Over the years, effective training content used to be a challenging task but with the rise of e-learning technologies, creating course material has become easier than ever. One of the things that have changed effective eLearning is SCORM authoring tools.
The SCORM authoring tools need to have important features that will allow for its effective use. The tool is shared with all employees of a company, irrespective of their age, location, or the device they use. Whether you are considering acquiring a new authoring tool or planning to replace an existing one, you need to choose a reliable one. Else, you end up with a tool that will create more problems than it will solve. Well, according to a recent study, one way to decide the right SCORM authoring tool is by conducting a needs assessment. After that, you need to opt for the one that provides solutions for your e-learning needs. That said, let’s have a quick look at some of the must-have features of SCORM authoring tools below.
Top Features You Need In An SCORM Authoring Tool
If I want to get an authoring tool, one of the features I’d prioritize is having a tool with an intuitive user interface. Not everybody is tech-savvy, so the ability for all employees irrespective of their age to be able to use the tool is essential.
The SCORM authoring tool must be flexible to design effective training contentwith good workflow. When designing a large course material, it is very important because it saves time and energy. Since the ability to design course material in a short period is vital, you must consider this feature before opting for an authoring tool.
Individual online assessment features
This feature is crucial to help in the assessmentof learners. It gives an evaluation of what the employee already knows, what they have learned in the course, how much of the course material they can retain, and their progress.
SCORM authoring tool with this feature helps to determine the effectiveness of the course material. Also, it’s a good way to get feedback from employees.
The features like quizzes (form-based question, open question, multiple retry attempts, feedback), course assessment (question bank, random questions), scoring (negative scoring, badges), analytics (reporting and tracking) are good ways to access employees.
e-Learning involves many different people living in different geographical locations. As such, it will be very important to carry all participants along throughout the course, irrespective of where they live.
When providing a course material you should be able to provide standardized course content that all participants can flow with. Acollaboration friendlyauthoring tool will enable you to create this.
When considering a SCORM authoring tool, you might want to consider the following:
Provide multi-language support to enable you to create a course in different languages.
Have shared resources and share options (email, links, social media)
Provide co-authoring and author control.
Have user roles and
Templates and themes
Your design should have a consistent look and a nice feel. This can be achieved by using a template that will help you when designing many course content for the same participants. Consistent look and feel will keep your audience’s attention focused on the course, rather than being distracted by different designs.
Since most SCORM authoring tools come with many different template designs, you should consider the one that can edit templates and design custom templates. With this, you will be able to make a consistent design that tells more about your brand.
Apart from that, you may consider having an authoring tool with the ability to import and install pre-built templates from other programs as well.
Administration features enable you to organize your course training tailored in a way that will make all participants flow with it. A well-organized administration will help you to easily set your preferences when designing your course content.
The administration features will also make it easier for you to set the tool and quickly get started with it.
A good SCORM authoring tool should be able to have:
Language setting option.
Flexible workspace setup that is easy to navigate with movable windows and dockable panels
Preview and view preference.
Auto recovery to prevent loss of saved and unsaved courses.
Roles and permission
There may be a need for you to publish your course in different formats based on your needs. So, before choosing a SCORM authoring tool, you need to check what your design needs. These requirements should be compliant with your Learning Management System (LMS).
The most common LMS compliant standards are SCORM and Tin Can API. Apart from that, other common formats include PDF, Word, Flash, HTML5, iOS, Android, CD, file, cloud-based, and Microsoft Powerpoint.
We’d like to also stress the importance of a good support structure. Irrespective of whether you are an expert or a novice, you will benefit from help from a good SCORM authoring tool brand. Some brands provide support in the form of live chat support, phone support, training video guides, and community forums that enable you to get troubleshooting help or ask questions. Some would even allow you to use the demo version, for you to try out their tools. This should be a major factor when choosing an authoring tool.
Effective Employee training makes your employees happy & productive. Every Business invests a huge amount in employee training, but the point being here is whether they are investing in the right training methods. One-size-fits-all can never be an option in training.
Every company has different kinds of training methods which might work for them. To find out which method will be the best for your employees with all options available in the market is highly challenging.
In 2019, the total spending on employee training globally reached $370.3 billion. An average of $1,286 was invested per learner in 2019. Each employee had to train for an average of 42.1 hours in 2019. (Source: guide2research)
Look at the average training cost and training hours, this shows the importance of making the right decision in finding the best training method. The right decision can reap huge benefits within a short period. If done wrong, you are wasting your time & money, also your employees might leave the organization.
Employee training methods have transformed a lot and companies leverage different ways of training. Let’s take a look at some of them…
On-the-job training or hands-on training is the most preferred method for many companies. Companies want their employees to be productive as early as possible and also, they do not want to waste their time training every employee in every skill.
With On-the-job training, employees actively involve themselves in learning & participate in activities that relate to their current job. Your new hires will jump straight to the practical skills required to do the job. On-the-job training provides better outcomes as your new hires start doing their job from day 1.
While On-the-job training is typically good for those employees who have prerequisite technical skills (for example: operating a new machine, programming, financial analysis). Your employees must be interested in learning by themselves.
Drawback: On-the-job training experience might be too stressful for new hires, as they are let alone.
Coaching or mentoring can be used along with some other training programs. It cannot be the only effective means of training. Implementing a coaching or mentorship program along with other training methods will create opportunities for employee development & helps in relationship building.
Trainers are your game-changers, they must be well-experienced. This type of skills development method typically involves senior managers or leaders working one-on-one with your new hires (less experienced individuals). Coaching or mentoring is used to develop high-level skills for example critical thinking, leadership & communication skills.
This is a fast-track way to learning very specific leadership & team management skills. Coaching or mentoring also helps to build any particular organizational skills. This method is ideal for developing employee skills that are required for performing their job roles.
