Ad Placement and UX: Retaining Your Audience’s Focus

Ad Placement and UX: Retaining Your Audience’s Focus

hiring reliable web design companyGone are the days when web designers in the UK and other parts of the globe had only to solve design problems and figure out the next trend. Today, designers must focus on the subtler roles of the position in different websites – that is, making the audience stay on the website a little longer, or better yet, make the visit convert.

One major concern you should have for your site is the white noise. Think of it like the fuzz on your telly, but this time it is on a website. This is the factor that drives visitors away from the portal.

The biggest source of white noise right now are the many advertisements on websites. Of course, these are essential for the profitability of a site, but you should find ways for them not to interfere with the user experience. There are a few tricks you can try, according to data from Web Designer Depot and Effortless Sites.

The Merge

Take a lesson from Facebook and Twitter. Have you noticed how the sponsored ads appear in your news feed? This is the way these social networks merge actual content and ads. The great part about it is that they do not scam users into concealing the ad as a regular piece of content; instead, they label it with the term “sponsored” as a subtle sign that it is an ad. It doesn’t annoy users and it works.

The Sideline

This is a technique you will often find on many websites, where the ads are on the sides or below. The point of this trick is to place the ads subtly outside the content, but still make them work.

Ads at the bottom of the page are not quite popular, but if you really want to give the audience that content-rich feeling, this could do the trick. On the downside, some advertisers feel this is not a direct way to promote the business.

The Commercial

YouTube has good ad placement. There are preroll and endroll ads, not to mention the commercial-like ads at the bottom of the screen. This technique renders a telly-like feel to the medium, although this may not sit well with some of the audience. The trick here is to make sure that the ad is relevant to the interests of the viewer. Ad targeting is essential in this method, for which you could look at Hulu for inspiration.

Web designers have seen a lot of changes over the years, and now, the focus should be on the user experience. Use these tricks to your site’s advantage to maintain ad revenue and traffic at the same time.

Finding a Home Away from Home

Finding a Home Away from Home

accommodationThe opportunity to work abroad is one of the most thrilling experiences a person can have. But it can also be one of the most daunting and nerve-wracking. Fortunately, enough preparation can diminish the stress and highlight the pleasures of such a major life change.

How do you prepare for a temporary move abroad? The first in anyone’s itinerary should be to find accommodations. In Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, numerous accommodations and real estate companies like M & A Apartments specialise in short-term accommodations.

With plenty of options around, how do you narrow down where to stay?

Consider Your Employment

Talk to your employer and check the terms of your work abroad. Will they be providing you a living allowance? Do they have accommodations prepared for you? Will you have to make the move on your own? Clarify all these factors with your employers before making big decisions.

Location Over Everything

In real estate, they say location is everything. For short-term accommodations, this is even more important. Working abroad means your priority is your job. Make sure you don’t make avoidable mistakes by living too far from the business districts. Choose apartments that will make your daily commute manageable. Keep in mind that just because you’re new in town doesn’t mean you can be late.

Make a Budget

Whether your company will subsidise your move, or you’ll be paying out of pocket, you still need to make a budget. Allot enough money for your comfort without ending up spending your entire salary on sustaining your new Australian lifestyle. Making modest lifestyle choices will get you further than being overly extravagant.

For most career paths, the opportunity for travel is rare. If you’re lucky enough to get an opportunity, don’t let it pass you by. If work takes you to Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, look into real estate companies that specialise in offering short-term accommodations for professionals.

 

Plumbing Hacks: Keeping Pipes and Drains in Good Condition

Plumbing Hacks: Keeping Pipes and Drains in Good Condition

Many homeowners don't think about their plumbing system and pipe network until a problem occurs. Before calling a plumbing repair service, try fixing simple issues on your own.

DrainHere are some easy-to-follow tips you can do at home:

Bathroom Plumbing

  • To keep the drain flowing freely, run hot water down the drain at least once a week.
  • Repair leaky faucets as soon as you can to prevent further damage. Before performing any repairs, determine the type of faucet you have. There are four types of faucets: ball type, cartridge, ceramic disk, and compression. Often, you just need to replace the rubber washer of a compression faucet or the neoprene seal or O-ring of the other types of faucets.
  • Unsightly mineral deposits on the showerhead can lead to blockage. To remove them, put a cup of vinegar in a plastic bag and place it over the showerhead overnight. Wipe the deposits with a damp cloth the next day.

