• Business

    The Study Desk 2018- Ergonomic Choices

    Study desks have proliferated in the home market. Current trends are geared towards functional and ergonomic comfort. Styles range from elaborate to space saving. There are the latest and greatest advances along with time-worn classics. Add to these choices, the most contemporary design trends and your study desk and the area surrounding it will be where you want to spend your time.

    Function

    When looking at function take into consideration the intended use and the location in your home where the desk will be placed.

    Location

    When first looking for a study or home office desks, it is important to consider the location in your house it will occupy. Look carefully for a space that will meet your needs. The room will limit the size of the desk you can have. An ample space will allow you to take advantage of a view or place your back against the wall and look out on the room rather than at a wall. For a bedroom, you might want a more compact desk while a living room may afford you a bigger one. Some desks fit flat against a wall, fit in a corner, and ones that will fit in a corner at ninety degrees.

    Use

    Next, you must consider the way in which you will use the desk. A multipurpose space might require a computer, printer, phone, bookshelves, and file cabinets, for example. If you will be sitting for long periods of time studying books and papers, you might need a larger space than if you plan to simply spend your time on the computer. If you have lots of documents that need storing, you are going to want some type of file drawers. If you have lots of books, you are going to want some shelves. Will you need a wired desk? Many of today’s desks are designed to make the use of laptops and desktops convenient with cord management portals. Also, do you need a keyboard tray or storage area for a computer CPU. How many monitors will you have? You do want to be careful to make oft-used functions near to your actual workspace. Even in space saving, you can still get all the functionality you need. It just requires a bit more tinkering.

    Ergonomic Features

    Ergonomic features will increase your productivity, staying at your desk for long periods of time in comfort.

    Desk

    In setting up your desk, you want an ergonomic design that allows for comfort when working and staying in one place to take advantage of productive time. The height of the desk is something to consider. Reaching for supplies, documents, and books is another consideration. If you are reaching for something repeatedly you do not want to have to get up each time. Also, there are desks that convert from seated to standing (see working position).

    Ambience

    There is something to the Feng Shui design motif. As you will be spending time at your desk, you want to make sure it is as relaxing and comfortable environment as possible. Lighting is known to have a positive effect on mood. In most cases, you will need either a lamp on the desk, attached to the desk or standing next to it. Decor, discussed below, will add to the ambience.

    Buying Options

    Desks are available through local and national stores. However, you can build a highly functional and comfortable desk by doing it yourself.

    Store bought

    It is easy enough to buy a desk online. For the most part, this will require some assembly although you can pay extra for assembly. Many companies like IKEA offer modular components that allow you to customize a desk to suit your needs.

    DIY

    You can DIY a desk yourself. Many websites have great suggestions on putting together your own desk with some simple items you probably have on hand. You can use two file cabinets and a piece of wood and have a desk in minutes.

    Working Position

    In recent years, an emphasis on working position has come into focus. Today, you do not have to sit at your desk, you can stand or kneel.

    Seated

    Car seating is made for sitting for long periods of time and the way you sit in your car is a good place to start in thinking about how you want to sit at your desk. You want to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your elbows at desk height. You want to be able to lean back a little. A variety of office chairs are available.

    Standing

    A standing desk is one of the newest trends in ergonomic desks. While increased calorie count is questionable, the ability to stand and move as you work can increase your productivity by giving you more energy.

    Kneeling

    A kneeling desk is the latest trend. You still sit, but you are angled forward with some weight that would normally sit on your back being absorbed by your knees. By angling forward, you reduce strain on the lower back by aligning your spine. This should reduce fatigue.

    Custom

    Custom desk builders are abundant. Local artisans will build you a study desk that is a work of art. Also, many local shops allow you to tell them exactly what you want, and they will build it to your specifications. You can specify your price range, size, and materials such as particular woods for the desk, and they will generate ideas for you.

    Design

    The colour for 2018 is grey with pops of brighter colour, particularly Pantone’s choice of UltraViolet as the colour of the year. Combine this with laminates, natural woods, and metals to add a variety of textures. Simple, modern lines prevail with open spaces and shelves. Another suggestion which offers not only a pop of colour but is also healthy addition is plants. The green will enliven your workspace.

    There are a variety of options for a study desk from simple to elaborate. One can be thrown together in less than an hour or custom built in weeks. Depending on your budget and functional needs, you can set up a comfortable, modern study desk at which to spend your time.

  • Business

    7 Biggest Mistakes Small Business Makes in Online Marketing

    Digital marketing can seem like a simple and common word to you, but you will only find it to navigate when you start your small business.

