October 31, 2014 - Press Releases
NEW YORK—This summer, Deb Deffaa of Trident Networks contacted ERA404 with an idea to bring the world of social networking to the crew of seafaring vessels. And while the logistics seemed mind-boggling, the idea sounded more than intriguing.
In 2011, the 360 commercial ports of America, alone, took-in goods worth $1.73 trillion. There are more than 100,000 ships at sea, carrying between 12 and 110 crew members. Each laborer signs-on for contracts lasting 4-6 months. And while many of the sailors have families at home—be it Germany, Panama, The Philippines, or somewhere in between—they need to keep in touch with expensive satellite phone calls and with limited access to email. Shore-leave time dwindles at just a few hours, giving them little ability to even set foot in the countries where they deliver their precious cargo. And their view through a porthole window always replays the same footage of the middle of the ocean.Read More
February 18, 2013 - Information Resources
When creating mechanicals for website strategy, or Strategic UI/UX, we often make recommendations for content that should be visible above the fold. In the context of Web search/usage, the term above the fold refers to the part of the web page a user can see without having to scroll down or use the scroll bar within their web browser. In general, this space is at the top of a Web page, and is considered prime real estate for visibility and getting information seen most efficiently. The term, itself, is derived from the web’s ephemeral predecessor, the newspaper, in which the most poignant stories—the ones that would be more likely to sell that particular newspaper over competing papers—were those that were above the crease on Broadsheet or Berliner sized papers. Web strategists use the term above the scroll interchangeably with above the fold.
As browser resolutions increase, the fold mark keeps changing. In 2013, 25.4% of the world was browsing at 1366×768, as opposed to only 18.7% in 2012. And the growing availability of mobile phones and tablet devices, such as iPads, has changed the landscape to a point where we can no longer rely on a majority resolution and location of the fold. As a result, we recommend fluid, responsive layouts that accommodate for the broadest range of resolutions possible. Not only does this help clients to be able to see the most important content, while helping them to sell their services over their competitors’, but it also helps us to reorganize and strategize content based on the different types of users. For instance, a user on a phone may be more interested in contact information, a tablet user may want to read topical news or view videos, and a desktop user may want more in-depth articles and research information. Responsive layouts help gear the content toward these different demographics and re-organize what’s seen above the various folds.
That said, we’re currently in the age of Cinema (16 x 9 resolutions) and Retina (2x Device Pixel Ratios) displays. With iOS’s dock protruding into the available horizontal space and retina’s ability to scale content by pinching, the confusion over the floating fold mark is mired further.
With the one caveat that the rapidly changing environment may soon render this outdated, our recommended fold mark remains 645px for landscape orientations (with allowance for a persistent bookmarks bar) and 900px for portrait.
Examples of our testing can be seen below:
If you’re interested in learning more about fold lines, Strategic UI/UX or the changing landscape of the web, drop us a line to initiate a conversation.
February 12, 2013 - Information Resources
Every year, long before the ice thaws and the ground softens, my father takes a cup of coffee out to the farthest corner of the yard and studies a medium-sized rectangle of roped off terrain that will become his garden. The footage is limited, living in a modest suburb in Michigan, but in his mind, the objectives are organized into columns and rows.
- Anxiety: What environmental factors should be concern me?
- Trust: Will I get out what I put in?
- Expectations: What level of commitment should I prepare for, in terms of budget? Labor? Upkeep?
- Comfort: What is a realistic yield for an endeavor of this size?
When breaking ground on any mission that will require his time, energy, and resources, my father knows that thorough, comprehensive planning, coupled with a solid foundation, will make all the difference in the success of his venture.Read More
October 7, 2012 - Information Resources
As we round third plate to complete our 10th year of business at era404, it’s impossible not to reflect upon the previous decade’s successes and lessons. In fact, despite the enormous pride we have for our successes—the awards we’ve won, the opportunities we’ve been afforded, the pieces we’ve created—it was in the lessons that our company grew the most. We can only assume that the same way the triumphs and tribulations of a child’s first ten years shape his or her personality, a business uses its own experiences to analyze the risks it will take and the directions it will pursue.
The first ten years weren’t always easy. Read More
May 21, 2012 - Press Releases
NEW YORK CITY—ERA404 Creative Group, Inc., the New York design, development and strategy studio, is pleased to announce the launch of its newly revamped website, portfolio and client portal.
