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How to Migrate Content to Drupal 8 Using the Migrate Module: No Line of PHP Needed!
Whether you're "constrained" to migrate content to Drupal 8 or you're just eager to jump on the Drupal 8 bandwagon and harness its much-talked-about advanced features, the most important “warning/advice” to keep in mind is: Don't migrate mindlessly! Meaning that before you even get to the point of:   triggering the Migrate module's capabilities and adjusting them to your migration project's needs and requirements selecting and combining all the needed contrib modules writing down your YAML files for carrying out your content migration process   You'll need to think through every little aspect involved in/impacted by this process:   your goals your growth plan your current site visitors' complaints and suggestions   That being said, here's more of a “backbone” or summary of the migration workflow, one that highlights the:   main phases to go through the right approach to the whole process Drupal-specific concepts and tools to use   Do NOT expect a very detailed, highly technical tutorial, though! As for the Drupal concepts that you'll need to be already (more than) familiarized with once you launch your migration process, maybe you want to have a look at this guide here, on Understanding Drupal And now, let's delve in:   1. The Migration Workflow: 4 Key Phases to Consider  Here's the entire process in 4 steps (so you know what to expect):   first, you'll need to migrate your data into the destination nodes, files and paragraphs on the newly built Drupal 8 site then you'll migrate data into date, image, taxonomy, address fields and file next, you'll move your precious data from JSON and CVS files and finally, you'll complete your migrations from the UI and the terminal   2. Are You Upgrading from Drupal 6 or 7 or Migrating From a Different System? And here's what to expect depending on your answer to the above question:   if you migrate content to Drupal 8 from an older version of Drupal (6 or 7), then you're quite “spoiled”: a lot of hard work has been done, by the Drupal community, for turning this migration process into the official path to Drupal 8; you could say that the solid framework has already been set up, so all there's left for you to do is to... take advantage of it! if it's from a whole different system that you're migrating your site (let's say WordPress or maybe Joomla), then... expect it to be a bit more challenging. Not impossible, yet more complex   3. Plan Everything in Detail: Think Everything Through! Now with the risk of sounding awfully annoying and repetitive, I feel like stressing this out: Don't migrate... mindlessly! Plan everything in the smallest detail. Re-evaluate the content on your current site and its “load” of features.  Take the time to define your clear goals and to put together your growth plan (if there's any). Then, do lend ear to what your current site visitors have to say, filter through all their complaints and suggestions and tailor your final decisions accordingly. It's only then that you can go ahead and set up your content architecture.   4. Start With the Structure: Build Your Drupal 8 Site First “But I haven't picked a theme yet!” you might be thinking. No need to! Not at this stage of the migration process. You can still build your Drupal 8, from the ground up, even without a theme ready to be used. You can add it later on, once you have the final version of your content! But the site itself, its solid structure, this is a “must do”. It's the very foundation of all your next operations included in your migration workflow!   5. Deep Clean & Declutter! Take Time to Audit Your Content Don't underrate this very step! For moving over all that clutter, that heavy load of unused, outdated features and all those chaotic, crummy pages will only impact your Drupal 8 site's performance from the start. So, now it's the right time to do some... deep cleaning! Audit your content, your features, plugins and other functionalities included in your site's infrastructure and... trim it down by:   relevance (are you using it?) quality: keyword-stuffed, unstructured pages (a heavy pile of them) will surely not give your new Drupal 8 site any significant jumpstart in rankings!   6. About the Migration Module Included in Drupal 8 Core Using this dedicated module in Drupal core to migrate content to Drupal 8 comes down to implementing the: Extract- Transform-Load process Or simply: ETL. In Drupal — as related to the Drupal migrate module — these 3 operations come under different names:   the source plugin stands for “extract” the process plugin stands for “transform” the destination plugin stands for “load”   7. Time to... Migrate Content to Drupal 8 Now! Now it's time to put some order into that “pile” of content of yours! To neatly structure Google Sheets, XML files, CVS files etc. And here's the whole “structuring process” summed up to the 3 above-mentioned plugins: source, process and destination.   Source:  XML file SQL database Google Sheet CVS file JSON file   Process: iterator default_value migration_lookup concat get  Destination: images users paragraphs nodes files And here's a specific example of how to “glue” data for a neater and ideally structured content architecture:   Before the migration: A: First Name- Kevin B: Last Name: Thomson C: Department- Commerce   After Migration:  A: Name- Kevin Thomson B: Department- Commerce   8. 4 Contrib Modules to Incorporate Into Your Migration Workflow As already mentioned, the migrate content to Drupal 8 process also involves using a combination of contrib modules.  Speaking of which, allow me to get them listed here:   Migrate Tools           Migrate Source CVS     Migrate Spreadsheet  Migrate Plus                The END! This is the tutorial on how to migrate content to Drupal 8 trimmed down to its bare essentials. To its core phases, key steps to take, main Drupal concepts to “joggle with”, right approach/mindset to adopt and best tools/modules to leverage for a smooth process! Any questions? ... Read more
RADU SIMILEANU / Apr 24'2018
Which Are The Best Magento 2 Extensions to Boost Sales on Your e-Store With? Top 5
They use the same platform, Magento 2, therefore (theoretically) they all leverage the same functionality, same features and loading performance, right? And yet, there are e-stores that... stand out! There's no secret here: it's the powerful extensions that “fuel” their success, extending their functionality. And which are the best Magento 2 extensions for you to consider? Which of them best fit your own e-commerce site? For we're talking here about 1,500+ extensions for Magento 2. So, needless to add that there's a dedicated tool for pretty much any specific e-commerce requirements that you might have:   to easily manage your inventories to streamline all your customer & supplier-involving operations via a centralized system to easily monitor and quickly track sales for creating invoices to have tracking metrics and in-depth marketing analytics at hand   In short: it's the Magento 2 extensions that supercharge your e-store with even more functionality; that help you provide your customers with that ideally convenient and feature-rich shopping experience that they're expecting.  The one that will translate into... boosted sales! And now, without further ado, here's the shortlist of 5 best Magento 2 extensions for you to evaluate:   1. Deliver Date Scheduler It's in the (little) details: Winning your customers' trust and eventually their loyalty and … spiking your sales. “Details” like this can't-live-without Magento 2 extension here which practically:   takes the unknown and the uncertainty out of the equation (out of the entire order delivery process) “empowers” your customers, who get to choose the most convenient dates for their products to be delivered; and it's you, the admin store, who'll make the date suggestions, based on your product availability and shipping provision     And there's more!  