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Buyer's Guide to Web Projects

Independent advice in planning and buying web projects.

Buyer’s Guide to Web Projects
Our blog provides advice in planning and buying web projects.

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CASE: Eckerö Line succeeded with a complex web store renewal

26.11.2018

The web store requirements of Eckerö Line are very complicated. Similarities with typical consumer web shops cannot really be found. Already, the cruise and route trip sales have many dimensions and when enhanced with different kinds of extra services onboard, such as meals and vehicle shipping, and services in the destination, such as hotel accommodation and opera tickets, managing different kinds of combinations becomes really complicated. An extra spice is the pre-order selection, which comes with its own set of rules. Continue reading “CASE: Eckerö Line succeeded with a complex web store renewal”

Magento is in the middle of a change – again

18.6.2019

Today, Magento is the most commonly used e-commerce platform in Finland. The installation base is broad for both the open source version and the commercially licensed version. Due to the new ownership, the market position of the product changes slightly.

Global software company Abode announced an acquisition of e-commerce platform Magento back in May 2018. Adobe has had an extensive offering already before, but it’s been lacking an e-commerce solution. Magento seems to be the missing piece for the puzzle. Now that a year has passed since the announcement, it’s time to reflect the impact of the acquisition and the future of Magento. Continue reading “Magento is in the middle of a change – again”

Most popular web technology platforms in Finland 2019

When you look at the web technology platforms different companies use, the most popular open source products are still going strong. If we compare purely the number of installations, WordPress and Drupal are leaders of the pack. Free license attracts buyers, but the products are also very suitable for typical website implementation scenarios. Continue reading “Most popular web technology platforms in Finland 2019”

Would you dare to rent a home directly on the Internet?

Quite a few do dare! Few years ago, we helped Kojamo (by then still VVO) with design and implementation of their new web store. A totally new renting process was very well adopted, because the availability of the rental apartments was (and is) poor in the Helsinki city area. Especially those moving in from distant locations thought that it is a good idea to rent a home on the Internet without even seeing it.

Right now, however, the situation is totally different. Kauppalehti tells in an article about Kojamo, that in the mid November 2018 over 7500 rental contracts had been done in the service. Continue reading “Would you dare to rent a home directly on the Internet?”

IBM abandons its web store platform

During the last few years the situation of IBM as a provider of web store systems has not looked very good. In Finland, the situation with partners has steadily become worse, and it is not easy to recommend IBM, even though the system itself is quite capable.

Now IBM has sold a remarkable collection of products to an Indian company HCL Technologies. HCL has become known especially as a partner in big outsourcing cases. This business case seems to be similar. Continue reading “IBM abandons its web store platform”

What you measure is what you get!

16.1.2019

It can be difficult to create qualitative metrics for modern service systems. Here are some thoughts to help your work. Continue reading “What you measure is what you get!”

Survey results: Product information is the foundation of B2B sales channels

November 22, 2018

It is difficult to sell products without high-quality, comprehensive and up-to-date product information. This is self-evident in B2C web stores, but the same requirements apply to B2B sales channels as well. The difference with B2B channels is that providing high-quality, comprehensive and up-to-date product information is much more complicated than in consumer business.

Continue reading “Survey results: Product information is the foundation of B2B sales channels”

Ingredients for utilizing web analytics

December 5, 2017

Utilization of web analytics varies a lot around organizations. Many companies have a Google Analytics account (or corresponding tool) in place, but too few of these organizations take full advantage of it. But why is that? Shouldn’t the benefits be obvious? Continue reading “Ingredients for utilizing web analytics”

Top 10 must visit conferences in Europe for digital professionals

15.11.2017

There are a wide array of different conferences available in Europe for digital professionals and web designers. We asked several experts which ones are worth visiting, so you know, which ones to keep an eye on and when to plan your visit.

