Web development in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates has undergone a profound transformation since 1973, seeing tremendous growth and achieving an incredibly high income per capita.  It is widely recognised as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with industries such as tourism, manufacturing, real estate, financial services and trade playing a major role alongside oil.

With such opportunity and competition it is extremely important for new and existing companies to make effective use of modern marketing strategies.  Internet marketing is now a major multi-billion pound industry and a method suitable for the progressive nature of the UAE business community, particularly for the two major Emirates; Dubai and the capital Abu Dhabi.

Web development UAEInternet penetration in the UAE is on the rise as regular web usage has reached 67% of the population, with 55% of the population using it on a daily basis.  Currently, the web is used primarily for emails and searching for information, with a smaller percentage accessing the internet for business or for making online purchases.  The internet is inevitably changing the dynamics of how we structure our business, culture and society, with the UAE being no exception.  As internet penetration in the UAE grows, businesses must respond by developing high quality Arabic web design.

A modern well-presented website is now expected for most businesses and organisations.  With good quality website design, Dubai and Abu-Dhabi based companies can benefit from improved information distribution and an expansion of reachable markets.  It is an effective way of winning new business and retaining existing customers, while responding quickly to new competitors.

With competition becoming more demanding and search engines more concerned with the user experience, the web business owner should consider the importance of web development.  A UAE company immediately commands respect from web visitors with a professional Arabic web design.  In order to compete amongst the ever-increasing market in the UAE, it is wise to invest in a well-constructed website with a strong logo, a harmonious colour scheme, simple and professional looking graphics, and effective navigation options.  UAE consumers have high expectations from companies, expecting high levels of service from them.

As internet use in the Arabic world has grown faster than anywhere else since 2000 and access costs have shrunk, businesses should now increase investment in web content in order to gain a place in the highly competitive world market.

Youth of UAE embraces the world of social media

Facebook recently reached the momentous landmark of having 500 million users. When you consider there are close to 7 billion on planet earth this means that 7% of the world’s population is on Facebook.

In certain countries such as the United States, the UK much of Europe and Japan almost everyone between the age of 15 and 29 has a Facebook account. However in these countries the internet has existed for a several years and young people are now growing up with the technology.

But this does not show the full Facebook picture. There are lots of countries where the internet is a much more recent phenomenon and it is changing the way young people in particular interact and share information.

For example the UAE perhaps does not have the world’s fastest most reliable internet service but the Facebook penetration is very high. It could be argued that because the population is much smaller in comparison to the US and the UK it is not a fair statistic.

On the other hand, it could be argued that the high Facebook penetration shows just how much of an influence the social networking site has. If people have access to the internet, depending on their age and other demographics, they will almost certainly have a Facebook account.

The UAE has become an important region of financial investment and infrastructure growth. It is now home to the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa. Dubai is a city which has emerged from the desert as a leading centre for a wide variety of businesses and industries.

facebook marketingIn Europe and America nearly all businesses now have websites and the standard is always climbing. Businesses are now putting a lot of effort and money into web marketing and SEO because they understand that in such competitive markets and advantage or opportunities must be exploited to the fullest.

The car manufacturing giant, Ford revolutionised personal travel by implementing mass manufacturing to produce the Model T which really opened up the car market to a much wider group of people.

In 2010 Ford again revolutionised the industry by launching its new Explorer model only on Facebook. More and more businesses are looking to social media for marketing opportunities as it offers businesses the chance to interact with customers and to gain valuable insight into products and services.

The browser war continues

For those working in the web design industry, browser choice is often a topic filled with debate. For anyone who surfs the net browser choicer can also be a very personal matter and recent data suggests that browser choice is increasingly diversified.

In the beginning there was Netscape Navigator. However by 2002 the browser had all but disappeared. This was primarily down to the growth in Internet Explorer, and the dwindling development efforts by the Netscape Corporation.

Internet explorer is a bit like Ghenkis Khan and the Mongol Empire. Perhaps not the most obvious comparison, but give me a chance. So, Internet Explorer was launched in 1995 and by 2003 had a market share of close to 95%. Between the year 1206 and 1280 the Mongol Empire grew to stretch from Korea to Moscow.

The rapid expansion of the Mongol Empire is much like Internet Explorers rapid growth in popularity. The development of Internet Explorer was also fairly rapid and progressive. The Mongols were also progressive and introduced new technology and new thinking into a medieval Eurasia.

However like all Empires, over time cracks begin to appear. For the Mongols, their days of power were numbered and to make matters worse the epic trade routes that were built up now helped spread the Black Death which decimated both Mongol and other populations.

browser warsIn 2010 Internet Explorer had a market share of 60% which is a long way of its 2003 peak of 95%. This begs the question, what happened? The answer is quite straightforward. Mozilla happened.

Mozilla created the web browser Firefox and it really came into its own with its 3.5 and 3.6 versions and now their latest version, Firefox 4 is available to download. The browser is currently competing with Internet Explorer for top spot, but right now it has a market share of about 30%.

Internet explorer was never going to maintain a market share of 95%. Competition from Mozilla, Google’s Chrome and Safari ensured this. In my own experience having started with Internet Explorer, then on to Google Chrome, I am now using Firefox 4 and have found it to be an excellent web browser.

In my field of SEO and web marketing I believe Firefox offers me the best web browsing experience. It is well designed, easy to use and highly customable. The amount and variety Firefox Add-ons available is exceptional and definitely provides me with very important data and information.

Greg Jacobs

Content Manager
MintTwist

Online shopping continues to flourish in the UAE

Web marketing DubaiIt was recently announced by MasterCard that online shopping is a growing trend in Dubai. According to the company, the percentage of people who use the internet to carry out their shopping grew from 29 per cent in 2009 to 42 per cent in 2010.

The MasterCard study showed that the most influential group are those between the age of 25 and 44 and within that group, those between 35 and 44 will use online shopping more frequently. There are a number of explanations for this but perhaps the most obvious and logical is that those aged 35 and above will have more disposable income.

Furthermore, the study also showed that online shopping is becoming increasingly popular for women in Dubai and the wider UAE. The data suggests that 7 per cent more women are using the internet for shopping compared to last year.

The market research carried out by MasterCard involved 8,500 consumers in the region. This has provided rich data which has generated some useful information. For example it showed that the leading categories in the UAE in 2010 included airline tickets, hotel bookings, home appliances and electronic products, clothing, restaurants and home food delivery.