This extension's a toolkit all by itself, actually, packed with various features ranging from:   the option to trigger reminder emails for your customers the option to select a calendar view and a particular format for that delivery date and time of arrival that will be displayed to them the option to enable your customers to keep a close track of and to constantly monitor their ordered products' delivery process   2. Magento 2 Store Credit And here's another one of those feature-rich, “Swiss knife” type of tools on our list of best Magento 2 extensions! One loaded with so much “store credit-centered” functionality that it would be a pity not to have it on your e-store. Here are just a few examples of what it can do and how precisely it's going to enrich and make your customers' shopping experiences even more convenient:   customers get to use their credit for purchasing any available product, anytime you, as the store owner/admin, get to refund your customers by credit they get to spend it for paying their shipping fees, taxes they even get to share their store credit with their friends, family customers can either earn or buy  their credit  you, the store admin, get to easily add/subtract the specific credit values right from the backend an easy way of keeping track of the store credit balance & history in the same place   And, surprisingly enough, this list goes on and on. Now with so many powerful features, all bundled into one extension, each one adding a different layer of “convenience” to your customer's shopping experience, you just can't afford overlooking Magento 2 Store credit!  3. Best Magento 2 Extensions: Use the Follow Up Email as Your “Trump Card” And you hit the nail right on the head with this extension here! Whether it's: discreetly guiding your customers back on the “right track”, the one leading to a purchase    turning customers into your brand's advocates, winning their loyalty through perfectly tailored, strategically set up follow up emails  … this Magento 2 extension here is your most reliable ally. But let's talk facts/functionality. Let's see what is it that the Follow Up Email extension can help you achieve:   shopping cart triggers: guide your customers back to their temporarily abandoned carts trigger wish lists: shared, product added customer triggers: billing and shipping address, logged in, subscriber, birthday set up your own custom schedule and automatically send emails on those specific dates use Google Analytics to monitor your email marketing campaign's performance support multiple pre-created emails for each event type custom-tune the design of your emails' templates to your liking define as many rules and conditions for each event type, that you create your emails for, as needed   And the list of conveniences for you, the store admin goes on (e.g. test emails that you can send) and those with an impact on your customers goes on. In short: the Follow Up Email is one of those Magento 2 extensions that can make a difference between just “selling” and clever, targeted sells. Between a shopping cart abandoned for good and a completed purchase order. Between a one-time shopper and a regular customer... 4. Hide Price Another powerful extension, whose functionality you should fully “exploit” when setting up your pricing policy. One that perfectly fits your store's specific e-commerce requirements and needs. And its functionality comes down to:  enabling you to manage price display on your product and category pages and to hide prices for guest visitors or certain customer groups Now, if I am to detail a bit on this functionality, it's an entire collection of advanced features that I'll eventually dig up:   remove/replace the standard “Add to cart” button with a custom button text that should instill your customers to perform the action you want them to (e.g. to register for getting the price) restrict price visibility to particular customer groups get notified of any new quote requests  … send email replies to those requests trigger pop-ups whenever your store guest clicks your custom Add-to-cart button, pop-ups geared at collecting user data so you can tailor your product prices accordingly hide price for particular products hide your “Add to cart” button for the non-logged-in visitors on your website   Adjusting your prices to your customer's needs and expectations —  and you can do that only after you've collected enough relevant user data — is what will stand behind your customers' loyalty and your high conversion rate. And it's Hide Price, one of the best Magento 2 extensions, that can “fuel” your strategically thought out pricing policy! 5. Reward Points High-quality products/services, phenomenal customer service and hard-to-resist-to prices aren't enough for engaging (and hopefully converting, as well) your store visitors.  In this respect, the Reward Points Magento 2 extension is a true... game changer! One to add to your wealth of resources at hand for boosting your sales and “luring” returning customers. It enables you to reward them in multiple ways! And now, let's pass in review some of its most powerful features:   several ways for your customers to spend their credit points you're free to set up different spending & earning point rates customers get to earn credit points if/once they've referred to a friend they also get to keep a close track of their transactions' history and points' balance right from their “My account” page set up your rewarding policy by product, behavior, catalog, cart, you name it define a maximum no. of points that a customer can gain or spend on a particular product   The END! These are the very best Magento 2 extensions: powerful enough to “fuel” your growth plans, advanced enough to help you enrich the shopping experience that you provide on your e-store. ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Apr 23'2018
Which Are The Best Free Magento 2 Themes and Why? Top 10
Conveniently customizable, ideally flexible and unexpectedly feature-rich... No wonder that you consider moving your site to Magento 2. Or having your brand new e-commerce site built on the latest version of Magento. And now you must be wondering: which are the best free Magento 2 themes to choose from? And let me guess, your “feature wishlist” goes something like this:   responsive (it goes without saying) functionality-rich visually-appealing flexible enough  capable to accommodate both medium and large-sized online store (you need to consider your growth plans, too, when choosing your theme, right?)   Oh, and yes: most probably time is not your best ally, am I right? Therefore, you can't afford to invest too much of it in comparing, weighing pros and cons, setting up a never-ending list, then trimming it down to the very best themes for Magento 2. Well, no need to, for I've got your back! Here's a top 10 for you, including only those themes with the best user reviews, themes that strike the perfect balance between great looks and powerful functionality:   1. Ves Yume Feature-packed, fully responsive and... free of charge. What more could you possibly ask for your theme? And speaking of its features, although they do come with no price tag on, they're unexpectedly powerful. For example:   gallery image product detail off-canvas menu & header link Ajax cart checkout improvements font awesome a handful of static blocks   In short: a full-collection of features and functionalities for providing both rich and convenient online shopping experiences to your customers.   2. F2 If it's a sleek & clean web design, suitable for a professional e-commerce site, that you're aiming at, then F2 is the theme to power your plans with! One which — although designed by the latest web trends — doesn't trade functionality for visually-striking looks.  And speaking if its features, let me point out to you the most tempting ones:   responsive design sticky header drop-down cart multiple product types configurable swatches   Moreover, it's one of those best free Magento 2 themes that are surprisingly flexible, as well. You're free to adjust it to perfectly fit your Magento project's type and size. Tip: where do you add that —  although looks play a major role here—  F2 is NOT overburdened with visual effects. Effects that would negatively impact your online store's performance!   3. Best Free Magento 2 Themes: Ketty, One of the “Oldest” Ones, too “Oldies, but goldies!” For, even if it's one of the “oldest” Magento 2 themes, Ketty's packed with some truly powerful features. And thus capable to “rival” much newer/younger themes. Now, if I am to highlight some of its attention-worthy features:   Ajax cart product zoom user-friendly admin panel with a new design highly customizable configurable swatches improved checkout cross-browser support   Also, F2 is one of the responsive Magento 2 themes, in case you were wondering...   4. Absolute One of Magento's “star” themes for 4 years now, Absolute's now available for Magento 2, as well. A highly professional theme overloaded with options to suit your every feature need. If I were to name just some of these hard-to-resist-to ones:   image slider theme editor featured product slider newsletter subscription my cart and compare product blocks on the homepage quick product overview   A responsive theme that has already earned itself a “reputation” among Magento users, conveniently packed with features to answer all your e-commerce requirements.   