Basement Plumbing

  • To check for undetected water leaks, take note of your meter reading when you're not using any water at home. After eight to ten hours, check the meter again. If the meter moved, you may have a water leak. Hire the services of a San Diego company offering plumbing repair to help you determine the location of the leak.
  • Avoid costly replacements of the filter field by inspecting and performing maintenance procedures on your septic tank every three to five years.

Kitchen Plumbing

  • Flush waste through the pipeline by running cold water through the drain for about fifteen seconds before and after you use the garbage disposer.
  • Use a pipe shield on your sink drain line to prevent food scum from accumulating, which can lead to clogs.
  • Liquid grease can cause blockage. Throw it away rather than pour it down the drain.

Keeping pipes, faucets, and drains in good condition – and repairing them – is easy. With regular maintenance, you won't have to worry about service interruptions, costly repairs, and pricey part replacements.

A Cushion for Your Financial Fall: Three Easy Ways to Build a Financial Safety Net

A Cushion for Your Financial Fall: Three Easy Ways to Build a Financial Safety Net

financial graphFinancial problems can strike at any time and can happen to anyone. Unemployment, a divorce, a serious illness, the death of a loved one, or even a global recession can affect you and instantly drain your resources. These and other instances highlight the importance of having a financial cushion.

A financial cushion or an emergency fund provides you with a safety net if you ever find yourself in a financial problem. It’s a great thing to have in case emergencies and other unexpected events happen and will need you to shell out money.

From investing in gold bullions, having a second bank account, to buying insurance, here’s how you can set up your own financial safety net the easy way:

A Second Savings Account

Financial advisors recommend having a savings account, preferably a second one, where you can put your money and never use it until you truly need it. Start by setting aside money from your regular income and dividing it properly. Set aside some money for all your expenses and for an emergency fund.

If you’re having a hard time keeping up with these deposits, you can create an automatic savings plan. The bank will automatically transfer a fixed amount to your second savings account at a set date. Because it’s automatic, you won’t even realize you’re saving money. Before you know it, you already have a comfortable financial cushion.

Gold as Investment

Investing in gold is another easy way of creating a financial safety net. Gold bars and bullions in the UK and other big markets always sell at a high price. Their market value rarely drops even during economic turmoil.

Because gold, silver, and other precious metals are always a hot commodity, you can always sell or trade them for a higher price than what you paid for them when the time comes that you need extra money. Certain gold pieces can even be traded for its face or weight value, which could mean big money for you.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is another financial cushion worth considering, especially if you have loved ones who will suffer financially if you pass away. This one isn’t really an investment for you but for the family you will be leaving behind. You’ll be leaving your loved ones with a safety net when you’re no longer there for them.

When you have everything in place and made sure you and your family are financially protected, you can sleep easier knowing that you have a safety net when unexpected and difficult financial situations come.

Captain America Rules US Box Office With $42.4M Profit

Captain America Rules US Box Office With $42.4M Profit

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” has successfully captured the interest of many moviegoers this weekend, as the film claimed the No. 1 spot at the US box office with its $41.4 million earnings.

Hollywood blockbuster

Image by Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia

Image by Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia

The Marvel sequel has set a new record for an April release with $41.4 million in its second weekend, making it the king of the competition.

"The traditional rules just don't apply anymore. It's really about that Marvel brand,'' said Rentrak senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian in a statement.  "Captain America can play in Peoria just as well as Hong Kong.''

Weekend box office

Globally, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” earned nearly $477 million since its debut internationally.

That was already beyond the $370 million produced by the 2011 film “Captain American: The First Avenger.”

Meanwhile, “Rio 2” had to settle for the second spot with $39 million on its release.

The animated adventure tells the story of Blu, Jewel, and their kids adjusting to their life in the Amazon.

