Your Web App has Launched – Now What?

By Des Traynor

Editors Note: In his first article for Think Vitamin, Des Traynor – UX Lead at Dublin based Contrast, outlines some extremely useful post launch strategies for ensuring the success of your web app. You can hear Des share more development stories at Future of Web Apps Dublin 2010.

Budget for Further Development

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Neil Patel of KISSMetrics on Successful Web App Analytics

At Future of Web Apps Miami 2010 Neil Patel of KISSmetrics gave the audience 5 “must measure web app metrics”. It’s a short session but full of great hints and tips from someone who really understands this area. If you haven’t checked out Neil’s blog I really recommend you do.

Watch this and other videos directly on our Vimeo Channel


Ryan: We work quite hard to pick topics that we think are relevant for you guys, and one thing that I think is really hard when you run a web app is analytics. It’s overwhelming to understand what you should be measuring, to see if your web app is succeeding; there are a ton of packages and it’s quite confusing.

We think that as developers you are able to build your apps just fine but when it comes to the marketing aspect, it’s quite confusing. We asked Neil Patel to talk about analytics and 5 things that you need to measure to figure out if you’re succeeding or not. I think it’s going to be a very useful session for you. Again, if you have questions, don’t feel afraid to ask. Please welcome up Neil.

Neil: Hey everyone, as everyone said my name is Neil Patel. I’m with a company called KISSmetrics. Today, I’m going to be giving a presentation on the 5 metrics you ought to be tracking. It’s pretty simple; there are 5 main points that are easy to track and easy to take notes. Here we go.

1. Revenue Per User

A lot of you track conversions. Am I correct here? If I told you that I could increase your conversions from 5% to 10% you would be ecstatic, correct? In most cases, if I increase it from 5% to 10% you’d be like, . That’s great. That’s going to be a lot more money.” On the flip side, if I said I could decrease your conversion rate from 10% to 5% and make you triple or quadruple the amount of money, you’d be like, . What?”

A lot of times when you’re on your web app and tracking metrics, what you have to track is conversion per user. An example of this is we have a SaaS based product tracking how much revenue is coming from each user per page. We use Google Analytics to do that. One thing we tested was we were charging $97 a month. I took that $97 a month price point, and I said, . What if I charged $197? What will happen?” Amazing, by roughly doubling the price, the conversions decreased by 10%. The cool part, the revenue increased by an overall 82%. That was a pretty big jump. We got a decrease in conversion but it was still worth it because we made more money out of it. Seguir leyendo “Neil Patel of KISSMetrics on Successful Web App Analytics”

Two Powerful Marketing Tips for Your Web Site or App

Here at Carsonified HQ, we’re big Dropbox fans. They’ve implemented two really effective marketing tactics that I’d like to share with you.

#1 – Add Gaming Mechanics

Dropbox’s first marketing tactic is to add gaming behavior to the interface. The game is simple: complete five steps and you win 250MB extra storage space.

The reason why this is so powerful is because the game encourages you to use Dropbox and the more you use it, the more likely you are to become a paying customer.

Screengrab from showing the six steps required to get  an extra 250 MB of storage Seguir leyendo “Two Powerful Marketing Tips for Your Web Site or App”

4 Email Newsletters Worthy of your Attention

Unlike some I am still a big fan of email newsletters. Whilst tools like Twitter are great for “of the moment” links I still appreciate a well crafted newsletter landing in my inbox.

Here are four newsletters I subscribe to and enjoy covering web design, creativity and business.

