With more communications channels and speeds quicker than ever, a crisis can be online for your company as soon as it has occurred. This now means that PR agencies, media advisors and online reputation management companies need to be constantly vigilant about what the news and media are saying as well as across all other social media platforms to monitor comments, reviews and online chatter. This can be a full time job, but there is software out there that will alert you when your company or business has been mentioned – staying on top of this is  great way to manage your brand online, and reolve any negative comments early.


It is amazing to think that by one simple mindless tweet, blog, article, review or comment,  a brands image can be tarnished within minutes.

Obviously, people are now aware that they should not believe everything they read online, but it does actually plant a seed of doubt in the consumers mind about the brand, product or service.

Saying this, if the online brand manager is monitoring all comments they can be there to counter act most, if not all content that is counter productive to the brand. This is a 24 hour, 7 days a week job and companies,in the digital age must be prepared to add this as part of their marketing budgets.

For companies that are doing the right thing and are providing a great product with exceptional service then they really have nothing to fear. But for businesses and companies that are offering less than average service with faulty or damaged goods, then this is the time that they need to take a long hard look at the internet and see how quickly the word can get out about them.



Dont' Panic. You must take immediate action and do what ever is necessary to negate the bad online publicity.

If you are unsure where to go, then try giving us a call here at Hopping Mad Designs. We can negate any bad online press you have had and drive it well away from the publics eye.



We can help with managing any bad press your receive online and we do it for many brands and businesses throughout Sydney & Australia. A point to note here that reaction time should be anywhere from between 12-24 hours. Longer than that and the damage can compound. One needs to contain this and do it fast.


CALL US NOW ON 02 9360 8514

Be open, honest and transparent. If you have done nothing wrong, then the online world will forgive you, ( perhaps you may even make some positive mileage out of this), and there is nothing to really worry about.

Users will know that the content has been generated by a competitor or malicious ex employee etc. But, if what has been said is in fact true, in some cases it might be a good idea to admit the wrong doing, apologise, show the steps you are taking to rectify the situation, and move on.

If you are passionate and sincere in your response then you will be forgiven. Look at the airline industry for example. Anything goes wrong they are there online, answering the publics questions and trying to negate any bad PR that has been written about them. You can even see this with major hotel chains, who are quick to answer their critics and explain any stuff ups, bad meals or bad service. It is in their interest to be proactive to protect their brand online in any crisis.


Build engagement fast with your clients and the public

If and when the crisis does hit, it will be less of a headache if you have systems and protocols in place for engaging with your customers. If you do not, and you are reading this blog, then you should start very quickly by registering a Facebook page, Twitter and Google + account. You clients will be on these pages and you can interact with them quickly.

A great place to also talk about your brands crisis is your blog page. Users can be redirected here from anywhere online and it is on this blog that you really address all of these issues that are circulation about your brand.

Also, think of social media as your friend. never be afraid of it and try to embrace this new medium as a powerful communication mouth piece. One thing to take note of here and that is you do not want to be responding to hundreds of complaints on these social media platforms.

Get a professionally written article and place it on your blog and get users to go there for an explaination. On the other hand, if you have been engaging your customers frequently online and are savvy about how to handle these crisis issues then you can put some of those fires out very quickly. If not, then you might want to consider using a social media optimisation company to help you out of this crisis.


Why Hopping Mad Designs to help you out in this brand crisis management?

With over 18 years as a Web, SEO and social media marketing studio we feel that we have the experience and thorough understanding of the very latest search techniques, know how, as well as the most up to date social media tools in our arsenal which will allow you to handle any brand crisis in a calm and effective manner.

We are able to monitor the largest social media sites and track everything that is said about your brand online. Plus if we see that something negative has been said we are able to respond quickly, efficiently with care and respect for your brand. We ensure that this does not happen again, by managing all the current issues and implementing a proactive and well thought out brand reputation management campaign so as to protect your brand from future negative or malicious publicity.

Take out a brand insurance policy and speak with us today here at Hopping Mad Designs on 02 9360 8514

Tradies, Trade, Tradesmen Website Design

If your a tradie and are looking for more business then you need the combination of a great looking website and search engine optimisation – this is the only way you are ever going to get found online.
You can forget about placing an ad in the local Yellow Pages or even a local newspaper. People simply do not go there any more when looking for a trades service.

