Over a year ago, I wrote a blog post analyzing the Nike Store and the design elements that make it great. After a recent shopping experience, I have found that Nike has changed its look and user experience. The store now sports a clean theme with impactful graphics and is a responsive design that adapts to any screen resolution. The new design inspired me to reevaluate the store and highlight some new elements that make this an impressive upgrade.

I'm always on the lookout for exciting ideas and new technologies to broaden my knowledge of web development and design. Each week, I'll be posting links to articles on development, design and other miscellanious information that I find interesting. What follows are the highlights of the links I've recently discovered. I hope you find them as useful as I did.

In this installment of Unleashing the Interwebs - The Power of Color Theming - you will learn how to use branding, color and other design elements in your web presence. Get ideas and tips for choosing color and branding elements for your target audience to maintain brand consistency, but still differentiate the subject matter, be it an event, new product line or business unit, to deliver the best user experience. 

The holiday season is upon us again and the important day that kicks everything off is close at hand – Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving has traditionally become the first day of the Christmas shopping season. Retailers all over the country capitalize on this traditional day by heavily targeting shoppers with advertising and discounts. For an online retailer, this is one of the most important days of the year. Below are some tips for preparing your store for the rush and making the most out of Black Friday.

For the past several years, I have both enjoyed and agonized over the competition that is Fantasy Football. Online fantasy sports, like Fantasy Football, have been growing in popularity over the past decade with groups of sports fans all over the country. Friends, coworkers, and online acquaintances come together to form fantasy leagues where professional athletes are virtually drafted, traded and utilized to win. For those of you that are new to Fantasy Football, here is a little more detail. This activity can be a lot of fun and extremely frustrating based on your players’ performances each week. While sites like CBS Sports, ESPN, Yahoo! and Fox Sports have always featured great web applications for Fantasy Football, the mobile applications are the main contributors to the growth in fantasy popularity.

There are very few eCommerce platforms on the market that are as robust and flexible as Magento. However, with any complex online store comes the risk of increased load times and potential lost conversions due to slow site performance. Recent studies have shown that just a one second delay during page loads can reduce conversions by 7%. There are several steps that can be taken to optimize a Magento site. Here are a few of the basic measures that can be taken to speed up the user's shopping experience.

One of the most impressive facts that I heard this week was that the user base for Magento Enterprise has doubled since the last Imagine conference. That's explosive growth and one that has resulted in Magento representing a 20% share of the eCommerce market.

One aspect of an online store that really sets it apart from others is the user shopping experience. There are several elements that can be incorporated into a store that allows shoppers to interact closely with the available items and with fellow shoppers. A deeper shopping experience will keep users involved and eager to explore everything the site has to offer. User accounts, social sharing capabilities, image galleries, product reviews and commenting, and other interactive tools create a dynamic user experience that will keep conversions high and allow a store to grow.

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So here you are with your newly designed beautiful website. It utilizes cutting edge imagery and truly innovative code techniques. With crisp modern features, validated and compliant code, expert load times as well as integrated search engine optimization, this site will soon be bringing you “the big bucks” you have been working so hard for. Or will it?!?

Unleashed Technologies, LLC is excited to announce the launch of FEMA's website, www.femaflavor.org. The non-profit association, Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States, is comprised of flavor manufacturers, flavor users, flavor ingredient suppliers, and others with an interest in the U.S. flavor industry. They were founded in 1909 and are the national association of the U.S. flavor industry.