The new www.era404.com showcases selected work from the past decade of business and is part of a strategy to reposition themselves as leaders in multi-disciplinary creative and forward-thinking development. The site features an online portfolio, creative reel and dozens of other HD videos that make use of HTML5 and browser-native players, eluding the requirement of plugins for Adobe® Flash and Apple® Quicktime videos. Each page of the site is saturated with social media options (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus) and the site has been re-engineered to be optimized for search engines, RSS feeds, Facebook OpenGraph, mobile (and tablet) devices and responsiveness to multiple browsers/platforms/resolutions.Read More
May 23, 2007 - Information Resources
What every prospective online homeowner should consider before breaking ground
When we’re approached about beginning a new Web presence, ecommerce system, or online application, ERA404 likes to pose 10 questions to our clients. This not only stirs up ideas to begin the process, it also allows all parties to fully explore what the process of Web development entails.
1. What are three words you would use to describe your business in terms of focus, pace and culture?
Oftentimes, the description of your business is identical to your Web site. If your business focus is technology, customer relations, politics or health, your site should have a similar feel. Is your pace is dynamic and fast-moving (like an online service or new product) or conservative and rock-solid (like a bank or a law firm)? Your business’s culture (fun, friendly, approachable, professional, formal, methodical, meticulous) should also be represented in your Web site’s design.
2. What are the general purposes for your Web site?
Your site should have a primary and secondary purpose (and sometimes even a tertiary one). Purposes could be to increase sales and awareness, to assist in distribution of products or services, informational, educational, eCommerce, subscription-based marketing, customer feedback, ISO or employee intranet, employment postings, product support, entertainment or forums.
3. Will this site be part of an existing marketing strategy?
Does your business already have a marketing strategy in place with previous printed collateral material, web sites, or advertising campaigns? If it does, please send samples of these pieces to assist in ensuring the site works within the framework of your existing strategy. If it doesn’t, or if you’d like to deviate from your existing strategy, can you provide a description and/or examples of concepting for a new strategy? Would you be interested in working with ERA404 to develop this new cross-media campaign?
[ ] Yes, this site is part of an existing strategy.
[ ] No, this site varies from our existing strategy.
[ ] We currently do not have a strategy.
[ ] We’re developing a strategy in-house and will provide samples and a description.
[ ] We’re interested in working with ERA404 to develop a cross-media strategy.
4. What reactions (calls-to-action) are you hoping to achieve with this new Web site?
While this question hinges on #2 (general purpose), it’s important to outline your customer’s reaction to determine if the site is successful. If the site is information-based, this can be monitored with statistics. Other reactions could be: customer contact, online sales, forum/chat participation, increased customer retention, decreased phone, fax or email support calls, growth of marketing opportunities (mailing lists, newsletters, event participation and RSVPs), etc.
5. How do you plan on maintaining your site?
ERA404 provides a number of maintenance opportunities including an online content management system (CMS), maintenance contracts and on-site/telephone tutorials for manual site updates. If you plan on updating your site at regular intervals, which opportunities interest you?
6. The Competition
a. Do you have direct competition?
Providing ERA404 with links to competition sites enables us to gauge what your competition is doing, how they’ve been successful, how they’ve failed, and what makes your business different. Please list some links to competitor sites.
b. How are you different from competition?
If you have direct competition, please list why your business is different and what you do that makes your business unique. What do you do that is different from these other businesses?
7. Which existing site designs appeal to you?
Existing site designs do not have to be competition, nor do they have to even be in the same industry. List some sites that you feel satisfy your general purpose and embrace your company’s focus, pace and culture.
8. Aside from your calls-to-action, what are your short-term and long-term goals for this site?
Do you expect this site to grow, to have new sections, to have new features? Will this site work in tandem with other sites that your business may have? Do you expect changes in offerings, strategy or functionality?
While ERA404 designs all sites to be flexible, we believe pre-planning and preparation can assist in ensuring your site is cost effective and successful at attaining short- and long-term goals.
9. What additional materials do you have to assist us in providing you with an estimate and timeline?
Before beginning design and development, ERA404 provides site Mechanicals (wireframes) and Information Architectures (IAs) to describe site layout, pages and functionality. Do these materials already exist? Can you provide us with sample page content, photography, identity pieces and artwork? What is your estimated budget and site launch target?
[ ] Mechanicals
[ ] Information Architecture
[ ] Design Storyboards (GUIs)
[ ] Digital Content
[ ] Digital Identity
[ ] Artwork/Photography*
[ ] Budget: _________________
[ ] Launch Target: __________
[ ] Copywriter*
* If you do not currently have a copywriter or photographer, would you be interested in working with ERA404 to provide these services?
10. What are your expectations to deem this Web site a success?
For More Questions or Information
Contact ERA404 for more questions to get you going or for design and development estimates by clicking here.
Click the link below to download our “10 Questions” survey. The file is a PDF, so you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to view it. You’re also able to fill-out the form using Acrobat by simply clicking a form blank and entering text or clicking checkboxes. When finished, email or fax the completed questionnaire to ERA404 or print it for your records.
Download the PDF: ERA404_10_Questions