What they now do is type the service they are looking for into the search engine Google and look for their tradie online.

If your tradies website is not found there, then guess what, you loose out on the business. It is the way of the future and all trades that have a business and are looking to expand and grow their business need to understand this and need to get a website designed by a web design studio like Hopping Mad Designs.


There is no need to pay a fortune for your tradesmen website. You can now get online very quickly with our Trades Starter Packages:

What Do You Get:

Customised Web Design for your Home Page

this will give your trades business the unique look and feel that you are wanting to stand out and be different from your competition.

A Services Page – This is where you can display and talk about your services and what you are offering. A great place to really sell yourself and your business. If you get stuck for ideas or wording let me know and we can help you with our in house copy writing servcies that specialise in trades websites.

FAQs Page – This is an awesome way to let your clients know about anything about the job; pre/post job common questions that they may have. Think of all the hassle this will save you when they call you up while on the job with a question. All you need to do is refer them to your new tradesmen website and all the answers will be there. And the beauty of this is that you can keep adding questions and answers to this section through our easy to use content management admin area.

About Us Page – On this page you want to tell your potential clients about you and how good you are. A great idea is to let them know your: qualifications, where you have worked in the past, your experience in the industry as well as length of time spent in this trade.

Contact Page – Here you can have your mobile number as well as an email address. If you have a shop or outlet we can link this up with Google Maps to make it much easier for people to find you.

Testimonials Page – Nothing screams louder to your potential clients than what other people are saying about you. If you are able to get say two to three testimonials and display them on this page, it will build a huge amount of confidence in you and your trades business. Even better, if you can have a couple of case studies on this page, matched up with a testimonial for each job, then that will be an extremely powerful marketing tool for you and your website


This is a no brainer. You’re a trades person and the ultimate aim of your website is to not generate and email inquiry but a phone inquiry. Generally, when people are calling you they are in trouble and need your services ASAP. This is not a long sales process like in some other businesses. This is a quick call to action, make the phone call, come around, fix the problem and move on. For this main reason, you need two very large pieces of information. That is, a very bold phone number and a big description of what you can do, e.g WATER LEAK REPAIR FAST.

You need the consumer, who is looking online to be able to find you quickly and know exactly your offering and how to contact you. We are able to advice you in more detail about this process but the fundamentals are the same when it comes to tradies website design; keep it simple and keep it large.

One point to note, is that you really need your trades website to be found on Google and this is something that you should be discussing with your account manager at Hopping mad Designs whilst you are getting your site designed. Let us handle your SEO campaign and get you ranking on page 1 of Google!

Get online now with a great looking website

Be clear about the areas you work in and service. There are over 4500 searches Australia wide for electricians and you really do not want to be fielding inquiries from all over Australia if you only work in Sydney. There is no point in getting business across the country if you are not able to service it. So be very clear about the geographic areas and boundaries you work within.

Sydney Website Design Plug for Hopping Mad Designs : Check take time to have a look at our website design Sydney webpage if you are a tradie and are now looking to get yourself a new website. In know this is a bit of a self promotion but heythis is my business and after all i am one of the account managers for Hopping Mad Designs.

So if you want the experience of a trusted web design studio that has been working in the industry for well over 18 years then please give us a call. We have worked with tradies all over Australia and would love to be able to work with you on your website.

We will make 100% sure that you get a website that you will be proud of and a site that will act as an extremely powerful sales and marketing tool for your trades business. As designers we will give you a website that will look totally different from your competition and really give you the online boost your site needs to stand out from all those other boring tradies web sites.

How to Produce Mobile Phone Video Content

Cleverly shot, concise and professionally produced video will be one of the most powerful marketing tools used over the next 12 months. Whether these are uploaded to Youtube or hosted on other social media platforms, that appetite for this type of communication will only get stronger and develop further as technologies grow.

It all started as I understand it in 2010 when there was a quick news grab, ‘News in 90 Seconds’ service played on one of the many iPhone apps. Every day I religiously turned to this app to get a quick glimpse of what was happening in the world in just 90 seconds. For me, that was enough. It was quick, efficient, I knew what I had to know and felt happy that a new war or major crisis had not broken out. Simply put, my time is very limited and I need to get as much information; whether its the news or not, in the shortest period of time possible. I have been so overwhelmed with online content over the pervious couple of years that this short 90 second brief was all I was prepared to invest time in.