Drawback: Most of the employees do engage with the sessions, as this method is disorganized and takes a longer time for completion.
The instructor-led training method refers to training that occurs in a real or virtual classroom. Lecture- style or Instructor-led training is one of the most traditional & popular training methods for your new hires. Globally, more than 36% of large companies use an instructor-led classroom approach for training their employees.
In this type of training, there will be a personal touch. Your trainees (new employees) will be able to interact with their trainers (lecturers). Live interactions can happen that nurtures the relationship between the employees and the trainer, also employees can get to know one another.
Instructor or Classroom training is most effective for complex content because your employees have the option to ask questions directly & get their doubts cleared. More importantly, to build employee engagement, the trainers must keep their energy level high in this training method.
Drawbacks: Instructor-led or Classroom training is an inability to scale. If your employee strength is large, it can forbid trainers from in-person monitoring with your new employees.
Technology-based learning is done via a computer. Computer-based training (CBT) is becoming more prevalent as technology has become easy to use. In this Computer-based or online training method, employees can learn according to their choice or preferences.
The main advantage of Technology-based learning or CBT approach is scalability. Also, whether it is 10 or 10000 employees, all can learn through the CBT method at the same time & at their own pace.
According to the 2019 Training Industry report, 32% of large organizations are more likely to use computer-based training or online learning methods. Since many of your employees are working remotely, due to the current pandemic situation, this method can be an effective means of training them.
Drawback: Technology-based training offers only a limited chance or feedback to answer follow-up questions.
Employee training through videos is very easy to implement. Video training is the process of making a video of all the necessary things that your employees must learn before they start doing their tasks and sending them to all your new hires. According to HubSpot, more than 72% of customers are more likely to learn about a product by way of video.
To make your video training effective, you must make sure the videos are well informed in the first place. The videos that you are showing must be well-produced, interesting & engaging, subject focused, and also should of reasonable length.
Drawbacks: Similar to technology-based training, it is difficult for your new hires to get their doubts clarified promptly. If your video is too long (more than 2 hrs), then your employees might not pay attention to it.
Blended learning, as the name itself clearly explains, it is a method that integrates technology with the location-based classroom activities. It allows your new employees to get the best of online & traditional learning. Most importantly, a blended learning approach can reduce your classroom teaching time.
This method provides high flexibility in showing the content to your learners. For example, the complex content could be presented face-to-face, and easy content parts could be made available online. There is no particular way of “blending”, so you must find a model that will work for your employees. Some common blending models are the flipped model, face-to-face driver model, flex model, and the self-blend model.
Drawbacks: The blended training method has a very high technology dependence. If your organizations’ tech infrastructure is not strong enough, the purpose of the blended learning approach is wasted.
Immersive learning methods help your new employees to learn with an interactive learning environment. In this method, it is possible to replicate your real-life scenarios & you can also teach particular (essential) skills. For example, Simulations.
Business simulations are an effective training technique that focuses on providing in-demand skills or a specific set of skills. Effective simulations reflect actual work scenarios that help your employees to experience a risk-free environment, make decisions & face the consequences of their actions, and also allows them to find some innovative ways of solving their issues.
Similar to this there are other immersive learning techniques like Virtual Reality (VR) training, Scenario-based interactive training, and so on. In this way of training, your employees are completely free to make any number of mistakes and get to know where & how they have gone wrong. This keeps your learners engaged and learning better & faster.
Drawbacks: Creating an immersive learning experience is very expensive & time-consuming. Most importantly, this method needs frequent content recreation & updating.
The best & effective training method for both the on-site and remote working employees is In-app learning. Making your employees learn themselves without even leaving your application is the primary goal of In-app training.
Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), the emerging cost-effective employee training & onboarding software. It provides On-screen guidance (interactive software walkthroughs), which is like an experienced guide sitting next to your new hires and explaining how they should be doing their tasks.
Instead of watching lengthy videos, asking trainers to teach, waiting for internet connectivity to see online tutorials, read manuals, pay for a training institute, and more you can leverage DAP. Digital Adoption Platform can make your employees learn by doing things in action and create a high level of employee engagement.
Drawback: Digital Adoption Platform works best only for a web-based application.
These are the top 8 effective training methods that you can look for. Read and understand which training will be suitable for your organization and leverage it.
If you feel we have missed out any effective training methods or if you think that there is a new training technique that has worked out best for you, please leave us a comment.
This post is contributed by Revanth, he is a marketing champ at Apty. An ardent tech geek who loves to write on trending topics and is a big fan of all things relating to marketing. To know more about me, connect me on LinkedIn
Branding your company to stand out amongst the competition sounds like a daunting task. And even though it is an intense process, it isn’t that hard and it can be fun. It is just a time-consuming process. Remember though, consistency is key.
The branding journey can be less complicated by learning about branding archetypes. Use this as a foundation to build on. Find your voice within the right archetype and learn to deliver it with the right words, logos, font, and colors – all of which will be more relatable to your customers.
Where to Start Your Branding
Start by exploring all of the brand archetypes first. It is said that 77 percent of consumers tend to buy from brands who happen to share the same values as them. Following an archetype is a way to easily relate to consumers.
Branding Archetype History
Let’s just go over a little history lesson on archetypes. To connect with an audience, humans like symbolism. So, Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, created these archetypes to build a deep connection with buyers.
The goal is to relate better to customers with these personas and using authentic and consistent communication throughout the entire buying process.
The innocent is all about happiness and safety. The archetype is optimistic and pure. Those using this archetype need to be careful not to come across too boring. Add some spice to encouraging strong values with honesty and simplicity. Brands who use innocent archetypes include Coke and Dove. One example that stands out to us is the campaign that Coca Cola does each year, “The Holidays are Coming”. This excites customers and brings holiday cheer.
