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Common Interaction Design Mistakes

User interaction design is one of the most complicated parts of web design. It involves creating intuitive interfaces to increase visual appeal and at the same time, enhance user experience. In order to create a perfect interaction design, it is important that you analyze the behavior of your audiences and implement the correct strategy in order to generate maximum conversions.

Here are some of the common mistakes that you must avoid while designing an interaction for your website:

  • Excessive Innovation: Though interaction design requires creativity, including too much of it may ruin your website’s overall usability. It is important to create interaction according to the objective of your website otherwise it would not serve the purpose it intends to. Users expect an ideal combination of innovation and familiarity in the navigation. Being too creative may make them leave your website.
  • Confusing Navigation: When a user visits your website, he expects a clear and properly categorized navigation menu. You should make sure that you use the standard categories in your website’s menu – about us, products/services, contact us etc. For instance, if you are an online apparel seller, you should clearly categorize the products so that the users are easily able to find what they are looking for.
  • Clutter: Placing too many elements above the fold can make the visitors confused about the next step to perform. Instead of stuffing your website with multiple calls to action, promotional content or images, you should stick to simplicity and aestheticism. Your home page should include only those elements that your visitors may want to see at the outset, i.e. about your company, key products/services, contact details etc.
  • Lengthy Forms: The contact form on your website should also be designed and styled efficiently. Whether it is to contact your company, subscribe to newsletter or register on the website, make sure you do not include unnecessary form fields. Ask only for the information that is absolutely required.
  • Wrong Color Selection: You should choose colors according to the type of your business and target audiences. There should be a proper contrast between the background and main elements to establish a visual hierarchy. The color, shape, size and position of the call-to-action buttons should also be thoughtfully determined so as to generate better leads.

For complete interaction design solutions in Dallas, TX, contact Centex Technologies. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

Ways To Avoid Online Shopping Traps

Online shopping is preferred by a lot of people, owing to the convenience and variety of products it offers. However, it can also put you at risk for various cyber-crimes, such as identity theft or man-in-the-middle attack, if you do not follow the necessary security measures. In order to keep yourself safe, here are some of the important things that you should bear in mind while shopping online:

  • Choose Reliable Websites: Make sure you verify the authenticity and credibility of the site before purchasing any product. Check if the website provides a detailed information of the company, including address, fixed line telephone number, email address, shopping guidelines, privacy policy etc. It should have a legitimate payment gateway having a URL that starts with ‘https’. You should also read customer reviews and ratings for the website.
  • Beware Of Spam Emails: You may receive several emails stating the deals offered by different shopping sites. Even if an email looks genuine, you should not click directly on the link provided therein. It could be a malicious code that may redirect you to a spam website or download a malware to your device. Instead, prefer visiting the retailer’s website directly to check the deal.
  • Be Skeptical Of Discounted Goods: Sale and discounts can be lucrative, but you should be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true. Do not rush into buying things unless you are sure of the product quality and genuineness. Even if you do not make a purchase, some websites simply want to you register to have access to your email id and password. 
  • Protect Your Personal Details: Many websites allow you to save your personal and payment details to speed up the checkout process. While this may save you some time, you can also risk your sensitive information being leaked to cybercriminals. If possible, consider checking out as a guest user, so you can authenticate the purchase every time.
  • Never Shop On Public Wi-Fi: When you enter credit or debit card information over a public computer or Wi-Fi network, it is possible that it is transmitted without proper encryption. This provides an easy access to the hackers to steal the important details and use it for malicious purposes. 
  • Keep Record Of All Purchases: Maintain a proper record of the financial transactions and invoices of all the stuff that you purchase online. You should also frequently check your credit or debit card statements to determine if there are any unauthorized purchases.  If so, you should immediately bring it to the notice of your bank or credit card provider.

Staying alert and following the necessary safety measures can help you make the most of your online shopping experience.

Open-Source Website Security Tips

There has been a tremendous expansion of innovative tools and applications in the web development world. Popular open-source content management systems, such as Drupal and WordPress, have made it easier for businesses to make their mark over the internet. Their highly customized designs, templates, plugins and modules provide for a simpler website creation and execution. Although these websites are user-friendly, they can be vulnerable to a number of security threats. However, a few preventive steps can mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks on your open-source website. Some of these have been discussed below:

