Many of the social organisations we work with are going through huge changes, using their “ten year strategy” to answer the question “what would a digitally-enabled organisation look like?” and “how will we thrive in an increasingly digital world?”. These are perfect questions to help shape the future and current offering and the following related questions helped us in working through our recent projects with the Fairtrade Foundation and The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
Mapping the user experience and developing wireframe and related colour schemes for the navigation
1.What’s not working well at the moment? Where are audiences dropping off / not going – why is this?
2.What are your analytics telling you? Do you understand the audience needs and do these change by age / other demographics? Why is that? Do you know how people are using your site?
3.Are you ready for Mobilegeddon? Do start the process of ensuring your site works on different devices from interactive white screen to phones. You probably already know that Google’s search ranking will be affected by how mobile friendly your site it. There is an easy mobile friendly test you can do.
The mobile experience for teachers using Fairtrade resources
4.Is your SEO / social strategy good enough? Read Google’s guide to SEO, again Google will look harshly at copy that is too small and links that go nowhere. Defining your strategy beforehand (starting with the web copy), will help you prioritise what your main services are.
5. Do you have a strong concept / design? People like ideas- a strong concept can really lift your site usage.
6.Do you have the right sign-up points? Getting the balance right is essential; too many and people will click off your site. Having the main touch points clearly labelled will increase conversion to sales, and to your newsletter sign up.
Clear and interesting sign up points help the user
7.Why not ask people what they would like to use the site for in the future? Regular users of your site will often have as good ideas as anyone for how the experience could be made even better, we’ve found tapping this interest and using some of their ideas is crucial.
8.Are you using it as a living / agile website? Agile roll-outs are best. Too often the process is to map the user experience to a wireframe and then build the site over 10-16 weeks, which is fine. But it’s better to keep the site alive and agile, adding new features and functionality, so the site has a beginning but no end. There is no web 2.2.
9.Are you linking your CRM to your website? You increase conversion to your site by as much as 50% from users on your social channels, by a few simple campaigns.
10.Are you making lots of new friends? We’ve found links to your site from other respected organisations work wonders for new site visitors and increased search ranking.
If you need help with your web delivery, these are the first questions we would ask, it’s an easy checklist, which starts with your audience and builds things in an agile but logical way.
Giles Robertson, Founder and Managing Director of Green Banana Marketing Ltd, Marketing Soc. and RSA Fellow, Charity Group chairman, Trustee of Marine Conservation Society, member of 2Degrees board of advisers and the Sustainability Growth Group. Follow him on twitter @gogreenbanana or email at Giles@greenbananamarketing.com
Ever since Prometheus gave the gift of fire, energy has transformed the way we live. Burning fires gave us the means to cook our food, heat our homes, transport our goods and provided us with light and entertainment.
The Fires are about to go out and our other options are challenging; the dash to gas has suddenly got more expensive as our local supplies diminish (and surely mining shale gas will interfere with the planet’s subterranean structures?) and coal emits far too much climate changing carbon dioxide.
And don’t forget, some European countries are using as much as 80% of Russian gas, making them far too dependent on Russia.
Threatened with blackout by 2015, what are our options?
Have Energy Days
Energy Days are being arranged throughout Europe in the month of June – part of the solution is to reduce our dependence on electricity. Therefore, by choosing to modify an every day activity, we challenge ourselves to think differently about our energy usage, such as:
Measure how much electricity you save, how much money you save and how much better you feel. You should be healthier and wealthier.
Set ambitious UK targets for our tidal power
The US has, surprisingly, some interesting targets, California aims to have no non-renewable energy in use by 2020. Texas, the once mighty oil state, is set to become the world’s 5th largest supplier of wind energy. India is to build the world’s largest solar plant to generate 4,000 mw from sunlight near the Sambhar lake in Rajasthan. Let’s set some ambitious UK targets. Out of the twenty sites identified worldwide suitable for tidal power, eight of these are in the UK and could supply 20% of our energy requirements. Tidal Energy encourages state investment to finance tidal power schemes, until they move into surplus and when are likely to provide a profit for an indefinite period.
