February-March round-up: quick optimization opportunities in a fast-paced digital world
Published on March 03, 2021 Last modified on April 06, 2021
Technology is continuously accelerating at an unprecedented speed. Every year, tools and applications are getting smarter, the tech industry is growing bigger, and our daily activities, as we know it, are only becoming relatively easier.
Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and Internet of Things (IoT) used to be exclusive to the IT industry only or otherwise huge corporations that can afford to invest in them. But these are no longer considered as standalone solutions, advanced tech that only the big leagues can play with—now, they’re simply integrated into digital products that businesses, big or small, can benefit from in their day-to-day workflows.
For this month’s round-up, we’ve put together snippets of quick optimization opportunities that let you take advantage of these technologies in your daily business processes.
Convert your text content to audio with a click of a button
If you visit one of our blogs, you’d see this tiny widget near the top of the page:
As it says, you can now choose whether you want to continue reading or listen to the content instead. And no, we didn’t have to dedicate hours upon hours of narrating and recording the audio, nor did we have to hire a voice actor to do it for us. This single 9-minute audio, for example, was generated at the single click of a button and barely one minute of processing—all thanks to the power of AI.
Play.ht is an AI voice generator tool that utilizes AI-generated voices from Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft. With this tool, you can turn a piece of content into natural and realistic-sounding audio with your choice of language, gender, and voice style.
In the same way that you have to meet your potential customers in whatever channel they may be in—web or mobile, online or offline, etc., you also have to consider presenting your content in every possible format they may prefer.
Online marketing starts with visibility and accessibility; after all, no matter how great your content or product may be, it’s no use if your target audience can’t get to them—in this game, the more you play, the better your chances are of winning.
We know that producing high-quality content that’s designed to attract and retain customers can be a lot of work as it is, not to mention making it available in different media—whether it be text, audio, or video. This tool helps your site become more accessible for different types of audiences and it’s also an opportunity to reach on-the-go customers who don’t have the time to read through your content, but can probably spare some of their attention listening to it while on another task.
Efficient remote meetings with recordings and automatic transcriptions
This is not exactly new, but as we’re almost one year into working and collaborating from home, we thought it’s worth sharing a simple yet often disregarded technique to efficiently manage online meetings—always keep a recording and take advantage of automatic transcription.
Whether you’re using Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or whatever platform, it’s always a good idea to record all your meetings. (Of course, remember to first ask for consent and inform the people you’re meeting with that you’re recording the call.) It allows for transparency and helps avoid misunderstandings down the line—in case you ever need to revisit what was really agreed on, both parties can simply review the video recording and settle differences.
In the same vein, automatic transcription also helps a lot in keeping track of meeting discussions. This helps you stay more engaged in the actual conversation without losing track of a topic just because you’re still busy taking notes from the last discussed one.
Most tools are capable of doing this for English conversations with impressive accuracy. At 1902 Software, we use Tactiq for Google Meet, which utilizes the live captions and automatically saves the text after every meeting for future reference. Transcriptions efficiently complement video recordings of meetings, in that you can find text in a transcript easier than combing through a video just to recall a specific part of a conversation.
Create automated testing scripts with a simple record and replay
We’ve already explored the merits of automated testing in a previous blog before. In a nutshell, it’s the process of letting a computer (instead of a human tester) test a system by creating and executing scripts that compare the actual outcome versus the predicted or intended outcome of a function.
Automated testing improves the accuracy of results since it’s more streamlined and less prone to errors, allows for more deployments by cutting back on the time allotted to testing, and most of all, helps in saving cost for maintaining a system. However, it does take some investment to initially set up and create the scripts.
Crossbrowsertesting, a tool that our own QA department at 1902 Software use, recently released a new feature that lets users automatically generate an automated testing script by simply doing a manual test and recording the whole process. Based on the actions taken in the manual test, the tool will then create and save the script. With this feature, even users with no programming knowledge can seamlessly create a script with a few clicks, no complex languages or frameworks necessary.
.NET 6 and the new .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI)
In the more technical side of things, Microsoft has announced in early February that Xamarin is now officially included in .NET. Even though it has always been technically part of .NET, it’s only now that it “ships as a core workload” instead of just needing .NET.
Xamarin.Forms, which has been used by mobile developers for cross-platform app development for over seven years now, is also evolving into .NET Multi-platform App UI or MAUI. Microsoft says that they are improving the core of the product, for creating consistent UIs across different platforms from iOS, Android, and even extending to desktop: macOS and Windows.
If you are looking for app developers, our team is experienced in both native (iOS and Android) as well as Xamarin cross-platform development. Learn more about our app services.
Wondering how you can further optimize your website or webshop? Our teams at 1902 Software can help you with identifying UI/UX gaps and planning conversion optimization strategies. Contact us today for a no-commitment consultation.