Best Served Cold

Archive for May, 2010

East and North Herts NHS Trust

Over the last 3 months we’ve been working with the East and North Herts NHS Trust to re-design and update their website. We kept to their brief for a clean, simple and easy to use website that would allow visitors from across Hertfordshire to easily find out more about the local NHS Trust.

View the new East and North Herts NHS Trust website

From start to finish we worked closely with the content team at the trust to ensure that the information needed by most visitors was easy to find and navigate to. Using a very accessible layout and strict xHTML and CSS standards of code we believe the new site to be one of the most up to date NHS Trust websites.

Over the next few months we will continue to work with the web team to make sure that the site continues to be updated and managed to the highest standard and ensure that we keep the site running smoothly.

Tags: , , ,

101 Best Blackberry Apps

Following on from the success of 101 Best Android Apps, we decided to take the idea to the next step and so we built 101 Best Blackberry Apps. The idea is simple, we ask people to submit and rate applications for the Blackberry smartphone.

What started out as an idea for rating the best websites has proved itself to work just as well across multiple formats, the 101 Best Blackberry Apps site is just the latest in a line of sites that we continue to work on and improve whenever we have spare time between our client work.

Please let us know if you have any ideas for future developments, as we’re always ready to improve and update things.

Tags: , ,

Nylon Films

Nylon Films is a video and stills production company based in London. We met Nylon through the recommendation of another client and worked closely with them to produce and develop a site to showcase their video and photography work.

Nylon films helps clients tell their unique stories through film, video, stills photography and other multimedia formats. Whether it’s corporate films or documentary films, training videos or music videos, viral ads or internet ads – we think the end product should always make for compelling viewing. Therefore, at the heart of all of our productions, you’ll find good storytelling and high production values; and, using state of the art technologies, we are able to provide these multimedia solutions cost-effectively.

We spent time with Nylon to discuss their social marketing plan and worked closely with them to integrate media from Vimeo and Flickr into their site. The use of social networks to promote websites is increasing and at Best Served Cold we try to encourage all our clients to get involved in this exciting new area of marketing.

Tags: , , ,

101 Best HTML5 Sites

This is one of our latest additions to the 101 Best group of sites. It was created to showcase the growing number of websites using the new HTML5 coding standard. 101 Best HTML5 Sites has become one of our fastest growing sites, helped, in part, by the ongoing debate between Apple and Adobe around the use of Flash on the iPhone and iPad.

We have a large number of sites featured and we are gradually converting 101 Best HTML5 Sites into the new coding language wth some CSS3 elemements added – it’s as much a training website for us as a useful resource for those people who want to find out more about HTML5 and what’s possible.

If you’d like to know more about HTML5, you can read our blog post: HTML5 and new web standards.

Tags: , ,

101 Best Android Apps

After the success of 101 Best Websites we started thinking about other ideas that could utilise the same functions and similar layout. One of our first ideas was 101 Best Android Apps – a gallery of mobile applications for the Android mobile OS from Google.

If you’re unsure what Android actually is, we wrote a post about it: So, what is Android?.

Tags: , ,

HTML5 and new web standards

HTML and CSS are the basic building blocks of any website, the HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the code and content of a site and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used for setting the layout and making it look nice. Over the years these languages have evolved and changed with new versions of web browsers and new demands by web developers and designers.

The next version of HTML is currently being finalised and gradually implemented into new web browsers and it’s causing a bit of a fuss among web developers. So, what is HTML5 and will it affect average web users?

Most web users don’t know how a website is put together – and that’s probably a good thing, it shows that the internet has moved on from it’s hand-made, amateur days to a point where sites are becoming integral parts of everyday life and run seamlessly on multiple platforms and browsers. One of the resons for this is the separation of content and design – the HTML and CSS – that allows developers to use the same content but show it in different ways on different platforms eg. mobile phones, televisions, laptops.

From W3 Schools:

HTML 5 improves interoperability and reduces development costs by making precise rules on how to handle all HTML elements, and how to recover from errors.

