14 Dec
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

BC Tech Industry: What To Expect In 2018

BC Technology Sector

 

 

The British Columbian tech sector has grown into a hotbed for talent and economic growth. Over the past decade, BC tech has been the fastest growing industry in the province and currently accounts for 26 billion in annual revenue. Just a few months ago, Amazon committed to expanding its Vancouver office by adding over 1,000 jobs in the next 10 years.

 

 

BC’s rapid tech expansion, in combination with the political landscape in the United States, could mean more job openings and opportunities to come. With over 90,000 employees, the tech industry already employs more people than oil and gas, forest and mining industries combined. For years, politicians and high-level executives have been pushing for a more efficient process to obtain new talent abroad. Companies are finding new ways to lure talent to the beautiful west coast, with desirable working conditions and quality of life.

 

Slack’s Vancouver office: Photo via Betakit https://betakit.com/an-inside-look-at-slacks-renovated-vancouver-office/

 

What does all of this mean heading into 2018? As demand for corporate expansion increases and the need for high-quality workers grows, we could see increased government intervention to aid the process. The average salary for a BC tech employee is 75% higher than BC’s provincial average; earning an average weekly salary of $1,590. Will demand outweigh supply? Will wages rise even more? Will the BC NDP party take action to match the rapid growth?

 

Plugged In Podcast

14 Oranges CEO and founder, Sylvain Marcotte, has been in the BC tech sector for a number of years. Sylvain shares some of the challenges small businesses face in BC and what to expect for the future. Check it out below in the latest edition of BCIT’s Plugged In Podcast.

 

 

06 Dec
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

3 Ways Mobile Apps Rally Voters

 

Political Mobile Apps

A few weeks ago, we released an article about Union County and Monmouth County and their push to increase political engagement. Both counties use our Info Grove service to manage their apps to communicate with local citizens. The mobile apps were focused towards millennials, as voter turnouts in the past have been lower than preferred. To combat low voter turnout, 14 Oranges partnered with New Jersey counties to change the way people learn about local elections. The county elections have been over for a few weeks now and here is what we learned.  

 

3 Ways Mobile Apps Rally Voters

 

1. Real-time election updates

 

 

The New Jersey counties used their apps to keep citizens up to date throughout election day. Push notifications were sent to inform citizens of polling station hours, and they sent updates as votes were counted. Citizens continued with their day as they received election notifications, keeping them engaged. With the political mobile app, citizens don’t have to refresh a web browser or a social media page to stay up to date; they just use the app.

2. Candidate ID Cards

 

 

A common reason why people don’t vote is that they don’t know who’s running and who’s running for what. A mobile app, operated by a nonpartisan body, gives a centralized platform for those running in political campaigns. Each candidate can have a section in the app, controlled by the unbiased officials so that citizens can read an objective overview of candidate bios, promises, and beliefs.

3. Provide the Voter Basics

 

 

In addition to candidate ID cards, the mobile app is used to provide the basics, and we mean the basics. The apps answer the obvious questions, such as “Am I registered?” or “Where do I vote?” The political mobile apps make the voting process as easy as possible. Governments need to find ways to take down the barriers of the past, and a mobile app is a solution for the 21st century.

Podcast

 

Listen here to learn about the political apps in New Jersey, and how it changes election day engagement with active push notifications. Will this trend push to British Columbia?

 

Are you looking to create a mobile app for your county, region, province, state, or city? Contact us today to see how 14 Oranges can help you meet your political objectives.

04 Dec
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

Mobile Apps in Review: 2017 Stats (Infographic)

Mobile Applications in 2017: The Stats

We are nearing the final weeks of 2017, which is a perfect time to reflect on recent mobile trends in our society. Mobile app usage continues to rise, with user bases expanding and more apps being developed. Even industries that have traditionally struggled in mobile, such as e-commerce, have experienced increased usage as demonstrated by Cyber Money and Black Friday shopping. This year’s statistics show the value of mobile apps heading into 2018. ComScore released their annual mobile app report a few months ago, so we thought we would make the information easy to digest with a handy infographic.

 

 

14 Oranges Mobile Apps

Feel free to share this infograpic on your website or social media channels. Contact Kevin at kevin@14oranges.com if you want an author bio to post with the infographic.