    Today, there are thousands of digital marketing strategies and channels. Although this means that small businesses are presented with a range of options to choose from, it can also offer a confusing world which can make it extremely challenging for you to select the best marketing strategy that will suit your business needs.

    This is probably the main reason why most small businesses make the same mistakes when doing online campaigns. With these errors, companies end up losing potential customers, profits, and ultimately, they lose tons of money used to fund a ‘barren’ campaign.

    Whether you are designed long-term or short-term marketing strategies, landing into loses should never be a goal for your small business. Below are some of the biggest mistakes most small business do in online marketing that you should avoid at all costs.

    1. Not making good use of social media

    Some small business owners believe that social media was made for fun; hence they tend to downplay it during their online campaigns. This is suicidal for your business.

    In the 21st century, a majority of the people across the globe rely on social media to get information. You need to, therefore, make good use of it so that it can bring out desirable results to the online campaign you have invested a fortune in.

    An excellent social media management strategy will help you build visibility for your brand, interact with a range of existing and prospective clients, and provides you with an open field where you can speak about your business.

    Now that you have realised that social media is a great tool that can bring results to your online marketing campaign, you are off to use it, right? Wait a moment…

    Do you know that this tool can destroy your business as much as it can build it?

    What most small businesses do is that they bite more than they can chew. They use too many social media websites, cram them with information, and the results? Online users end up ignoring their messages.

    So, what do you do?

    To avoid making the same mistake, choose the social media sites you believe will give you a broader reach to your target audience. Then, design regular engaging posts that are audience-centred. This will help you achieve a more significant impact.

    Do a lot of research and determine what your competitors are saying to wow prospective clients, and the sites they are using to maximise their results. This way, you will be able to note the areas that you will need to improve to ensure profitability in your online campaign.

    1. Developing unclear campaign goals

    Most small businesses tend to build an online campaign just because they want to keep up with the competition. Not because they want to, or they have some goals they want to achieve.

    In life, it is better to live without doing something, instead of doing it without a sense of direction. When you start an online campaign without setting realistic goals, you will not lose a substantial amount of money in the process; you will also compromise your business growth.

    esports

    You need to do this,

    Before you use a penny in digital marketing, relax and ask yourself why you need to do it in the first place.

    • Do I want to increase traffic to my site?
    • Is it that I want to make the Google ranking of my website better?
    • Do I want the online campaign to increase my sales?
    • Do I need to increase the number of signups on my mailing list?

    Remember, any goal you set will require a unique strategy. Some small businesses use keywords blindly and expect magical results. This will only lead to wastage of resources that you could have used on other ventures.

    Therefore, know what you want to achieve before you commence the campaign. Once you have a clear goal, make sure you track the success of your strategy regularly, and if you see that good results are taking time to manifest, know it’s time to reorganise your digital marketing strategy.

    1. Not having a blog

    Another big mistake that small businesses make is not having a blog on their websites. The reason why people spend time online is that they need information, and if you do not give it to them, then they will have no reason to visit your website.

    A blog helps in boosting a website’s organic SEO, which leads to better rankings in search engines. Best SEO services focus on improving your websites online visibility. If you do not have an updated blog on your site, therefore, it means that users will not be able to find your website; thus your online campaign will fail terribly.

    Never forgo a blog if you care about the success of your online campaign. When you publish a new blog post, share it on your social media sites so that you can keep on engaging your followers. Doing this will increase visits to your site, which might be converted into leads; thus a fruitful online marketing campaign.

    1. Developing uninformative content

    Web writing is different from other forms of writing. It is a fact that most small business owners fail to understand. You will find that most of their websites are filled with content that has flowery language, fluff, and poetic writing. If you have such on your site, please click the delete button on your keyboard and start writing something serious.

    If you want to succeed in your online campaign, your website content should contain highly informative content based on research. It needs to be focused on particular keywords so that readers can get it on the internet. In the end, it should have a call-to-action, so that the readers can be presented with something they can react to.

    game

    Other essential characteristics of good website content are that it is organised, audience-centred, concise, easy to read, and comprehensible.

    The reason why most small businesses rarely succeed in online campaigns is that they give many explanations on their websites, and use lots of technical terms that readers find boring. Make sure you create content that will keep readers on your site for longer, and your digital campaign might turn out to be your most significant success in no time.

    1. Targeting the unintended audience

    Imagine your design a campaign that is geared towards marketing fashionable shoes for the youths, but you post all your ads on platforms where a majority of the members are retirees, will you succeed? The answer is a no-no!

    When designing the goals you want to achieve for your online campaign, you need to define your audience. This is the mistake that most small businesses do. They do everything else right, but they tend to be unfamiliar with those they are trying to sell their products to.