As the online market continues to flourish in the UAE, the key to maximising its effectiveness is to ensure that there is strong internet penetration. After a slightly slow start the UAE now has approximately 75% of its population online which is a very healthy figure.

So what does this mean for web design in Dubai and other parts of the UAE? It suggests that as the internet becomes even more popular in the region the more demand there will be for web design, web marketing and SEO from business community.

As a relatively young online market, the UAE provides excellent opportunities for businesses as the level of competition is still quite young and relatively small. If for example you want to dominate a keyword in Google.ae it is important to invest in SEO and web marketing now rather than wait a couple of years only to find that a competitor has pulled out a massive lead.

Dubai economy grows by 2.2%

The UAE has become an important financial location in recent years having attracted billions in investment from businesses around the world. Dubai is a key location within the UAE and projects such as the Burj Al Arab and the Burj Khalifa along with a host of other modern architecture projects are synonymous of the city and its ambition.

Sadly though this does not mean that Dubai is free from global economic forces and so in 2009 the GDP contracted by 2.4 per cent. This was due to a plunge in the property and construction market which was, and still is, crucial to this Arab emirate.

However property and construction is not all that Dubai has to offer. International trade and tourism play a big part in Dubai’s economy. It is thanks to this that the Dubai Statistics Centre can state that they expect GDP for the whole year to increase by about 2.2 per cent, having increased by 2.4 per cent so far.

Dubai metro

The other key economic sector for Dubai is tourism. In fact with limited oil reserves it could be argued that tourism is the future for the country and therefore the priority. Judging by some of the construction projects you would assume that Dubai’s leadership is acutely aware of this.

What does this mean for web design in Dubai? Well, web design Dubai is in fact a young part of the economy but as the number of businesses and organisations increase so will the demand for top quality and professional web design. Be it internet projects or intranet projects, big business or small business, all will require web solutions.

The infrastructure in the UAE region has improved significantly and will continue to improve. Projects such as the Dubai Metro have had an excellent response from commuters. Other digital projects such as Dubai’s e-government site are an example of the kind of integration between government, businesses, public services and people which will all contribute to the continued success of Dubai.

UAE competes in the World Summit Award

World Summit AwardSince the internet was developed digital content has come a long way. If you look at web pages of the mid to late 1990’s you will find that they are much more simplistic, both in terms of appearance and functionality.

Fast forward to 2011 and the internet, some might argue, has become the eighth wonder of the world. The difference between the internet in 1996 and 2011 is integration. Today the internet forms an integral part of our lives and even forms part of our identity.

For half a billion people at least, there is a site which allows you to share with the world your life and everything about it. Yes the Facebook generation is here, they are here to stay and content is king. The Facebook generation has grown up with the modern glossy internet which has evolved to become incredibly technical and capable with lots of potential.

However, content is not universal. Different people in different countries will interpret content differently. Different languages are spoken in different countries and the way people will read will be vary across regions and countries. Therefore the design of a website and the content within are the two most important factors for success.

Showcasing digital content gives web designers and developers from around the world the opportunity to raise their profile. Events such as the World Summit Awards allow web design Dubai to compete and showcase its work amongst the best.

The WSA competition sets out to determine the world’s best and most innovative e-content and ICT technology. Winning this competition gives tremendous international recognition which is why web designers and developers from around the world are so keen to win this prestigious prize.

Web design UAE is pushing hard to meet the deadline of March 17th.After last year’s competition there was a lot of interest following the success of the ‘Hesabi –My Math’ project. It was judged to be a great product for children because it makes learning more enjoyable and more like a game which maintains children’s attention levels.

Innovations and success such as this has paved the way for technology in the region. The web design and development market along with web marketing and SEO is progressing at a rapid pace in the UAE as is the demand for such services.

My Technology hero – Tommy Flowers – The father of the digital age

Tommy FlowersThe name Tommy Flowers probably means very little to just about everyone which is a shame because without Tommy Flowers it is more than likely I would not be here writing this blog.

The genius of Tommy Flowers was obvious from a young age and he eventually earned a degree in electrical engineering from the University of London. The very concept of electrical engineering was relatively novel in the 1920’s but Tommy Flowers knew it was the future.

Tommy later gained experience working on telephone exchanges and by 1939 became convinced that a completely electronic system was possible. At the very same time, Europe was descending into the chaos of war which would soon drag the rest of the world and Tommy Flowers into it.

Alan Turing, another technological hero, was working for the British government breaking German codes. He developed the world’s first algorithms and was literally years ahead of the competition. Eventually Turing heard about Tommy Flowers and asked him for help.

The reason he asked him for help was because the latest code breaking methods being used at the time required large amounts of data input which by hand would be completely impractical. However if an electronic machine could be made which could break codes by inputting large quantities of data then any German code could be broken.

The key for Flowers was valves, lots of them. To put things into context, at the time the most complicated electronic device used about 150 valves. Flowers proposed that his machine which he names ‘Colossus’ would use 1800 valves. Sadly the British government and the Ministry of Defence were yet to be convinced and rather than offering their help told him to make do on his own.

Colossus

Undeterred Tommy poured every ounce of energy, every second of concentration and every penny he had into his ‘Colossus’.  After eleven months, Flowers and his devoted team built ‘Colossus’. The world’s first computer was born and immediately set about breaking German codes. Later the ‘Colossus Mark 2’ was built which used 2400 valves.

German intelligence became British intelligence immediately. The Allies now had a massive advantage over the Germans and with their new intelligence were able to dominate the war at sea, the war at air and the war on ground. The D-day landings, which marked the beginning of the end for Hitler, used vital information gathered by ‘Colossus’.

The Supreme Commander of the Allied forces, Dwight D Eisenhower went for a meeting at Bletchley Park, the home of ‘Colossus’ and the code breakers, on the 1st of June 1944. There he was handed a decryption made by ‘Colossus’ which showed that Hitler did not want additional troops to be sent to Normandy. Eisenhower turned to his staff and said “We go tomorrow.”

Without the work carried out by Tommy Smith and the code breakers at Bletchley Park it is quite possible that the outcome of World War 2 would have been different. Tommy Flowers is my technological hero because he built the first computer which broke the German codes which won us the war and brought freedom to Europe and the world.

Why your website content shouldn’t be an elephant

You’ve spent months planning and talking about your new website.   Agencies have been interviewed and briefed, you’ve looked at designs and waited patiently for the build to finish…but one thing is missing.   Content.