Over the last say 24 months I have seen the uptake of this type of video streaming become more and more popular. In fact I cannot go to an online newspaper, without some kind of video pop up coming right at me. Whether it’s selling cars, holidays, travel sites or internet dating, the use of video content has exploded and in an exponential manner.

In fact my social media feeds seem to be around 50% video and 50% text. This is way up form the year before and if you are a marketing manager you should be starting to think about how all this will effect your marketing mix, moving forward. I have been so accustomed to video feeds now, that if I do not see one I start to think that somethings gone wrong.

If you look at the current trends and read all those statistics you will see that online video watching is growing at an even, steady pace, but the interesting point to note here is that mobile device browsing of videos is exploding at a quicker rate than ever. If you take a second to absorb this and think about it, just think about your own mobile video watching habits and you kind of get the general drift of where I am coming from. For me, I love to watch YouTube clips on my iphone and I know that my partner absolutely loves to watch her dogs play around on live mobile video streaming from their day care. In fact, even overseas we can keep tabs on what they are up to. It’s pretty amazing stuff and the possibilities for marketing your product, business or service are unlimited. What about the power of Facebook and uploading a product video on there for all your followers to see. If they like what you’ve got they will share it with friends and even Like it. It is not uncommon for a video to receive hundreds of thousands of hits a day. Never before in the history of the marketing landscape has a medium been so over powering. You can safely say that online video content will be the next big trend. One point to note however, if you are planning an online video content campaign then make sure it’s well thought out. You do not want it falling flat on it’s face and destroying your image. An image broken by bad PR is very hard to fix especially if people post comments on other review websites.

It is important to note that roughly 10% of SME’s which opens up all kinds of interesting opportunities for those internet savvy marketing people looking for another medium or channel to sell their products or services in to. And the absolute beauty of this is that any one can do it on any type of budget. Start ups with little or no money can create video content using their phone and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo.
Following a a few small pointers to help you out if you are thinking about creating a video.

Make Sure the Video is Planned: Have some kind of script or cheat notes prepared. It is harder than you think coming up with dialogue that looks half decent, and is not embarrassing to watch. Perhaps you may need to look at getting a copywriter on board to help you draft something that will sound like you know what you are talking about. If you feel that this is not necessary and you feel like you are in total control of the dialogue then perhaps just make a few notes to keep you on subject.
Sound is very important. People are very visual and if they have spent the time downloading your video then they want to hear what you have to say. Speak clearly and directly into the microphone and never talk from a distance. If you want to add music, watch out for copyright issues or intellectual property infringements. What may seem like a good idea to you, might at some point down the track, cost you money.

Keep it entertaining. By this, I don’t mean that it as to be a comedy where people are laughing, but it has to keep them interested enough to stay to the end. You are the only person that can determine what this will be, so be careful not to offend or deter watchers. Being inspirational is a great way to go. Again, it’s your call but if you are going to all this effort and are wanting your mobile video content to gain traction then you will need to seek the services of a team of content experts like us at Hopping Mad Designs. We have the the whole packages for you so you don’t have to worry about anything. In our team we have copywriters, video producers, graphic designs, web experts plus an all round business + marketing advisor who can take a good hard look at what you are trying to achieve and come up with some great advice and input. All we need is a brief, and you can sit back and leave the rest to us.

Short n Sweet: Keep it under say 1 minute – no one wants to view a full length feature film. So the mantra here is keep it simple and quick. If you have a product that you want to video then a quick shot is fine with some basic voice over. If it is a service then a full 60 seconds outlining exactly what you do and why you are different it sufficient at this stage. Make it a teaser style video and leave them wanting more information from you.

Just remember, if you can have a little fun whilst producing your mobile video content then in most cases it will be well received by mobile phone users.

If you think that you would like to know a little bit more about all your video content options then please contact us here at Hopping Mad Designs on 02 9360 8514 or email us at


Magento Ecommerce Website Platforms

Magento will facilitate the establishment of an e-business environment that will allow you simple easy to use products as well as catalogue browser options, an array of customer management tools, and top of the line analytics.