    If you know your audience, you will be able to develop the right campaign strategies. Also, you will tailor your content, social media posts, and updates to suit their different needs.

    Once you define your audience, look for a tool that such as Google Adwords or Facebook Adverts will track how they are using your website, their behaviour, and how many clicks in a day are being converted into leads. This will help you determine whether or not your campaign needs some adjustments for better results.

    1. Overlooking analytics

    Ironically, most small businesses have analysis tools, since Google Analytics is free but they don’t pay attention to the analytics they get for different metrics.

    Analytics show the fruits of your labour. They show you where you are doing eight, and the places you need to improve your campaign to become a success.

    If you ignore analytics, be lest assured that your marketing campaign would not go far. Of course, you will notice fluctuations in numbers which is a common occurrence. This should not prevent you from paying close attention to them, but let encourage you to see the bigger picture and work hard towards attaining your campaign goals.

    Some small businesses will look at their metrics and realise they are high at stop at that. Don’t do this for your business. When you notice a hike in the numbers, clap for yourself since it means your campaign strategy is working for you. Develop some strategies that will help you maintain what you have, and take you even higher.

    If you find out that the metrics are low, this should be a warning sign that you are not doing everything right. Do not lose hope. Take it as a challenge, and improve on the necessary areas. Soon, you will find yourself at the top.

    1. Having no social sharing button!

    When people find useful information online, they want to share it with their friends, family members, social media followers or colleagues. Of course, they do not want to break copyright terms on your website; they want you to provide a button they can use to share the link to your site with one click.

    Most small businesses downplay this button. Don’t be selfish with information. Letting your audiences share what they find useful to them can boost your organic ranking, which means more success of your online campaign.

    Despite the fact that online marketing is quite complicated especially for small business owners, it can be an easy art for you to master especially if you get a grasp of the mistakes mentioned above and avoid them at all costs.

  • classroom
    School

    What Makes School Furniture Durable?

    The interior environment of a classroom plays an important role in the overall learning experience of the students. In fact, some researchers have considered the physical environment of the classroom as the students’ “third teacher.” This is why it’s extremely necessary for schools to invest in durable school furniture with excellent quality.

    The choice of school furniture is a critical decision that all educators must take into consideration, not only for the comfort of the students but for their safety as well. But what makes school furniture durable? Read on to find out.

    How to Tell the Durability of School Furniture

    Durability is a major consideration when buying school furniture, especially if they are to be used by young and active kids. Furthermore, if you choose to invest in durable school furniture, you can minimize the expense needed for constant repair and replacements. So here’s how to tell if the furniture is durable.

    • Excellent finish – the number one sign that certain furniture is cheaply made is its finish. Whether it is the feel or touch of the fabric, sheen or color of the wood stain, or the patina of a metal. Therefore, when buying school furniture, take time to inspect the furniture closely so you can determine if it has an excellent finish.
    • High-quality material – sometimes, you could be lucky enough to end up buying high quality but inexpensive school furniture. But take note that cheap furniture means cheap quality. Having a small knowledge of the different materials used for making durable school furniture can help you in making the right decision. High-quality school furniture is generally made from solid hardwood and the joints are integrated within frame components. Moreover, the parts are often reinforced using screws and glue. One of the best places to find school furniture with excellent quality is Office Plus. As for the upholstery and fabric, they should be made from natural fibre fabrics such as wool, cotton, and linen.
    • Handcrafted furniture – handcrafted furniture may be more expensive, but they are highly durable. These furniture pieces are often made with utmost care and attention to detail, unlike the mass-produced pieces. Handcrafted school furniture is guaranteed to last for a long time and they are usually more refined, which enhances the look and feel of the classroom interior.
    • Weight – when shopping for furniture, weight can be an important factor in determining the furniture’s durability. For instance, if you’re buying a desk that’s made from cast iron, yet the desk is unexpectedly light, there’s a good chance that it’s made from counterfeit materials. But remember that heavier does not necessarily mean better. Generally, something that is made of wood should not be too light and not too heavy as well.

    Aside from the tips above, another way to determine the durability of the school furniture is to test it. For instance, if you’re buying seating furniture that the students will lounge upon, the easiest way to figure out its quality is to have someone to sit on it. If you are buying a desk, shelving, or a table, try to put some weight on the furniture and try to wiggle it. See if it can hold up well under pressure.

    Important Considerations

    classroom2

    Aside from the durability, there are other important factors to consider when buying school furniture. Here are some of them.