Continue reading “Top 10 must visit conferences in Europe for digital professionals”

CASE: Tax.fi user-friendliness fine-tuned through testing

10.10.2017

The content management system for the Finnish Tax Administration web service, Vero.fi, has been renewed. User experience, search functions, and maintainability were significantly improved in the process. Continue reading “CASE: Tax.fi user-friendliness fine-tuned through testing”

Forget the latest Forrester report about WCM systems

Forrester is one of the most well-known analyst companies that publishes ranking reports for content management systems (Gartner being the other one). The most recent Forrester Wave report about web content management systems (Q1/2017) was published at the beginning of this year, and there were some surprises, to say the least. I will review the report in this article and offer some background for how Forrester’s report should be interpreted. Continue reading “Forget the latest Forrester report about WCM systems”

CASE: Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre’s web services take a digital leap

24.4.2017

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre Messukeskus launched their website redesign project in 2014. At the time, their website was running on SharePoint 2007. The site was not serving customers as well as desired anymore, and the technical platform was aging rapidly, too.

The aim was to replace the old SharePoint solution with a modern, easier-to-maintain combination of web services targeted to both visitors and exhibitors. Messukeskus wanted to offer their visitors inspiring and activating content before, during and after each event, and to encourage people to share their experiences with others.
Continue reading “CASE: Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre’s web services take a digital leap”

Expert advice: Native mobile apps, bots or web apps?

Nov 14, 2016

Deciding your digital touch points is not always a straightforward task. Especially right now when the mobile world is developing at a fast pace. Many organizations have already invested big chunks of money in mobile apps, but many are still wondering about whether they should invest in high-quality web apps or new channels instead, such as Facebook Messenger bots. Continue reading “Expert advice: Native mobile apps, bots or web apps?”

Good news: web sites ARE getting better

Sep 19, 2016

The last big thing in web design has been responsive (or, adaptive) design. This demand for scalable, fluid and flexible layouts has captured web designers’ attention so intensively that they no longer have a need to prove their creativity with excessive gizmos, gadgets, games and animations. This has turned into an astonishing win-win situation for customers and end users!

Of course, responsive web sites are more accessible and they offer better support for versatile end devices. But as a consequence, focus on responsive design also has side effects that have led to improvements in the overall quality of web contents, user experience and usability. Continue reading “Good news: web sites ARE getting better”

Different conceptual approaches to self-service channels

Aug 23, 2016

Many organizations are now paying attention to the development of their customer-facing self-service channels, with some of them already developing the second or third generation. Many customers are already accustomed to good self-service channels; online banks are good examples of services with a long lifespan. Continue reading “Different conceptual approaches to self-service channels”

What are the advantages of commercially licensed web content management platforms over open-source products?

May 23, 2016

Platforms based on open-source code are conquering the world of online services. WordPress, in particular, has spread with vigor. The platform is constantly developing, and there is no shortage of implementation partners. With the number of installations as the criterion, WordPress is probably the world’s most popular content management system. Continue reading “What are the advantages of commercially licensed web content management platforms over open-source products?”

National flag is not a language symbol

17.5.2016

The language menu of a web service CANNOT be represented as a row of flags. I am returning to this age-old issue because I am passionate about it. Finland is a bilingual country, and there is no way that the mother tongue of grandma Siv, born and raised in our Swedish-speaking coastal area and never planted a foot outside her homeland, should ever be represented by the flag of our neighboring monarchy, Sweden. If you cannot catch my drift, you might have an idea on how Owen from Down Under feels about the language selection “Great Britain”.

Continue reading “National flag is not a language symbol”

When do mobile apps make sense?

Feb 29, 2016

In recent times, many Finnish corporations have entered the world of mobile apps. For example, the retail chain Kesko published its K-ruoka (K Food) mobile app that makes it easy to create and share shopping lists within a household. The department store Stockmann published its loyal customer app in fall. The national airline Finnair has actively developed its loyal customer apps during the year. In summer, even The Finnish Taxi Owners’ Federation published its Valopilkku app that makes it easier to order a cab. All of these are genuine mobile apps published at least for iPhones and Android phones. Continue reading “When do mobile apps make sense?”

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