Some of the new features in HTML 5 are functions for embedding audio, video, graphics, client-side data storage, and interactive documents. HTML 5 also contains new elements like <nav>, <header>, <footer>, and <figure>.

The HTML 5 working group includes AOL, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, Opera, and many hundreds of other vendors.

Once HTML5 becomes more widespread and can be used as a foundation for all websites we will start to see web development move into an even more professional realm. Currently it’s still possible to design and code a fairly good looking website from home using basic tools. Obviously an amateur wouldn’t be able to produce a Faceboook or Twitter but a simple 4 or 5 page site is still possible. With HTML5 that is still the case but there’s more to learn and understand and much more is possible.

As more sites begin to use HTML5 in their code we’ll hopefully begin to see a reduction in the number of users browsing on old, outdated web browsers. Using an old web browser such as Internet Explorer 6 can really affect how you view the internet, most websites don’t support this 10 yr old browser any more and you’ll find that you’re often seeing reduced versions of websites – cutting down your usability and options. The other problem with older browsers is safety and security. It’s much easier for a hacker to break into your computer via the internet if you’re browsing with IE6 rather IE8, Firefox or Opera.

HTML5 can already be used and their are lots of websites starting to make use of the new standard. Often it’s combined with a new CSS standard CSS3 – which allows web designers much more freedom and expression in internet design. We’ve recently set up a website that showcases HTML5 sites: 101 Best HTML5 Sites – we’ve written the site in HTML5 and used some CSS3 to help us learn and understand the new language and start to show what’s possible.

Some other resources:

HTML5 -A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML
HTML5 from Wikipedia
HTML5 reference from W3 Schools

Tags: , , ,

So, just what is Twitter?

Everyone has now heard the term “Twitter” and “Tweeting” but really, what is it? What’s it for and why would anyone want to use it?

Over the last 12 months Twitter has popper up everywhere – from the US election to the UK election, on topical TV shows and even Jeremy Paxman having to say “Send us your Tweets” on Newsnight! But there’s still a lot of confusion about why should any normal person should actually use it… As a bit of a geek, I have a Twitter account – but that’s to be expected, t’s my job to know about such things and you can follow me here. There might not be much happening on my Twitter feed, mostly I talk about work stuff, music and what I’m up to. I use it to talk to friends and generally let people know what I’m up to and what we’re doing at Best Served Cold. But back to my original question: What is Twitter?

From Wikipedia:

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers.

Twitter was created way back in 2006 and it took a few years to reach the mainstream. The original idea was to let users create friends groups and talk to them simply about what was in their mind, if they had questions or just to arrange their social life…. Some time in 2007/2008 certain public figures and celebrities started to take notice and realised they could set up Twitter accounts and use it to talk directly to their fans about whatever was on their mind.

Very quickly the power of celebrities took Twitter from it’s geek roots to the mainstream. In the UK people like Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross popularised the service and in the US Ashton Kutcher became the first user to reach a million followers.

But why should a “normal” person use Twitter? At it’s heart Twitter allows you to publish your thoughts about anything at any time. If you have something to say, why not say it on Twitter – someone might hear you and want to find out more. A group of friends can use Twitter to talk to each other and discuss what they’re up to. Likeminded individuals can use Twitter to debate ideas and share links to websites and thoughts from around the world.

Businesses have started to get involved with Twitter to talk to consumers and actually have converations about products and services, if this is done correctly it can drive a lot of interest and traffic to the business at a low cost.

But still, Twitter is best for just mindless chat and finding interesting links and just discovering what other people are up to! There’s a certain vicarious thrill from checking out what your favourite celeb is doing or even what your friends are up to at work… There’s also a serious side to Twitter, the spreading of information quickly and easily around the world. In 2009 riots in Iran were tweeted to the outside world when traditional news media couldn’t get into the country.

To find out more about Twitter and some of the many applications and widgets available to get you started Tweeting from your computer or your phone, take a look at 101 Best Twitter Apps

Tags: ,