    • Mobility and functionality – today’s collaborative learning atmosphere require that school furniture has to be rearranged in order to keep up with the school’s diverse teaching styles. Some school facilities are now constructed with no built-in furniture. In this case, school furniture that has more than one use would be a great investment. Examples are rectangular tables that are lightweight and can be easily reconfigured and arranged in rows for lectures, group workshops, etc.
    • Appropriate sizing – kids are not miniature adults, thus, their furniture should be something that’s appropriate for them. The rise of musculoskeletal disorders among students means that more attention is needed when it comes to choosing the furniture that is appropriate for their body size. Seat heights must be suitable to the student’s age. Seats that come with adjustable seating, which can be altered quickly for the height and position is perfect for workstations and classrooms.
    • Safety – safety is very important when buying furniture to be used by the students, especially small kids. When buying chairs or desks, make sure they are stable enough. The chairs should not tip back easily and the shelves should not pinch. If there are certain parts that are moving, they should be lightweight and easy for the kids to maneuver. That way, hands or fingers will not get stuck.
    • Health standards – the construction of the school furniture must meet the health standards set for low-level VOC (Volatile Organic Compound). You will find that some school furniture comes with green certifications, which means that they are constructed without any formaldehyde, a type of substance that’s harmful to the kids’ health.
    • Support – when looking for a furniture manufacturer, choose the company that can provide you with excellent customer support. They should be able to attend to the schedule you set, especially in terms of delivery and installation options. Above all, they should be able to offer after-sales service and support. Smaller furniture companies usually have limited quantities of school furniture and often have long lead times that may not fit within your time frame.

    Conclusion

    Remember that classroom furniture plays an important role in how well the students can perform in school. If the kids are not comfortable with the chair they are seating on or the desk they are using, you cannot expect them to concentrate in lectures or participate in class discussions.

    Whether you are building a new school or you simply want to upgrade your existing school furniture, the tips above should be helpful in choosing the right school furniture to invest in. Before you start shopping for school furniture, take time to decide what you really want. This should help in narrowing down your options especially since there are so many furniture manufacturers nowadays. Knowing what you want beforehand can also help to minimize the hassle and stress that comes with buying new sets of school furniture.

  • esports
    eSports

    Attracting Viewership in Esports: Is it just about a High Level of Competitiveness?

    Just like any other sport, esports thrives in the viewership of fans, casual players, and new audiences alike. Its main selling point is not just the game itself, but also the quality of play that viewers came to see and experience. Esports is about watching the high level of play done by the “professionals” in order to see how much depth and quality the game offers, but how much of esports is about competitiveness? Let us discuss how important competitiveness is in developing the overall esports scene and what other factors affect viewership of titles that want to achieve or retain popularity status.

    What Constitutes a Competitive Game in Esports

    Primarily, viewers come to see the best of the best compete in the stage viewed by several thousands or even millions of people that love the game whether as a casual viewer or a hardcore player. However, how can we exactly define what constitutes a competitive game? Given that there is a wide spectrum of audience watching these games, finding a common definition for a competitive game would be difficult. However, for the purpose of discussion we can break down competitiveness into two major aspects.

    First off, tight back-and-forth matches filled with plays and corresponding counterplays between two evenly matched teams or competitors would be a certified way of describing how competitive matches in esports looks like. The tension rises with the level of competition especially for those games that happen during the major events which puts the pride of players on the line with each match.

    On the other hand, the showcase of a mix of innovative strategies as well as clean and crisp mechanical skill is also something that viewers look forward to in these games even if these happen to be one-sided matches. Seeing the expertise of professionals in performing difficult plays involving a deep game knowledge and precise timing will always be a recipe for a weekly highlight play. Yet, it seems that the following are not the only important things in esports. Why is it that there are some moments that the viewers get into more than others despite the clear presence of skill and close competition in most high-level matches?

    Competitiveness turns into a Narrative

    game

    It’s all about the narrative that the game produces. Whether it’s a rivalry or an unlikely victory of the underdog, people get into the esports scene more when they can find something to cheer for and relate to. The context matters as much as the story and the competitiveness of the match. For example, Daigo’s legendary frame-perfect sequence of parries was definitely a top-level play, but it happened in the championship match of the EVO tournament with just a sliver of health remaining which made the play a whole lot more memorable up to date.

    There are of course other plays such as Xpeke’s game winning backdoor play, Simple’s jumping AWP clutch, and Coldzera’s momentum-changing 4K jumping AWP shot that have made major tournaments into memorable ones or even unexpected victories such as Taipei Assassin’s Cinderella Run to the Season 2 Worlds Title and Alliance’s comeback victory for the TI3 championship.

    In the world of esports, competitive play is just the main ingredient for maintaining viewership. What attracts people into the scene would definitely be the narrative of their favourite players and the moments that have defined the esports history throughout. Without the players, esports would not be such an exciting scene.