googles-new-logo adds animation and responsive design

Something new for something old?

We use it everyday and it probably seems like its been here forever. But its actually only 12 years.

I’m talking about the Google logo. Google’s new logo is the first refresh of its corporate logo – apart from its tongue-in cheek topical changes – for twelve years.

The new logo dumps the old serif-based design and is an animated GIF for the first time – is responsive – that means it will adjust for whatever device, such as workstation, laptop, tablet or phone, its being viewed on.

Anyway, you decide. Is Google’s new logo great or a goof… #googlelogo

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Here’s a cool new website for the fashion cognoscenti. Secret d’or launches this month, designed to offer digital shoppers cutting edge fashion inspiration as well as access to the world’s most coveted new designers and brands. Luxurious, curated and highly desirable, Secret d’Or is a new frontier for the world of online fashion. Featuring collections from over 70 designers, the platform is for fashion forward individuals with a taste for the finer things in life.

want something better than high street? you want Secret d'or...

Secret d’or offers unique pieces which are worlds away from the usual, conventional high street brands and off-the-shelf, push, pack and pack collections. Instead, Secret d’Or spotlights independent labels to connect forward thinking fashionistas with a top drawer choice of contemporary designers.

Camilla Jerath, Secret d’Or founder said, “In a world of fast fashion there is a new found respect for independent creatives who offer innovative products made with exceptional quality. We have created a curated platform to bring fresh and stylish independent brands to fashion forward men and women who crave unique and limited edition pieces. Take our Portamento shoes for example. Rather than generic designs, our collection is handmade in Italy using only the finest 100% genuine leather.”

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Sharp-eyed users may have noticed that web design trends have gone a little flat recently. Blame Apple – they started it with a radical new look for the iPhone and iPad with iOS-7.

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flat tyre - old car Want to waste your money? Ask for an update to an old website.

I’m not talking about wanting to renew or design a brand-new site. What I mean are the changes to a site designed some time back. The site that “doesn’t seem to be working any more”.

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I wrote a while ago about the impending demise of Flash and how HTML5/CSS3 was the future.

Nothing’s made me alter that opinion, but I’ve now discovered something else. The thing I’ve discovered is how unprofessional, bad-mannered and arrogant some graphics artists really are.

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When only one married partner is working, you’ll lose about a quarter of a million over ten years. Add one child into the equation and you’re down over half a million easy.

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Once, all web designers had to do was to produce a creative design, wrap it in a bunch of HTML code and present it to the client.

Of course, it had to work with every web browser and still look great. No one ever had to worry about responsive web design.

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UX. Another set of initials to get your head around. But the idea is as old as design itself. What we’re talking about here is user experience.

When a potential new customer visits your site your task is to take them on a journey. You need to show them products or services you want them to see, but in a way they enjoy and find stimulating.

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Just seen a client who started her business about three years ago. She had some amazing ideas and the guy who designed her site took it all on-board and produced a great website for her.

The site was highly graphical and Flash-heavy – in fact 100% Flash. It looks very cool, But its just not performing for the client.

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There’s so many things you have to do when re-branding a business and working in digital sector doesn’t make it any easier!

In fact, in many ways, its more difficult. You have to get it right, or you’ll never live it down. You can’t invoice for the work, so it takes longer fitting it in between paying clients.

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I received a surprising text message from one of my clients recently. She’d wanted to send me something, but she couldn’t find my email address on my website. That stopped me in my tracks.

You see, I’d thought I’d really got my site’s contact methods nailed. After all, my phone number was everywhere, I’d placed contact links on every page, but I’d clearly got it wrong.

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The web design industry has always had distinct roles and functions. But everything could be just about to change.

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Funny. I’ve always had a kind of uneasy feeling about Adobe’s Flash. Maybe because I saw it as some strange black art practised by weird geeks in back rooms. Flash never felt right, somehow.

Seems my unease about it was justified. Adobe’s just said it’s pulling the plug on part of its giant Flash product portfolio.

Only their Flash Mobile product, that is. Now you might say, so what? But this move suggests a more seismic event to follow.

With Adobe now working on the technology to replace Flash Mobile, desktop Flash will soon find itself the next in line product for the axe. But why’s that such a big deal. After all, technology changes regularly. Why worry about Flash?

Flash has long been king of Animation City. But Flash is a proprietary product you had to buy to use. Its not the agonising death of another corporate cash-cow that is bothering me. It is what will take its place. And that’s HTML5/CSS3. Which few really know much about.

We could see a real slow-down in site development as people try to get up to speed. That’s not occurred before and it comes now, when the Internet is seeing its fastest growth.

But this isn’t all doom and gloom. HTML5/CSS3 has great potential, such as search engine-friendly sites which can actually be updated – once we decide on the final video format, that is…

Don’t go for Flash – but don’t expect cheap HTML5/CSS animation. Because no one’s found the HTML5/CSS3 can opener yet!

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I went to one of those business get-togethers this week and someone asked me what I did. I said I was a Internet strategist, which received a blank stare – so I tried to explain why people need Internet strategy – and what qualified me to offer it.

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A couple of friends will be getting married this May in Cyprus. Planning a wedding is a big deal for anyone, but if its to take place abroad its quite a scary undertaking – particularly with friends and family scattered as far away as Italy and the United States.

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If you believe that all Internet browsers render your page the same way – think again. Because thinking that will turn round and bite you!