Which is great for measuring web statistics, a whole lot of vital reporting, sales and marketing features, the list goes on and on.

Wikipedia defines Magento as an open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP. Obviously, if you get a website designed by Hopping Mad with a Magento Shopping Cart, we will train you in all the features as well as be on call if you have any issues or problems in uploading data.

So if you are thinking about getting online and having your own web business shopping cart then you should really consider Magento as your preferred option. Combine this with customised web graphics and you will be well on the way to looking the part online and having a successful online retail business.

Advantages of Magento CMS

It really gives you the freedom to maintain and have total control of every component within your store, including sales, merchandising right through to particular promotions. Think about all those important days throughout the year that you could market to. Mother’s and Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, Australia Day. Each and every holiday on the calendar can be marketed to. Again, you might want to consider using a team of expert graphic designers like us at HMD to create these cool web tiles for you to put into the site.

This can often be as simple as a 20-minute design exercise. Just imaging how current your site could be and how appealing this would be to all those looking for gifts or products for that special event. No longer will your site remain static, out of date and tired looking. Refreshing your graphics and content regularly will keep users interested, customers up to speed on your latest offerings and on top of this the search engines will pick this up and index your site on a more regular basis.

The Magento platform is ultra SEO friendly. All features within the back end allow ease of change of titles, tags and content. This in turn will allow you to update products, create super search engine friendly pages and then sell as many products online as you can. Clearly, you will need help in setting this up and that is where we can also help you. Don’t for one minute think that you can open an eCommerce web store and have immediate success. If you do, then you will fail. I was a business owner of a web studio have seen this time and time again. People come in and after reading a few success stories about companies ‘riding the internet boom’, think that they can also do this because they have a few cool products to sell. Online retail requires a lot of hard work, effort, and above all patience and a realistic understanding of what is achievable online. If the eCommerce process is well thought out and you spend the time discussing ( with me) what is achievable, then you are taking the right steps and putting yourself in the best position to succeed online.

Related Post: What Is The Most Critical Aspect Of An eCommerce Web Design?

Magento is so diverse that it offers 3 separate versions, depending on your business needs and goals and obviously budget.

Magento Community: Not really for the business owner but more for the person who users the online environment as a hobby or for entertainment.
Magento Enterprise: This is the most popular version and it is used and implemented world side by small to medium-sized businesses. This is really our preference and the one we ten to use mostly Magento Enterprise Premium: If you have the budget and want to really have a robust platform, then this is the one used by large businesses and organisations who are after all the bells n whistles that an eCommerce platform could offer.

Magento works closely with Google’s third-party ad-ons meaning that your Magento eCommerce store will already have some very cool features such and integrated with Google Analytics, as well as Google Checkout. What this means for any eCommerce website owner, is that you will be able to track the number of site visits and conversions. You can then use this important data to adjust and readjust your product offering until it is at its optimum.

The Magento CMS eCommerce platform supports the usual payment operating systems such as the very popular and most commonly used system, Paypal as well as other known gateways such as Eway. We will hold your hand through this process and show you what you need to do in relation to the banks to get the website off the ground.

Why not sell your products internationally as well? Don’t just limit yourself to Australia. Think about other markets such as China, the USA as well as Singapore. If you are looking at offshore options as well then the Magento platform has live currency update feeds that allow you to sell your product based on the actual, current exchange rate. Don’t ever lose money again with currency fluctuations. Magento will ensure this does not happen.

If you have a really special product that you know will be a winner, then allow customers to write product reviews. People trust reviews way more than testimonials and Magento gives users the opportunity to air their opinions about the product. New visitors to your site will read these very good reviews and be more than likely to purchase a product based on what they read. A review that is not fabricated or thought up by a web owner has much more punch and clout than an obvious testimonial. If, on the other hand, the review is not that good, then you can always delete it.

Once professionally designed, your eCommerce store will allow for a variety of add-ons including a very unique and cool feature such as zoomable images. If you have never seen this, you must try to check it out as it is an awesome selling tool. Basically, it allows you to cursor over the product and the area in focus will be magnified by about 3 times. This is great for products you are selling that is rich in features or details; think fashion or engineering products as an example.