Content is often the last thought but it should be one of your first. Writing what goes into your website at the beginning:

  • Helps you focus on the structure and aims of the site.   By thinking through what will go on the site, you are more likely to drop redundant sections and develop better ones.
  • Assists web designers in producing better more accurate designs.   What you have written informs and inspires them about your company.
  • Minimises development time – you will receive a test site that is 95% complete, leaving you free to concentrate on fixing bugs and making final tweaks, rather than feeling the pressure to produce hundreds of words.
  • Gives you a head start with SEO.   With your content written, you can start planning your SEO strategy and give your site the best possible launch.

Creating content can quickly become an elephant – weeks away from launch it is a small speck in the distance. Suddenly it’s large and looming. One of the biggest reasons people put it off is that they are unsure how to write engaging copy, and copy that will work for SEO. Good copy can reap big returns so it is worth taking the time to research how to do it properly. Check out our Top Ten Tips for Web Copy and the Short Guide to SEO from MintTwist and kick start your content today.

What to expect from web design in 2011

2010 was a difficult year for many people in many different industries. After the difficulties of 2008 and 2009, 2010 was never going to be a boom year. Many economic analysts had forecast 2011 as a year of recovery and maybe a bit of growth in the economy. However, with widespread government spending cuts due, 2011 might be slightly premature.

Web design is quite a fast moving industry. Web design companies are constantly striving to improve their abilities and their knowledge in an effort to get ahead of the competition. This requires a web design company to pay close attention to what the likes of Google are doing.

Search engine optimisationThe pace of life today is incredible. Google has obviously picked up on this because loading speed is now part of the Google algorithm. Some websites contain huge amounts of data and others not very much, and both present challenges. For new websites your web design company should be aware of the latest Google algorithm and ensure the site is developed with it in mind.

Images are everywhere on websites and they are prime example of loading items which could hamper your site. It is imperative that the image file size is kept to a minimum and that they are ideally formatted in JPEG and GIF.

Another challenge for web designers and developers is to make sure the site being built is suitable for the various screen resolutions available today. The can range from 640 x 480 to 1024 x 768 and as technology improves resolutions are only going to get bigger and better.

There is also growing demand for websites to work with mobile devices such as the Apple iPad or Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet. Web designers are quite used to having to perform cross browser testing. Cross platform testing is certainly a growing aspect of web design and represents significant opportunities for various businesses.

The style of websites has changed so much in recent years. At first the web was all about bright flashy bold colours and fonts to grab the eye. Now, the best sites are those which use neutral colours and fonts which are easy on the eye and easy to use. Take Google, the world’s most successful site, notice anything?

Choosing the right UAE web design company

The market for web design in the UAE has grown at an astonishing pace. 2010 has been a big year for the region, most notably the completion of the worlds’ tallest building, the Burj Khalifa Skyscraper and in Abu Dhabi the world’s largest indoor and first Ferrari theme park was opened.

The region has seen huge investment over the last two decades and created an oasis in the desert. Cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi have emerged and are now key drivers for the region. The region is home to the offices of numerous multinational companies and corporations. In addition to this there is very healthy growth of small to medium sized business.

In today’s business world there is no doubting the importance of a web presence and the UAE is no exception. The problem is that the vast majority of web development firms in the UAE do not have the same level of knowledge or experience as professionals in the West.

Internet usage is growing at a rapid rate in the UAE amongst the 4 million or so people that live there. Companies are investing millions of dollars in the region and the internet is a vital communications tool which is only growing in use and importance. Choosing the right web design company to work with can be difficult but below are some useful hints to help with that difficult decision.

Check the Portfolio – For web design companies having a portfolio is a simple must have. It gives a web design company the chance to show off their work and you can quickly gauge what kinds of styles are possible. However, be warned because seeing them in a gallery is not enough. It is vital that the functionality of these is thoroughly checked.

Talk to the owner of the business – Before any deal is made it is essential that you meet with the director of the web design company. This gives you an opportunity to test their knowledge and gives you an opportunity to talk about their previous and future projects and get contact details for referrals.

The kitchen sink – The very best web design companies will do more than just develop a website. The best firms will begin with a free consultation which will be based on a very high level view of your business and who it is targeting or which markets are most relevant. It is also common to discuss the design and development process used by the web design company because this will help in organising time scales.

Following on from this the Dubai web design company should be able to demonstrate their skill in keyword research, content management, digital graphic design, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and web marketing. If your web design company can fulfil all of this then you are speaking to the right people.

The people – Knowing that there is a team of dedicated professionals with specialist skills, working on your behalf is hugely important and can give you a lot of confidence in the web design company you are working with.

The vibe – Finally, the design company you choose to work with has to feel right. The communication needs to be friendly but professional and constructive. In other words you must be able to question the design company and you should expect good answers in return. Companies who don’t listen to their clients inevitably let them down so if you are ignored head somewhere else.

Top ten blog writing tips from MintTwist

1)      Form an opinion

2)      Ensure its well linked up

3)      Less is more

4)      300 words bare minimum

5)      Make the headline snappy

6)      Be passionate

7)      Fine tuning

8)      Keep it easy on the eye

9)      Be consistent with your style

10)   Get those keywords in

1) Form an opinion

Blogs are enjoyed by so many because people enjoy reading about others opinions. A blog is written by an individual to share their thoughts on a matter and form and opinion. People like opinion because we all form our own opinion on matters and enjoy comparing it to others.

2) Ensure its well linked up

A blog post should not be one link after the other. Overloading it with links is off-putting so choose appropriate words at appropriate intervals. If you want a link to your services or products page make sure the word which will link to that page is related.

3) Less is more

Do not get sidetracked. It is easy to start typing away and forget what the core point of the blog is.

4) 3 minutes

The longer the post the more the reader has opportunity to lose interest.

5) Make the headline snappy

Often the hardest part of a blog, try to condense your argument into a few words. The tabloids have mastered the art.

6) Passion

People like passion and it is easy to pick up on. The most successful bloggers are incredibly passionate about what they write about. Controlled passion is the key.

7) Fine tuning

When you have written your blog read it again, and then again. Try to find any mistakes and ways to improve the structure, the words and the tone. The first draft is never perfect.

8) Easy on the eye

Ensure that the blog does not contain huge paragraphs and endless sentences. The font needs to be easy to read, so not too small or too big.

9) Be consistent

Readers enjoy consistency because people like to know what to expect. That’s why so many people have favourite writers. If you read a book and enjoy it is quite usual to buy another book theirs.

10) Get those keywords in

Try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. What keywords would people use to search for your blog post? Include as many of them in the body as possible and try to keep them as natural as possible.