  • Keep Plugins And Themes Updated: Majority of the hacking attacks on open-source websites are carried out through an unpatched vulnerability in a theme or plugin. When hackers discover the route to access such a plugin, they may manipulate it for malicious purposes. To avoid this, you should make sure that your software platform and themes are updated to the latest version. You must also remove any unused or non-updated plugins from your website.
  • Relocate Administration Directory: By default, most open-source website development platforms use the ‘admin’, ‘wp-login or ‘wp-admin’ extensions as log in page. This is where a user gets access to modify the site’s content and other backend settings. Relocating your administration directory to another folder will make it difficult for the hackers to trace.
  • Form Validation: Make sure you perform both server side and client side (browser) form validation. The web browser may identify minor failures such as mandatory fields left empty or numbers entered in a text-only column. However, to avoid getting them side stepped, you must conduct a server side validation as well. This will make sure that the hackers are not able to enter a malicious scripting code into your website’s database.
  • Install SSL: It is recommended to use an SSL certificate to encrypt important information transferred between the browser and website server. It prevents the data from being intercepted, thus safeguarding you against Man In The Middle (MITM) attack. SSL certificates are particularly important for ecommerce portals and other websites that need to store sensitive information of the clients or customers.
  • File Permissions: Since most open-source platforms come with pre-set file access permissions, they are usually not optimized for security purposes. Depending upon your web host and purpose of the plugin, you should alter your file permissions to prevent hackers from entering malicious code into your website.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide complete cyber security solutions to Dallas, TX based businesses. For more information, call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

Tips On Securing Your Cloud Data

Information privacy on the cloud is a major concern for cybersecurity experts across the globe.  With more and more businesses relying on cloud based storage, the threats for data breach have increased manifold. Although the service has numerous advantages, it is important that business owners implement certain proactive efforts to keep their data protected against any unauthorized access.

Here are some of the tips that can help to keep your cloud data safe and secure:

  • Use Strong Password: One of the most important things you must do to keep your cloud account secure is choosing a strong password. You should not use common phrases, like your name or birthday, as these passwords are vulnerable to hacking attacks. Instead, include a combination of letters, numbers and special characters while creating your password.
  • Avoid Storing Sensitive Information: As identity theft is on the rise, the best way to safeguard yourself is by keeping all the sensitive data away from the virtual world. Make sure you do not store information about your credit card, address, password, bank account, national security number etc. on the cloud. If you need to include any of these, you must properly encrypt it before uploading.
  • Apply Two-Factor Authentication: If your cloud solution provides the option, you must apply two-factor authentication to increase the security of your account. In this, you will be required to enter a one-time-password, that you receive on your phone, to access your account. Thus, even if someone knows your password, he won’t be able to log in without clearing through this verification stage.
  • Encrypt Data: Try to encrypt all of your information before uploading it to your cloud account. Most of the cloud service providers today allow encryption of data. However, you also have the option to download a third-party cloud protection app. By applying a strong encoding method, you can be assured that even if your files get stolen, the hackers would not be able to decode them without knowing the encryption key.
  • Read The User Agreement Of Cloud Provider: It is extremely important that you carefully read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions of using your cloud account. Check about the security practices implemented by the company, both over the cloud and at the data center, to protect your data.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide complete IT security solutions to the business firms in Dallas, TX. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

Signs Your Business Needs A Website Redesign

Having a cutting-edge website is crucial for the success of any business. It is the first thing that elicits the credibility of your brand. If your website has an outdated appearance or confusing layout, people will quickly bounce back and move to your competitor’s website. Thus, you should consider redesigning your website to keep it compatible with the current trends.

Here are some of the common signs that your business needs a website redesign:

  • Not Responsive: With increasing use of smartphones and Google penalizing non-responsive websites, having a mobile-friendly site has become the need of the hour. Failing to have a responsive design means that if a mobile user lands on your website, the lack of proper optimization can immediately repel him. A responsive website will automatically adjust to any screen size in order to provide a consistent user experience.
  • Outdated Layout: A website that has been designed years ago or seems to be outdated as compared to your competitors’ website also needs to be redesigned. Redesigning your website using advanced techniques will give it a complete facelift and improve your business’s perception among the users.
  • Difficult To Navigate: Ideally, your website’s navigation should allow the users to reach on the desired web page in not more than two or three clicks. Browsing through your website should not be a difficult task for the visitors. Website redesign will also help to keep the site clutter free and the make call-to-action buttons more noticeable.
  • Slow To Load: Having a website that takes more than 10 seconds to load can lead to losing a lot of potential customers. It is also possible that you might not be ranked well in Google as compared to other faster websites. Redesigning can fix all the issues that are slowing down your website and make it up-to-code.
  • Not Converting Leads: No matter how visually appealing your website may be, the ultimate goal is to generate leads that convert. If you are not getting the desired results, you might need redesigning to identify and fix the issues.
  • Decline In Traffic: If your website is witnessing a steady decline in the amount of traffic received, redesigning your website's structure may provide a solution. It can also help achieve a better ranking in search engine result pages.