5. BizKick BizKick's made it to almost all users' personal lists of best free Magento 2 themes.  And for 3 strong reasons:   it's responsive it “spoils” them with a whole collection of advanced features it “tempts” them with a handful of clean and classy layouts   6. Ves Need Is it health spa services, glasses, beauty products, handbags, shoes or maybe clothes that you'll be selling on your Magento 2 e-commerce site? Then you might want to consider Ves Need.  It comes with an elegant, neat & clean design that will surely appeal to your (mostly) female audience. And where do you add that it's free, too!   7. Ves Fasony Designed with the customer's needs and expectations in mind, Ves Fasony is a responsive theme for Magento 2 built with Bootstrap 3.x. The key reasons behind its listing on this exclusive top here — featuring the very best free Magento 2 themes —  are the following:   it's built with online customers' needs and expectations in mind; it anticipates their requirements and delivers an amazing shopping experience it's optimized for touch drag and drop it comes with an owl carousel controlling the image slider   Moreover, Ves Fasony's ideal for women and men fashion, watches and bags stores. So, do keep this aspect in mind when you're evaluating the themes listing in this top, looking for the one that best fits all your e-commerce requirements.   8. FreeGo, One of the Best Free Magento 2 Themes It has the functionality — since it comes packed with a full set of powerful features — and it sure has the looks: a clean-elegant (almost minimalist) design. Moreover, FreeGo's fully responsive and puts a powerful back-end panel at your disposal. One that you can use for customizing your theme to suit your Magento 2 project in the slightest detail. And now, when it comes to its “load” of powerful features:   sold out label extension touch optimized slideshow child theme ready features product list (showcasing featured products) child theme ready all browser compatibility off-canvas menu   9. Ves Kasitoo A Magento 2 theme with a product-oriented and therefore attention-grabbing design, perfect for the following types of online stores:   glasses equipment fashion...   Moreover, it's turbocharged with a plethora of advanced features to power your e-commerce website with:   retina-ready images featured block on the homepage touch optimized deal products carousel  off-canvas menu social media buttons product tabs carousel    10. Ves Vigoss If you have a “guilty weakness for cutting-edge, clear design, you'll definitely love this Magento 2 theme! Apart from its great looks, it comes with a full set of outstanding features to tap into:   brand logo slider Ajax cart front interesting quick view it's fully responsive checkout improvements   And to this list of features, I cannot but add the Magento 2.0 UI and the Bootstrap 3.x layout components, as well.   The END! So, now that you've scanned through this list of best free Magento 2 themes, which is the perfect fit for your own e-commerce web project? Which one of them supports all your feature needs? ... Read more
Silviu Serdaru / Apr 20'2018
Managed IT Services Support vs Legacy Methods of IT Support: 5 Reasons to Upgrade 
So, you've got so used to that IT support guy who's been “stopping by” your workplace on a regular basis, for a few years now. Or with that tech support guy, from your IT services provider, who's been... supporting you and your team, on-site, for some time now. You've met his family, he hasn't missed any of the company's Xmas parties... So, why should you even consider switching to this new managed IT services support model? How cutting down his visits could actually mean improved technical support services?  And you can't even say that you're grappling with the pros and cons, since you can't really put a finger on any “pros” for upgrading to this new type of technical support. So, let's talk... benefits then! 5 of the strongest ones, actually:   Now and Then: The Managed IT Services Support Model vs The Legacy Model Now let's have a look at the 2 most common situations where you'd leverage the “traditional” way of providing/getting IT support: A. There's that technical consultant that pays his/her pre-scheduled visits to your workplace — who also comes when you call to report a sudden technical problem — and... “saves the day”. B. There's an engineer from your IT services provider “glued” to his/her server, who provides your team with in-house technical support and preventive maintenance. Now, let's have a look at our second scenario, where you will have already upgraded to the managed IT services model : By leveraging a whole suite of remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools, your engineer provides you with technical support and maintenance right from his... service desk. And, in many cases, it's him who'll alert you of emerging issues, before you even get to detect them yourself. The 3 main benefits deriving from this new model?   there's a fixed-price engagement (instead of the pay per hour-based partnership, where you get invoiced for every “additional” intervention or extra hours) remote monitoring and management tools guarantee you a more effective preventive and maintenance program reactive work is no longer done on-site, but in a more timely manner, right from your provider's central location   That being said, let's get straight to the 5 clincher arguments for moving to the managed IT services support model:   1. From “Need More RAM!” Discussions to a Digital Transformation Strategy Or, to put it into a more down to earth language: Your conversations with your service provider will no longer be centered exclusively on how to address this or that technical problem, but rather on the measures to implement for digitally transforming your business.  For standing out in an increasingly competitive landscape, keeping up with the neck-breaking speed of disruption in your industry (across all industries). It will no longer come down to putting together that standard list of issues and technical hurdles to be shown to your designated engineer next time he visits you. Instead, you'll get to engage in real conversations with a... strategic consultant this time. And your conversations will no longer focus on repair and maintenance, but on the initiatives to take for digitally transforming your business (translating into more relevant products for your customers). Not on whether you need more... RAM or not to boost your workstation's performance.   2. Managed IT Services Support = Custom Scripting & Proactive Repairing Does this scenario here seem (too) familiar to you? You, the user, detect a technical issue... you give the service desk a call right away... a call that will then result in a... ticket for resolution. It's only afterward, after some time, that someone at your service provider's central place will take notice of this ticket (depending on their own schedule and staff availability). And eventually come to your “rescue”. A discouragingly toilsome process, don't you think?  Now, here's how things would play out if you embraced the managed services support model: Leveraging a proactive repair approach, your service provider — thanks to the used RMM tools — will automatically detect any suspicious issue. Then, it runs its custom script/procedures to get it fixed. And all this without you, the user, even noticing that there had been a problem in the first place. Custom procedures (custom script) can be deployed either proactively or reactively, keeping this unwanted event's impact on your day-to-day business operations to a minimum. Now, how's that for a change? Compared to the : Issue tracking... alerting the service desk... having a ticket created for it and... waiting for this issue to be finally tackled … kind of process?   