Is cloud computing the future of web design?

Cloud computingWith the 7th International Cloud Expo being held in America this November and the announcement that New York City and Microsoft are teaming up to provide the city’s 100,000 employees with access to cloud services, it is evident that cloud computing is now at the forefront of computing technology and a current buzzword in the field.

Cloud computing refers to anything that involves delivering hosted services over the internet and encompasses any subscription-based or pay-by-use service that, in real time, extends IT’s existing capabilities.

A clear benefit of this provision is the inevitable reduced cost incurred by any organisation.  The provision is not owned, with any resources being consumed as a service.  The company only pays for what is used as a utility, therefore avoiding capital expenditure.  According to New York City’s Mayor, “Through our partnership with Microsoft, we’ve found ways to offer our employees Microsoft’s newest computing tools while reducing costs to taxpayers.

By capitalizing on the city’s buying power, consolidating dozens of separate city agency license agreements into a single one, and paying for software based on use, we’ll save $50 million over the next five years.”

Until now, New York City’s agencies each purchased software individually, comprising more than 40 separate license agreements and even more maintenance and support contracts. With the new cloud agreement, all of the city’s software and services will be under one unified agreement, saving money and eliminating confusion.

Organisations also benefit from increased storage capacity as compared with that available on private computer systems.  With a phenomenal growth in data quantities, companies are under pressure to store and protect not only new data, but older existing data that is kept ‘just-in-case’ to protect against any future difficulties.  With this storage requirement comes additional costs associated with the greater need to manage and protect the data.  Cloud computing provides a cost-effective solution for this ongoing problem.

With the continued advances in technology and ever changing needs of organisations, cloud services ensure that the most up-to-date software is available to companies.  Similarly, the evolving nature of such provision ensures that companies are offered greater flexibility in how they access services and the many different combinations of services that may be required.

Possibly the most significant benefit arising from this shift in technology is the ability to access information from anywhere, resulting in greater mobility for employees.  In the case of New York particularly, this benefit is exemplified by the fact that many of the city’s workers are not office-based and so will have improved access to services with resulting improvements in communication between agencies.

Despite the significant benefits associated with the cloud computing revolution, there is also concern surrounding cloud computing and its attendant security risks.  The main concerns about cloud computing are security and privacy as data inside the ‘cloud’ is outside a company’s firewall and that brings with it an intrinsic threat of risk.  With an increase in hacking attempts, companies need to implement stringent security measures such as proven cryptographic methods to authenticate users.

This security risk extends beyond data storage to web development.  It is evident that an unsecure server is bad for search engine optimisation and for a company’s website.  As identified by an SEO London company, a lack of security in the cloud can result in the loss of search engine rankings.

As part of the ever growing and evolving IT industry, we must be open to advances in technology even if we maintain some reservations about potential security issues or associated concerns.  A spokesperson from a London web design company recognises the potential for cloud computing and the advances in technology in our every day lives.  “As web designers we frequently find ourselves caught up in the everyday workings of the internet”.  Cloud computing may very well be the new technology to drastically change the web design market but ultimately only time will tell.

To outsource or not to outsource?

Both private and public sector organisations are faced with the ongoing challenge of deciding whether functions or individual projects should be carried out internally or externally. Within the broad context of the annual review cycle, MintTwist re-evaspxaluates the merits of outsourcing project work just as one would with every other business decision.  It is important to recognise outsourcing as a strategic business tool, but to also determine the specific benefits that externally sourced work brings to the company.

It is wise for all companies to recognise the benefits of outsourcing for the continued progress of their business.  For the web development company, self-contained projects are easy to outsource and reap numerous benefits.  This type of organisation can help managers to set priorities more clearly and focus on core projects, which thus improves productivity.

Outsourcing converts fixed costs into variable costs and therefore releases capital for investment elsewhere in the business.  In this way it is possible to avoid large expenditures.  Inevitably, labour costs are reduced.  Hiring and training staff for short-term projects can be expensive while using temporary workers is often ineffective.  Therefore, with specific projects outsourced, human resources can be focused where most needed within the business.

The use of outsourced agencies enables new projects to begin quickly, without the need to commit weeks or even months for preparation and setting up.  Companies see an increase in productivity and gain access to a broad range of services which place businesses on a level playing field with other, possibly larger, companies.

Conversely, there are costs associated with outsourcing project work that impact on more than just financial growth.  The greater number of outsourced projects, the more potential for communication difficulties between the outsource provider, the company and the client.  More specifically, the field of web site design necessitates ongoing dialogue with the client in order to meet expectations whilst achieving maximum results.  It is far easier to manage the client relationship and achieve consistent service levels without the introduction of a third party.

It is always prudent to keep in mind that, while functions can be outsourced with each project, accountability cannot.  Web design companies, such as MintTwist, deal with sensitive data for each client that must be managed carefully.  While it is possible to identify and outsource provider’s portfolio of work, it is more difficult to assess its ethical conduct and personnel practices.  Such issues can be easily managed internally within the ethos of the organisation and under direct managerial control.

With a long-term perspective it can be an excellent decision to invest in training for staff in order to achieve a consistency in output for the company.  Whether it be skills related to website design, sales, marketing or SEO, London web design companies require employees to have the current knowledge base and associated skill set to contend with the competitive market.  The ongoing use of outsourcing does not allow for the development of high level functioning internally.  With competitively high service levels and excellent client relationships, MintTwist determines that the costs of outsourcing project work outweigh the benefits for the company.  Outsourcing introduces an unknown quantity for the web design company, where projects are in fact better managed in-house.

Did you know you can get FREE Champagne by refering new business to MintTwist?

Free Bottle of champagne

Yes it’s true! MintTwist is offering the finest Champagne (FREE) for each and every successful referral you provide.

How to get my FREE Champagne?

It couldn’t be more simple.  Send us a quick email with the details of the business you are referring, including the contact you would like us to approach, and we will do the rest.  Our experienced sales team will get in touch with the business, and if they decide to use one of our Web Design, Web Marketing or SEO services we will ship your your FREE Champagne.  Nothing to it!

How do I start?

Simply send us an email to info@minttwist.com with the contact details of your referral and let our sales team do the rest!

Facebook: The good, the bad and the ugly

When you consider that Facebook was launched in February 2004 and has grown to over 500 million members, it really is an incredible achievement. It is a feat of epic proportions and a tremendous success story which also reflects the growing popularity of social networking.