Colors: Pastels like mint green, light blue, and all shades of pink.
Font: Clean, simple, and uncluttered.
The magician is magical and all about making your dreams come true. This archetype believes anything is possible and creating special moments with charm. However, don’t be too risky and take things over the top though. Brands who use the magician archetype include Apple and Disney. The Magical World of Disney is the prime example of using the magician to attract customers as it brings joy and magic, all in one.
Colors: Pastels such as purples, pinks, and some light blues.
Fonts: Fun and flowing, maybe even some cursive.
The sage is full of wisdom and the pursuit of knowledge. The sage archetype doesn’t rely on fantasy, just brilliance, and is a trusted source and advisor. Brands that use the sage archetype include Google and universities like Harvard. Brands who use quotes or images of people like Albert Einstein and Gandhi use the sage archetype to attract customers with famous and knowledgeable personalities.
Colors: Teal, dark green, tan, and grey.
Fonts: Solid, historic, and classic fonts such as Times New Roman.
The outlaw is strong and not afraid of anything. The outlaw archetype believes in revolution to break the rules and to say no to authority. But don’t be too bold with his archetype where it comes across negative. Brands who use the outlaw archetype includes Harley Davidson and Virgin Mobile. Harley Davidson will always be a brand that uses the outlaw archetype perfectly. There commercials always display an open road, a symbolism for freedom.
Colors: Black, dark reds, and dark oranges.
Font: Shock factor with bold and non-conventional fonts.
The jester is silly and humorous. The jester archetype uses comedy and fun to bring a smile and joy. Just don’t be too silly and look disrespectful. Brands who use the jester archetype include Ikea and Old Spice. M&Ms uses jester to attract customers by airing humorous commercials. How can you not laugh when thinking of talking M&Ms?
Colors: Fun and bright colors like purples, pinks, blues, and yellows.
Fonts: Fun, youthful, and playful like Comic Sans.
The lover is and appears to be grounded. The key to the lover archetype is to use intimacy to seduce. Brands who use the lover archetypes include Godiva and Victoria’s Secret. Godiva delivers sensual yet attractive ads to grab the attention of their consumers, especially around the holidays.
Colors: Passionate and deep reds, bright pinks, and purples.
Fonts: Soft, feminine, and cursive.
The explorer believes in the freedom to get out and explore. The explorer archetype focuses on new experiences and discovering things while being ambitious and independent. Brands who use this archetype include Jeep and Red Bull.
Colors: Earthy colors such as neutrals, grey, tan, some oranges, and reds.
Fonts: Less is more, structured, and youthful.
The ruler is luxurious and exclusive. The ruler archetype likes control, being organized, and being responsible. Brands who use this archetype include Mercedes Benz. For example, luxurious car companies like Lexus air commercials about gifting a car to yourself. They believe in rewarding yourself for hard work, a trait of the ruler.
Colors: Simple and primary colors like reds and blues with some greens.
Fonts: Authoritative, commanding, and bold.
The caregiver believes in building trust and being safe. This archetype helps others by being caring, nurturing, and maternal. When using this archetype, don’t come across too weak and be taken advantage of. Brands who use the caregiver archetype include Campbell’s Soup, Johnson and Johnson, and Hallmark. Johnson and Johnson offer products to help care for others, so of course, they are going to use the caregiver archetype by airing ads of people caring for others with their products.
Colors: Pastels like all light blues, pinks, peach, and purples.
Fonts: Sentimental and inviting.
The hero believes in the world becoming a better place. The hero archetype is courageous, honorable, confident, and ready to rise to the challenge. Just don’t be too arrogant when using this archetype. Brands who use the hero archetype include Nike, Army, and BMW. Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It”, is a perfect example of using the hero archetype. When people think of Nike, they think of the ability to conquer anything, just like a hero.
Colors: Energizing and strong, like all shades of blue, with a pop of bright yellows.
Fonts: Powerful and strong.
The everyman appeals to the regular person, the average Joe. The archetype wants everyone to feel like they belong and are connected. When using the everyman archetype, don’t blend in, still, need a strong identity. Brands who use this archetype include Starbucks and Home Depot. Target stands out as a brand who displays the everyman in their ads. By welcoming all, Target fits in everyone’s life!
Colors: Basic and simple light blues and greens.
Fonts: Straight forward and basic such as Arial.
The creator strives to create only the best and at any cost. The archetype is a perfectionist. And focuses on the vision. Brands who use the creator archetype include Lego and Crayola. Creative brands like Adobe capture the creator archetype by airing ads that show how creative you can get with their products, opening up a whole new world to innovation.
Creating a brand takes time and collaborative effort from internal and external stakeholder’s. There are still teams that might be using emails, and chats to convey their feedback, however if you want to build brand that are liked by many then you should use the power of visual communication.
zipBoard is a review and collaboration tool that lets designers, developers and clients collaborate and communicate effectively. It’s a whiteboard for your project development collaboration. All you need is your website URL to get started and have your entire team in sync in one place.
Try zipBoard Today !
It is easy to get started on the free trial. Simply sign up, no credit card required.
Create accessible eLearning content that complies with WCAG standard guidelines and 508 compliance. Accessible eLearning development is important to provide a complete learning experience to users with disabilities.
Innovation in web development is evolving rapidly every year. 5 to 10 years ago no one would have thought that we would be able to build powerful web applications in the browser as we are able to do today. Back in those days, people would use software installed on their local computer or laptop to do their work. But that made it difficult for the user to access their work from a different location.
Since cloud computing has come into picture there is a drastic change in how we access tools and software. Almost every software these days are being converted from a computer-based application to a cloud-based application.