3. Take the Worries of Managing Onsite IT Support Staff Off Your Back  That's right, moving to managed IT services support means that:   there'll be no need for an in-house technical support team to be sent over by your provider  you'll no longer need to assign staff management tasks to someone in your team (paid time off, benefits, salary etc), regarding these technicians sent over to your workplace also, you'll no longer need to manage their task list   “Outsourcing” is the best one-word definition for the managed IT services model! Onsite support, along with all its inconveniences and staff management extra work, turns into off-site, “invisible” support. Where issues get tackled from a distance before they even become… visible to you!   4. Simplify Your Auditing & Inventory Processes and Automate... Everything Now you do agree that if:   you don't aim for high efficiency for carrying out your business processes and you don't make “automate all the things” your ultimate goal   ... you can't even be talking about digitally transforming your business. About turning disruption in your industry from a challenge into a success story (your own). Luckily, conveniently automated processes is what the managed IT services support model is based on. Let me give you just a few examples of how the right RMM tools will help your service provider and benefit you, the client/user:   patching operating systems and apps get automated managing the anti-malware gets automated monitoring (and altering) your system's health gets automated software deployments get automated   Hands-on support will be kept to a bare minimum since most of the operations can be handled right from your service provider's central place... automatically.   And there's more! Along with automation comes... simplification. This means that by using a whole suite of digital tools, your service provider will be able to access any device in your workplace... digitally. No need to have someone from their technical support staff come over for an inventory of issues and technical hurdles (and to eventually add/remove issues listed there). This will simplify processes such as:   asset allocation warranty renewals hardware lifecycle management software license tracking and implicitly: your regular auditing and budgeting processes   5. A Fixed Price Engagement Motivates Your Provider to Get Prevention-Focused Let's see if this example of a “pay per hour-based” engagement, along with its limitations and inconveniences (for you) resonates with you: A hardware failure has just struck or you're facing ransomware. What do you do? Well, you call the “emergency team”. Which do come, but... at a cost. One by the hour. Now, as compared to this type of contract, the managed IT services support is based on a fixed budget. So, no matter what unexpected events might occur, your provider will address them, right away, at no additional cost.  Needless to add that it's precisely this fixed fee model that motivates them to prevent those issues to occur in the first place. So, they'll adopt a prevention-oriented approach. Resulting in a win-win situation for both of you! And this fixed-fee engagement, along with the prevention-focused mindset, will inevitably entail a whole new world of... benefits for you:   you'll no longer need to limit yourself to the level of technical competency of that particular IT support guy sent to you on a prescheduled visit; instead, you'll get to tap into a wider range of expertise, right from your provider's own workplace you'll no longer have to wait for that prescheduled visit or to expect to get invoiced differently for any intervention that's “outside” the schedule   The END! What do you think now: is it worth it to move to this whole new way of providing/receiving IT support?   ... Read more
RADU SIMILEANU / Apr 19'2018
Artificial Intelligence Consulting: What Are the Typical Activities?
So, you've (finally) overcome your skepticism regarding it: artificial intelligence does have the potential to propel your business right into the future! To drive productivity, enhance efficiency and flexibility and, overall, to transform your brand from the ground up. But how do you know what AI technology to go with? What are the AI use cases perfectly suited for your own business? And this is where artificial intelligence consulting comes in! An AI consultant/AI consulting company's role is precisely that of answering all your questions and pointing out to you the right AI approach, the AI-powered solution(s) suitable for your own business:   Which artificial intelligence technologies should you integrate (according to your industry, specific challenges and opportunities, data & analytics capabilities, tech know-how, growth plans, budget etc.)? Which are the most valuable AI use cases for your own company? What is the current and future potential of AI?   And now let's talk facts, shall we? Let's see what are the typical artificial intelligence consulting activities that such an expert would engage in during your collaboration.   But Why Is There An Increasing Demand (and Low Supply) for AI Consultants? There's an entire cause-and-effect circuit here, leading to:   a high demand for AI-powered products too many companies with huge potential that aren't leveraging AI to their/its full potential   And why is that? What's behind this intriguing paradox? Well, studies revealed the following 2 key aspects:   companies do see all the opportunities deriving from the “do more with less” principle of the AI technologies and they nourish high expectations from AI yet, they're having trouble choosing the right AI services provider/AI product(s) for them   The result: too many companies, with significant potential, that aren't leveraging low complexity, high-benefit AI use cases.  A disappointing reality of an unbelievable potential left unexploited! Yet, one that artificial intelligence consulting experts can change.    Artificial Intelligence Activities: Developing a Long-Term Strategy How precisely should you be using artificial intelligence?  This is the question that your consultant will try to answer while identifying the strategy to be developed. And it all comes down to identifying the AI-centered, business-specific initiatives to implement. A strategy which he/she won't be able to put in place until he doesn't:   fully understand your company's current strategy … the specific challenges that you're dealing with … the opportunities opening up for you … and your data & analytics capabilities   With the results of his “investigations” at hand and his understanding of AI's present and future potential, your artificial intelligence consultant can “detect” the most valuable AI initiatives for your organization. Note: a wise enough consultant will suggest you to rethink your existing strategy from the ground up instead of just “tweaking” it to your present AI needs. For some AI technologies might just “take over the future”:  Just imagine Google translate reaching human-level translation capabilities in 5-10 years! Hence, you need to future-proof your current strategy, making sure it will still be “relevant” enough to stand... the wind of change blowing its way on a longer term.   Artificial Intelligence Consulting Activities: Implementing The Suggested AI Initiatives During the strategy developing process your consultant will identify a certain number of initiatives to be implemented:   by the AI consulting company itself or in-house, by your team(s)   And speaking of such recommended AI-powered activities, let me point out to you a few of the most relevant examples:   project management planning business processes improving, so they should level up, in terms of efficiency and productivity, to your current AI project vendor selecting development   And even if:   it's in-house implementation that you'll choose (even global tech firms care for their budgets and relying entirely on an AI consulting company for implementation can get costly) but your team lacks the tech know-how to implement some pressing initiatives   … your consultant can intervene and speed up the implementation process   Artificial Intelligence Consulting Activities: Staff Training on the New AI Technologies Now don't think that such an AI consulting professional will just:   come in put together your company profile develop an AI-strategy accordingly point out to you the initiatives and AI technologies to be implemented and... that's it.   Of course that your team will still be lacking the skills and the know-how to properly leverage the suggested new technologies. And so, it goes without saying that training your staff on the recommended emerging technologies is one of your consultant's key responsibilities.  “Training” and instilling the right mindset and proper approach to innovation and innovative tools and technologies.   Final Word Artificial intelligence can't go anywhere else but... up. With more products to be launched, more technologies aimed at boosting productivity and enhancing efficiency to emerge. Hence, the future belongs to those (companies) wise enough to see some powerful advisers in these artificial intelligence consulting experts. And bold enough to implement their advice, as well! ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Apr 17'2018
What Is the Best WYSIWYG Website Builder in 2018? A Top 5 List
