Gossamer Threads has been working with AMEinfo, the premiere Middle Eastern business portal, for ten years. In that time we’ve been their primary technical partner, offering complete web hosting, development, and support services. When AME decided to broaden begin a new initiative, a brand dedicated to helping small and medium startup businesses get established in the United Arab Emirates, they came to us to help ensure that the site design and development would mesh with their existing website, while offering all of the site’s resources in as clear and simple a manner as possible. Here’s how we helped build SMEinfo…
Highlighting the Site’s Features
SMEinfo is designed to offer assistance to any and all people interested in managing a business in the region, regardless of whether they’re wanting to start a business and are looking for information and inspiration, already running a business and need some guidance, or are looking to expand their business. SMEinfo’s content and resources are divided into three groups, each of which aims to give the site’s users the tools they need to advance their business.
A Business Mentors example page.
This section offers video interviews with and biographies of people who have successfully setup business in the UAE. Aspiring entrepreneurs can get first-hand tips, stories, and inspiration from those who’ve had success in the fields they’re trying to enter into, and up-vote up the most useful and/or inspiring mentors.
The Freezone Comparison tool.
The Freezone Comparison tool lets you compare at a glance the “freezones” in which businesses can be set up in the UAE. This feature places all relevant information in its unique database at users’ fingertips: regulations and restrictions can be cross-referenced by individual industries, and the pros, cons, and fees associated for each are all displayed. PDFs of specific zone comparisons can also be created. Meant to give prospective business owners the information they need to help choose the ideal location to set up shop, this tool can also be used by those already in business who are looking to move or expand.
A veritable clearinghouse of information, the Fact Finders section contains dozens and dozens of tips and shortcuts. There’s plenty of information to help prospective business owners getting established, as well as advice to help current business owners cut through red tape and jargon. Facts are cross-indexed by a variety of categories (Licensing, Recruitment, Visas, etc.), and can be up-voted and commented upon.
Designing For Ease of Use
Building a full suite of business resources is great, but those resources need to be easy to access and use. We took steps to ensure that SMEinfo’s users could avail themselves of all the site has to offer quickly and on whichever platform they desired.
Using our Gossamer Community, we created a seamless bridge between the core AMEinfo site and SMEinfo. AMEinfo’s over 200,000 users can take full advantage of SMEinfo’s functionality without having to login or reregister.
SMEinfo on mobile devices.
Since large portions of AMEinfo’s existing userbase and the intended demographic of SMEinfo access sites primarily via tablets and phones, it was crucial to ensure that the performance of SMEinfo was consistent across platforms, and that mobile users experienced its full functionality. Rather than create an entirely separate mobile site, we created a responsive design integration via a custom-designed set of CSS rules for mobile-sized browsers. along with touch and slide-friendly navigation. Because of the importance of video to the Mentors section, we ensured that videos could scale to tablets and phone (using HTML5/h264 codec if Flash is unavailable, ensuring accessibility for all platforms) was a key priority.
Custom Development From The Ground Up
Designing, developing, and mobilizing sites with custom functionality for long-term clients is the bedrock of our business at Gossamer Threads. Have a vision for a new web presence for your company? Let’s talk.