We are living in times where we are no more restricted to one or two computer systems or locations. Instead, we can access our work from anywhere in the world by simply using an internet browser to login to the system and resuming the work right where we left it.
All of this was made possible because of advancements in web tools and web browsers. This has also lead to a constantly growing demand for advancements in web tools and functionality in web browsers.
More and more companies are coming out with amazing web-based solutions to ease web developer’s and designer’s life.
Today I will present you with the most popular 45+ web tools in 2020.
To come up with this awesome list of web tools, we took into consideration how many users does the solution has and what you get for what you pay.
You will find included very different web solutions: an affordable logo design contest, powerful WordPress themes and plugins, website builders, web development services, and much more.
Did you know that WooCommerce is powering over 1.5 million shops and that it is probably the most used e-commerce solution worldwide? It has lots of advantages:
• Free. • Easy to customize. • Lots of powerful features. • The store you build belongs to you (versus Shopify for example and other solutions). • There is a huge number of extensions that will supercharge your WooCommerce store. • Informative analytics. • Much more.
It’s easy to see why there are so many users.
If you want to properly run a WooCommerce store at its maximum capacity, to take advantage of this powerful platform and get tons of sales, you need only one additional thing. You need a specialized team to take care of your WooCommerce store.
WPcustomify is specialized in WooCommerce and they know perfectly this platform. They will help you install any type of extension, they will fully configure your store, and offer you support for any errors or problems you get.
Let the experts take care of your WooCommerce store so you can focus on getting more sales.
Besides being proficient in programming, developers can largely benefit from having an extensive set of project management skills. They should be capable of optimizing work processes in a way that lets completing the planned work on budget and schedule. Moreover, they should be able to respond to any changes in the project’s scope promptly and efficiently.
An intelligent timesheet tool, actiTIME, can be of great help for developers and their managers in attaining these objectives. Its core features are:
Scope management for creating projects and tasks, setting up estimates and deadlines, and monitoring current performance on the Kanban board;
Time tracking for keeping an accurate record of working hours and billable time;
Thorough reports for a comprehensive review and analysis of productivity trends, as well as project costs and revenues.
With all these features, actiTIME fosters closer attention to details in the management process and reduces the risk of errors during data collection. Moreover, it automates many HR and accounting processes, from PTO accrual to client billing and invoicing. Therefore, it saves a ton of time that you may invest in working on more critical project-related issues.
actiTIME is also very flexible, and you can easily integrate it with a wide variety of other useful tools through Zapier or API. Moreover, actiTIME’s automatic timer can be accessed directly through the Chrome extension in Jira, Github, and GitLab. In this way, the tool enables you to track time while being entirely concentrated on the primary work process. Sign up for a free actiTIME trial and bring your productivity to the next level.
You want a WordPress theme that is complete, easy to configure and customize, lightning-fast, affordable (only $59), and which will make your website convert better? Take a look at Total, this theme will literally do all these things for you, these are not big empty words.
It comes loaded with 40+ premium demos that will make your website look exactly as in the demo, with 80+ builder modules, with 500+ styling options, and premium plugins included for free — Visual Page Builder, Templatera, and Slider Revolution.
Take a look at the theme demos, you will fall in love instantly, you never saw so much a high-quality and well-designed theme.
Whenever you need a new web design tool for your projects, browse Webdesign Toolbox, and find it in minutes. Stop wasting your time on Google Search and in other places, to find the right web tools for your projects.
This website has 965 resources manually added in 78 different categories, being very well categorized. It will become a huge encyclopedia of web design resources; every month being updated.
Webdesign Toolbox is already used with huge success by both professional and newbie web designers, coders, web strategists, online entrepreneurs, bloggers, and marketers.
Join them and use Webdesign Toolbox, it is 100% free.
You want the most complete, technologically-advanced, yet simple to use and affordable service for doing manual and automated testing? TestingBot is the best solution for all of these, being feature-rich and supporting all kinds of tests, including live tests and multi-device testing.
Remote teams from all over the world use with huge success Taskade, a professional, complete, and technologically advanced collaboration tool.
This unique platform lets you and your team fully customize your workspaces, in just a few seconds. You can create the workspaces from scratch, or you can use the included templates, there are hundreds to choose from.
Taskade is feature-rich, having everything you need.
MailMunch is a highly popular solution in the market, used by tons of companies and marketers to boost conversions by up to 400%.
It grows your email list and it converts your visitors into subscribers and customers.
This complete lead generation software comes loaded with captivating templates, with an easy to use drag and drop builder, and lots of useful features that will supercharge your forms and landing pages.
Unlayer is the best email template builder on the market, being super easy to embed on your website (takes less than 5 minutes). Let your website visitors create superb emails and landing pages directly from your website using Unlayer templates and the brilliant drag-and-drop builder.
Astra is the fastest growing WordPress theme of all time, having already 1 million users in 2020. It has the most comprehensive library of website designs, unparalleled performance, and tons of features.
Need a website? Make one yourself with uKit. A powerful tool that enables you to create a modern site in your browser. No need to download anything or fiddle with the code — simply pick a template, then edit it as you see fit in a convenient editor. Sell services and goods with the integrated Store module, and promote your site with the SEO module.
If you need a form, quiz, and surveys, you can create it on a shoestring or even for free with the stepFORM builder. It contains 17 basic elements and a rich library of professional-looking templates. Moreover, you can integrate payment systems (PayPal, Wallet One) and statistics (Google Analytics), configure CSS properties, and add custom code. The platform is mobile-friendly. Start with the free plan today!
SuperbWebsiteBuilders.com highlights pros and cons of the most popular web design platforms as well as their main characteristics and special features. It contains dozens of reviews and comparisons of these services as well as those of hosting providers. This eliminates the need to look for the niche-related info elsewhere as all the required data are at hand here.
