Toolkit Websites Blog

Is Wireless Charging, the Future?

Wireless charging is the transmission of an electrical current from a power source to a receiving device without the use of a physical connection.  The electrical current is used to charge the battery of the device that is receiving the transmission.  The process is where electricity is transferred between two objects through coils.

What are the advantages?

Imagine your home or work place without the need for power cables and extension leads! Imagine being able to place your smart phone down on your desk, or your bed side table to charge instead of having to plug it in. These are the things that wireless charging will be able to fulfil.

Not only is the idea pretty cool but it also means that:

  • It adds the convenience for charging of everyday devices, without having to put much through or effort into it.
  • It reduces the cost associated with maintaining mechanical connectors and electrical appliance fittings.
  • It is safer and eliminates the risk of tripping over cables, cables overheating and overloaded extension leads.
A large chain that has delved into the wireless market is IKEA. With a range of furniture (and even phone cases) that can charge your appliances in the way described above, their products are innovative, modern and all the rage!

Ikea says: "We wanted to make charging a natural part of your home, so we chose side tables and lamps - the kind of furniture that’s used frequently - and turned them into wireless chargers. Not only do they make your home more beautiful, they make it easier to charge your smartphone wherever you are"

Many of us know what it's like to forget to plug your devices in for charge over night, only to go to use them the next day and realise you're completely out of battery! With wireless charging, all you have to do is place your device on your designated wireless charging platform. Whether you choose that to be your bed side table, your desk or your lamp, it's up to you!

Mike, our Customer Services Supervisor, has a wireless charging device of his own. He says: "The wireless charging pad I have looks cool, works well and means that I don't have to remember to plug my device in over night. I have two kids back at home, and as most people with a family can relate, small every day tasks can be missed or forgotten."

The charging pad he has can be found on IKEA's website here. 

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Iconic Logos, then and now.

Did you know that it took Apple 22 years to decide on and develop their logo? Nowadays companies are taking their logo, reworking it and revamping it to keep up with the times, and no one escapes the "aging" process. Not even Google!

We take a look at some of those iconic logos we know and love today, and how they've changed to adapt to the simpler and responsive web.

Airbnb have come a long way from their old, blue logo with white border. The bubble writing style has been used many times before, and the new airbnb logo exudes a much simpler and cleaner looking logo. They also opt to just use the icon on it's own, now that it's become more recognisable and familiar.

Spotify are now regarded one of the top companies for streaming music. And with this, their logo has now become iconic too. Again, like Airbnb they can drop their name altogether and the icon can stand alone. The change in colour, and making the logo overall more 'flat' follows the latest trend and means they look fresher and more up to date.

Netflix have developed their very own phrase, coined by the people that use it. "Netflix and Chill!" But it's logo has also undergone a change, again by giving it a simplification and removing the shadow. embossing on the previous design. The Netflix logo is now a lot more dynamic and can be used on various backgrounds/ colours and textures.

Dropbox are the number one service for storing your files, pictures and more on the cloud, for free! Their sketch style logo, with 3D elements has been stripped back and created in a 2D flat design making it a lot more contemporary and less fussy. The colour has also deepened, meaning that the contrast against white is much more striking.

Twitter underwent a transformation by changing their cartoon style logo and giving it a more professional touch. That included removing extra detail such as the rounding of the feathers, the tufty top and the elongated tail. For such an iconic logo, it has undergone quite a large change, without much impact on the brand itself.

Google. The giant made the logo change just recently after the launch of Alphabet, it's umbrella company. Choosing to modernise the existing Google logo to be more in the style of the logo for Alphabet, a lot of people noticed the change and had a lot to say on the matter! We think it's effortlessly cool, and we love that they've kept the original colours in the new typography font.

Yes, Facebook changed their logo this year too. It didn't get as much as a reception as Google's did, but mainly because the change was very slight. You can see that the 'a' is the letter that has been modified the most, and the font is overall slightly more rounded and modern looking. Again, we give it the thumbs up!

As you can see, all brands need a revamp every now and then. In an industry that is so fast paced and with new trends coming and going by the day, it's important to give your company that extra boost. Whether it's giving your branding a new look, changing up your website design, or going for a different style entirely.

Take a look at our logo design portfolio and services here!
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Stop Worrying About "Above the Fold"

When it comes to designing your website, we've heard many clients worrying about their content not being 'above the fold.' We've also heard clients say that they don't want their pages to scroll at all!

At one point, when the vast majority of people used desktops with relatively standard screen sizes, the 'above the fold' section of a web page was above a fixed line at a set point for everyone. Nowadays people are surfing the web on a range of devices, with different size screens. Responsive sites are becoming more and more standard which resize to the screen you are on. The above the fold notion or 'rule' is becoming less and less relevant over time.