  1. Links for Light Reading – Russ Weakley’s weekly roundup of interesting web related stories from around the web. It also includes a comprehensive list of upcoming web events and jobs.
  2. Font Shop Newsletter – You don’t have to be a type nut to appreciate the Font Shop newsletter, it’s beautifully put together and a good read. It’s packed full of font news and typographic hints and tips. You need to register with Font Shop to receive it but in my opinion it’s well worth it.
  3. Springwise New Business Ideas – I can’t remember how I came across this one but I have been enjoying it for a few years. Not strictly web related but a great weekly roundup of interesting business and entrepreneurial ideas from around the world as sourced by a network of over 8,000 “spotters”.
  4. Jason Nation – An infrequent mailing (although as his baby is now sleeping through the night there is the promise of more frequent dispatches) by Jason Calcanis. Jason is the founder of Silicon Alley Reporter, Weblogs Inc,, Open Angel Forum and Since “retiring from blogging” he has focused his attention on his mailing list subscribers. Recent topics have included loyalty in business, work ethics, investing as well as app and technology reviews. Seguir leyendo “4 Email Newsletters Worthy of your Attention”

How to Crowdfund your Startup

In November 2009, my business partner and I successfully Crowdfunded a business designed to provide independent filmmakers with an alternative method of film distribution, OpenIndie. The result of our month-long campaign was over $12,400 to bootstrap our company, a good amount of press interest and a built-in audience and user base for our site.

What is Crowdfunding?

Before discussing the pros and cons of Crowdfunding I should explain a little about how the process actually works. The most important thing to considering when Crowdfunding your venture is that this isn’t like taking investment. The process can take many forms, and just like taking investment, won’t be right for everyone. That said, here’s the most common model being used by everyone from startups and non-profits to artists, musicians and filmmakers…

An individual or organisation states that they need X amount of money to fund their venture. This venture can be anything, from a cupcake shop to an independent feature film; and the amount of money can be a small part or all of the total cost of the venture. The individual or organisation then uses their existing networks to leverage the crowd, that’s you, to donate money to their venture in return for a reward.

Often this reward is directly related to the venture being funding, so it could be a batch of cupcakes or a credit at the end of someone’s film; but equally it could simply be a very small thank you for your contribution. I recently came across someone who successfully crowdfunded enough money to pay for the hull of her ship that she needed to circumnavigate the globe.

In return for a small contribution she promised a postcard from a random location on her travels delivered to your door. As you can see, this isn’t investment in the traditional sense, in fact rule number one of Crowdfunding is that you don’t offer a percentage of your venture as a reward. Rather this process is something akin to patronage by a different name. However, there is an important difference between Crowdfunding and patronage that I will explain using the example of my own experience.

Pre-Selling your Product to Fund your Business Seguir leyendo “How to Crowdfund your Startup”

5 Must-Read Links on Web Dev & Biz

By Chrissie Brodigan

Hey there!

It’s Wednesday, can you feel it? Well, this mid-week roundup is devoted to all things business and development oriented.

Some links are newsworthy, some retweeted across Twitter, and others just meet our “awesomeness” requirement, and regardless we hope you’ll enjoy them. Without further delay:

Wildcard: “Dear Designer, You Suck!” by Khoi Vinh

A note, reader  Saquib Ali wrote a great comment regarding a link I posted about Google Doc’s new “Drawings” tool that’s worth re-posting here, he writes:

Google Drawings is awesome for collaboratively working on diagrams, flowcharts etc. And you can export these drawings to SVG as well!!! :) Super cool.

However there are few key things missing in Google Drawings

– You can not import an SVG
– You can not copy a drawing (object) and paste into another Google Drawing Canvas
– Diagrams can’t be edited in IE 7/8.
– Diagram can’t be added to Docs/Presentation as editable drawing objects.
– No revision history
– No line connectors :(
– No built-in support for Mind Maps
– Cannot get a list of diagrams via the docs API

Please shoot me links to projects your working on or awesome things you’ve released!

Handpicked by,

Chrissie (@tenaciouscb)

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5 Fabulous Links for Web Designers | Carsonified

By Chrissie Brodigan

Hey there!

Hoping you’re doing well post-holiday and post iPad frenzy and feast. It’s Monday, which is when we post our favorite design-related linkage, without further ado:

Wildcard: via nytimesbits “Nooooooo! The guys at Blendtec destroyed an iPad at the first opportunity.”

Please send your links, to new or past projects, we’d love to give you some link love!

Handpicked by,
Chrissie (@tenaciouscb)

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Fun-to-Share Links for Web Nerds | Carsonified

By Chrissie Brodigan

Hey there,

It’s Friday, so this roundup is devoted to all things “interesting!”(apologies in advance, today the web was aflutter with most things iPad.)