28 Nov
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

Cyber Monday 2017: The Rise of Mobile Shopping

Black Friday and Cyber Monday set mobile shopping records

It’s Tuesday, November 28, and the internet can finally take a much-deserved break from the hectic (extended) weekend. Black Friday and Cyber Monday — two of the most significant shopping days in North America — have officially concluded and the numbers prove just how much we love our shopping. As of last night at 10 pm eastern time, online sales from Monday alone reached 6 billion dollars, and that’s only online! Forbes has already stated that Cyber Monday became the single largest online shopping day in U.S. history. Also, Thanksgiving day saw 2.87 billion and Black Friday 5.03 billion in online sales.

All of this is great. People are avoiding the annual Wal-Mart boxing match by doing their shopping online. Online shopping is relaxing and stress-free. When you shop online or on your phone, you don’t have to deal with other shoppers fighting for breathing space. Buying online means buying in comfort, and this has never been easier with retailers focusing on developing sound e-commerce websites and mobile apps.

Mobile, which has traditionally been a place that’s seen e-commerce graveyards, made a statement over the weekend. Smartphone revenue grew 32.2 percent from last year, reaching $1.59 billion, a new all-time high. Overall, mobile represented 47.4 percent of visits (39.9 percent smartphones, 7.6 percent tablets) and 33.1 percent of revenue (24.1 percent smartphones, 9.0 percent tablets) (via Forbes). For purchases made on smartphones, Apple iOS led with average orders ringing in $123, in comparison to Google Android at $110.

What this means for the future of mobile shopping

The stats don’t lie. People are becoming more and more comfortable completing shopping orders on their smartphones and this means that e-commerce companies cannot solely rely on a desktop website to maximize the customer experience. If a company chooses to focus on a mobile-responsive website or mobile app, they first need to consider the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).

Speed: Make sure your website is fast. There is nothing worse than trying to shop on your phone with an excellent WiFi connection only to sit waiting for the browser to load. If a user is waiting for more than a few seconds, chances are you’ve lost that potential customer. In a previous blog post, we stated that “mobile pages that are 1 second faster experience up to 27% increase in conversion rate.” With online sales on the rise, now is the perfect time to invest in a speedy website.

Alternatively, investing in a mobile app will put the speed problem behind you. Mobile apps are far faster than websites as their data and information are stored right on the phone. With web pages, the products and data have to be pulled from the browser. Further, if you invest in a high-quality mobile app, you should be able to offer offline support so users can build their shopping cart without wifi, and complete the order when they have a connection.

UI/UX: You’ve managed to get the user to your online store, good. Assuming your website speed is in check, now you need to ensure you have the optimal user interface and user experience. To start, make sure your website is mobile-responsive! It’s 2017 for goodness sake. If you expect to get online sales via smartphones with a non-adaptive page, you’re in for a sad awakening. Some things to consider: What is the landing page? How does a user navigate between items and their shopping cart? Does my shopping experience include unnecessary clicks? It helps to imagine the process a shopper would go through from start to finish. If you optimize your mobile experience, you increase your chances of that user coming back for more shopping in the future.

Case Study: From social media to the online store

Social is one of best ways of getting users to access your mobile store. Why? The user is most likely already on their smartphone, making the transition to a website easy. Paid ads can be set up that promote a sale or product and easily transition the user from the social platform to the online store with minimal clicks.

On Cyber Monday, I experienced this situation first hand. On my way to work in the morning, I was scrolling through Instagram only to come across an ad from Peace Collective, a Toronto-based clothing company. From Instagram, Peace Collective caught my interest promoting their massive one day sale. When I clicked on the ad, I was directed to a first-class mobile experience. Peace Collective’s mobile interface is extremely easy to navigate, it only took me a few clicks to confirm my order, size, etc. Their mobile pages are full of eye-catching graphics, and make it simple to filter products according to individual needs. Peace Collective understands how valuable the user experience is, especially when pulling your customers from social media. In the end, I purchased a sweater on their mobile store for just $15 (with free shipping) and even recommended Peace Collective to my friends later that evening.

