Li-Fi: Networks Connected by Light

By Kelly Gerrish

Imagine a future where your internet connection is beamed across the office from the overhead lights. Well that future may not be too far away.

A group of UK researchers at the University of Edinburgh are working on a new method of wireless communication, using light instead of radio waves.

Using a standard light fitting attached to an internet connection, Li-Fi sends data to your computer through rapid, invisible, flickering of the light source.

Scientists are reporting transmission speeds of 10Gbit/s – more than 250 times faster than ‘superfast’ Wi-Fi broadband. The signal is also more secure than Wi-Fi; as light does not penetrate walls, the network cannot be intercepted.

Many experts claim that Li-Fi is the future of mobile internet due to reduced costs and greater efficiency than traditional Wi-Fi.

Watch this video to learn more and let us know what you think by commenting below.

Making it Personal – How to Get More from your Email Campaigns

By Kelly Gerrish and David Cornes

In today’s world of ever increasing email traffic, the chances of really engaging the recipient and getting your message heard are pretty small. Last year’s average click through rate for B2B emails in the IT sector was just 1.69%.

There are some great personalisation strategies and tools out there to get the response rate up. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just adding the recipient’s name to a generic email will do the trick. This is actually more likely to turn recipients off, especially if they don’t know the company contacting them. A recent study by Temple University’s Fox School of Business showed more than 95% of customers responded negatively when an email greeted them by name.

The best approach is to tailor the entire content to the recipient, so that all information is specific and relevant to them. That may sound impossible when dealing with a large mailing list but it’s actually easier than you think. It all comes down to data. All data can be used to personalise content, turning a generic email into something unique to the recipient that they’ll feel compelled to engage with. The more data you can gather, the more personal you can get. Ever seen advertising banners that relate specifically to your interests or latest Google search as you browse the internet? We see the personal approach all the time without even realising it.

Here at right on the line, we can visually present your data, creating engaging charts and diagrams to really make your communications stand out from the crowd.

Charts
Personalised data embedded in email

2014 Design Trend Predictions

By Kelly Gerrish and David Cornes

Feel like 2013 came and went in a blur of infographics and responsive web design? Before you blink and miss 2014, sit back and check out these top visual design trends we predict for the coming year.

1. Flat Design
Flat design in, 3D/skeuomorphism out, particularly in digital and app design. People associate flat design with being simple, clean, colourful, modern and trendy but the biggest challenge is making it individual. This great infographic will help you work out the best option for your project by showing the drawbacks and benefits of both.

2. Grid-Style Layouts
There is no doubt that the internet is becoming more image-driven, condensing everything into an easy-to-read format. You only have to look at the simplicity and popularity of sites like Pinterest to see how effective this is. With other social media sites adopting this layout style, it will soon be popular elsewhere.

3. Infographics
The infographic will continue to be big but will go a step further with online interactivity to really engage the user.

4. Simplicity
In an age of technological clutter, simplicity of design as well as messaging will be a powerful communication tool.

5. Keeping it Short
Long marketing videos will be replaced with short punchy social media style messaging. Research shows that marketers have approximately ten seconds to reel a customer in to want to buy. It must be something to do with our attention spans!

6. Big Imagery
Lots of small images create clutter and additional noise to cut through. Big imagery helps keep things simple and keep our attention.

7. Personal Portraits
Forming a human connection has become increasingly important through social media. Now we will see the personal portrait start to be included in more traditional forms of communication. Even a small photograph on your homepage or about page offers visitors a glimpse into who you are.

8. Colour of the year
Radiant Orchid reaches across the colour wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination. It’s already proved to be big in the fashion and interior worlds, so expect to see more influence in graphic design.

9. Parallax Scrolling
Parallax Scrolling occurs when a background image scrolls at a slower pace than the foreground images, creating a parallax effect. Popular with developers over the last couple of years, it’s now going to be even more accessible to designers through apps like Adobe Muse. It creates a really engaging experience and is great for storytelling, so expect to see more.

10. Hand Drawn
Natural hand drawn illustration techniques and typography should continue to make an impact in 2014, especially off the back of the craft revival style we have seen over the last few years. This technique injects a more human feel into today’s slick digital designs.

Let us know what you think about our predictions by commenting below.

British Airways Flies to Top of Consumer Superbrands List

By Kelly Gerrish

British Airways has been crowned the most respected brand in the UK for the first time. The airline flew above the competition to top the annual Superbrands list, thanks in part to the enduring effect of its London 2012 sponsorship and the ‘To Fly. To Serve’ marketing campaign.

Rolex were unable to defend their top spot for a third year running, falling to second, with Coca-Cola, BBC and Heinz completing the top five.

The most notable slump was last year’s runner-up, Apple, who dropped to fourteenth place below Google and Microsoft. Their drop reflected a difficult year for the technology sector, with Microsoft falling from third to sixth and Google slipping from sixth to seventh. Facebook, ranked 14th last year, was nowhere to be seen in the top 20 despite its brand valuation soaring to $9.8bn in 2013. Despite the muted reception to 2013’s new product launches, Apple is still the most valuable brand in the world.

View the full results, as voted by industry officials and 3000 British consumers.