For effective website redesigning services in Dallas, TX, get in touch with Centex Technologies. We strive to transform your website to improve its functionality and appearance. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

Tips To Optimize Landing Pages For Better Conversions

Creating a website’s landing page involves much more than simply designing a template and putting up a download or email subscription form. There should be a seamless combination of informative and influential content, an attractive offer as well as a visually appealing design. Optimizing your landing pages correctly can increase your conversion rate significantly. The ultimate goal should be to generate leads, increase profits and ROI for your business.

Given here are a few important tips that can help to improve your landing page conversions:

  • Improve Congruence: While optimizing your landing page, make sure that you offer exactly what the users are likely to expect. You should not use your website’s home page as the landing page. This is because the home page provides a general introduction to your business. However, the traffic driven through paid ads or organic search results should find information relevant to the message they initially clicked on.
  • Focus On Headlines And Content: A well phrased headline can greatly influence the success of your landing page. It reassures the visitors that they have been directed to the right page, thus, encouraging them to find out more. The content should be catchy, relevant, short and able to fulfill the intent of the page. You should provide a few sentences stating the idea behind the page and why the visitors should use your products or services.
  • Relevant Form Fields: There should be a fine balance between the information asked in the form field and your call-to-action. The lengthier your form is, lesser will be users’ interest in filling it out. You should try to keep your form fields to a minimum, including only the mandatory information such as name, contact number or email address. If you want to include additional fields, keep them as optional to avoid losing leads. 
  • Test Call To Action Button: A visible and well-designed call-to-action button is important to guide users to the next step. It should be placed at an optimum position on the landing page, without requiring the user to scroll down. You can try and test different phrases, such as ‘Sign Up’, ‘Request A Quote’, ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Contact Us’ according to your business objectives.
  • Include A Reason To Act: Creating a sense of urgency gives your users a reason to convert. For instance, if you are offering a time bound sale or deal, put it up in the headline or other prominent location on the landing page. The more urgency you create, higher will be your conversion rate.  

We, at Centex Technologies, can help you optimize your website’s landing pages effectively. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

Ways To Get The Most Out Of Mobile Payment Systems

Payment methods have altered between a number of means, from cash, checks, credit cards, debit cards to the latest being mobile banking and ecommerce. Including a mobile payment option within your online business can help to lessen overheads, boost your ROI and upsurge productivity. However, with so many payment systems available, the biggest challenge that comes up is to choose the most effective one. Given here are a few tips that can simplify the process and help your business make the most out of the mobile payment system:

Determine Your Requirements

There are a number of mobile payment providers with each of them serving to specific types of transactions. It is essential that you comprehend your requirements and the nature of your business operations to choose the one that perfectly caters to your needs. For instance, if you want to process only credit or debit card transactions, integrating a basic payment gateway can be sufficient. However, if you want the system to support customer rewards and loyalty points program, you must opt for the one designed to serve the purpose. Some mobile payment systems are designed to carry out transactions in different currencies, while others provide for specific countries or regions.

Analyze Your Budget

You should analyze the costs associated with your mobile payment system. These may include the monthly or annual fee structure, charges for necessary equipment and provider’s terms or conditions. You must carefully read the fine print to make sure that the payment system you are considering is appropriate for your business activities. You may need to pay higher charges based on the transaction type and volume that has to be handled.

Understand the services provided

Verify that your mobile payment system provider processes all transactions in compliance with the security standards laid down by the Payment Cards Industry (PCI). This will help to safeguard your customers’ sensitive information such as email ids, passwords, credit/debit card numbers and other financial details. If your payment gateway is not PCI complaint, you may have to face lawsuits in the event of a data breach.

Choosing an appropriate mobile payment gateway depends upon how well the system is able to accommodate your business requirements.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide mobile payment system integration services for online businesses. Our website development team is experienced in PayPal, CCAvenue, and 2Checkout gateway integrations. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

Importance Of Customer Reviews For Products On Shopping Portals

Developing a successful shopping website is often more about creating a loyal user base and credibility than advertizing. However, a lot of business owners tend to underestimate the importance of product reviews on their shopping portal. While it is important to delve into other aspects such as increasing ROI, achieving higher conversion and optimizing site navigation, customer reviews also play a major role in taking your ecommerce venture to the skies. Almost 80 per cent of customers rely on customer reviews to decide if they want to buy a specific product or not. Thus, it is critical that you allow your customers to review the products in order to encourage potential customers to buy the same product.