Mobile Shopping Heading into 2018

If your mobile sales aren’t even near your desktop sales, consider investing time and money into a sound mobile UI/UX. We can expect that 2018 will see continued mobile e-commerce growth, especially as companies recognize the significance of the user experience. Don’t fall behind in the mobile trends, make sure you optimize your mobile e-commerce website before it’s too late!

23 Nov
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

The Polygon Gallery Adds New Mobile Experience

POLYGON’S GRAND OPENING

 

On November 18, 2017, The Polygon Gallery opened its doors to their highly anticipated gallery. Located in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay, the 25,000 square foot facility is said to be Western Canada’s most extensive photography focused gallery.

The new opening marks a shift for North Vancouver’s historic gallery. Formerly called the Presentation House Gallery, the new location provides a unique visitor experience to Lonsdale Quay. Thanks to the generous support from BMO, admission is by donation — forever — and open to their members and the public.

 

MULTIMEDIA GALLERY EXPERIENCE


Polygon didn’t stop at opening a new location and rebranding their name; with the opening of their gallery also comes a new mobile app! Available for both iPhone and Android, the mobile app is free to download to the public.

The app is perfect for first time visitors and longtime fans. In addition to standard gallery information — hours of operation, location, and general info — the app provides a new multimedia gallery experience. The mobile experience is available whether a user visits the gallery or not.

By downloading the app, users have access to THE POLYGON OUTSIDE, the Gallery’s platform for newly-commissioned digital artist projects. The first series of these interactive audio-visual projects animate sites along the North Shore Spirit Trail, a fully accessible greenway that will extend from Horseshoe Bay all the way to Deep Cove. The artworks hosted on this mobile app can provide a unique perspective on the history of their particular site.

The multimedia experience can be further enhanced with active beacon support. Users can visit the gallery and receive app updates with audio, video, and extra content. So when visitors walk towards a piece of art, a notification pops up with relevant info. Then when visitors move to a different piece of art, a new update is provided. NOTE: Polygon’s beacon support will be available early 2018.

 

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS

As expected, the mobile app provides content and information about the ongoing exhibitions taking place at The Polygon. Currently, Polygon is displaying The North Vancouver exhibition until April 30, 2018. The gallery brings together more than 15 regional artists, mainly working in photography, to present pieces on the theme of the exhibit and North Vancouver’s history.

The Polygon doesn’t just display amazing artwork, they also host educational events and gatherings. With the mobile app, users can stay up to date with the latest events at The Polygon. When the user finds an event they’re interested in, they can use the app to add it to the native calendar on their phone, and schedule notifications to remind themselves.

The Polygon’s first educational event is one hour lecture on “archaeology of the final decade” offered by Vali Mahlouji and is free to attend by the public. Download the app to learn more.

 

EASY TO UPDATE MOBILE APP


Polygon’s app is powered by 14 Oranges’ Info Grove Software. Info Grove is a self-managed mobile app software used by organizations, governments, and businesses across North America.

By using 14 Oranges’ cloud-hosted backend content management system (CMS), Polygon’s non-technical staff can log into the backend and make changes in the app with ease. As new exhibitions arrive and new events occur, they’ll be able to update content with simple drag and drop mechanisms, and content input tools. All of their buttons, images, and content can be changed in seconds.

 

IMPROVED COMMUNICATIONS

With Info Grove, Polygon staff can send push notifications to both gallery members and the public to inform about news, emergencies, and info. Most significant, The Polygon can make push notifications highly targeted. For example, some material may only be relevant to their members and therefore the general public would not be notified. The Polygon app also has links to their social media handles (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) so users can locate the latest updates in real-time. If email is preferred, users can choose to subscribe to the Polygon newsletter with the app and receive monthly updates.

 

REVENUE POTENTIAL

The Polygon will be able to use the app as a revenue generator. The highly customizable software allows staff to add banner advertisements on certain (or all) pages within the app. The banners can link users to external URLs and provide call-to-actions for users.

 

INFO GROVE FOR GALLERIES, MUSEUMS, AND ZOOS

 

 

Info Grove is highly customizable to any gallery, museum, or zoo. All logos, graphics, fonts, and content can be unique to any gallery who wants to enhance the visitor experience. Deploying active beacons for a complete mobile experience is simple. Contact 14 Oranges today to find a solution for your gallery!