“Empower... anyone who wants to build his own website!” This is how modern web builders' “motto” could sound like. And how could you not embrace this kind of “liberalization” in web development? Yet, the question that arises now is: with so many options, how do you choose the best WYSIWYG website builder for you? … for your own:   specific feature needs: will you be implementing video content, as well? Is blog functionality crucial for you? Can't imagine your website without an e-commerce plugin? Will you be “juggling” with multiple types of galleries on your site? future plans: dreaming big? Then scalability is a must-have functionality and main criterion for narrowing down your options. budget: facing a shoestring budget? Then you need to make sure that your free WYSIWYG web builder is suitable enough for your feature needs and growth plans   And besides zero coding expertise and no skills as a web designer, time is not on your side either, right? So you can't afford to spend too much of it running your own “investigations”, looking for the best web builder for you... Then, here's a top 5 list of WYSIWYG website builders to choose from and jump-start your site building project with:   But First: What Is a WYSIWYG Website Builder Anyway? And How Does It Work? Before I reveal to you which are the 5 most “irresistible” (meaning “feature-rich”) options for building your own website this year, let me answer these 2 basic questions first:   a. "What is a WYSIWYG web builder?" It's a tool empowering you to go ahead and create that “dream” website yourself. And that quick and easy, with no help whatsoever from a coding “guru” or a highly gifted (and “pricey”) web designer. And here is how this site building process looks like, summed up in just a few simple steps:   select your theme select your template add all kinds of content without the fear that you might mess up your code … along with any available apps, plugins or special widget that you need to integrate   b. "And how does it work precisely?" It uses a graphical interface which shows you how your website will look like in real time. For the “what you see is what you get” driving principle is precisely that: What you see as you drag, drop and customize different templates and as you add content is precisely how your website will look like in the web browser, too.   Jimdo Website Builder I start with a WYSIWYG website builder that slightly drifts from the drag-and-drop “mainstream” approach. Instead, Jimdo “tempts” you with stackable content blocks. Blocks that you can select from and arrange to your liking.  Note: do not expect your “load” of templates to be as heavy as is the case for the following 4 website builders on my list here. Still, do expect high-quality templates only. “Templates” that, moreover, you get to tweak and fine tune to suit your needs and preferences in the slightest detail (colors, fonts, backgrounds, you name it). And that you can replace at any time, with no risk of losing your work. Main strengths:   free plan available (and I'm not talking about just a trial here) free blogging and social media tools HTTP encryption out-of-the-box mobile app “injecting” on-the-go editing functionality low learning curve   Note: speaking of the free plan, you should know that there are 3 pricing plans in total: JimdoFree, JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness. You can upgrade your plan at any time and keep your work intact while doing that. Weak points:   limited scalability it's not really a drag and drop website builder limited styling capabilities   MotoCMS Website Builder  From an “out of the box” web builder, we'll switch to a powerful “beast” loaded with no less than 2500+ templates, suitable for 60 different topics. Therefore, it goes without saying that no matter the size or the complexity of your site building project, MotoCMS can power plans of all “flavors” and sizes. From a simple landing page to a full-featured, powerful e-commerce machine... Strong features:   built-in blog functionality 100% responsive and cross-browser compatible templates integrated SEO and social media tools a rich collection of widgets that you can inject additional functionality into your website with   Note: in addition to these MotoCMS strengths to consider when you're choosing the best WYSIWYG website builder, do consider its loading speed, as well. Tests (the Pingdom website speed test) prove that sites using MotoCMS templates stand out in terms of performance.   Wix: The Best WYSIWYG Website Builder for Absolute Beginners How does it address the needs of a non-experienced & non-skilled (yet enthusiastic) site builder like you?  Through its Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) feature. It's designed to ask you all the key questions and to draw your “absolute beginner in need of a website” type of profile. This way, it collects the most relevant information that will help it set up precisely that website that you have in mind. Quick and easy: just let yourself interviewed! Moreover, the Wix website builder is the most popular one in the site-builder industry (with no less than 90 million users). And there must be some strong reasons behind its “fame”. It's true, though, that at a very first glance, the interface might be a bit discouraging. Yet, do give it some time, get to familiarize yourself with the environment and you'll discover that:   what scared you at first is precisely what will make you “addicted” to this web builder. meaning that once you've familiarized yourself with this software's UI, its “overload” of customization functionalities proves to be conveniently empowering in fact! they enable you, the complete non-tech-savvy site builder, to put together and tweak every little aspect of your website.   And there's more! What “entitles” Wix to compete for the... title of “the best WYSIWYG website builder in 2018” is the tempting App Market that it provides. You get to choose from a wide range of apps (200+) storing extra functionality to be implemented on your website, such as:   Site Booster (powering your SEO strategy) Wix stores (you'll get empowered to manage your own online store) Wix forum   Some of them are free, while others come with a price tag on. Features “to die for”:   text (and other elements) animating functionality a (really) heavy load of stock images to scan through and to choose from you get a free version, as well, perfect if it's a small, low-budget website that you're building fully customizable, top-notch templates it auto-generates the mobile version of your website outstanding support   Limitations to consider:   there's no option for you to switch templates later on (that Jimdo, for instance, does provide you with) no access to your site's source code you can't export your website   Squarespace Website Builder Squarespace ranks high in two categories:   best WYSIWYG website builder for creating visually-appealing websites most expensive web builder   In other words: if “beauty” is the main criteria when choosing your web builder software, Squarespace should be on top of your list. Pixar is one of its clients... if you know what I mean! A strong enough proof that creating visually-striking websites is what Squarespace aces at. But it does it at a cost! So, don't expect to get a fully-functioning free version. Powerful features:   great analytics and SEO tools full-featured e-commerce support fully-responsive, top-notch templates, with pre-built integrations phenomenal presentation: in-browser image editing, video backgrounds, lightbox presentations   If it's a beautifully designed website that you're dreaming of, Squarespace is the software to “fuel” and shape that “dream” with!   Weebly Website Builder  Weebly seems to be “rivaling” Winx in popularity: It's one of the most-used site builders, with millions of site owners leveraging its functionalities. Therefore, its popularity is a strong enough evidence that its features, design and capabilities are... above the average (to say the least). It's a conveniently easy to use web builder, yet powerful enough for building complex websites. An intuitive WYSIWYG website builder, with an “overwhelming” collection of website templates. And that seamlessly incorporates any 3rd party provider of your choice. This is Weebly in short! Top features:   powerful e-commerce features the option (200+ apps) to implement 3rd part integrations: forms, table elements, FAQs etc. free, responsive, sleek-looking themes to choose from a community of 30 million users worldwide   Note: the newest version of Weebly, Carbon, comes equipped with an even richer collection of templates, a heavier toolbox and revamped UI.  The END! This is the shortlist to keep at hand when you're choosing not the best WYSIWYG website builder, but the right web builder for your own web project! Would you have added (or maybe even excluded some) any other solutions for building a website with no help from an expert — be it developer or web designer? ... Read more