Some links are newsworthy and others just meet our “awesomeness” requirement, and regardless we think you’ll enjoy them:

Wildcard: Kid Robot launches Kid Robot Europe!

Let us give you link love! Send your links to

Handpicked by,
Chrissie (@tenaciouscb)

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5 Fun Links for Web Nerds | Carsonified

By Chrissie Brodigan

Hey there! Happy Friday!

For our Friday link roundup, we celebrate the best in “interestingness!” (lego constructs, stop-motion animation via YouTube, Flickr finds, Tumblrs, and much more)!

Wildcard news link: It’s your last chance to get a look at mars until 2012 (via. yahoo)


Winners from this week’s Carbonmade contest:

Spencer Fry and the Carbonmade team was really excited to get more than 50 submissions, and they made the hard choice to feature Josh Haygood @ “He’s got the best complete portfolio. The dude is on his way to amazing!”

The feature is live on the Examples Page! (Thank you Carbonmade!)

Other winners who all have been upgraded to “Whoo!” accounts:

Let us give you link love! Send your links to

Handpicked by,
Chrissie (@tenaciouscb)

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5 Delicious Links for Web Devs

Hey there,

This is our first week of news roundups, and Wednesdays are our “Web Development & Business” day. We’d love to promote you and your finds, so please send them to Keir and me at!

Some links are newsworthy and others just meet our “awesomeness” requirement, and regardless we think you’ll enjoy them.  Let’s get our code on:

Handpicked by,
Chrissie (@tenaciouscb)

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Bye Bye Web, Hello Apps

The web is dead. OK, it isn’t but it might be dying a slow painful death when it comes to how users access online tools and the platforms they use to carry out certain tasks.

This is a consequence of the media saturated world that we live in, a world where on demand is taking charge as audiences control what they watch, when they watch it and how they watch it.

This behaviour extends to the web. I for one seem to be connected to the web almost always. Either in work on my Mac, at home on my laptop or in several places on my iPod Touch. It was even worse when I had an iPhone and could access emails, Twitter and the like, anywhere, anytime.

There are huge advantages to iPhone, iPod Touch’s and the mobile web but it does mean that designers and developers now have new parameters in which to be creative, a world where attention to detail prevails, or at least it should. Will it be that the traditional web will be secondary to mobile/iPhone/iPad sites?

Let the Battle Commence

Let’s be clear, I’m not willing the web to an early grave, in fact there are some really exciting things happening online right now, it’s just that apps are in vogue and companies are tapping into this and releasing some impressive apps that continue to raise the bar in terms of aesthetics and user experience.

Subsequently, companies are finally giving more thought to their mobile web offerings and whilst it is fine for users to access sites in any and all of these ways, I find myself moving toward apps and the mobile web far more frequently than I was 6 to 12 months ago.

Mobile is the New Black

I much prefer using the apps for Facebook and Twitter than I do the traditional websites for these two applications.

The reasons for this are applicable to both cases. I find that using apps on my iPod Touch is a more personal experience, probably because the online world I’m exploring is all in the palm of my hand, literally.

I can also access it away from the formalities of a desk. Slouched on the sofa, sitting in the garden and dare I say, on the toilet. You could take your Mac Book Pro’s to these places too but it isn’t the same really is it?


Beyond the localities though, the experience of the apps is better than the corresponding websites. I have serious issues with Facebook as a site, not least because it seems to look different every time I log on. I’m not going to throw any technical terms out here, Facebook to me, is a mess.

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10 Kick Ass Presentation Techniques

Photo of Alex Hunter by Used with permission.

I’ve been lucky enough to make public speaking part of my career. It’s something I love doing and enjoy every second of, but that’s not the case for everybody. For many of you, the thought of standing up on stage fills you with vomit-inducing fear.

But I can’t stress enough how important it is to be able to clearly articulate your thoughts to an audience in an engaging manner, whether it’s a handful of your co-workers or 2000 people at a tech conference.