14 Nov
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

Arkansas Education Association Launches Mobile-First Communication

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 14, 2017

The Arkansas Education Association (AEA), in partnership with 14 Oranges, has launched their new website and mobile app. The website and powerful smartphone app uses 14 Oranges’ Info Grove self-managed software, allowing association staff to reach their member base in a convenient fashion.

Mobile App & Mobile-Responsive Website

The mobile-responsive website and mobile app connects professionals, educators, and students to industry related news and events. The decision to build a mobile-responsive website along with the app provides members with a complete mobile-first communication platform. The app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store to the more than 10,000 members of the AEA and the general public.

“Our members are increasingly using smartphones to access the internet and we wanted to ensure they can learn more about the Arkansas Education Association in a clean and easy to use app and website,” says AEA President Cathy Koehler. “We are a membership driven organization, and it is incredibly important for us to keep members informed and make sure they know how to contact us.”

The app includes information about member benefits, including discounts available to AEA members, detailed contact information for AEA staff and field representatives, as well as a way for educators to join the association online.

“We hope these features will help us show the incredible value of AEA membership,” Koehler says. “Users will also be able to read the Arkansas Educator, a recently redesigned member magazine highlighting the incredible things our members do for their students every day.”

Mobile-First Member Engagement

Members of the AEA can now view industry related information on the platform of their choice; whether on a desktop computer or a smartphone, members can access virtually all content at their convenience. The dual-handed approach gives members the ability to choose their preferred method of communication, either with emails that link to the website or push notifications that link to the app.

The app, which connects members to information about advocacy issues, events, and news, provides certain content with or without an internet connection. Offline support means that members can get access to some of the information without worrying about a wifi connection or data usage.

Software-as-a-service model (SaaS)

There are several features that set the AEA app apart from other apps, explains Sylvain Marcotte, CEO and founder of 14 Oranges. “The AEA app follows the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, meaning the app is more than a one time product,” Marcotte says. “14 Oranges maintains the iPhone and Android apps on behalf of the AEA as Apple and Google release the latest operating systems and devices.”

The service stands out with two main features. The first is a targeted push notification service. Targeted notifications allow app administrators to push information directly to the smartphones of their members with the goal of having members perform real-world actions to the benefit of their organization, such as signing up for memberships or registering for an event. The push notifications can be highly targeted and sent based on a member’s geographic location or personal interests.

“AEA has served as the voice of public education for nearly 150 years, and in today’s political climate, it is incredibly important for our members to make their voices heard,” President Koehler says. “These targeted notifications will offer a new way to engage educators as our legislature develops and discusses laws affecting public education.”

The second is a self-service web interface for updating content by the customer. With the backend content management system (CMS), the AEA does not have to come back to 14 Oranges to update content in the app, saving them money and time. 14 Oranges’ user-friendly CMS, which follows similar guidelines as the WordPress web platform, was designed for non-technical staff to make changes in the app with ease.

“In addition to the cost savings, we won’t have to wait for an outside company to make time for adjustments,” President Koehler says. “This will allow us to share important information with members right away, and make sure the site stays up to date.”

Cross-Platform UI/UX Design

AEA members can use the app on all major devices, including iPhones, Androids, iPads, and other tablets. Also, the app supports push notification delivery to all major smartwatches.
“Together AEA members work to make public education excellent in Arkansas,” President Koehler says. “We are excited to offer these new tools to connect with our members, and are excited to see how they use them to increase student success.”

—–

The Arkansas Education Association is a professional organization for teachers, education support professionals, students, and advocates. The fundamental objective is to work for improved salaries, benefits, and working conditions for all education professionals, as well as for the betterment of the Arkansas State education system.
For more information contact:
Kyle Leyenberger, Communications Specialist, AEA
(501) 375-4611 (x117) kleyenberger@aeanea.org

07 Nov
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

Plugged In Podcast: Beacon Apps and Museum Guides

It’s time to bring museums and galleries into the 21st century. With active beacons and a handy mobile app, museums can transform a visitor’s experience. Listen in to 14 Oranges CEO, Sylvain Marcotte discuss the latest trends in museum technology on the latest edition of Plugged In Podcast.

