This is the blog of Neil Turner Software. Here we will give news of projects that we are currently working on and our thoughts on anything that takes our fancy in and around the internet industry.
Thursday 21 January 2010
The recent cold and snowy period caused much disruption to business, transport and schools. It was during this spell websites were used to keep people up to date with the latest information such as weather, delays and affected opening times. However we learnt first hand that some businesses are still not using their websites effectively for relaying important information even though the tools should be readily available to them.
The nursery that one of our children attends has had a website up and running for about six months now. Itís a flash based site that shows the standard information about the nursery, its fees and contact details. Itís clear that the target market for the website is the parent looking around for a nursery (however not optimized well at all - even for their name) rather than parents of children that already attend.
During the snowy period the nursery staff experienced problems getting in to work and consequently there were a number of days when the nursery was closed or had amended opening times. Getting news about whether the nursery was going to be open and closed was difficult - usually the news was received by the parent calling the nursery just before leaving home in the morning - and then only if the call wasnít engaged or even worse going through to voicemail. On one occasion the news was relayed by a note that had been put up on the front door of the nursery.
We found it a shame that the internet hadnít been used more to make disseminating the closure news easier for both the nursery and the parents. Effective use of the nurseryís website could have meant that latest news was shown to parents on the home page - being able to change copy on a website home page at short notice should be possible for all businesses and a business that cannot should really be asking questions of their web designer.
Other solutions that could have worked equally well that immediately spring to mind are a global email to the email addresses of all parents. Email lists like this are not difficult to maintain, emails are quick and are effectively free to send out. Maybe even a Facebook group in this age of social networking, or finally, even though a cost would be involved, could be automatically sending a text message to each parents mobile phone.
Friday 15 January 2010
This week we finally completed a technical specification document that we seem to have been working on for months. The forty five page document details what is quite a major change to part of the system that we have developed for Premia Solutions. We had the initial meetings with Premia in the summer to scope out the project, but other developments on the system seemed to always crop up and, quite rightly, take priority. Early indications is that the development phase of the project could keep us busy late into February.
We also met this morning with the owner of Footsteps Coaching, an organisation that is involved in developing children's confidence, social skills and fitness through football. We took over hosting of their current site before Christmas but we have now agreed a project that will see the design of the site overhauled and the site brought into our content management system. We should have the site up and running by the end of the month.
We've also begun work, on a sub-contract basis, to implement the designs for a new website for a client of another agency. The work involves taking designs provided to us in Photoshop and converting them to CSS based HTML. We undertake this work every now and then as it tends to fill the gaps between our clients' projects.
Tuesday 05 January 2010
We launched the website of Assent Consulting just before the Christmas break.
Assent Consulting has been set up to help Trustees select the right advisers for their company pension schemes. They look to help Trustees to review their advisers and where necessary help them appoint alternative or additional professionals to help them run their arrangements more efficiently.
We have developed the website to run within our own content management system. The design is a simple but effective one. Assent Consulting have set up a blogger account that they will use to comment on industry news and how they feel it will affect the corporate pensions community - we have set up the website to pull in articles from the blog and show them their "our thoughts" section.