Silviu Serdaru / Apr 16'2018
What Is Business Process Consulting? 5 Reasons Why You Should Use These Services
Has that time come yet? The “time” when you realize that your once a start-up business, involving just a few processes and people, has gradually grown into a hard to manage infrastructure? One having plenty of... “holes” to be plugged for better efficiency? Then it's a fact: you need to look for a business process consultant! But what is business process consulting anyway? And this is just one of the questions that I'll do my best to answer in today's post. Besides this, I'll be:   pointing out to you, as clearly as possible, what a business process consultant does, more precisely how a business process consulting campaign works, from step A to step Z 5 reasons why you should opt for such services (or 5 “benefits” that you'll reap from opting for such services, if you prefer)   So, shall we delve right into it?   First Things First: What Is Business Process Consulting? Take it as a “diagnosis & prescription” applied to your business process. It's a process where an external consultant:   comes in to closely analyze all the processes being carried out within your organization … and to identify any inefficient use(s) of resources, redundant processes that could get easily automated etc. then present the results of his/her “investigations”, along with his recommendations to you, top management   And, if requested, he could also run simulations to test the suggested process improvements. That's the whole process broken down into its essential steps!   And... How Does It Work? The Entire Process in 4 Simple Steps Now don't imagine your business process consultant running his/her investigations “undercover”. Or locked somewhere in an office, studying documents, infographics and stats and “thinking up” his recommendations for your business workflow. For it doesn't work like that! He/she will need to get out there and to actually observe your team “in action”. To detect, on the spot, any proofs of inefficient use of time or simply to understand how each process works. For, you can't improve something that you don't “intimately” understand. Now that we've settled this, here's a business process consulting campaign... broken down into 4 steps:   a. The business process consultant starts by doing what it takes to gain a deep understanding of all the processes that your business's based on. And his/her methodology could involve tactics ranging from:   interviewing your team members to watching them closely as they carry out their regular tasks   b. The observation phase and the issues-detecting phase take place simultaneously. Therefore, once your business process consultant identifies all the areas of improvement and the “weak links”, he'll start putting together his “battle plan”. His list of recommendations for clearing all those detected inefficiencies. And these “efficiency holes” could be:   bottlenecks, leading to work getting piled up in one specific area from the whole workflow system inefficient use of resources (time being the most valuable of them all) too complex layouts that might delay the completion of certain tasks repetitive processes that could be automated areas where lack of accountability or bad communication impacts productivity   c. The business process consultant presents his/her report to you, along with his process-focused recommendations for improving efficiency   d. You might want to see those suggested improvements applied to your workflow and the new system “in practice”. This is an optional step where you require a test to be set up.   What Does a Business Consultant Do? He/she puts together an accurate and realistic picture of the workflow within your organization and points out all the “cracks” in this picture. And eventually delivers you the solutions for...filling them in. And this definition could be an equally viable answer to the question: “What is business process consulting?” Now to sum up a business process consultant's “mission” to even fewer words, it would go something like this: He/she documents your business processes, “equipping” them with clear sets of instructions, so that each member of your team should know, at any phase, what are the next steps to take  Why hire a business process consultant instead of assigning someone in your team to handle all this documenting and structuring your workflow into repeatable processes? Because in case of overly complex infrastructures, with tasks, varying a lot, depending on too many factors, documenting and organizing them gets unexpectedly challenging. Especially if you (your team) don't have the know-how or the needed time for analyzing, in detail, every single little operation in your workflow.   5 Reasons to Use Business Process Consulting Services Now let's talk... clear advantages! Here are the main benefits that you'll reap from opting for such services:   1. Less Time for Managing Details, More Time for The Big Picture Do the math yourself: How much of your time do you waste/invest in managing all kinds of day-to-day... details? Now just imagine how much time you'd save if you took all these burdening tasks, all these time-consuming responsibilities, off your back! And this is precisely what the business process consulting services are aimed at:   helping you stop “wasting” time on details … by automating all those day-to-day management tasks … so you can focus more on those new projects that you have been postponing, on exploring new revenue opportunities … and on your customers, too   2. A Consultant Will Instill Responsible Attitudes Within Your Team Without every member of your team motivated to adhere to certain quality standards and best practices... any attempt to improve efficiency is useless. And this is another valid answer to your “What is business process consulting?” It's all about motivating your team to feel some sort of ownership over the results of the tasks they perform. A business process consulting not only that will “detect” those team members who:   skip a few (maybe crucial) steps when performing a task come up with their own shortcuts for carrying out certain tasks, which might impact the final product's overall quality   … but he/she will also work on motivating your team to adopt the recommended best practices and a certain work ethic. For one of his/her key responsibilities is to make everyone in your team feel responsible for his work.   3. You'll Be Expanding Your Capabilities as an Organization And it's a “cause and effect” process if you come to think of it: More efficient business processes lead to enhanced capabilities in every sphere.  And I'm talking here about enhancing efficiency when it comes to:   scope scalability (by seizing and leveraging opportunities for improving your infrastructure, your organization gets to grow internationally, as well)   4. You'll Be Simplifying All Your Business Operations Mobile media, cloud computing, social media... and all the latest technologies will only give your business processes a major efficiency boost. And it's that business process consultant that you'll hire who'll be:   handling the IT assimilation process selecting the right technology(s) for each process reducing the IT complexities simplifying and automating workflows   5. You'll Be Cutting Down Costs And here you get another valid answer to your “What is business process consulting?” question: "It's process-re-engineering." … during which all the business processes included in your workflow get closely audited, evaluated and properly optimized. And a certain hierarchy set up:   resources get reallocated to more important projects and a plan for investing in technology (for automating key processes) is put together    Time to Let an Expert Document & Improve Your Processes Now! Now that you know what business process consulting is, it's time to:   stop using the budget “excuse” and consider all the resources of time and money that you'll be saving … or the “dangers” menacing your business if you allow it to run on undocumented processes (anytime someone in your team could make a mistake from lack of a well-structured workflow & a set of clear instructions) realize that such a complex process does call for an expert   ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Apr 14'2018
Adaptive vs Responsive Design: What Is the Difference? Which One Is Better for You?