19 Oct
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

Michigan & Missouri Education Associations Launch New UI/UX

The Michigan and Missouri Education Associations, in partnership with 14 Oranges, has released their new and improved mobile apps. Members of both associations will notice the apps have been updated to meet the latest system offerings by Android and iPhone. Before, members of both associations had a different user-interface (UI) depending on their device, either Android or iPhone. Using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove Platform, the cross-platform UI design will now provide users on both devices with the same user-experience (UX).

 

OLD Android UI/UX: Missouri (left) and Michigan (right)
OLD iPhone UI/UX: Missouri (left) and Michigan (right)

 

Android users will notice the biggest changes, as they no longer have a “hamburger menu” to navigate between app content. iPhone users, who formerly had a condensed grid that required swiping between pages, now have all buttons located on the main home screen. 

New Missouri Education Association Mobile Interface
New Michigan Education Association Mobile Interface

 

 

Members of the Michigan and Missouri Education Associations will spend less time swiping between pages and searching for information and more time engaging with content. But most important, is the experience and interface are the same across all platforms, including tablets and iPads.

 

Michigan Education Association

 

The Michigan Education Association (MEA) is a self-governing education association, representing about 140,000 teachers, education support professionals and higher-education employees throughout the state. The MEA Mobile App is designed to connect industry personnel to news, advocacy information, events, and resources. Also, the app links members to association benefits, such as “MyDeals” which offers discounts on day to day purchases.

 

Missouri Education Association

 

The Missouri NEA is an advocate for public schools, public school students, and public school employees. The 35,000 members of the Missouri National Education Association are public school teachers, librarians, counselors, coaches, school psychologists and psychiatrists, administrators and faculty in colleges and universities. Association members can use the app for a variety of purposes, such as carrying their MNEA E-Membership card and look up legislators to contact for advocacy purposes.

 

 

Info Grove – Software-as-a-Service Model

 

Info Grove is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) communication platform for member-based associations. With the “SaaS” model, association directors don’t need to worry when a new phone is released or a system update is required. 14 Oranges takes care of updating the apps against the ever-changing system offerings by Android and iPhone for the associations. In doing so, 14 Oranges ensures that apps maintain full compatibility against all platform versions.

Using Info Grove’s backend content management system (CMS), association directors are now able to add and edit content within the app without going back to 14 Oranges, saving them time and money. Directors can now send targeted push notifications with ease and reach members in a timely fashion.

 

Are you looking to transition your outdated mobile application? Contact us today to see if Info Grove is right for you!

 

16 Oct
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

Monetization of Mobile Apps: Is Freemium Right for You?

How to make money with your mobile app

 

There are many ways that developers can monetize their mobile app, here we look into two of the common methods: 

1) Require the public to purchase the app for an upfront cost.

2) The freemium approach. Where you provide a free app, which provides so much value, that people feel motivated to want more (and then make in-app purchases)

CEO of 14 Oranges, Sylvain Marcotte, sat down with Evolution Radio to discuss this trend and the common ways developers are monetizing their mobile apps today.

02 Oct
2017

Kevin Wiens

By

New Jersey Counties Use Apps For Political Engagement

Union County and Monmouth County are now using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove self-managed mobile app service to engage citizens politically. Both counties have recognized the need to provide political content on the digital screen of the public’s choice in order to increase engagement.

 

 

Mobile-First Political Engagement

As government communication is becoming increasingly mobile, Union County and Monmouth County have adapted quickly to this transition. Both counties are using the app to provide election-related information to help citizens in a variety of ways. Most important is that they are helping citizens determine whether they are registered and where to vote, view district maps, and review candidates.

How Info Grove Helps Political Communication

The app acts as an all-in-one stop for political events, dates, and information. Union County and Monmouth County will be able to continuously update and add content using Info Grove’s backend content management system. This allows non-technical staff to edit their app and fill it with new content every election year to keep the app up to date.

 

Mobile App Features

Voters can view candidate promises and objectives, review past elections, and access PDF resources. This means that citizens will have improved access to information to help them make informed decisions. Both counties even go as far as to assist military and overseas Americans who aren’t physically present to cast their ballot.

 

Interested in learning how a mobile app can help your political objectives? Contact us today for a free online demonstration!