Published: Friday, 08 March 2019 14:13
Today, 8th March, is International Women’s Day: the day we celebrate the remarkable contributions and achievements of women, no matter how big or small these might be, as well as commemorate the ongoing fight for equality, justice, security and rights for women all around the world. It is also a day used to remind us of the presence of women in all industries, cultures and societies.
There are many industries that we say are ‘male-dominated’, meaning the percentage of men working in these industries is remarkably higher than the percentage of women, where there are still massive gender divides in respects to pay, roles and positions. Unfortunately, women as a whole still feel they cannot make a break into many of these because of the gender-related stigma surrounding them: engineering, IT, programming, firefighters, police, pilots, and so many more.
When I started studying web design, I remember that I was one of very few women on my course. I found it strange that even after all the positive progress that has been made in the move for equality through the last few years, that there would still be such an obvious gender divide. I thought ‘maybe this career just doesn’t stand out to women’, but it became more obvious to me that women simply don’t consider going into IT and programming because the social perception of these jobs are that they are for men. It is terribly sad, but it is a fact. This made me even more determined to make my move into the IT industry, to show that women CAN be web designers, they CAN be programmers, they CAN be video game developers, amongst an endless list of other things.
Here at DragonStack, I am the only female employee (the only down side to this is nearly always finding the seat up in the bathrooms… come on guys!). This is, once again, because we work in an industry mainly taken on by men. I do not find it daunting being the only women here, I do not feel differently doing my job being a sole woman surrounded by men. And most of all, I don’t feel different for doing a job that is mostly (to not say normally) done by men. I find it empowering, and I just feel like one of the team!
So, let’s use this day to empower women to take on whatever careers they want to take on, to go where no other woman has gone, to break social stigmas, to fight for equality, to love, to live, and most importantly, be the woman they want to be!
Published: Friday, 02 November 2018 16:50
When needing to do graphic design for our own company it is very common to do it ourselves or with the help of our nephew who is not a professional but spends a lot of time with computers, after all. However, these options can lead to several mistakes. So, it is time to ensure no graphic design mistakes by avoiding the following points.
1) Missing the overall point
The most important thing is to stay focused on the objective we are pursuing. It does not matter whether we want to sell more, improve our brand awareness or any other objectives we may have. The worst mistake is missing the goal and, in order to avoid that, one cannot be guided by personal opinions but by what the objective requires in terms of quantity and quality.
2) Not understanding our audience
Understanding and targeting the audience is vital to ensure the best approach possible. Many times, when companies do their graphic designs, they misunderstand the audience they should tackle which, in turn, means impersonal or inappropriate designs.
3) Not showing what we mean
Together with the former points, this error occurs constantly because of the lack of focus. It is believed that a higher quantity of information means more information but sometimes the more information we provide, the less clear the speech is. But why? Frequently the appropriate icons or symbols are not employed and sometimes we contradict ourselves by using two icons with different meanings. Hence, we should check that everything appearing in the design is justified and help us express ourselves as a brand
4) Not taking advantage of white space
Following the same direction of the previous point, we must take into consideration the quantity of elements being used in the design. For some marketing people, designs should contain as much text and elements as possible. They dread white space but not only does white space help readability it also helps to harmonize and give hierarchy to elements. Besides, how many of us would read an advert full of text? Often, we do not even do it with articles, we just scan them and pay attention to what we consider catchy. The same thing applies to advertisements.
5) Bad Typography decisions
The impulse to make a very expressive design can lead to mistakes such as selecting an inappropriate typography or font for our design. For example, it is not uncommon to see an ad where too many fonts have been used. The bad thing about using too many fonts is that their effect fades off and the text becomes a puzzle. Because of this it is recommended to pay attention to the quantity of fonts we are employing in our design as well as to how these fonts look. This is important because they can decrease legibility when their size or contrast are not the ideal ones. Moreover, a bad selection of font could ruin the design by adding non-planned nuances.
6) Not using the best tools and software for that
The biggest issues when using non-professional software are related to colour scheme. The colours we see on screen will never be the same as those on the printed end designs but, at least, using the specific tools we can know what they will look like and ensure the finish will be as professional as it can be. In addition, free tools lack many interesting features, while the standard industry programs used by a professional can exploit and extract the best of creativity and exporting formats.
7) Bad delivering formats
People not experienced in design can easily fall into the mistake of saving files in JPG assuming that is all they need. However, not thinking of the image definition can become a problem and result in a poorly printed document or barely readable internet post. It can also happen that the colour scheme is not suitable or transparencies and cut-die are not accepted because of the format, among others. Therefore, the solution should come from being aware of what the format restrictions will be and always plan ahead of time, what format and what specifications must be taken into consideration before delivering the design.
If you want to be sure none of these errors will happen to you or your design, consider being helped by a professional. DragonStack and its talented graphic design department can create any type of design you need, always offering the best quality and checking the best options and ideas for your creative and designing problems. Do not forget, at DragonStack, your graphic design company on the Costa Blanca, your challenge is accepted.
Published: Wednesday, 09 May 2018 10:01
According to a study presented in April 2017 by the IAB, the association that represents the advertising sector in digital media, 86% of users use social networks daily.
For years, social networks have gone beyond the communication between friends and have also become a fundamental tool to integrate in any business strategy.