Do you have multiple social media pages? Do you want to share them most efficiently across the audience of your multiple channels? Open your door to a new effective social media tool — uSocial. Sporting several unique features, such as Meta Builder to build thumbnails, clean code to load faster, and own analytics, it’s one of the best tools for your social media needs. Try it now!
A simple and quick way to heavily increase productivity and security in your company is to use a PC monitoring software for your employees. The most popular solution is Controlio, being simple to use, and feature-rich.
Wix2WP.Pro is the all-in-one Wix to WordPress migration platform, which has distinguished itself due to its professional staff, years of niche experience and rich portfolio of successfully completed projects. They pay individual attention to each client and each website that is under transfer. This is a perfect solution for beginners and web design pros, who don’t have time to complete the task independently.
The best UI Kits and dashboards can be found on the Creative Tim website. They produce all their stuff with their own teams, that is why the quality of the products is outstanding, including for their free stuff.
Browse the website and see what cool products they have for you.
SiteBuilders.Pro is a worthy solution for users, who decide to move their web projects between well-known CMS or website builders. They deal with transferring all types of projects, taking care of all the details and special platform nuances. In addition to content transfer, SiteBuilders. Pro experts will help you with further website promotion. Their rich experience will contribute to positive results.
If you want to entice more customers to your website, uCalc is what you need. It’s a modern, easy-to-handle form/calculator builder that provides a wide collection of templates suitable for a small or medium-sized business of any industry. Plus, various formula types are available for creating a calculator for any purpose. Start with the Free plan and let it work for you!
UPQODE is an eCommerce web development agency in the US that develops platforms for online stores to sell their products. In addition, the agency offers cost-effective eCommerce services for small businesses.
UPQODE’s team of experts is dedicated to providing its clients with marketing solutions such as SEO services, Google Ads setup, social media ads, and conversion optimization.
The agency has worked with a majority of US customers.
WordPressToWix.PRO focuses on ensuring easy, convenient and fast website transfer from WordPress to Wix. The platform also offers quality project promotion and preservation of search engine positions upon the completion of the task. The team of proficient web designers will gladly assist you with all the steps of the procedure, ensuring top notch result.
Is your website builder not good enough for you? Do you feel like you lack features to build a website that you truly desire? uCoz website builder is here to rescue you! A unique blend of Pro-level editing tools, custom code access, and a visual editor allows you to create a unique and professional website with ease. And it’s free to use!
HTMLtoWordPress.PRO is a full-cycle service, which deals with the professional, safe, and convenient transfer of HTML websites to WordPress. The platform has dozens of successfully completed projects in its portfolio and lots of satisfied clients. They employ a team of experts, who will take care of all the stages of the migration process to ensure worthy results.
If you are looking for the best Elementor-based WordPress theme, then Blabber is definitely worthy of your attention. This is a ready-to-go solution apt for all kinds of blogs, media sites, businesses, entertainment projects, and even eCommerce. One of the most impressive features of the Blabber theme is the constantly-glowing collection of homepage demos. The theme includes 20+ demo styles apt for personal, travel, fashion, sports, science, health, and other topics. All pages and design elements of the theme are ready to be modified in the intuitive drag-and-drop mode. Take control of your site’s content organization with the Gutenberg editor.
46. FC United | Football, Soccer & Sports WordPressTheme + RTL
FC United is a functional and multi-purpose WordPress theme apt for the launch of football, basketball, and other kinds of sports-related websites. The fully responsive layout of the theme is intended to adjust all pieces of your site’s content razor-sharp on different screen sizes. It also includes a collection of ready-to-go homepage demos. The number of extra demos grows bigger with the launch of every next update. The theme supports all the major WordPress plugins and extensions, including SportsPress. The latter lets you transform your WordPress website into the fully-featured sports clutch website with match reports, league tables, and more.
47.Craftis— Handcraft & Artisan WordPress Theme for Creatives
Make your craftwork look it’s best using the Craftis WordPress theme. The clean and stylish design of the theme is perfectly suited for a range of websites promoting handmade works. The Craftis theme is intended to be used for blogs and web stores. The latter is easy to achieve using the theme’s compatibility with WooCommerce and Elegro Crypto Payment plugins. It also contains a bunch of ready-made pages, which are ready to be modified in the drag-and-drop mode of the Elementor page builder. Additionally, the theme lets you choose from 10 unique homepage styles apt for artisans and craftsmen.
Zento is a state-of-the-art Software-as-a-Service eCommerce platform built on the solid foundation of Magento 2 with a next-gen Progressive Web App frontend. All the tools and integrations you need to run and operate your online shop, in a modern and reliable solution. Sell everywhere, automate your operations, increase conversions, and focus on your business, not the technology behind it.
Orsolo is an all in one project and task management tool to organize projects without extra complexity. With Orsolo, you can manage your work at a personal level and keep track of every stage. You can upload files, save bookmarks, and create notes as well. Using the To-do list feature, you can add quick tasks to your project boards and tick them off when done. Keep track of your project spend as you go along with the Budget tracker.
zipBoard is a web-based visual review and bug tracking tool for web developers and designers to better manage website development projects. It is built to manage internal reviews, tasks, bugs or issues, defects, and client feedback all within one centralized system. Simplifying the review and approval process from internal teams and external stakeholders.
zipBoard lets you review multiple digital contents in a single project or across multiple projects. It allows reviewing multiple types of file formats ranging from images, videos, live websites, e-learning courses, PDF documents, and HTML pages.
By using zipBoard for bug tracking and visual review, you can improve the quality and speed up the development process, while cutting down the website development cost.
Now, deliver quality products at an affordable cost as all plans come with unlimited projects and unlimited collaborators. You can start with a free trial account without any credit card.