There are people whose career is now dependant of Facebook. There is an ongoing battle between  independent application developers and development companies such as Zynga, around the world including web design London.

Zynga is a fantastic example of success with Facebook. After being in business for nearly three years the company has an annual revenue of over $100 million dollars and are responsible for some of the most popular applications on Facebook, specifically Farmville and Mafia Wars.

However, in the interest of fairness and objectivity, one could argue that Facebook is a bit like Marmite. You either love it or hate it. My fourteen year old niece for example will happily spend hour after hour on Facebook, whereas I will spend maybe five to ten minutes on it every day or two.

A few too manyHow many times have you been out with friends, maybe you had a few dozen too many drinks and made a complete fool of yourself, which would have been fine pre 2004 because even if your friends did have cameras and took pictures there was no website which could embarrass you in the same way Facebook can.

The influence of Facebook has also spread to businesses and careers. It is widely reported that employers will try and find your profile on Facebook, just to see if there is anything you perhaps forgot to mention. You have the ability share with the world absolutely everything that you like and dislike, your favourite music, food, movies and your political and religious affiliations.

For some the amount of information has gone too far. It is frequently said that knowledge is power, and if that is the case Facebook is all powerful because they have knowledge of over half a billion user. Some might ask what possible harm could come from all this knowledge?

Well a lot really. To begin with, companies will go to extreme lengths to gather data on customers and Facebook is a giant and rich database of customers. Since 2004 advertising has become increasingly significant for the company because it brings in revenue. With Facebook companies can set up highly targeted adverts, so one could argue that ad least users aren’t bombarded with random advertising. By localizing the site Facebook is sending out a strong message of willingness to improve their service which is encouraging.

There is also a much darker site to data which was demonstrated during World War 2. In Germany and elsewhere in Europe, as the Nazis grip spread to Poland, France, Holland and Belgium the census’ of the countries were used to hunt down Jews and other political enemies. Indeed this is a somewhat extreme example of the dark side of data but it did happen and does show how information can be used in the worst possible way.

International web design in London

London undergroundIn the last 100 years the world has shrunk. It is now so small that the furthest place you can go is at most going to be a day or two away. There are some exceptions though, for example if you wanted to reach the heart of the Amazon rainforest or the North Pole or any other extreme location it might a bit longer than a few days, say a week or so.

Living in London you really do get a sense of this shrinking planet we share. Having been born and raised in this remarkable city I consider it a genuine privilege. The city has so much history, energy, culture, style and beauty it is impossible not to fall in love with it.

There have been many famous quotes about London but one has always stood out for me. The English poet Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) once said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

Putting to one side my bias and instead thinking more impartially, for me to say that London is perfect would be a lie. There is no such thing as perfection. However the same can be said about all major cities, they all have their problems.

What I find most amazing about London is the richness of culture and the variety of nationalities, which you don’t have to go far to see examples of. The workforce at MintTwist itself is evidence of a small world and multi-culturist society.

  • Eric our SEO guru has Kenyan parents and moved to the UK at a young age.
  • Gabriel, who works on web marketing, is from Argentina.
  • One of our developers, Julien is half French, half English.
  • Andre our senior developer is half Portuguese and half Angolan.
  • Mustafa, our project manager is Turkish Cypriot.
  • Lee our head designer is a quarter Italian, three quarters English.
  • Alexis, one of MintTwist’s directors is half Greek Cypriot and half English.
  • Our other director, Elliott, and without doubt the most interesting blend of nationalities, is one quarter Spanish, one quarter Jamaican and half English.

As for myself, I have a Croatian mother and my father’s family immigrated to the UK from Poland over a hundred years ago.

More than anything, what this demonstrates is that the movement of people is a fundamental part of the development of mankind. Ever since humans evolved into bipedal creatures it has been in our genes to explore and relocate to better places. Without it Columbus wouldn’t have discovered America, the Vikings wouldn’t have come to Britain and the British would be much worse off and a more crowded place because we wouldn’t have Australia to send criminals to.

Only joking! :-)

BBC to roll out new visual language!

The BBC’s website is today well established as arguably the most cutting edge, the most current and the friendliest to users. The website is much more than just a page rank of 9 and pages of english language! It is a website which not only hold top quality content, but carries with it the impeccable reputation the BBC has built up over decades of impartiality.

The BBC is a publicly owned organisation, which means that the BBC website belongs to the people. As a result there is tremendous affinity and popularity for the site.

Although if you were to look at the site in 1997 you might be a little disappointed as you can see below.

BBC homepage 1996

BBC homepage 1997

This was a basic offering with two sections to the site. Over time it has grown to encompass a great deal more. However due to the organic way in which the website evolved and the old structure of the business, with dozens of small design teams working independently of each other, the site had a fairly schizophrenic nature once you delved into its depths.

About 2 years ago, after printing out the site onto what has now become jokingly known as the ‘Wall of Shame’ the BBC decided to embark on an ambitious project, called Global Visual Language 2.0, with the aim of unifying the visual and interaction design of bbc.co.uk and the mobile website.

The Wall of Shame

The BBC created a new wider, centred page template to take advantage of wider screen resolutions and for the first time created an underlying grid. They rationalised the hundreds of different banner styles into a new global and local branding and navigation system.

The scores of different audio and video players were discontinued and they created a universal embedded media player. They also redesigned the homepage creating a visual style that began to ripple through the site and onto the mobile platform.

BBC HomepageThe BBC showed excellent mastery of ‘web 2.0’ which is an approach that has been adopted by many other businesses and organisations. However the BBC now believes it has served its purpose and it is time to move on.

They have set out to broaden their ambitions to create a design philosophy and world-class design standards that all designers across the business could adhere to. They want something distinctive and recognisable and they knew whatever was created needed to be truly cross-platform and that with simplified user journeys.

The BBC didn’t do it on all by themselves. Together with representatives from across the business, led by the project’s Creative Director, Ben Gammon, they formed a Global Design Working Group, and created a GVL Steering Group to help manage and direct the course of the project. The BBC also approached the industry to find a partner to co-create the styleguide: Neville Brody and his agency, Research Studios.

Over the last four months, they have spent countless hours and created countless iteration designs, components, mastheads, footers, polar maps, word documents, pdfs and grids… and this is all still a work in progress.

They are creating a design philosophy, or a set of values, to unite the user experience practitioners across the business and have settled on nine keywords which sum up what they’re about and what they’re trying to achieve:

Modern British
The BBC want to create a modern British design aesthetic, something vibrant and quirky that translates outside our national boundaries.

