Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Strategy

Quick observations in web development and online strategy in early 2012

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Strategy

As one that works on online strategy and web consulting in a traditional web design and development firm, I have the opportunity to observe what is happening in the broader online Australian community, as well as what is happening on the factory floor where they assemble the websites ready for battle.

2011 was the year where it came together. Businesses that take the Internet seriously and even aggressively now clearly outweigh those that don’t.

Increasingly, clients are building online teams and marketing teams with an online slant.

Campaigns and websites are being properly measured.

2012 will only see an acceleration in this; from the RFPs and meetings I’ve had in January alone, people are getting more and more serious and smarter about what they’re doing.

And so other than this maturing of the market, what am I seeing. 


Startups. Startups. Startups.

Holy shit.

I am seeing and talking to probably 6 startups a week.

Only a fraction have capital or have refined business plans and some of them – respectively – are plain silly.

Some of them have great plans however and we’ve engaged a few on that basis.

We’re working on a few startups run by Internet guys and girls, though by-and-large, they’re run by corporates; this significantly increases the risk of failure for reasons I won’t go into (unfortunately, learning to become an Internet guy or girl takes a lot of time and optimism can’t accelerate the process), though we’re working to mitigate this as far as possible.

I’m enjoying working on the startup work and so hopefully it doesn’t slow for a little while.



Everyone is talking about mobile. “2012, the year of mobile…”

I guess this is true if everyone is talking about it, though I’m not really seeing it translate on the factory floor in the rush I might have expected.

Sure, we’re scoping more mobile than ever, though it is by-and-large, a secondary thought to the website. Though I guess it is a secondary device.

Thankfully, discussion around apps is by-and-large off the table.

They have their place, though the long-term future is the mobile web.



 A constant conversation among our developers is speed. Every aspect of our solutions are being optimised, right down to using CDNs increasingly for hosting. 


CX/UX/What X

The joke in the industry is around CX/UX/IX/Whatever.

Suddenly everyone is a User Experience designer. Suddenly everything rests off of the Customer Experience.

Workshops. Usability. The Loyalty Loop.

It was so simple a few years back when we didn’t care about the user experience, let alone know what it was. Now everyone is an expert and it's all anyone talks about.

Let’s just get on with it without talking about it. 


Designing like it’s for a tablet

Tablet design has taught us a lot.

They’re interfaces are simple to use. They’re elegant. Unlike collections of pages strung together with hundreds of anemic text links like the web of the 2000s, they’re instead, beautiful, rich, colourful, application-like interfaces.

Even if tablet languishes miles behind the traditional browser, the traditional browser has a lot to learn and gain from the fundamentals of application design.

If I need to pinch and zoom to click around on a website on my iPad, I’m much more likely to disengage.


How much better can amazon get?

You’ll count it in multiples by the end of the year. Amazon is the one to watch.

These guys are seriously good. 



I’ve worked on one really successful fCommerce client – Winkiwoo – and I’m working on another, though unless a client is a specific Facebook player, most of our clients aren’t really sure what to do or what it’s all about.

Asking your ‘Likes’ what they’re doing for the weekend and posting the occasional landing page competition does… what?

Something, surely, though I think we’re going to spend the year really finding out.



I think this is a 2013 thing. IE8 is still a big browser and no client is letting that go.

There are work-arounds, though if you work in an agency, there is hardly the time in the day.


How right will I be?

I’ll probably get around to review my predictions at the end of the year at the rate things are going.

I appreciate that predictions often only serve to make their authors look silly twelve months later, though there you have it.