Anti-Vaccination: A Story of Ignorance

Anti-Vaccination: A Story of Ignorance

child and vaccineIt is very embarrassing to admit, but the UK has had a history of anti-vaccination that's stretched back to the last few centuries. This wouldn't be so cringe inducing if the movement stopped as soon as scientists formulated the germ theory, but astonishingly it continues up to this day.

Health and medical scholars, along with various pharmacies in London have lauded vaccines as one of the top advances in medical science. But misinformation about their effects has constantly hampered its research and endangered lives.

It all began when The Lancet, a controversial paper, published a study in 1998 suggesting that there was a link between vaccination and autism, and gastrointestinal disease. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who has since moved to the United States, conducted the study.

Caution to Panic

In efforts to quiet down the controversy, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) urged manufacturers to lessen their use of the compound as a precaution while the case was undergoing further investigation. These institutions assumed that there was no harm in exercising caution even if the study was proven false, 'better safe than sorry'.

The move, however, backfired as the public viewed their actions as validating the study, and immediately campaigned to divert resources away from the further study and development of vaccines. The year before the study was published, 91% of British children were vaccinated. In 2003, there were some parts of the UK where less than 50%of the population received vaccines.

Misinformed Voices

The situation was even worse abroad, as celebrities, such as Jenny McCarthy, Bill Maher, and Jim Carrey added their voice to the anti-vaccination movement. The number of parents who refused to vaccinate their children in the United States rose from 22% to 39%.

Countless Refutations

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published their investigation and concluded that the 1998 study was an 'elaborate fraud'. Investigative reporters noted that the authors of the original study misrepresented the medical histories of the 12 children who participated in the study.

Numerous studies from notable pharmacies, laboratories, and medical schools have since been published discrediting the paper. The Lancet retracted the story after a UK regulatory panel stripped Wakefield of his medical license in the UK. Commercial institutions, such as Greenwood Pharmacy continue to educate the public on the advantages of vaccines, even when it should be obvious.

Landscape Driveway: The New Curb Appeal

Landscape Driveway: The New Curb Appeal

landscape gardenersMany people add a driveway to improve the curb appeal of their home. Instead of relying on the greenery alone, they hire landscape and garden designers who are experts in driveway layouts to give a better impression to guests and even passers-by. Before doing this, however, you should ask yourself the following questions:

How Many Vehicles Do you Have?

The size of the driveway depends on the number of vehicles you own. There won’t be a problem with the path if you only have one. If there are two or more, however, you’ll have to make sure that they won’t bump into each other. The ideal width for a single driveway is up to 12 feet, while a double driveway is up to 24 feet.

What Layout Should You Choose?

The layout of the driveway depends on the landscape features you want to add and the distance of the street and your garage. Here are three layouts you can choose from:

1. Circular Driveway – Also known as a horseshoe driveway, it has a wide single lane entrance that leads into a circle once you reach the end. Instead of driving backwards or turning around, you can simply drive to the other side of the circle to exit. At the centre of the circle, professional garden designers add plants to the make the driveway more appealing.

2. Straight Driveway – This is ideal for properties that have a small front yard, as it only takes a short travel from the garage to the street. This layout is simple yet functional; the family can drive to and from the garage without difficulty.

3. Curve Driveways – If your property has trees, boulders, or anything that blocks the way, then you should choose this layout if you don’t want to remove them. Landscape artists find this ideal for detached garages, as it helps the driveway path line up to the street.

Improve the curb appeal of your home with the help of driveways and other landscaping features. Find a landscape artist and draft a layout that will work with your property.

A Restaurateur’s Checklist for Fire Safety

RestaurantAll countries have a law that stipulates certain courses of action to avoid any serious accident. In the United Kingdom, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005 is the law in action. Under this statute, every restaurateur and business owner should adhere to certain standards.

One of the many provisos in this Order is the existence of a fire management plan. For this step, you have to prepare a few aspects of your restaurant to keep the business running and legally compliant.