We are all spending more time in video calls and zoom meetings, navigating through the current times. Lets, face it zoom fatigue is real. Learn how you can move some of your synchronous meetings to asynchronous communication.
In our traditional work culture, we spend a lot of time in meetings, which does not necessarily turn into productive work. Moreover, this takes up a lot of time for every team member. Many times what you accomplish sitting in a meeting, you could send across using an email or a note in your messaging service otherwise.
Real-time communication is essential at times, but a much better approach is to update the team over email or messaging systems. Unless it’s urgent, let the team members review it when they have got time off from their primary deliverables.
Meetings sometimes run with too many people not needed in a discussion in the first place. When working remotely and working with teams in different time zones, running productive virtual meetings is even more crucial.
How to ensure that your meetings are productive and whether all the sessions you are organizing are really needed, or you could get away with other modes of reviews – aka asynchronous reviews
Asynchronous communication helps your coworker to manage their own time, do the research that is needed and then reply instead of trying to respond in real-time without having complete knowledge of the discussion.
“Ensuring good asynchronous communication practices is one of the ways that we address this struggle at Buffer. Asynchronous communication can be an asset for remote teams for many reasons, but especially if you have teammates in multiple time zones. Instead, make sure you exclude no one from meaningful discussions and collaboration because of where they live!
Instead of relying on everyone being online at the same time, we try our best to communicate in a way that keeps conversations and decision-making open to all teammates, no matter where they are.”
As the name suggests, synchronous communication is a form of communication that happens in real-time and requires immediate response from one party to another. It includes people communicating face to face or over a call or message. It doesn’t matter which technology platform you use. Or what kind of live arrangement it is. But everyone is present at the same time and is responding with questions, answers, suggestions, and opinions in real-time.
Some key points to remember about synchronous communication
All communication in real-time
Participants respond at the moment.
Not necessarily a system that could be face to face, or over any kind of call.
At zipBoard, we usually do one live call at the start of the and run a daily scrum for our dev team to ensure we can discuss our priorities for the next 24 hours.
What is Asynchronous communication?
Asynchronous communication is when the people involved are not present and available to respond in real-time. They have the freedom to decide and react at a time they feel comfortable and necessary. There is no communication happening simultaneously.
Asynchronous communication takes away the need for people to coordinate a necessary time to communicate. But asynchronous communication still helps achieve the goal of talking and discussing a specific plan or topic.
Some key points to remember about asynchronous communication
Not happening in real-time
Participants respond whenever they want
Relies on tools and systems (emails, google docs, feedbacks)
We are a fully remote team, and everyone works asynchronously throughout the day. At the end of every day, we share an EOD report, and that’s how we manage all our work.
Here’s a sample of my EOD report to my manager. It includes what is done throughout the day, work that needs to be reviewed and approved, and links to docs and extras.
Advantages of asynchronous communication.
There are many advantages of using asynchronous communication in your workplace. Below i share 7 that are most important ones.
1. Uninterrupted long focus time
By not having to respond immediately, there is hardly any distraction. It lets you focus on your work and be highly involved in the task at hand. It gives you more long focused hours to work. For example, when I am working on a blogpost content, I never check my email or chat messages for 2 – 3 hours at a stretch.
2. Communicate in multiple time zones
With changing times, we are in an era of global teams, working from various time zones. If you implement an asynchronous communication model correctly, you will end up talking less and doing more. Companies as big as Zapier have a fully remote team that operates from 17 different time zones over slack and zoom. And the whole group meets twice a year at their company retreat.
3. Recorded communication for future reference
A conversation is much more effective if it’s well documented and recorded. Asynchronous communication is highly dependent on chats, messages, call recordings, and documents. And hence no matter what was discussed, everything is recorded and can be used for various purposes in the future. It has to be somewhere, and you only got to find it in the right place. At zipBoard we usually do not record calls but instead, take notes like this during the call.
4. High-Quality Communication - Listen, think, and check before you respond
No one on the team is expecting an immediate response when the team follows an asynchronous communication style. So you get plenty of time to do your research, think, and respond with meaningful observations that will add value to the work that you’re doing and to the team as a whole.
For example, a few days back, we planned to integrate Marketing Automation tools into our existing tech stack. We discussed what we need, what our budget is, and what would be the timelines during our first sync up call for that call. Next, it was my responsibility to search for the tools, review them, and come up with recommendations. The next day, we got on the second call because we took the time to assess different software and could finalize two tools (Intercom and Sendinblue) instead of one that we initially had planned.
5. Save yourself from a long email chain
A few messages over chat or a quick call vs. a long string of emails. What would you prefer to get the work done? Undoubtedly email chains can add unnecessary time to finishing a project. Instead, just message what you need from who or if something is complicated, only decide a time to meet and discuss over a call. Get the work done in less time.
“Today, our team of 52 people spread across the world sends zero internal emails.”
You and your team members get to choose their time to work. They can take breaks at their own will and can work with more focus for long stretches without breaking a sweat.
7. Diverse, happy, and productive work culture
We are all different and can perform differently under different conditions. Think about what if your workplace allowed you to work with very little or with no restriction. You could choose to work from home or office as it suits you: there is no need to answer every email, every message, and every call in real-time. You will certainly never think about leaving and instead add more value to the company.
“A Stanford survey found that the employees flexibly working from home raised their productivity levels by almost 13%.”
How to effectively use asynchronous communication?
Now that you know how beneficial asynchronous communication is, let see how you can use this communication model in your workplace.
1. Conduct at least 1 or 2 live meetings every day
To sync up goals and deliverables for the day. For increasing the efficiency of work, get on-call daily even for a few minutes to discuss the priorities for the current day. And how you will accomplish it.