It is very mobile friendly. Once the system has been implemented it can be viewed across a range of browsers and platforms including Ipads, iPhones, androids and other handheld devices. Clearly, you are going to start thinking about responsive web design with the Magento package; where a site can expand or contract neatly based on the screen size. This is rather new and will become more popular as time moves on. Basically, it is one website size fits all. Best at this stage to give us a call on 02 9360 8514 to discuss this particular point.

A good goal to keep in mind before you start on your road to becoming an eCommerce success is to do things in stages. Start by firstly choosing the best web designer you can find and then look at getting a website that is fully customised and a site that stands out and looks not only different but appealing. Make very certain that your web guys have a clear knowledge of the user interface and are able to guide users right through the site to the final buying process/check out. Never ever settle for any old cheap web company but look for that special something in them that will give you peace of mind in knowing that you are with a team that will work extremely hard for you. Following on from this look carefully at working with them on your online marketing campaigns and strategies to ensure that you will be driving a decent amount of traffic through to your new web address. And lastly, look at other new technologies to push your name out there including but not limited to some social media areas and mobile phone platforms.

If all this sounds quite difficult, and a bit over the top then you are absolutely right. Online millionaires do not just happen. They seek the right advice and deal with web and SEO experts that can guide them through the internet cemetery which is littered with online businesses that have gone bust, purely because they did not get the right advice or chose to take a cheap and budget style approach to their Magento e-commerce business. Saying that getting online and following a few simple successful rules is not that expensive or hard to do.

Many of the best website owners do this and all you need to do is pick up the phone and give us a call here at Hopping Mad Designs and we can show you the pathway to your booming Magento eCommerce online shopfront.


Look at you main business objectives and target these.

Just because you are getting a website, this does not mean that you have to throw every new bit of new whizz bang technology at the designer. Try to work out:

– what you are trying to achieve from the website; that is, is it to drive sales, increase brand awareness, inform the users about a product or service or even to just have a basic online presence.

Once you have this one goal in mind you can then work out a clear website brief based on this information. For example, if your goal is to drive sales and traffic through to the site, then an important note to remember in the brief is to keep large amounts of heavy text to a minimum and use strong grab statements, like ‘ see why we are Sydney’s number 1 hotel’ or ‘ buy now and receive a 2 for 1 offer’. It is these kind of strong statements that will attract potential clients and funnel them right through to the end buying process.

Do you know your online audience?

The most successful web sites will do more than look great, they will also satisfy users expectations and requirements. Great briefing documents should clearly outline who your target audience is, their demographics plus as much information as possible about your market and what you believe they want to see online. Be very careful at this stage. There will be the temptation to over design for a wider audience, but this may just have the impact of turning people off. If you are a builder for example, you should know that your target audience is going to want to see a strong portfolio of past building projects as well as a list ( including names) of testimonials. If you are a bit unclear about what your target audience is going to want to see online then a good idea is to look at your competition and see what they have done online. Don’t ever copy them but just keep an idea of their websites style as well as look and feel. This should point you in the right direction.

Your budget guidelines as well as timeline/deadlines should be noted

It’s always a good idea to make note of your budget expectations or limitations in the brief. If you a scared to put in your budget for fear of insulting the agency or that you may miss out on an important part of the website if you go in too low, then this is a mistake. Be honest an open about your funds and have open lines of communication here. You never know what is now available online, that wasn’t for the last project. You may just be surprised with what you are able to get for your money. Technology is moving at such a rapid rate, and the unit costs are coming down so much that budgets can now often be met. So, basically be very clear about what you want and what you are willing to spend. Being cagey or tight lipped may end up costing you more money.
Website timings, if critical, need to be told to your web designer. If you have a PR campaign or need the site for a new product launch, let them know well in advance so the necessary steps and preparations can be put in order. There is no advantage to you as the client to hold off on this information as this may lead to issues later on when the pressure mounts up as the site gets closer to completion. Transparency is the key to web success here and you should treat your designers like partners not as just a basic service provider. Never be scared of what they will think or say and articulate all your thoughts, timings, expectations in the website briefing document.

Try to include some examples of websites you like.