The user goes from being passive, that is, someone who does not intend to buy, to becoming a potential customer. Clients wants to talk and communicate with the brand, always demanding a constant dialogue to show their satisfaction, even if they he have already bought the product. They like to comment on it and interact with the brand.
For a strategy to work, it has to be well planned, that is:
How to reach your target?
What are the most appropriate channels?
These are the questions you should ask yourself before starting anything. It is a process that you must carry out in order to know your clients well, to know their tastes and concerns. With these answers, you will know which social networks are the most used by your potential target clients.
To make your work easier, DragonStack offers advice when choosing which social networks are the best for your business. For example: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Youtube, Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter are the main ones, but not all of them are ideal for the audience you want to reach, so you always should research what is the best platform for you.
Published: Monday, 30 April 2018 13:37
We have talked before about why not to use a CMS site so we thought it would be good to give you some information about when it is good to use platforms like Wordpress and Joomla.
There is no question that the CMS structure does come with some advantages. The biggest of them must be speed of development.
In a bespoke development site would generally need to have an administration section built to allow you, the user, to change content on your site. In a CMS this already exists giving you your fully operational administration platform from day one.
The main issue with a CMS site is flexibility and updating. A site of this nature has a technical straight jacket that restricts what you can do, something that is not the case on a site that has a bespoke build.
So when should you use a CMS platform? If you are looking at building a simple brochure site with static information, we believe that a brochure site is ideal for you. It allows you to be up and running quickly and with a much smaller development cost.
However even a simple CMS site must be managed. All of the CMS platforms release updates on a regular basis. Some of these updates are to increase functionality, some to deal with updates to browsers and some for security reasons. Whatever the reason your site might become vulnerable if these updates are not done.
DragonStack have realised that these updates can be a little onerous for clients and so they have developed a CMS package to take the headache out of keeping your website up to date.
DragonStack’s CMS packages include The Website Build, Hosting, Domain Name, SSL Certificate, Updates to the platform (including plugins and components) and annual redevelopment of the site. These packages do not have a large development cost but a smaller monthly charge. A straightforward brochure site would be about €50 a month.
For more information about our CMS packages please check out the DragonStack website https://www.dragonstack.com/en/cms-websites, or give us a call to talk through the options.
Published: Tuesday, 28 March 2017 15:07
There is one question that I dread to hear from a client: "Can you build me a Wordpress website?” To be honest, I dread not only Wordpress but all off-the-shelf CMS products like Wordpress and Joomla.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly think that Wordpress has its place, for example this blog is written in Joomla, but the trend lately has unfortunately been to push it to do more and more - and this is when you can run into trouble.
So, what do I 'dread' about Wordpress and its usage?
Wordpress relies on a large number of third party developers to build the plugins that give you the added functionality. There are literally thousands on the market and many are free. However, what happens when these developers stop working on the plugin and no longer update it for newer versions of Wordpress? You can face a situation where your site becomes vulnerable to hackers or even stops working altogether. You are also stuck with the functionality of that plugin. Many plugins are open source and you can change the code but then this usually stops you being able to install updates in the future.
Think about how you use Microsoft Word. Do you ever use all of the functionality? I would be surprised if you use more than 20%. CMS websites like Wordpress have a similar issue. It has all sorts of functionality on offer - which means that your website will include a lot of code you will never use, and as a result, your website will be slower than it had needed to be. That is unfortunate for your users and for Google, where one of the measures of SEO is speed.
One thing I like to say to a client is that "You know your business better than we do”. In the past it was quite common to adapt the business to new technologies available. Technology today is much more flexible and you should be able to make the technology you use accommodate how you do business. If it is not broken, do not fix it!
The alternative to a CMS site is to build a bespoke site. You would be surprised to learn that this is not as nearly ad expensive as you may think. Here at DragonStack, our team of in-house developers based on the Costa Blanca are happy to build you a solution that does exactly what you need it to do, website, database, mobile app, telephone system, it does not matter. Give us a challenge, we will rise to it!
Published: Thursday, 14 April 2016 10:49
In the past couple of weeks, DragonStack has seen an influx of new faces joining the team, with additions in every department in the office. Many of these new arrivals are here to take advantage of the Dragonstack Internship Scheme!
Firstly, the Development department has welcomed three new members to their growing team.
Luka Hristic has joined DragonStack on a work placement, as part of his Multi-Platform Application Development Course, and helps with developing smartphone apps.
Similarly, Francisco Javier Mazarío Morales is working as a web developer, and works on a wide range of products.
Bernat Martínez Alemany is also working as a web developer, helping to implement new services for clients. He is on a work experience placement at DragonStack as part of his Undergraduate course.
Secondly, in the administration department, we have been joined by Miguel Ángel Bernabé Fernández. Miguel helps out with a wide variety of administrative work, and is here on an internship as part of a Finance and Administration course.
Last, but by no means least, we have Sonia Migani, who has joined the expanding sales team. Sonia and the team help to broaden the reach of our social media and marketing products.
With this expansion comes the need for more space. As a result, the DragonStack offices have expanded in size in order to accommodate all of the newcomers. This new space will include a new sales office, as well as a staff canteen.
Published: Thursday, 10 September 2015 15:14
Over the last couple of months we have seen some new faces appearing at DragonStack as we continue to expand our services.