If you’re trying to get a project green lit, pitch your idea to investors, relay your experience to a group of bright eyed young developers, or rally your employees, keep the following few tips in mind. Seguir leyendo “10 Kick Ass Presentation Techniques”

Are you Wasting 50% of your Time?

In today’s constant-distraction-and-huge-todo-list culture, it’s extremely easy to get sidetracked by things that aren’t vital to achieving your goals.

Here are some simple tips for making sure you’re not wasting a large percentage of your time on things that don’t matter.

#1 Gather Your Todos

I use Remember the Milk to record all my todos. I group them by projects and then assign due dates and priorities. They also have a great iPhone app which syncs automatically with the web app.

Whether you use Remember the Milk or another tool, it’s super important to write things down as soon as you think of them. If you don’t, then you’ll constantly be plagued by the feeling that you’re forgetting something (I have over 500 tasks currently active in Remember the Milk).

#2 Organize Your Todos on Monday Morning

A sure-fire way to waste 50% of your time is to charge into the week without organizing your todo list and inbox. There will be hundreds of things shouting for your attention and you need to proactively choose which things are important to you – not things that other people say are important for you to do. As someone once said …

Your email inbox is a todo list that anyone can write to.

Here’s how to organize your todo list:

  1. Block off the first hour of every Monday to organize your todo list. Turn off instant messenger, close email and silence your phone. You need absolute silence so you can focus. I tend to do this from 5am – 6am on Monday mornings, before my wife and son wake up.
  2. Go through the todo lists for all your current projects (in Remember the Milk in this example) and pick important things that you need to do this week. Prioritize them and assign them a due date this week, or tag them with ‘thisweek’.
  3. Use a tool like and create a list called ‘This Week’. It’s important that this is separate from your main repository of todos (Remember the Milk in this example).
  4. Take a deep breath and ask yourself “What are the things that I could work on this week that will get me closer to my longterm, important goals?”. (These things may not even be on your Remember the Milk todo lists.)
  5. Put several of these things on your ‘This Week’ list in TadaList and prioritize them by putting the most important things first. Make sure these are atomic, do-able things (not big concepts like ‘Increase signups by 3%’).
  6. Go back to Remember the Milk (or whatever tool you’re using) and filter it by tasks due this week.
  7. Pick several of the important ones and copy them over to your ‘This Week’ list in TadaList.
  8. Close Remember the Milk and only refer to the small ‘This Week’ TadaList for the rest of the week. Seguir leyendo “Are you Wasting 50% of your Time?”

Strategy Basics: It’s Really all about having a Plan

By Jaan Orvet & Andreas Carlsson

Strategy. You hear about it all the time. One must have a strategy/work on a strategy/follow a strategy and so on. Business types like to say “strategy” a lot as it sounds big, complicated and important.

And it is important, but there is no need for it to be complicated. Quite the opposite.

At the heart of it all “strategy” is just about having a plan for the thing you are working on. Or as Wikipedia puts it “a strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal”.

Getting the Strategy Right

If there is ever a time to look at what’s important in a project, it is early on, in the strategy stage.

Let us assume that your client doesn’t have a strategy for their next web project.

Before you build, design, code or write anything you need to think about what the project needs to achieve.

This is in part because strategy can mean almost anything, depending on the needs of the client, the size of their audience and ultimately the goal of your client. And it will mean different things at different times during the life-span of a project: you may have one strategy to launch with, another for the ongoing management of the site and so on.

Thinking the project through, seeing how one thing leads to another on the way to the project’s goal is a very healthy thing to do.

The one thing all strategies must have in common is that they tie in with your client’s overall business goals. (You’d be surprised how often clients themselves forget this simple fact!) If it doesn’t, the client will never be happy with your work even if they were the ones who ignored the business goal connection.

That’s why you should be thrilled when a client asks for your help in developing their web project strategy (or asks you to help them find someone who can create it for them).

It is an excellent opportunity to make sure that you, or the people you choose to collaborate with, create a to-the-point strategy that helps the client reach their goals and in the process makes you look like an absolute star who deserves lots more commissions.

Strategy as a Sales Tool Seguir leyendo “Strategy Basics: It’s Really all about having a Plan”