Current
It needs to feel current and reflect what’s happening in the UK right now, in real-time with links to the past – to a rich archive.

Authentic
Need to sound authentic and relevant, warm and human.

Compelling
The BBC engages the audiences with compelling storytelling with voice ranges from serious and authoritative through to witty and entertaining.

Distinctive
Standing out from the crowd, the BBC is bold and dramatic.

Pioneering
They pioneer design innovations that surprise and delight.

Joined-up
All services and platforms as one connected but deliver experiences that are sensitive to their context of use.

Universal
The services are open and accessible with simple, useful and intuitive interfaces.

Best
The BBC’s ambition is to be the best digital media brand in the world.

In doing this work they have begun to distil the essence of a new visual style. Taking inspiration from many sources to try and achieve “an underlying grid system that was flexible enough to enable many unique design variations whilst still feeling coherent and considered.”

The new grid is based on 31 sixteen pixel columns with two left hand columns that can be split into four, and one wider right hand column.

A key feature of the new GVL is a much more dramatic use of typography. As well as Gill Sans they have introduced big bold type in Helvetica or Arial and restricted variations in size so that we have much greater consistency across the site.

Below and on the left is an example of it all pulled together on a new story page, and examples of typography styling in promo drawers. It is focused on signposting and articulation; you can see the time stamping treatment and signposting for live content.

The BBC wanted to create something that is flexible enough to allow all the brands their full expression whilst uniting them into a coherent user experience.They also wanted to strip out any superfluous decoration and allow the content and imagery to shine through which we find exciting and refreshing

The final push is to finalise the masthead and footer. They are also looking at mobile, IPTV and social elements on the page (social bookmarking, share functionality, comments, ratings, reviews etc).

As to when exactly this will go live, it is hard to say. There will need to be a significant test phase because maintaining their status as a very reliable site is very important. But considering they are in the latter stages of the build it could be as soon as this summer, but we may have to wait until the winter. Whatever the case maybe we are looking forward to its arrival.

MintTwist – Web Design in London, UK – refreshing the web

Top 5 tools for web developers

Web development is tough, whether you are planning, designing or building, these phases may be tough but boy are they fun! And there are many things that no web developer should be without.

I have outlined the most important ones to me for my processes, This list is not ordered by importance and by all means if you think i have missed out something you think is important give us a shout! Links to the software mentioned below…

Firebug1. Firebug

This little Firefox Addon has helped me in many ways, when you are trying to figure out why some div does something wrong or whatever, this helps you quickly locate your problem without having to press CTRL + U and search through your source code.

Eclipse PDT2. Eclipse PDT

This piece of open source software is the one and only piece of software PHP developers should use, this provides a full debugging system for PHP and a nice clean environment to code in that includes code colouring to seperate your classes from your functions so on and so forth, if you develop PHP and you have not heard of this or used it, go and get it now!!!!

Sequel Pro3. Sequel Pro (MAC)

Sequel Pro is an excellent software package for managing MYSQL databases, it works extremely well and has a very atractive UI which is always a plus as this helps you work faster as you don’t need to scour the screen looking for that whatever your looking for.

Photoshop CS4

4. Photoshop CS4

Whatever you need to do whether it is to create a graphic or a complete website visual, the power of Photoshop never ceases to amaze me, it’s versatility is what makes it one of the most widely used graphics editors amongst web designers today even ahead of fireworks which is specifically for web designers.

Filezilla FTP Client5. Filezilla

Simply the best FTP client out there, i am not even going to bother writing a description of why just get it and use it!!!

Firebug Firefox Addon
Eclipse PDT

Sequel Pro

Photoshop CS4
Filezilla

A bad website harms your business

If you are going to have a bad website, you are probably better off having no website at all. It’s true. While a bad website at least gets your name in the search engines, it can also ruin your credibility. A hard to use website, for example, may push your potential customers over to the competition, while an amateurish website can convince potential customers that your business is simply not a serious one.

So how can you avoid these marketing gaffes online? Quite simply, by:

1) Making sure that you get your website when you are ready. You should only invest in a company website when you are ready to spend time and money on the project. Only develop a website when you are ready to hire professionals to design it for you and you are ready to promote and update your website regularly.

2) By entrusting your website to professionals. You may know someone who understands basic HTML or WYSIWYG programs, but you need professionals with a discerning eye to develop your professional website for you. You need a professional team – like the one at Ciplex – to get professional results. While amateur results may be OK for a personal webpage, any minor glitches or design errors on a company website make you look less credible. Unfortunately, with so many scams online today, customers may see any lack of credibility on your part as a red flag sign. Don’t give customers an excuse to not do business with you. If you cannot afford professionals, wait until you can or work out a financing plan.

3) By making your website part of an overall business plan. Your website is not stand-alone. It should work with your overall business plan, marketing strategy, and branding plan. If you are not sure what you want your website to accomplish, you should determine this before setting a site up. Nothing is worse than the business website with no discernible goal.

4) By ensuring that your website looks its best. Your website should be professional, clean, and attractive. It should err on the side of simplicity and work well with no delays or glitches. It should work well on different computers and with different browsers, so that all your potential customers can read your marketing message. Check and re-check your website to ensure that it looks as good as it possibly can.

MintTwist help medium sized product and service based businesses to increase revenue and sales leads by defeating their enemies on the battlefields of the internet with better web design and web marketing services. Contact Elliott King for more information.

Internet users quick to judge

Internet users can take just one-twentieth of a second to decide whether they like the look of a website, researchers say.

Dr Gitte Lindgaard and colleagues from Carleton University in Ottawa flashed up websites for 50 milliseconds and asked participants to rate them for visual appeal.

When they repeated the exercise after a longer viewing period, the participants’ ratings were consistent.

“Visual appeal can be assessed within 50 milliseconds, suggesting that web designers have about 50 milliseconds to make a good impression,” the Canadians report in the journal Behaviour & Information Technology.

Associate Professor of psychology Bill von Hippel, from the University of New South Wales, says it takes about 50 milliseconds to read one word, making this a “stunningly remarkable” timeframe in which to process the complex stimuli on a website.

“It’s quite remarkable that people do it that fast and that it holds up in their later judgement,” he said.

“This may be because we have an affective or emotional system that [works] independently of our cognitive system.”

He says that in evolutionary terms, this ability helped us respond rapidly to dangerous situations.

Halo effect

Professor von Hippel says the study also reflects the so-called halo effect, where an initial bias towards something drives subsequent judgements.