Web designers are visual people and if you are able to provide some examples of sites that you like and give the reasoning behind this, then that is a great part of the briefing process. Look at as many sites as you can and cherry pick the components or parts of the sites you like. Look at colours, navigation, add-ons such as newsletter sign up area, blogs, horizontal versus vertical scrolling etc.

Last word on the subject

Most people when you mention the words, briefing documents, start to become glazed over. If they have never done something like this before then they may fear the unexpected. This does not have to be the case. Most decent web agencies will have a web briefing document that they use time and time again. All you need to do is follow the questions and if unclear about any part, the best thing to do is pick up the phone and make a call. Remember, its your business, your money and your website, so don’t try to cut corners or leave things out just because they may seem like a hassle. The more you can provide upfront the better will be the end result. Designers will work to a brief and if they have to improvise because you are not clear in your brief, then chances are that the initial designs presented may be some what off brief.

Get ready for Facebook Graph Search

The graph is developed with the ability to answer to very detailed questions regarding:
 – your friends
 – you personal data

as well as a whole range of other available free data and information floating around on the Facebook site; which I might add is enormous. Just think about all those exciting bits of information that is currently online throughout the Facebook platform.
For example you can search for: ‘ football teams my friends like’ and it will give you a list of all the teams your friends or family have been following throughout the year or a list of clubs or football associations that are are affiliated with or belong to, which are aligned with Facebook.

This might completely turn the whole search industry on its head.

Look at the progression over lets say the past 15 years. To begin with, people used the old yellow pages to search for businesses or services. This was great and helped many businesses grow and this was largely in part to the size of their ad as well as their advertising budget; the more you spent, the more ads you could have etc etc. The next phase was Google. People invested in large sums of money in what is termed search engine optimisation or SEO to get their website to the first page of Google for a variety of keywords and or phrases. And finally, we are at the next stage of Facebooks graph where users can search for lets say an ‘accountant in Sydney’ that their friends are using and get a whole list of accountants based on their experience and rating. No longer will you be given results based on what Google deems to be the best but now it will be based on what your Facebook friends have liked.

Businesses, companies and organisations worldwide could possible even search within their followers and target these followers based on their certain interest and likes.

This really is going to put a cat amongst the pigeons in the search world. People love Facebook and if businesses are able to capitalise on this Facebook graph search by incorporating tit into their marketing mix then this could have huge ramifications for the other major search engines.

Businesses are looking for an alternative to what Google can offer and perhaps another avenue by which to get their name out there and be found. If Facebook Graph can refine their process just a bit more to make it resonate with the business community then there may be some hope for it. But remember, Google is the mammoth search engine giant and changing users search patterns may not be as easy as it looks or seems. The public are just so used to relying on Google, that dislodging their prior search habits for the past 10 years may be too hard a task. If you look at Facebook trying to get into the pay per click market similar to Google, you will see the absolute failure of this. Businesses have not warmed to this and in turn Google has continued to dominate the paid search market hands down.

I guess only time will tell and we shall see the fate to the Facebook Graph unfold over the next couple of months. So watch this space carefully.


With this apparent movement away from the desktop environment it is vital for the success of any business relying on ecommerce online sales to be aware of this and design a site with mobile technology in mind.

If you look at the home page on a mobile phone, you will see that it is very different from the desktop homepage. In fact they are really worlds apart. On the mobile phone it is more about users being able to find what they are looking for in a quick, easy to find manner, where as on a desktop it is more about content and users using the navigation to get around the site. It is more of an experience, rather than a quick 1 step journey.

Following are a few easy to understand tips for mobile ecommerce sales.

Having a keyword search easily visible helps those who know exactly what they’re looking. Having large full screen buttons helps those users who want to browse a bit before making a purchase.

Since the screen is much smaller and fiddley on a mobile device, users would love all the pre-empted help they can get so a suggestive keyword search is so important. When a user starts typing within a search box a drop down should appear showing them suggested search terms. This decreases the time a shopper needs to type out a product name and increases convenience and usability of the mobile website.

Once a user has found the product they are looking for, it should be obvious how to purchase it. Designing a large bright button above the fold will make it easier for users to add the item to their cart. Information about the product can be displayed in an accordion style to better utilise the space available as well as minimise page load time as not all information needs to be visible at once.

