Archive for June, 2011

Google still king search engine in the UK

Google is still the outright winner in search engine popularity in both the UK and US, according to research by Experian Hitwise, the leading global online competitive intelligence service – although over time it is losing market share to Bing and Yahoo when you compare these figures to 2009 data:

UK Search Engine March 2011 share (%) Feb 2011 share (%) Change (%) 2009 share (%)
Google 89.97 90.38 -0.41 91.08
Bing 4.29 4.11 +0.18 1.93
Yahoo 3.00 2.88 +0.12 3.94

Colour Infographics

Colour is an important part of the design process, here are a couple of infographics the try to explain the use of colour and their meanings.

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Cookie law makes most UK websites illegal

If you need convincing, you can find the official ICO guidelines here.

The following is a simple humorous video outlining the new law.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small files that websites place on visitors’ computers, that usually store values that are unique to an individual visitor. They enable your browser to exchange information with the website server, and can be used for essential purposes (such as remembering you’ve logged in to a site), or optional purposes (such as for website analytics purposes). If you would like more information regarding cookies visit All About Cookies.

Can I turn off cookies in my browser?

All modern browsers have the ability for a user to change their settings concerning cookies, and block websites from storing cookies on their machines. For example in Firefox on a Mac: Firefox > Preferences > Privacy Tab > History: Firefox will: use custom settings for history > make your selects here.

Previously, the law said if your website does store cookies, you need to let your users know why you store cookies, and give them clear instructions on how to ‘opt out’ if they objected. Many websites did this by writing a privacy policy. The new law however ignores the settings you currently have set in your browser and requires you to opt-in to every website you visit to allow them to save cookies to your computer.

Are all cookies affected?

All cookies that are not “strictly necessary for a service requested by a user” are affected.

For example, if a user adds an item to their shopping basket, that would be considered necessary – a cookie is technically required to remember that user and retain their basket contents. Similarly, to log in to a website a cookie may be necessary. On the flip side a cookie which was set to welcome a user back to a website, or to record what pages they view would not be strictly necessary.

So now what?

All site owners who save cookies (thats 92% of sites) have until May 2012 to comply to the law unless you want to be fined.

There are a couple of solutions. For example if your site requires registration to use it, all you really need to do is add a clause to your ToS, thus the user needs to accept the use of cookies to gain access to your site. Or for example if your site runs on WordPress you can use this plugin (for a £10 fee). Or if your site only uses Google Analytics then there is this jquery solution (FREE). But of course over the next 12 months many other solutions will become available.

 

Further reading: http://www.cookiecrunch.co.uk/

Official resources

CuCo digital team launches dedicated website

A dramatic surge in web-based commissions has prompted CuCo Creative to launch a dedicated digital website.

www.cucodigital.co.uk runs alongside parent site www.cucocreative.co.uk and focuses exclusively on the comprehensive range of online services offered by the fast-growing Bournemouth design & marketing agency.

“The digital side of our business has grown so significantly that it made sense to create a sub-division devoted to that sphere of operations,” said co-director and senior designer Tony Cook.

So far in 2011 CuCo’s digital team has designed and built websites for a host of prestige international clients including the Harley Street-based London Nail Laser Clinic, sustainable recruitment specialists Allen & York and Platinum Security Risk Management.

Crossbench peer Lord David Owen, the former SDP leader, also commissioned CuCo to create his personal website following the success of the Charter 2010 political campaign site we developed and ran for him through last year’s General Election.

Meanwhile the Merlin Entertainments group has engaged CuCo to produce eNewsletters for some of its biggest UK attractions, including the London, Edinburgh and York Dungeons and the Sea Life Centres.

“Our digital services embrace every aspect of web design, ecommerce, content management systems, domains & hosting, branding, online marketing, search engine optimisation, blog design and so on,” said Tony.

“Every single web project we undertake is designed in a bespoke way, tailored to individual needs. We’re not an agency that merely takes a template and re-skins it.”

“Our digital agency expertise enables us to deliver rich and imaginative online solutions centred on sound strategic thinking and inspired creative ideas. We believe in thinking projects through, generating ideas and creating viable solutions.”

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