“This suggests that we make very quick judgements based on some sort of emotional reaction and our more considered judgements still reflect that first impression,” he said.

Australian researcher Sue Burgess, who evaluates website usability and is a senior lecturer in information management at the University of Technology Sydney, says the finding comes as bad news to anyone hoping to convey information.

“There’s no doubt that people do respond very quickly to websites and decide very quickly whether to stay on them,” she said.

She says the appeal of a website is usually tied to colour, movement and interactivity, with the way the information is structured coming second.

Ms Burgess says it is unclear whether the Internet is changing our ability to concentrate for long periods or if we are adapting to the medium.

“There’s so much information and … there’s always going to be a lot of clicking around just to see what’s there,” she said.

MintTwist help medium sized product and service based businesses to increase revenue and sales leads with the smart application of web design and web marketing services. Contact Elliott King for more information.

How to Create a Twitter Background

With just about everyone having a Twitter account, it’s time for you to make your Twitter page stand out from among the rest. Why settle for the default selection of backgrounds. Make your own to give your Twitter page your personal flair reflective of your personality.

  1. Create a Twitter account. If you haven’t gotten around to signing up for Twitter yet, what are you waiting for? Go to twitter.com and sign up for an account. If you need a little more help, read How to Set Up a New Twitter Account in the resources below.
  2. Decide what type of image you want to portray. Part of the difficulty in setting the correct background is deciding what you want your Twitter page design to say about you. Many folks take any image or graphic and upload it to their Twitter account without much thought. Take some time to come up with something that speaks of your style, taste and personality.
  3. Consider the screen real estate. The important information to be viewed on Twitter occurs in the center of the page. No matter how many images or sayings you have on your background, the center of the screen belongs to Twitter. Therefore you have to create a background that gives Twitter center stage.
  4. Go large. Larger images and/or graphics reduce the necessity for tiling an image. It gives the appearance of one large background specifically made for Twitter. Try starting with an image as large as 1600 x 1200.
  5. Remember that all screen resolutions are not the same. The smaller the screen resolution, the lower the likelihood of your image will have to repeat. In other words, if you elect to use an image that has a flower located to the extreme left of the screen, on a lower resolution screen (800 x 600 for instance), the flower displays once. A screen with a resolution of say 2048 x 1536, the flower will display tiled on the screen several times.
  6. Think about using a border. When creating an image, remember that a small portion of the top of the screen is dedicated to the Twitter logo and user navigation. It’s a little easier on the eyes if the design included a boarder over which the Twitter logo and navigation could sit without having to fight against a busy background.
  7. Upload your image to Twitter. Once you’ve played around with the image, upload it to Twitter to see how it looks. Log onto your account. Click “Design” found under the “Settings” tab. Once on the design screen click “change background image.” Once you upload your image, check it out to see if you like it. If you don’t you can change it or use one of the Twitter default images until you come up with something you like.

Making your website work for you

Times have changed. The information age is fully upon us.  Customers now have the ability to instantly compare prices, services, and products, and shop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year. Not to mention the ability carry around a high-speed wireless connection to the entire world in their pocket or purse!

Although the computer revolution that started thirty years ago is still not mature, the novelty has worn off. The Internet is a part of everyday life for nearly everyone, from tiny children to grey-haired grannies. The dust from the upheaval of the last thirty years is settling and everyone can see the competitive landscape more clearly.

Regardless of what the techies or web gurus say, as a small business your website probably isn’t going to bring you vast hoards of customers from around the world, let you compete with the “big boys” in your industry, or make you rich.

It’s just not true.

What your website can and should do, however, is be a powerful tool to attract your hottest local prospects and activate your existing customers.

More and more customers are going to go on-line to get your telephone number, see if you’re open on Sunday, find out if you carry a brand of products they are looking for, see what’s new at the store this month, or get directions to your store.

Many of your hottest prospects are comparison shopping on-line before they decide which store to visit in person. They are “checking you out” and if what they find on-line doesn’t match up to your competitor’s you could be out of the running.

For example, let’s say I wanted to buy a new mountain bike. One of the things I’d probably do is search on-line for local for bike shops. I’d browse around on their sites (just like I might if I was actually in their stores) to see what bikes they had to offer, check out how knowledgeable they were, how professional they seemed, what kind of post-sale service they provided.

Just based on that web experience alone I might make a decision about where I was going to buy my bike. At the minimum, I would rule out any places that looked like they couldn’t give me a good buying experience.

This scenario takes place thousands, maybe millions, of times a day in your selling area for a huge variety of goods and services. That’s why every single store should have website with a minimum of 3-7 pages about their business and possibly many more.

This type of website is basically an e-brochure. It’s the high-tech version of the print brochure you give to promote your business to customers. It’s also becoming the high-tech version of your yellow pages ad.

So is it worth the cost of a website just to have an electronic brochure? Absolutely. How much would you pay for a magical print brochure that just showed up whenever your customer was wondering about your store or thinking about buying what you sell? Remember, websites don’t have to be expensive to be good.

The MintTwist-ology : Design the Perfect Website

Introduction

In order to design the perfect Website, you will need to have your Website Planning document (see Plan the Perfect Website).

With this, your Designer can start the process of Website Design.

Broadly, the Website Design process involves three main deliverables:

• Create a ‘sitemap’
• Create ‘wireframes’ for Homepage and Content page(s)
• Create ‘visuals’ Homepage and Content page(s)

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is a diagram that defines all of the pages in a Website and the hierarchical structure in which they will sit.

Note: In the ‘build’ phase the sitemap will be turned into a physical web page; this helps humans get a quick overview with quick links to of all the pages within a site. It also helps Google to automatically index all of the pages in your site (this helps with the Search Engine Optimisation of your site; which in the medium term will increase your number of visitors from the search engines).

What does a sitemap look like?

As an initial starting structure, a standard website will probably contain at least the following pages:

• Homepage
• About Us
• Products and/or Services Homepage
o Product 1
o Product 2
o Service 1
o Service 2
• Contact Us
• Terms and Conditions
• Sitemap

To this, a number of other pages will be added. The number and types of these pages should be determined by your Website Planning document and any other supporting preparatory material that you may have.

Note: It is advisable to provide each distinct function of your website with a dedicated page. This way each page of your website remains relevant and clear, maximising the effect its specific message and related call to action for your visitor.

An example of a sitemap for a Shipping Website

sitemap1

Wireframes

The wireframes will provide a visual overview of the sections of the web pages and the types of content and functionality that will be placed on them. A wireframe will be used to ensure that the correct messages and calls to action will be placed in the correct places on the page in order to maximise their effectiveness.