Also, there obviously should be an image of the product visible. If there was a gallery of images to be shown, using the smart phones intuitive way of swiping through them should be used (i.e. if you are on an iPhone users should be able to swipe across to see more images).

The checkout process on a mobile site needs to be as streamline and simple as possible. The pages need to load fast and the form needs to be easy to use. Giving users the option whether to checkout using an existing customer account or just a guest account is a good way to speed up the process.

Users who are already members will have all their details already pre filled. The size of the form boxes are very important, users will need to touch each box and type within them.

If they are too small, a user might miss and click the wrong box causing frustration. Remember that this is the make or break point, a user is about to purchase your product, making this process harder than it should be might result in losing them.
Also only the bare minimum form fields needed to complete the purchase should be displayed on a mobile device, it is difficult enough to fill them out without having to do it many times over.

Mobile e-commerce sites are an increasing source of revenue for companies. Keeping the above tips in mind while designing your mobile e-commerce website will surely result in increased sales and happy customers.

Checkout design for ecommerce websites

Gear the process for guests

Hands up who hates to sign up and give all those details for the check out process on an ecommerce website. You have so many passwords and usernames to remember, the last thing you want to do is be forced to sign up and register your information each and every time a user goes through to a ecommerce website.
Both guest check out as well as the account registration process options should be made available to all users. Also, regular users should be able to have their details remembered on file so they do not have to go through the elaborate sign up process each time they return to the site. This part of an ecommerce website should be a no brainer and be a mandatory component. Remember, ease of use and simplicity during this process will keep users coming back for more and in turn more sales for your business.

Number of steps
Keep these steps to a minimum. Many websites will have a number of complicated steps till the check out process. This just frustrates and infuriates web users making them exit the site. The web interface should be intuitive enough to guide people in a funnel like manner through to the end buying stage in as few steps as possible. Again, the mantra you should be chanting is keep it simple.

Template Form design

Its wise to try to implement these form ideas as part of the ecommerce process.
• Go for a single column approach. Double or even triple columns will confuse users who like to tab through forms to complete them quicker.
• Show an example of how the form should be completed
• Make headings clear and large in text. Try not to hide or make points difficult to find as these will just lead to blank spaces, which is not the idea behind a form.
• If you require a certain bit of information, that to the user might seem unjustified, give them a reason why this information is necessary. Never assume that they will know the rationale behind your thought process.
• If you want to keep customers onside and loyal to you in the future, never auto enrol them into your newsletter subscriptions. If your customers start receiving newsletters without permission and on top of this find it hard to unsubscribe, you will be creating some tension. Be open and honest about the newsletter area and perhaps have a quick pop up window requesting them to sign up to your newsletter.

Prefill forms

Users are basically very lazy and I am speaking from experience in the industry. Where ever possible get users to fill in information only once and if the option is available ( like billing address and shipping address – if they are the same) get the form to auto populate. Users will absolutely love this and will make the buying process a lot easier.

These are just a few simple rules and tips to follow for your ecommerce web page checkout but if you would like to know more then please do let us know here at Hopping Mad Designs.

Responsive Web Design Sydney

One Great Looking Website That Automatcially Adapts to All Screen Sizes

Hopping Mad Designs brings your website out of the dark ages with 'responsive web design'. The concept is quite easy to implement and is now a must have for your business.

The idea is the same website is viewed across platforms: mobile, tablet and desktop. What we do is make coding adjustments so that your web site is viewed on these screens seamlessly. There is now pinch and grab, it is all done automatically. This improves the user experience massively and will help with sales, revenue and inquiries.

By making your website design responsive you give your brand and corporate image the best chance of looking its best online.

At Hopping Mad Designs we have been designing responsive websites for clients and businesses all over Sydney and Australia.

Don't miss out on this great new technology! Call 02 9360 8514 to get your new responsive website now.


Can I make my Website Responsive Without an Expensive Redesign?

You certainly can! It is alot cheaper and more affordable than you think.

Responsive website design involves reprogramming your website styles, therefore we can use the current web designs – all done quickly and very cost effectively.

Hopping Mad Designs can implement a responsive web design & keep your current website – this save you time and the hassle of getting a new website redesigned.


