April 19, 2013

This week in digital: Gov website design award, Twitter ads update, iPads out of favour

Written By Martin Sandhu
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Gov.uk website wins design award

The information and service website from the Government has been named the Design Museum’s Design of the Year 2013, to mixed reaction.

The prize clearly hasn’t been awarded for the aesthetics of the site, whilst it isn’t unpleasant it is very simple and many would say bland. However, it’s clear that user experience is the reason for the award. Information on the site is very easy to find, content is concise and written well and the homepage banners are regularly changed to provide people with the most popular information – for example around the time of Daylight Savings the banner will inform visitors of the date the clocks change and which way they’ll go.

Launched in October last year, the site is an amalgamation of a number of previous websites, including Business Link and DirectGov – the bright orange one!

Twitters busy week…
It’s comparatively rare for Twitter to make newsworthy announcements and updates, but this week there’s been two.

First up, Twitter Ads have been updated to allow keyword targeting for promoted Tweets. Not only does this mean that ads on Twitter can be targeted better in general, but it also allows brands to advertise based on intent. Whilst tweet targeting isn’t real-time it is very close and it’s easy to see how retailers in particular could see great results.

Next up came the launch of the much anticipated Twitter #music app. The service allows users to find music based on Tweets and Twitter engagement.

Once they’ve found something of interest, Twitter users can log into their iTunes, Spotify or Rdio account and enjoy the full track from the desktop or iPhone App.

More Brits opting for Android tablets
iPads may still be the most popular tablets in the UK, but their dominance is slipping as more people opt for Amazon, Google or Samsung devices.

A YouGov poll found that during the first three months of 2012, 73% of British tablet owners had an Apple product. A year on, that figure has dropped by 10%.

Facebook home for iPhone
Facebook Home for Android launched in the UK this week and the social networking giant confirmed it’s also in talks with Apple and Microsoft to bring the app to other platforms too.