Note: There should be no areas of ‘dead’ or ‘unused’ space. The space on a web page is your real estate and your web designer should ensure that every last bit of it is working for your business. A wireframe will help you to see what each and every part of the web page will be used for.

An example of a content page wireframe for a Shipping Website

wireframe

Website Visuals

The homepage is your face to the Internet; it should be designed to be high impact; immediately portraying your target message to your target customer. Studies show that Internet users make up their mind about a website in less than 2 seconds based on their experience of your homepage. If they don’t like what the see, feel or read they will move to the next website on the list.

The homepage visual should be designed first. Once this visual is agreed, content page visuals can also be designed. Depending on the complexity of the site one of more content page visuals should be created.

An example of a homepage visual for a Shipping Website

visual

Approving the Design

At each stage of the Design process you should review the deliverable to ensure that the correct messages and calls to action are being presented in a Design style that will appeal to your target audience.

Using your Website Designs

Once complete your Website Designs will be used by the Website Coder in the next stage of creating your “Perfect Website”…Develop the Perfect Website

This article is based on the “MintTwist-ology” for creating the “Perfect Website”. MintTwist is a London based Web Agency specialising in high quality Web Design and Development.

The MintTwist-ology : Plan the Perfect Website

Introduction

In order to create the perfect Website, firstly you need to have a Website Planning document. Before you can start the process of Website Planning you need to know two key things:

· What do you want your Website to say?

· Who do you want your Website to say it to?

Once you can answer these questions you are ready to proceed and begin “Website Planning”.

Website Planning

The process of Website Planning involves you being able to define 4 key aspects of your Website. These are:

· Message/Audience

· Perception

· Action

· Content

By following this article, and writing down the answers to the questions in each section you will produce your own Website Planning document.

Define your Website Message and Audience

Write down the answers to these questions:

· What is the primary message you wish to convey to the audience of your website?

Examples of this are; telephone us about our product/service, buy something, register with our website etc.

· What are the major purposes for the site?

Examples of these are; name branding, e-commerce, product or service information, generate leads, etc.

· What are the specific short-term and long-term goals for the site?

Examples of these are; to reduce customer service in-house, generate x increase in sales, generate new leads, etc.

· Who is your target audience?

Where relevant include things like; age range, profession, interests, gender, income bracket etc.)

· Is you target Website target audience different from your current customer profile? If so, please describe.

· Are you a local, regional or an international business and do you want to target a specific area?

· Who are your primary competitors?

· How does your company differentiate itself from competitors?

· What are the key reasons why customers choose your company?

Examples of these are; price, information, niche, quality, speed, expertise, sole provider.

Define your Website Perception

· Write down three adjectives to describe how the user should perceive the site.

Examples are; conservative, progressive, friendly, formal, casual, serious, experts, humorous, service-oriented, professional, etc.

· How is your company currently perceived?

· Do you wish to carry through the same kind of message through your website?

· List any URLs of sites you find compelling. What do you find the most interesting about these sites?

· List URLs of competitor sites. What you like and dislike about their overall site?

Define the Actions you want your Website Visitors to take

· What is the primary action you wish your target user to take from the homepage of your site?

Examples of these are; order a product, download a brochure, browse company information, move along specified path through the catalogue, email customer service, explore pages, phone your shop / office, etc.

· What is the primary action you wish your target user to take before leaving your site? Is it the same action? If not, describe why.

· What elements are key items you wish to have available to the user on every page?

Examples of these are; order form, brochure, email address, contact information, advertisements, access to a particular product range etc.

Define your Website Content

· Will this site use existing or new content? Describe any visual elements or styles you want.

Examples include; logo, text, product shots, press releases, testimonials, brochures, sell/data sheets, etc,

· Can this be utilized from existing marketing materials or collateral?

· Describe the major topics for your site?

Examples include; Products, Services, Information, How to Contact Us, Links, Frequently Asked Questions, Events, Members-Only Area, etc.

· If relevant, describe the product/service categories of your Website. If relevant, include sub-categories.

An example of this would be; 1. Fry Pans: Pancake / Crepe pans, Omelette pans, Sauté pans, Frying pans, Deep fat fryers, Accessories. 2. Pans: Pan sets, Sauce pans, Milk pans, Speciality pans, Pan Lids, Pan Storage, etc.

· If relevant, describe the major brands (other than your own) that your company would like to promote on the Website.

Choose a cross section of brands that represent your company fully, these could include; budget brands, premium brands, fashionable brands, high quality brands.

Include other useful Information

Remember to add anything else that you feel is relevant as a footnote to your Website Planning document.

Using your Website Planning document

Once complete your Website Planning document will be used by the Website Designer in the next stage of creating your “Perfect Website”…Design the Perfect Website

This article is based on the “MintTwist-ology” for creating the “Perfect Website”. MintTwist is a London based Web Agency specialising in high quality Web Design and Development.

Looking Forward

Journal of an American Intern

Paris and Beyond

Wow, it seems like this internship and study abroad experience has gone by really really fast. It seems like I have hardly been here! I’ve done a lot of exciting things in London, at MintTwist and around Europe and I have loved it. Here at MintTwist I have written a lot, which I never really enjoyed before but now I have realized that I don’t hate writing if it’s creative writing. All those papers that I have to do in the next five days before I leave don’t seem that tough any more.

Now that I have been with MintTwist for about five weeks, I can tell that the company is really going somewhere fast. The vibrant, youthful and fun attitude which is portrayed through www.minttwist.com is representative of the people working here, and the direction they want to go in. In addition to being a fun and eager company, they have the right opportunities coming their way to do something really impressive in the future. I’m excited to see where the company is going and I will definitely be following up. Did I mention MintTwist is on Facebook!?

I also got to go to Paris last weekend. I have wanted to go for so long! It was beautiful, but I think it looks better in pictures for some reason. I also wish I knew French because it was not easy to communicate, even with the people who spoke English. My favourite thing there was the Louvre which I only got to see for an hour and a half because it was closing. I would have gone there just to see the building if there wasn’t eve art in it. It’s so big and so nice and I can’t wait to go back someday and spend a whole day there. That’ll have to wait until I’m rich one day though.

Anyway, this is my last entry. London has been great and so has MintTwist. I will keep my eye out for all the good things to come from MintTwist and I can’t wait to see the USA site up…

Cheers,

Tommy