For example – At zipBoard, we do one to one calls as and when needed. Team wide meetings happen once a day, where we get on a live call to sync up on priorities.
2. Setup communication guidelines
Everyone must understand how to communicate effectively within the team. What and what not to expect from whom. Set rules for when to use chats, when to use project management tools and when to use docs.
For example, at zipBoard, we do one live call on zoom, send chats messages on slack for almost all internal communications, and all external communication are done over email. Additionally, all work is documented in google docs, and we use zipBoard for all visual review and bug tracking. Our internal response time is anywhere from 12 hours to 24 hours but is very detailed. And for external communication, we try to reply within 12 hours or less depending on the urgency.
3. Use a platform that supports various ecosystems and devices
Not everyone might have the same set of digital ecosystems. So always opt for tools and systems that can be accessed by your team members on any platform. Eg. Skype or slack for communication, they support desktop and mobile devices on both windows, mac, ios, android.
4. Choose cloud storage
For everyone to work on a project as a team, it’s essential to access and see things the way you see it. By keeping all files and folders on cloud storage, everyone can access and add to it without duplicating the efforts or losing the work. Try to keep all work on cloud storage to promote easy access.
5. Stop micromanaging
Everyone is always trying to contribute to the company, let them take the responsibility from the beginning. Micromanaging doesn’t help; instead, it would not let your employees work effectively. Alternatively, set clear expectations for the day, week, month, and see things happening more quickly than you expected.
I would personally say sometimes you need a little hand-holding for someone to get started, but continuously being on someone’s head is disastrous.
At zipBoard, we have a zero micromanaging culture as compared, and I would not quote company names. In my personal 10 + years of experience, I have worked in places where there is constant micromanaging, and I am sure you would agree with me it’s suffocating.
6. Never make assumptions
It does not just apply to asynchronous communication but in every business communication. By making assumptions, you are merely doing something that is not needed or expected from you. Instead, when in doubt, just ask the question, get a clear understanding of what is required, and then start working.
My number one life lesson that I learned in my career is never to assume what the other person is expecting. Always ask questions and clarify things to avoid any issues later. Because of the transparent work culture here at zipBoard, before starting to work on any project, we make sure everyone clearly understands the tasks and knows what deliverable is expected from them.
Tools to consider for effective asynchronous communication
To implement the asynchronous communication in the remote workplace we certainly need tools and systems in place. Let’s take a look at some tools.
Use google calendar to schedule internal team meetings and send a prior notice to everyone who needs to attend the meeting. So that way, everyone knows that they can work anytime throughout the day, but they have to be available for the live session.
Skype– Free and Support all platforms and easy to chat and call with internal teams and external teams and vendors.
Slack – It’s a common word for people working in a remote environment. Use this for chats, calls, document sharing. Free plans have the limitation, but you can upgrade to paid plans for more features
Microsoft Team – Microsoft Teams is the hub for team collaboration in Microsoft 365 that integrates the people, content, and tools your team needs to be more engaged
Zoom – In recent times, Zoom has emerged as a top platform for group calls, and why not? You can do all internal and external live meetings over zoom with 100 or more people at the same time. Free with some limitations can be upgraded to paid plans for additional features.
Feedback and Work Management
One of the most significant challenges that we face in a remote environment is not being able to show what we mean visually. Another problem is managing projects. Merely saying someone in chat or call “change the structure on one of the web pages” doesn’t help. You need to show them using visual feedback systems. And you also need a project management system to manage projects, deliverables, and tasks. A right combination of Visual feedback tools and project management systems improves the team’s efficiency and delivers excellent results.
Don’t just write your problems; show them visually.
Zipboard – zipBoard is a complete feedback management system in which you can create and manage reviews and feedback from internal as well as external people. We have both the visual feedback and project management integrated into one software. Try it out today!
Asana – Its a work management platform, your team can stay focused on their goals, projects, and tasks.
Trello – Trello is another popular project management tool. It has got some amazing and focused on project management features.
Files and Folders and Remote work setup
All that work that we do has to be stored somewhere, where it can be easily accessed by any team member at any point of the team. Additionally, there should also be a track of who accessed what and the changes made, etc. For this, we need to have a system where we can host our files and folder in the cloud. While choosing any software in this category, look for security, version control, collaborative environment, ease of use, supported platform, and application documentation. You don’t want to spend hours setting up systems and support for your team members and later training them for hours to use them.
Google G Suite – Google docs and sheets are the most commonly used collaborative system. You can use this not only at your workplace but even in personal life. They are highly secured feature-rich and offer version control for files and folders.
Amazon Web Services – Amazon Web Services, also known as AWS, offers highly trusted and scalable premium products suited for large corporations. You can choose this custom solution if you are ready to pay more but looking for solutions to complete setup, not just files, and folders but your entire company, operation, and everything else on the cloud within one ecosystem.
Zoho – Zoho provides various solutions for small to large companies that work in remote environments. HR, Payrolls, Password management, time tracking, email accounts, and host other solutions all under one roof.
5 actionable steps to build an asynchronous communication culture in your remote workplace.
1. Let people connect as people first
No chance to bond in real life, so let people interact 1-1 and know each other a little bit before jumping on projects, tasks, and deliverables. Jumping on a call and chatting straight away, talking about deliverables is not a great idea. At least when you start for the day, check with your team members how it is going with their lives. It gives everyone a sense of belonging, which is very important if you are going to sit and work alone throughout the day. At Least once a year, plan a live meet meetup for the whole team.
Always provide as much information as possible to other people. This will make things more transparent for the other person to understand. Be as detailed as possible in your message.
For reference see how we communicate at zipBoard.
How we DO NOT communicate
How DO WE communicate
Bhavya – Hi, can you send me a recommendation on marketing automation tools.