Nowadays there are websites being used daily, with limitless scrolling. Take Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram as examples. All of these sites are a continuous scroll of information. Websites are now adopting a similar vain, choosing to tell a story and use the space creatively on a web page rather than trying to cram all of the important information at the top of a page. Read more about life "below 600" here.

Here are some websites we have created, that are quite long in length.

For a newspaper, the goal is for you to read the 'above the fold' section and entice you to buy the paper to read the contents. That should be your goal too. However, you want your visitors to explore your site/see your products, services and content and after that, get in touch or make an enquiry.

Think about the ultimate experience you want your potential customers or clients to take. Entice them in, make them actively want to scroll and read on and guide them with your great quality content. Let them explore your site and don't cram it all into the first paragraph or so.

When someone lands on your home page, you don't want to overwhelm them with too much information at once. What's the point in having call to actions for free downloads or offers when they don't know yet what they are for?

The home page needs to be a place that a potential customer or client can land and get the following information in a nice, easy to navigate page:

- Who you are (The company name, and a small introduction.)
- What you do (What products or services your business has.)
- Where you're based (The location in which your business is based or that you trade.)

This is just an example of the main information you want to showcase on your home page. Of course, you can have links that go through to the relevant pages or expand on that topic. You can go into more detail in the internal pages. You might want a page about the team and some background history to the company. You may want a page for each of your main services. You may want to showcase a gallery of images of projects or stock you have. You don't have to limit yourself to a small space without scrolling for people to get the information they need. In fact, having a website that doesn't scroll but is overloaded with information could make your bounce rate higher!

We need to stop worrying about what is 'above the fold', because the fold no longer exists. What might be 'above the fold' for you on a desktop, will be completely different to what you can see on a tablet or a phone. People are used to scrolling these days, it's second nature. Your focus should be on making sure the website looks great and that the content is easy to follow and easy to read. Some of the best sites are panelled sites that scroll on and on and on...

In the Web Design industry, things can change quite quickly. New features, functionality and trends come and go fast and Google are often making tweaks to what they deem as "good quality" or "mobile friendly." As long as your website has well written content, is well thought through and planned and is an enjoyable viewing experience for people browsing it, then that is all that matters.

As your Web Design company, we take responsibility for the design. We can come up with the creative, the suggestions, the tweaks and changes. We can assist you with SEO suggestions and best practices. All you need to do is bring the content and the knowledge of your business to make sure your website is the best representation of your business as possible.

Take a look at what services we provide here.
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Website of the Week: Little Heroes

This week's website of the week goes to Little Heroes. From familiar established brands to the new and exciting, they cater for both boys and girls from newborn to 10 years old. Opened in 2007, Little Heroes is an independent toy shop located in Fulham.

Senior Project Manager Andy started off by creating a first draft that incorporated the clients existing logo branding. Using the tone of red, and matching it with a neutral combination of white and very light grey.

The home page features a slide show using beautiful imagery, which is always important when it comes to catching the attention of potential customers.

The website design is not overcomplicated or fussy, favouring a simple layout. The pages are each laid out very differently depending on the content, and are featured in a way that is easy to navigate and find the items you are looking for.

The brands that Little Heroes deal with are showcased on the home page. People are always drawn to familiar and trusted brands or accreditation logo, which ensures people that you are also a brand to be familiar with and trusted.

The website clearly lets people know how to visit, with a full width Google map at the bottom of the home page. This enables people to use the Google Maps features for directions and/or a GPS system.

The about page features a 360 degree Google Virtual Tour. This is a great feature for a business with a set location or premises. People can have a virtual tour, and physically navigate around the store to take a look at what they might expect to see when they visit.

The toys section is set up in various categories, which make it easy to select what type of item you are looking for. Once you've got a good idea of the items they stock, you will know whether it's worth a visit or not!

As with all websites, the contact page is an important aspect to have. This way people can get in touch with you with any queries, questions or even a review on their experiences. All engagement is good engagement, so it's recommended that you supply people with details to be able to contact you.

The client was particularly happy with the end result, and said: "I have had a smooth run with Toolkit Websites and am very happy with the service. For someone like me who is not very technically minded, it is great to be able to talk to someone about the project at every step."

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Facebook's Dislike Button - What does this mean for brands?

When Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said: "people have asked about the 'dislike' button for many years. Probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it." a lot of people were celebrating. The idea of a dislike button, the opposite of the like button currently available on Facebook, is welcomed by many people.