The Maintenance Work

The old adage has taught us that it is best to prevent something before it worsens – this principle applies to your restaurant. Every piece of equipment in your kitchen and dining area goes through wear and tear. With that said, you should engage in regular preventive maintenance to avoid future issues with these items. For example, your kitchen's duct accumulates a lot of buildup due to frequent cooking, so you might want to call a kitchen extract system cleaning company for regular maintenance, advisably around every three months.

The Equipment

Different fire equipment are necessary for your restaurant. One of the main things you should not miss is a fire extinguisher in every crucial spot of the place. The law has guidelines as to where you have to place them. A working alarm should also be present in the place, as well as a functional sprinkler system.

The Staff

Your staff should know what to do the moment a fire breaks out. They should maintain their resolve and stay focused. For sure, customers would panic at the first sight of a flame, so you need your staff to be composed to address the issue. Apart from understanding the escape route in case of fire, every employee in your establishment should know how to operate a fire extinguisher.

Fire safety is a serious concern. It is important that your restaurant – from the employees to the equipment – is prepared to face such a disaster should it happen.

SEO of 2014: Making Way for Fresh Content

SEO of 2014: Making Way for Fresh Content

Pen and keyboardBecause of the massive updates in the SEO algorithms, Google finds it effective to focus on content rather than tolerating less trustworthy or useful processes. And this shift gave content creators bigger opportunities to build their business's reputation and generate more leads.

Thanks to the ingenuity of algorithm updates and the strength of social networks, the online realm is now swarming with pieces of fresh content every day. Now, you can search and look for different pieces of content in an instant – from different authors and online publications.

These updates are all great news for content creators and firms offering professional search engine optimisation services. Read on to know why.

Making search more personalised

Users are aware of getting objective results on SERPs, but search engines now produce subjective results, as well. In fact, they're continuously developing processes that encourage personalised searches. For content creators and online publishers, this offers a lot of help, as their content becomes easily visible whenever users search for a specific topic.

Putting more emphasis on quality

Today, SEO is different from the way it was before. Back then, black hat SEO techniques polluted search engine rankings and pushed high-quality pieces of content down to the next pages, making the unique ones lose their rankings. Thanks to the rise of Penguin and Panda, black hat approaches are rapidly falling as Google focuses more on quality and transparency. It is pushing hard in this direction, and starting to develop more methods when it comes to assessing the relevance and substance of content.

Involving people

Social media has been creating big impacts on SERPs, and the higher the content quality, the better the social media appreciation. Google treats Facebook Likes, Retweets, and shares as meters of reputation, making content creators one of the primary contacts when it comes to effective search engine optimisation services.

While technical expertise still matters, content authorship is quickly becoming one of the main elements of success in search engine optimisation.

Should You Give Office Glass Partitioning a Try?

Should You Give Office Glass Partitioning a Try?

Not all businesses can afford a big office, so they try to look for ways to maximise the space they have. They hire experts in office interiors to create an effective strategic floor plan, including the materials to buy and install. One of their recommendations is glass partitioning, which creates a division in the office without making it look cramped.

Here are some reasons you should try it:

Glass Partition Wall

Glass Partition Wall by MaarsLivingWalls via License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Glazing

Even if the partitions are made of glass, you can still have some privacy through glazing. It makes a part of the glass less transparent, so people from outside cannot see completely. It comes in different designs, such as half glaze, horizontal and vertical stripes, and other custom work.

Fire-rated

Glass partitions can save you in case of fire, as it's made from materials that resist heat for about 30 minutes or more. That's probably enough time to evacuate or call for rescue. It's a good safety feature that you shouldn't ignore.

Noise Barrier

Want to focus on your work, but can't because of the noise? An enclosed room might not help either because it will result to isolation. Fortunately, glass partitioning has acoustic performance that lets you close a room and block noise when necessary. It won't give you the feeling of being isolated, as you can still see what's outside.

Installation

Glass partitions are relocatable. From its current location to another room, floor, or building, all you have to do is call experts for help. You can also save a significant amount of money when relocating, as you can bring the glass partitions and install them in your new office.

Glass partitioning is among the most effective office design that you should invest in. Look for experts offering office partitioning for more information.