they’re simply devine! The Lane is Aussie based (which means you can actually use the vendors listed) and Once Wed is based in the USA (which is still great for inspiration). There’s plenty of vendors for fashion (new and used dresses – yay!), flowers, decorations, stationery, styling, photography, venue ideas and even DIY projects. Yummy!

Yours in inspiration,
Janet

7 sites every designer and developer must bookmark

Designers and Developers across the world need to keep up with the latest technology and trends or get left behind. It’s just how the industry works. The great thing about both of these professions is that everything we could possibly want to know is readily available, right now, for free.

I won’t hold any more of you eager learners back by raving about why you should check the following sites out, and just cut to the chase, below are a few sites you might not have heard of that are definitely worth the bookmark or RSS subscription.

1. OnTwik

An excellent resource for designers and developers dedicated to showcasing lectures, conferences and other video resources.

2. DesignIsKinky

An Australian art and Design resource that is great for inspiration and finding out what’s on locally.

3. SitePoint

An incredidbly valuable resource targeted at pretty much everyone in the Communication Design industry, great podcasts, great articles and just generally useful references. They even write their own textbooks!

4. Fonts In Use

Fonts in Use is a fantastic typography resource, great for keeping up with trends in type and full of awesome tips and tricks.!

5. YouTheDesigner

This is a cool blog full of interesting and useful print, web and photography tid bits.

6. Bittbox

A great place to find both paid and free resources including fonts, designs, tutorials and showcases of user’s work.

7. Design Float

A DIGG-like website for graphic and web designers that has a nice broad selection of topics presented in a very to the point fashion.

Yours in design and technology,

Lee

Using social media to build a brand

Social Media can be a powerful tool when building a brand and shouldn’t be left out of the marketing mix, in fact I believe it should be considered right from the beginning of the planning and design process. As a starting point I have put together Brio Group‘s tips on integrating social media so it can be part of your next marketing strategy.

1: Choose the right channels – it’s important to get clear on who the target market/s are that you want to attract. Make sure you research the new ways this market embrace when they are communicate. Next, list out the communication channels that are being used.

2: Be creative in your approach to using social media channels – don’t just copy what everyone else is doing on social media. There are many opportunities at the moment to stand out by using social media creatively. Consider how are you engaging with the audience, what you want them to do, how the message can be spread and how traditional media can leverage your use of social media.

3. Define your tone of voice for your brand – social media channels give you the perfect platform to define your brand’s voice in the market. Is the brand fun loving, serious and detailed, or conversational? Use social media to ‘speak’ to the target audience on a personal level.

4. Listen to your customers and engage with them – social media channels lets your brand interact with your customers so you can find out what they like most about your product, service … or even team members! Listen and respond regularly to the comments and have a contingency plan in place to deal with negative feedback. At Brio Group, we call it a Social Media Policy. This important document outlines different scenarios and how to respond to negative feedback so it can be dealt with professionally and promptly by any team member. Update your Social Media Policy regularly with any new scenarios that are experienced.

5. Don’t be pushy – the biggest mistake that we see businesses doing with social media is to just push their product or service onto their target markets (fans). That is not the purpose of social media. I always say, “people will buy from businesses they know like and trust”. Social media channels give you the perfect forum to build up this awareness, personality and trust in your brand and should not be exploited with pushy and quick sales tricks and promotions.

We recently developed a new brand and marketing strategy including website build for SpareTicket.com.au. We integrated quite a few social media components into this project with a pre-launch teaser and  launch campaign through social media channels that was supported by press releases and traditional media interviews and stories. We also set specific measurable marketing goals since the launch that we monitor weekly. The word of mouth spread of SpareTicket in the first month since launch has been phenomenal, mainly due to the power of social media. If you want to find out more about this project have a read of our case study.  If used well, your next campaign can also be a success if you harness the power of social media.

Yours in social media marketing,

Belinda

Internet state of play 2010

The internet and its technologies is something that we as a community sometimes take for granted. Now more than ever, the internet is being embraced by companies worldwide. Discover how Brio Group can help harness your company’s digital capabilities.

While many of us are aware of our own internet use, such as the number of emails we receive a day, how many friends message us on Facebook, or how many websites we visit and what they are – it’s sometimes hard to imagine what these numbers would equate to if multiplied by all of the internet users worldwide.

Focus is a website which provides loads of information for business professionals and has most recently produced a graphical data representation titled “The State of the Internet: Summing up 2010“.

The image draws data from a number of sources including Facebook, Verisign, Twitter and Flickr and compiles it into a snapshot of the number of internet users in 2010 and what they have been doing.

Some of the numbers are quite phenomenal such as 3000 images being uploaded to Flickr every second, 2 billion videos being watched on YouTube for the year and 100 million new accounts created on Twitter.

The image is really quite impressive, to take a look at yourself, CLICK HERE to be taken to the Focus website to view.

How much do you contribute to the figures?

Yours in Digital,

Trish