Here are some of the ways in which customer reviews can be beneficial for your shopping portal:

  • Boost Sales: It is quite natural for online shoppers to be skeptic before buying a product. Reading genuine customer reviews can mitigate this incredulity to a considerable extent and make them confident about the quality of the product. More the number of reviews, more would be the impact on reader’s minds.
  • Demonstrate Honesty: Apparently, customers are less likely to read product descriptions as they highlight only the positive aspects of an item. Customer reviews allow potential buyers to have a detailed overview of a product, while weighing up its pros and cons. It is advised to place a mix of genuine positive and negative reviews to help develop customer’s trust in your shopping portal.
  • Unique Content For SEO: Search engine crawlers are constantly looking for unique, informative and constantly updated content in websites. While most ecommerce portals use similar descriptions, customer reviews add content that differentiates between various product pages. This helps to make a web page more relevant to what the user is searching for and increase the chances of higher search engine rankings. The content generated by user reviews can also improve your ranking for long tail keywords.
  • Increase Click Through Rate: If the content of reviews is appropriately formatted, such as with headings and star ratings, it will be displayed in the search results and are likely to increase click through rate. These snippets can also help your product stand out from other similar ones.

By allowing and encouraging customers to leave product reviews, you can attract targeted customers, which will ultimately lead to an increased popularity of your shopping portal.

Custom Application Development Vs Off The Shelf Software Application

Businesses are always looking for ways to reduce overheads, improve operations and boost productivity. Achieving this target also incorporates choosing between the option to hire developers to create custom applications or to use off the shelf software solutions. Even though off the shelf software can be utilized for efficient business operations, only some of them can make the work simpler in true sense. Hence, most business owners prefer going developing customized software for their organizations.

Listed below are some benefits that you can expect for your business by choosing custom software development over using off the shelf software applications:

  • Functionality: Custom built software are specifically developed to accommodate your company’s needs. While using off the shelf software, you might not be able to increase or incorporate additional functions that may be necessary to maintain the workflow. With custom made software, you can be rest assured that the application is a perfect fit for all your requirements.
  • Flexibility: In a custom software application, you are the owner of the code and have complete control over future upgrades. You can upscale the software as and when required, according to your business’ needs. In contrast, this is not possible for off the shelf applications.
  • Protection From External Threats: Custom software development can safeguard your business from various security threats. Majority of hacking attacks are carried through the manipulation of known vulnerabilities in off-the-shelf software. Custom made applications will be a less achievable target for the hackers for it will require much effort to breach the security codes. 
  • Support And Maintenance: When you have custom built software, you can easily maintain it for as long as you need. Immediate fixes and upgrades are possible according to your own requirements. However, with an off-the-shelf application, you have to rely on the support staff of company from which you have purchased the software.

Considering the above given benefits, it is quite clear that custom application development is perhaps a better alternative over using off the shelf software applications. We, at Centex Technologies, provide customized software development services to the businesses in Dallas, TX. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

Keeping Your Mobile Devices Secure

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become an important part of life for most people. Though these technologically advanced gadgets have provided a great deal of convenience, there are several threats that come along. With sending emails, shopping and doing banking on the move, your personal information has become more vulnerable than ever.

Given here are some of the best practices to keep your mobile devices secure:

  • Keep Your Device Updated: The first line of defense against security threats is to keep your mobile devices updated with the latest software. Check for updates regularly and download the apps only from credible sources. You must also keep your device properly patched against known vulnerabilities. 
  • Encrypt Data: There is a lot of sensitive information stored on your mobile device, such as official emails, contact numbers, passwords etc. In order to keep everything safe, it is best to store the data in an encrypted form. This will make sure that if the device is stolen, the thief will not be able to access the information stored therein.
  • Remote Wipe: These apps enable you to erase all the data in case the device gets stolen or lost. You can remotely wipe off all the stored contacts, images and other important data from another system. However, these apps work only if the mobile device is turned on and receiving a network signal.
  • Lock The Device: Enable built-in screen lock features in all your mobile devices. Make sure you employ strong passwords to block unwanted access. You can also use the auto-lock feature in which the device will automatically lock itself after a certain period of time and require a password to be unlocked.
  • Avoid Using Open W-Fi Networks: You must not use public Wi-Fi networks, particularly those that do not require a password to connect. It might be set up to initiate an attack on your network. Avoid logging into any secure websites while using a free Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Be Careful With Bluetooth: Many mobile devices come with a default setting to switch on Bluetooth. This enables the users nearby to detect your device and potentially, connect to it. To avoid this, turn off Bluetooth when you are not using it or alter its security settings so that it is visible only to already connected devices.

For more tips on how to keep your mobile devices safe and secure, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654(972) 375 – 9654.