Responsive Web Design and WordPress

Since WordPress is our preferred CMS platform we can easily integrate a responsive site solution with your current WordPress website – we can create a new responsive theme easily based on your current web design.

Hopping Mad Designs can ensure that your next web project has had a responsive web design solution implemented so that no matter the size of the screen, your website will be resized automatically.

It is an awesome new technique and one that promises to make a huge difference to the way in which we look at the whole web design process.

In years to come all you will need to do is design and build one website and this will be able to be viewed across a range of screens, not matter their size.

A couple of interesting statistics:  below should frighten those marketing people and business owners who have yet to embrace this new mobile and tablet market:

– The total number of Australian’s who have bought tablet computers is approaching the 3.5 million mark
by the year 2017 it is estimated that this new mobile market is to reach 12.5 million Australians. These numbers are staggering, considering the size of our population. That is nearly half of all Australian’s will own a mobile device by that time.


So why is this so important and key to the next generation of web design, website development as well as the  e-commerce market?

The advantages of being able to design and build three separate websites: tablet, mobile and desktop market, with responsive web design are enormous; cost and time savings, not to mention the hassle of designing and developing 2 to 3 sets of web interfaces. 

It’s a one size fits all approach If implemented properly, this will mean that once your main web site is up and running, it will now be easily viewable on all hand held, mobile and other tablets devices.


Cost of Responsive Web Design

Pricing is usually set on a project by project basis but a good indictaor at a per page rate (anywhere between $400 and $900 per page for your average website). For more information please contact hopping mad designs




Responsive web design requires that the web agency knows that graphics are key to a successful web experience and it is the application of these creative items right through to the development process that will ensure that your new website has been optimized for responsive website design.

With over 18 years experience in web design and working with a range of clients Sydney wide, we know that we are best equipped to handle this new technology and apply it to your website effectively, maximising your online exposure, all in an affordable, user freindly way.

Responsive websites are also going to have an impact on your search engine optimisation: this is because Google will rank sites better that are responsive – the logic behind this is that they want to display sites that offer a better user experience – simple as that!




Avoid those nasty and annoying pop up windows
Nothing irritates people and mobile device users more than pop ups. Sure you want to be able to put as much product or service information as possible within this small environment, but , if you feel that this is necessary for your site then try to think of another way of displaying this information. Look at accordion style scroll features as an alternative, but never go down the pop up path.

Think about employing a copywriter that will be able to reduce your web content
At hopping mad designs we have an in house copywriter that can look at your current web copy from a mobile phone perspective and customise it to work within this platform. People using hand held devices need information fast and the last thing that they would be prepared to do it wade through reams of information to get to the point. This will have the effect of irritating them and resulting in a lost sale. Use the ‘ keep it simple’ principle, which will do wonders for the user experience. If you unclear about this part it is important to speak with a web copy professional who will be able to guide you through this area.

Minimise and reduce overall site functionality
Mobile users are now so proficient in using their phones that anything that requires many navigational steps will be frowned upon. Too much functionality with too many levels will loose the customer as well as the eventual sale. Think carefully about what the user wants and how to get them there via simple, clear cut steps. Over complicating the interface is certainly not the way to go here.

Use PayPal
If you are a retailer or have a mobile site that is selling a product, you want people to be able to make the purchase in the most efficient manner. Paypal is a great platform that will facilitate this as users who are already a PayPal member only need to login and pay. If your customer has to fumble around with credit card details, and three digit pins, this is a huge hassle if they are on the go and you may wind up with a lost sale. Think like a consumer in this case and you will have a loyal customer for life.

Make sure that you are very kind to fingers and people with poor eye sight.

People hate to pinch and zoom. I know that I can’t stand it, and if I have to do it to find an important link in a body of text, I will exit the site. Plus as one ages, that small screen becomes harder and harder to focus on. This is why, you need to have larger, full, prominent buttons if you need people to see a link or go to a particular page within the site. These boxes should be easy to see and the text within those boxes, large enough to read.

Keep Branding Consistent.
Never dilute or create a mobile site that is not consistent with your branding. Ensure that the style you have created for your website is followed through all your branding including the mobile site. You will avoid confusing people who may be comfortable and come to know your image and branding