Adaptive vs responsive design. Is there really a matter of “better vs worse”? What's the difference anyway? For the boundaries sure look blurry enough. Especially since both types of web design provide you with a solution to the same challenge. The one you're facing as a web designer: A design that should cater to all screen sizes. Now, instead of delving into this confusion even deeper, let's shed some light on:   the responsive design key features the adaptive design's particularities each option's advantages and drawbacks key differences between adaptive and responsive design   1. Responsive Design: What Is It?  Using one single layout when designing a web page, that adjusts itself to fit the given screen size. This would have to be a concise, yet comprehensive definition. If I am to add a bit more details to it, I would have to say that: It's a “fluid” layout, a “fluid” grid that we're talking about here, one using CSS, Content (Based Breakpoint) and media queries  … for setting up different style roles for each device/media type Long story short: the responsive design approach enables your site's pages to (more or less seamlessly) adapt to various screen resolutions. Note: implementing a responsive design does call for a website conceptualization phase and a deep understanding of the end user's needs and expectations!   2. Adaptive Design: A Concise Definition Or “progressive enhancement of a website” if you prefer: This approach to web design is centered around “multiple fixed layout sizes”. Basically, you'll need to create different layouts, one for each screen size. Once the website “identifies” the type of device the user's accessing it from, it just triggers the appropriate pre-set layout. A layout that you/your team will need to prepare in advance, needless to add (so, you'll need to plan your time and budget accordingly). Who's leveraging this approach? Apple, About.com, Amazon are just some of the big names. It's an alternative to the “one-size-stretches-to-all” option in modern web design. Note: since we can't be talking about a unique layout being re-sized over and over again, there's no impact on the overall design; no more over-stretching or other inconveniences of the sort.   3. Responsive Design: Why Would You Use It? And What Could Discourage You? Why and when would/should you be “tempted” to go with this approach to modern web design?  Let's go through some of this type of web design's most “irresistible” strong points, shall we?   it's easier to set up and less time-consuming to implement since the same design is being used, seamlessly, on all devices, a certain feeling of familiarity is being instilled, enhancing the overall user experience … we can talk about a unified visual (and operational) end-user experience  the collection of affordable templates at hand, suitable for most CMSs, is ideally rich and particularly “tempting” if it's a brand new website that you need to design a “one size fits all” type of flexibility it's SEO-friendly; since we can't be talking about distinct design versions, there's no negative impact on the SEO strategy either lower maintenance costs no redirection needed for establishing the connection between mobile and desktop sites   And yet, this approach does come packed with certain disadvantages, as well. Limitations that you need to note and ponder on before you make your adaptive vs responsive design decision:   you'll have less control over the screen size design expect longer mobile download times no possibility to fine tune the advertisements showing up on your website expect to have certain elements scattered, moving around the screen once the design readjusts itself to the given screen's width   4. Adaptive Design: Main Advantages & Drawbacks Your “adaptive vs responsive design” dilemma becomes even acuter when you realize that you need to choose between: A seamless design, plus a certain sense of familiarity and a suite of tailor-made design solutions catering to users' specific needs. And how do you choose, since both familiarity and customization have a huge impact on the user experience? Now, let's have a look at some of the adaptive design's strong points:   as mentioned: it enables you to deliver custom-made web design; different layouts created for various screen resolutions (instead of one layout “stretched/shrunk to all of them”) it complies with the requirements of modern user experience: personalization-focused UX and user-centric approach to web design  … meaning you're not creating the best UX, but the best UX for each one of the devices that your users will be accessing your website from by “tailor-made” I do mean “tailor-made advertisements”, perfectly optimized to your relevant user interface and tailored to the user data collected from smart devices in an adaptive vs responsive design debate, the first one will always win when it comes to performance: sites using an adaptive design are just faster … and speed will always be a differentiating factor in Google's eyes coding an adaptive design is more time-efficient implementing it is more cost-effective managing it tends to be easier since you only need to consider few states testing it is much easier (with more accurate results, as well)   And now, are you ready for a list of drawbacks to balance adaptive design's advantages with? Just so you can gain a more objective understanding, evaluating all the pros and cons in full:   it usually requires more work, and therefore it's used mostly for overhauling existing websites, rather than with new websites (considering that “more work” stands for “more time-consuming”) the site configuration being either desktop or smartphone-focused, tablets and notebooks users are... left in the middle it impacts your SEO strategy, since search engines will detect and penalize identical content showing up on different websites (“.com” and “m.com” sites)   5. Adaptive vs Responsive Design: Key Differences to Take Away The most notable differences for you to keep in mind from this comparative analysis of the 2 popular options at hand are the following:   a responsive design is a consistent one: what you get on desktop, you get on a smaller screen size, as well a responsive design might turn out to be easier to maintain on the long run: with every new screen size emerging, it will adapt to it, by default … by comparison, with an adaptive design you'll need to create a brand new layout for every new possible device, with a specific screen width, that might get released on a long-term, we could say that maintaining a site using adaptive design gets more challenging: it's several fixed layouts that you'll need to manage (instead of just one) the adaptive screen size (you'll be using static breakpoint for building adaptive design) is less flexible than the responsive screen design: you'll need to design (from scratch) for every display that you target   The END! Are all these strengths and limitations of the two popular approaches to modern web design of any help to you? For solving your “adaptive vs responsive design” dilemma? ... Read more
Silviu Serdaru / Apr 13'2018
Collecting Requirements for Your Project: Best Tools and Techniques