Innovation needs encouragement
The new Catapult UK technology centres are a great place for innovative companies and individuals to develop their ideas. We need more of these so that renewable energy can be explored and reach it’s full potential. Waiting in the wings are solutions such as, cleaner coal stations, microgeneration and community energy suppliers of CHP, PV & Solar.
Pedal your own power or Plug on your window – what a great idea.
The socket offers a neat way to harness solar energy and use it as a plug socket. We’ve not seen any as direct as this plug-in.
So the future is an energy mix, a mix of consumer demand and different types of energy.
Wind, Solar, Sea have always been at our disposal, think of windmills and watermills grinding corn, and new innovative versions, which could replace our dependence on fossil fuels (but without emitting destructive CO2).
Live Smarter. Greener. Fairer.
What a truly miserable summer we are having. The persistence and sheer volume of rain that has continued to batter the UK throughout our summer has left us all moaning and groaning, in true British style. However, before we choose to grumble about being unable to go to the beach or go for a walk in the park, we should take a bit of time to identify the real victims of the weather. With the accursed Jet Stream set to soon move north, resulting in better weather, we should start looking at how we can help the victims.
Flood Victims: The rains have led to widespread floods all over the UK, causing serious damage to people’s personal and commercial property. The expected bill is set to be around £450 million of flood damage. While the insurance companies have pledged to help the victims, it could be up to a year until they receive these payments. National Flood Forum is a charity set up by flood victims to provide help and information for flood victims, so if you wish to help out the victims of the floods, you can donate to them online.
British Wildlife: The torrid conditions have led to an ‘almost apocalyptic summer’ for some UK wildlife, according to the National Trust. The most seriously affected are sea and garden birds. The sea birds have been drowning in their burrows, whilst garden birds are unable to find food to feed their young. In order to help the birds, start setting up bird boxes in your gardens, to help provide safe shelter for them, whilst also putting up bird feeders to provide easy access to food. If you are feeling particularly generous, donating to the RSPB would be beneficial. Another species seriously affected are bees:
Bees: It’s been a bad year for bees. Over the winter, bee populations fell by 16.2% (according to the British Bee-keepers Association), and now the continuous heavy rain and cold temperatures has led to a further decline. Bees form an essential part of our economy, with bee pollination driving the agricultural industry. This most recent decline has led to an expected decrease in apple harvest of 50%, which directly results in massive profit losses for the UK apple market (which is worth £320m annually according to The Sunday Times). In order to help the bee populations to grow, garden owners should start planting bee friendly plants. Also start buying local honey to support your local beekeepers or become a ‘Bee Guardian’.
Business: The weather is having a derogatory effect on multiple UK businesses, below are a few examples:
So In order to help the farming and retail industry recover, we recommend you start buying locally. Buy UK produced food and clothes, as not only will this help the UK economy, it will also reduce carbon emissions.
So with the weather due to perk up, we wish you all a great summer, but please, take our advice and help out the real victims of the bad weather.
Intriguing global events over the last week – from volcanoes to X factor style leaders’ debates. I’ve been disappointed at the lack of response from environmental groups over the knock-on effects of the volcanic activity. The cloud and its devastating effects on travel and business is a potent symbol of things to come. We all know our oil is running out. And it might be that the air industry are losing £130 million a day because of the volcano, but the truth is we need to look at the very real impacts our lifestyles are having on the planet. I’m not underestimating the unpleasantness of those 150,000 or so stuck in some far away airport ‘lounge’, but once everybody is safely home there are some lessons to reflect on. First, it’s proof that we can accommodate massive change when we need to. As the ash cloud continues its path, we will be reminded of the ridiculous lengths we go to for certain exotic food items, as they begin to run out. What cost are we prepared to pay for exotic air freighted flowers? Perhaps ‘One Planet’ shopping is worth a go- seasonally available foods and enjoying our country’s produce (also encouraging beautiful countryside at the same time). Anecdotal evidence would suggest that the air quality is currently much better in and around Heathrow and Stanstead. The heavenly silence is also a blessing – you can hear nature in new ways; it just feels better not having planes droning overhead every minute. Some people have actually managed to have a full night’s sleep for the first time in years. But the most important lesson here is who is really in control of this globe. The Planet has reminded us who is in charge with a most unlikely of signals which we need to heed.