Browsers are supposed to display the same way, but web designers often work long into the night to show your pages consistently.

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Imagine. You’re getting ready to begin that really important new job. You’d want to look the part from day one, surely?

Yet a lot of people won’t invest in themselves. They’d rather take the cheapest option, do without the right marketing strategy then opt for the lowest quality possible for their new business.

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It’s funny, even some creative web designers can resist change. Traditional designers will tell you that they never re-use designs, they write everything from scratch, line by line, bit by bit.

Yeah, right. If they did that, they’d spend their lives re-inventing the wheel by re-coding everything, never producing anything creative.

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It’s over forty years old and after all that time, we’ll still get it wrong!

Yep, I’m talking about email. And its so important. People will often base their commercial decisions about us simply on our email, not just by what we say, but how we send it.

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Its the most common website mistake that people make. We tend to get carried away with telling people how good our products are, how many customers we have, or how many awards we’ve been given. That’s all about you – you’re telling, not selling!

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Autumn 2011 has been a really interesting time for banking. I mean new banking, not that tired old high street of ours.

MovenBank’s appeared, Zopa’s broken more records, Wonga’s won more awards and a new social P2P player’s launching, CivilisedMoney.

It generated quite a lot of Twitter traffic with people on digital banking’s front-line, like banking innovators, Darren G and Aden Davies. And raised one key question.

Online or on high street – can a click ever replace a footstep?

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I worry about web design. We’ve always catered for the lowest available platform. Designing for people who don’t know, or just don’t care about the Web. beautiful themes like Shelf from YooTheme push the boundaries of what's possible. Should all sites be this good?

I mean, there are some great web browsers – and they’re all free, for Pete’s sake. Gaming calls for the latest technology. People happily buy that, don’t they?

But for some reason, we have to placate the stupid and design sites like its 1999. Web designers are told that they must maintain full compatibility with everything. Not just for browsers maybe a version behind, but stuff from another age.

Well, I think it’s time we ask the question. Should we push or just follow?

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It was hailed as the new dawn. Microsoft was squaring up to Google for search. Google looked to have a fight on their hands with Bing. But look at this… why can't Bing find stuff on Microsoft's own site - yet Google can?

This is the bing result for Vista Service Pack 2 on Microsoft’s own download site. Bing can’t find it. No results. Zilch. Nothing. What about a Google search?

Well. Let’s take a look. The result may surprise you…

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No, it’s not the latest story about National Australia Bank’s recent system woes. This is something just as radical, but far more positive.

NAB has split from the other main street banks to embrace the social web in style. They’ve suddenly discovered Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and viral marketing. It had to come, but who'd have thought NAB?

Maybe it was a realisation that NAB’s professional reputation was in tatters, maybe just a change of marketing agency. Either way, NAB’s changed course. And its a course that could change the face of Australian banking.

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You know, for me, the most frustrating thing in the world has got to be hindsight. And coming up with that great question or comment too late.

People will talk - its what makes us - well, us.

I’ve just attended the Manchester 2011 Information Security Leaders seminar. Inevitably, discussion turned to Facebook use in the office.

Part of the event was an open-mike panel featuring some of the great and the good of the security industry and a couple of leading industry security figures. And Facebook made them nervous.

Afterwards, the question I wished I’d had the forethought to ask came to me…

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The Internet and freedom. Two words we always believed couldn’t be separated. Recent events have shown otherwise. How The Internet has replaced the pen as tyranny's great adversary

Now this isn’t a commentary about the rights and wrongs of the Egyptian unrest. This is about freedom and our right to unhindered expression.

Egypt’s demonstrated that regimes can just turn off dissent at the flick of a switch. Could we suffer the same fate in our increasingly Orwellian society?

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I feel I may soon know how the guy felt when he suggested the world wasn’t flat. I’m no where near as visionary – but I may get vilified all the same… When technology doesn't mirror life - why Internet security is wrong. Imagine this scene… You walk into a retailer – any retailer – with a stolen wallet. You pick a range of expensive goods. As long as you have the PIN or the cash, you can take away whatever you want, unchallenged.

No checks, no ID, no second glance. Now, let’s go online…

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Have you noticed how TV media is featuring a lot of web-style graphics recently?

I guess with the closely-tied relationship between web and TV content designers, we shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, the web is becoming …beautiful. Noticed how beautiful the web is getting?

No, our web designers haven’t suddenly become more artistic or talented, they’ve just found new tools. But corporate designers are way, way behind…

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Our eyesight. Its the most developed, critical and relied on of all human senses. And probably why we make such beautiful things.

Basically, we like what we see. Or rather we tend to buy what we like the look of. How about web browsers?

experienec how the web can look, with Google's Chrome...

Given a choice, few would go for a conventional TV over a flat screen HD beauty. The quality, colour depth and sheer pleasure it is to watch is amazing.

Contrast this to web browsers, which don’t cost thousands, they’re actually free. So why don’t we go for the best there is?

Some time ago, I did a round-up of Cloud-based project management software.Projects have been a big part of my life, so I knew what I was looking for.

Application value changes over time. Better, worse, cheaper or more expensive.One now stands out. Wrike. So I’d like to update my review.

LANZen Strategy's review of Cloud-based project management applications found Wrike to be a great option!

Wrike brings social networks to project management – let’s see how it works…