Instead of stubbornly keeping yourself stuck, thinking that “Clients don't really know what they want”, how about you... give them a hand? Helping them identify and clearly articulate their needs! Especially since there are so many effective, tried-and-tested tools and techniques that grant you success when you're collecting requirements for your project. And it sure is worth all the effort. Or, to put it this way: It will cost you/your project a lot if you're doing it wrong. In this respect, numbers make the most reliable proofs: Behind the great majority of project failures, there's a lack of clarity on requirements. Therefore, learning how to collect requirements for your project:   instead of jumping straight to the design phase way before developers start defining their own scenarios for functional tests   … is crucial to the overall success of your project. And now, here's the “arsenal” you should tap into and use to its full potential: The most effective tools and techniques to “power” your collecting requirements process with.   What Is This Process? What Is Involved in Collecting Requirements for Your Project? And it seems only natural to attempt to define this whole process, first things first: Collecting requirements is the process of identifying and documenting (and managing) the stakeholder needs and requirements. This way, you're determining and documenting all the key features and functions of the product that you're due to develop. As well as identifying all the processes that you'll need to carry out for achieving the project scope. Speaking of which: this is the process that helps you clearly define the project's scope itself. “And how come (so) many teams fail at it?” Mostly because development teams don't have a good process for effectively collecting requirements set up in the first place. And a “good process” starts with proper segmentation, into multiple key steps to take, such as:   elicitation analysis specification ...   Also, another strong reason behind IT teams-clients communication failure is underrating the iterative approach to defining requirements: A highly effective technique, since requirements are often quite “blurry” early in a project   The Facilitated Workshop: Enhance Cross-Functional Team Collaboration The purpose behind it? There are several in fact:   bringing different stakeholders together will help you identify and better understand their difference of opinion (if there's any) you'd be improving cross-team communication from the very start you'll be “unearthing” inherent challenges that different stakeholders face and that involved parties, by themselves, aren't even aware of   In short: conducting a facilitated workshop does what its name says, it facilitates stakeholders to identify and clearly articulate their requirements.   Interviews: One-On-One Meetings With Different Types of Stakeholders Prepare a different set of questions, for each one of your target stakeholders, and have some one-on-one meetings. Each of them is differently impacted by the “problem/need” that your team should come up with a solution-product for. Therefore, interviewing them all, separately, will only help you gain both: in-depth and comprehensive understanding of that specific problem/need   Leverage the Participant Observation Method A highly effective technique used in the collecting requirements process. And it becomes particularly useful when stakeholders are having difficulties identifying and clearly articulating their requirements.  Or when the given system/process is too complex and you need to actually observe people in action for analyzing it and understanding how it works. And what its limitations are. In these 2 cases, it's only by observing the participant “in action” that you can properly record requirements. In this respect, a “kindred” method that you could use during the collecting requirements for your project process is the “participant-observer” one. Where you get to actually test that system/process yourself, too.   5 Group Creativity Techniques to Explore 1. Idea mapping “What is the scope of this process?” you might ask yourself. By putting together all the different stakeholders' ideas into a mind map, you'll gain a bird's-eye view of them all! On how they're connected to one another, which are the best of them, what are their pros and cons? And speaking of grouping ideas into a “mind map”, there are several types of maps that you could set up:   archival strategies data transfer mechanism data formats   2. The nominal group method Using this method to collect requirements inputs will save you loads of time. Basically, you set up a group of stakeholders, ask them to share their ideas, and... submit them all to vote. Only those scoring the most votes will be further taken into account. And this will just streamline the entire decision-making process!   3. Related ideas diagrams  Probably the best way to neatly categorizing that huge pile of ideas that you will have collected! How does it work? You simply write down all those ideas on separate cards, then pair the similar ones together, till there's no “isolated” card left. And you end up with a diagram of ideas, nicely structured into different categories. Starting there, you can put together your cause-and-effect diagrams.   4. Brainstorming "What are the best ways to gather requirements?”  Brainstorming is (should be) on top of any To-Do list for a collect requirements process! Schedule brainstorming sessions with different focus groups of stakeholders and challenge them to share their ideas. You'll end up with a whole “pile” of diversified “steamy fresh” ideas to work on.   5. Group decision making Let's say you get several alternatives for the very same requirement. What do you do? How do you filter the best one? You set up a decision-making group and... ask them to give their inputs. It will be a collaborative decision-making process. In the end, it's the requirement that they all (or the majority) agree on that will get selected.   Benchmarking Mind you don't underrate this technique!  For, as “banal” as it may seem, it's surprisingly effective: Compare the current project with a similar one and try to identify the best practices and key processes. And to even come up with better methods to solve certain challenges, while you compare the 2 projects.   Document Analysis: One of The Collect Requirements Process's Key Steps Another great way to determine the requirements for your project is to analyze all the documents at hand:   system use cases proposal legal requirements user documentation design documents system use cases …   Create Context Diagrams Here's just one of the best answers to the following question: “What are some basic requirements gathering tools and techniques?” By putting together context diagrams, you're creating a visual representation of the whole system. Its interaction with users and other external systems here included! What's the point?  By visualizing the entire system it'll be easier for you to spot all those business scenarios that you might have overlooked. Scenarios for which you haven't collected and documented any requirements yet.   Come Up With Prototypes This technique comes in handy in your whole collect requirements process if:   your client just can't envision and thus can't articulate the requirements the system/product/process you're due to put together is too new, too complex    Setting up and then providing your client with a simple working model, with basic functionality, will help him/her get a clearer picture of how it should work. And give him the chance to “taking it for a spin”, to experiment it. Once the stakeholders have tested it, they'll be more confident to provide you with relevant inputs.The ones you'll need to actually get this new system developed.   Get a Grip on The Gherkin Syntax  Consider learning to speak Gherkin fluently in order to guarantee the success of your requirement collecting process. The main benefit that you'll be “reaping” is a record of utterly explicit requirements. And it's the Gherkin syntax that constrains them to be so. For instance, have a look at this example here, from Neoteric.eu, of the Gherkin syntax being used for collecting scenario-specific requirements only: Feature: Logout from application Scenario: Given I am logged in When I click “log out” button Then I am informed about successful logout And I am redirected tologin page See? Zero ambiguity! Both the:   business analyst(s) developers   … in your team will benefit from leveraging this language. The first will end up with perfectly explicit requirements, while the latter will get the clear information needed for setting up functional test scenarios. A win-win situation.   The END! Does this answer your “What is involved in collecting requirements for your project?” kind of question?  ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Apr 11'2018