When it comes to Social Media etiquette, the like button has caused confusion for some, when it comes to 'liking' statuses or content when the topic matter is sad, or needs to be met with a reaction of empathy. 'Liking' someone's status when they've announced that they are unwell or they've lost a loved one isn't something people feel comfortable doing, and therefore has meant an alternative to the like button has been requested time and time again.

Some people have worried about a dislike button being rolled out, saying that it could encourage bullying, or negative responses. People would feel less inclined to post on social media, if a thumbs down could be given to the post.

Wired magazine and many other tech related publications don't believe that Zuckerberg will roll out a thumbs-down 'dislike' button. In fact, they think it'll be much more aimed at the empathetic and caring side of showing sympathy for posts that aren't happy or 'likeable.'

Facebook is a large and friendly place for brands too. Consumers take to Social Media to voice their opinion and complaints as well as their recommendations and rave reviews. But on Facebook, if a brand posts content, people are limited in what they can do for a response. At the moment you can like it, share it, or comment. In order to disagree or show displeasure with a topic, you'd have to comment and explain why. This is much more effort than hitting the like button, with one click.

In a Q&A session last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed that his company is working on a way for Facebook users to express different emotions.  Zuckerberg didn't reveal much more than that. He did indicate that the intent of this new button would not be to facilitate "down vote[s]."

Could a dislike button change Facebook?

Yes. If Facebook became a place where users can do more than like content, it means that brands in particular will need to keep an eye out for the response to their content rather than just measuring likes and shares.

Whether it's a thumbs down "dislike" button or not, it's still a new way for people to express their view about content posted, and this may require brands to rethink the way in which they interact with their Facebook fans and evaluate their effort.

It's likely that Facebook is aware of the potential issues associated with a Dislike button and it's more than likely that they'll have this in mind when designing the new feature. Either they will go ahead with a dislike button but keep the feature separate to brand/ business pages or something else will be implemented entirely.

The one thing that this announcement does show, is that even big brands like Facebook are subject to change and that they listen to their consumers. The subject of a dislike button has been mentioned by Facebook users for years... so we're interested in seeing how they go about applying it.
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Toolkit's Guide to: Weather Widgets

If you have a business that relies on the weather, or the weather is something that clients or customers will take into account when buying your services/ booking with you, then having a weather widget is a great way of letting them see what the weather will be like or is like at your location.

For example, if you are a hotel or B&B you may want to show a weather forecast so that customers can check how it will be for their stay. This makes for a better stay, expectation and they will line up activities or plans accordingly.

Most people check the weather either on the News or online anyway, but having it accessible and easy for them to see on your website is a nice touch.

There are plenty of free Weather widgets that you can use and embed on your website without charge at all.

It is recommended that you use one that doesn't display adverts on the page you click through to, as this may be an opportunity for your customers or clients to click on those adverts and come away from your page. The idea is that you hold their attention and potentially their custom!

An example of a free weather widget is by Accuweather.

Simply choose your location, language and unit and the preview of the widget will appear below.

Here you will be able to choose what size the widget is and how it will look on the website, before clicking through to collect the code.

Once you have the code you can embed this onto your page in the HTML view. Or you can send it to your web design company to apply it for you.

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Website of the Week: UES London

This week's website of the week goes to UES London. They are a specialist tutoring and course provider for US and UK entrance tests.

UES London already had their original website built with us. They came back to get their website redesigned with us in order to bring the website up to date, on our responsive platform and with a sleek new look. The web design industry is such a fast moving industry with new features and functionality becoming available, and new design trends coming and going at a fast pace. This means that keeping your website fresh and up to date can mean that every so often (we suggest every couple of years) you can take a look at your design, website layouts, and look at improving and tweaking it.

Project Manager Lauren started off by creating a first draft on our responsive platform that requires a tableless design. UES London had a brand expert on board which enabled us to use their custom font, and a design that took inspiration from American College memorabilia. The multi-column layout is unique in the way that the content is laid out and easy to follow.

The website features a responsive sidebar that turns into a header image, when you are viewing it on a mobile or tablet device. The header is a vintage style image with a filter, which is largely targeted at the audience the website is made for. The younger, college/ student audience will understand the style and it will appeal to them.

You can see below, how the website looks on a tablet, adapting to fit the screen it is being displayed on.

And again, here is how it looks on a phone device.

Having a website that is responsive or has a mobile version is integral to your website being deemed mobile-friendly by Google.You can find more information about this in our Responsive Vs. Mobile site blog post.

Take a look at our redesign portfolio to see other website transformations created and designed by our Redesign Project Manager and the team.
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