Anurag – Sure, I will send it.
Bhavya – Hi can you send me a recommendation on marketing automation tools. Make sure to consider these aspects while doing your research.
How quickly can we start
Anurag – Sure, I will research through and put a doc. I am currently working on a blog, so I might only be able to provide it for two days, is that okay?
And do you have any particular tool in mind or anything in particular that you are expecting?
3. Adequate response time and deadlines
Let other people know when you are expecting to hear back on the deliverables. While discussing the project, try to be as realistic as possible and keep reasonable expectations from the team. Make sure you give enough time for them to complete and deliver on your expectations. Deadlines are just compulsory, no matter what model of communication you use. Ensure everyone understands that they have a time limit to complete and deliver; they cannot be working forever on a task. See some best practices for managing remote teams. At zipBoard, we generally have a turn around time of 24 hrs.
4. Next set of actions
This is very important to make a note of and delegate to team members. The next set of actions gives accountability to your team members. Every individual knows what tasks they are supposed to work on. It helps identify the dependability of every team member and how their work will affect others’ work.
Tips – Make sure you discuss who will be doing what. Make a numbered list of deliverables and delegate the tasks as suits. Confirm everyone understands their responsibilities and check if there is any doubt or question.
5. Record calls or Take notes meetings
While discussing projects on live calls recording the call or even better, take notes. It will be helpful when you are working. You can refer back to call notes and calls and do things as was discussed and not the other way round. Additionally, this process in itself creates internal process documents or content that can be used in the future. In the form of training material, article for Blogspot, explainer videos, etc. If someone missed the meeting, they could go through the recording and notes and be in sync even when they were not present.
Tips – Make someone responsible in the team take notes and ask others to add to it if anything is missed. Share the notes doc with the team before the meeting.
Maintain only one doc for everyday sync up call and add details with the date as headers. By doing so, you can even see what was discussed the previous day, format the notes well using sub-headers, bullets, and a section for deliverables. In deliverables, add the name of the person accountable for that task.
Notes are helpful as one can quickly skim through the vital point or do a quick search using related keywords. Whereas if the meeting is of long durations, then you will have to listen through the whole recording, even if you just want details of something particular.
Every model of communication has its pros and cons. Asynchronous communication is no different. But a wise man once said, “Change is the only constant.” And to improve and grow, it’s necessary to adapt to change. Try to use the best of both worlds when working with remote teams.
At ZipBoard we are working on improving the experience to capture and manage feedback from various stakeholders. We want to work with you, to make your team productive and collaborate seamlessly.
We are excited to share some of the new features that make capturing feedback a breeze – full page screenshots for those longs scrollable pages, screenshot widget that can be embedded on your own site, to name a few.
Let’s have a look!
Do you find it challenging and time-consuming to annotate only a certain part of the website? Well, that is no more the case now, we have added “Full Page Screenshots” feature within the tool. So now you can take a screenshot of the complete webpage and mark all the changes and feedback in one single image.
This will save you a lot of time and effort. Add all changes and revisions in one single screenshot. No more going back and forth in the project folder.
Automatic naming of Screenshots based on the name of the HTML page
You would agree that at times we get stuck trying to name the project or files within that project.
And then typing a name, then erasing it and retyping something else is a common thing that we are all guilty of. We got a better alternative and support system for you.
Only take the screenshot and ZipBoard will name it for you, you can edit it if needed. ZipBoard names the screenshot based on the webpage name. Now you can find your screenshots, no more worry about losing them in a bunch of screenshots.
Announcements in one click for enterprise customers
It’s ok for a small team to keep everyone updated on the latest announcements. But what if you work with many collaborators (colleagues and clients). It’s difficult to update everyone at once on a team-wide announcement, right? To simplify this we have added an update all at once via announcement feature. As of now, this is available for enterprise plans only, as it’s usually a large team size that needs this feature.
Wouldn’t it be easy for anyone to review and add feedback on your website? Get feedback from anyone visiting your web page with the Embeddable widget feature. You have to embed the ZipBoard widget code within the webpages where you want to show the ZipBoard tool. Anyone visiting that web page can take a screenshot and annotate the image.
Website visitors have to only provide their email and name. So that the feedback gets added to your account dashboard with that guest’s user detail.
The owner of the project can then review all the guest’s user’s feedback on the dashboard. But the guest users will only be able to add feedback and not look at other’s feedback.
Such a great way to get more unique feedback from a lot of people without even adding them as collaborators!
App redesign – Cleaned up the UI and some workflows
In this update, we also worked on enhancing the user interface and workflow. You will notice a much clean UI design. After analyzing the user’s usage on the tool, we noted the most important and used elements. Based on the analysis, we kept important tools on the dashboard, placed it in a more accessible part of the screen. So that you can have an amazing user experience.
Now you can directly add and review content from the tasks page.
On the left sidebar, you can see all components of the project instead of the dashboard.
The project name lets you switch to another recent project from the same screen.
Filters are moved as a slide-out option on the right side.
No extension required for reviewing uploaded SCORM files.
We want your team and clients to have an amazing experience while reviewing your websites.
That’s all we have in this update. These features are already live so go ahead and try those out now.
We are soon adding integration for Microsoft teams and single sign on. Not only can you share screenshots and review web pages and other media, but you can upload and work on PDF documents, videos and images. All within the ZipBoard dashboard, a complete collaboration platform for your team.
Now that’s something we do not see anyone else offering. What do you think?
Already have a list of tasks that you want to upload in the ZipBoard dashboard? We have great news for you. Soon we would add the Import/CSV migration feature. With this, you can upload all your tasks and feedback in a few clicks.
Are you as eager as we are to have this feature in ZipBoard?
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