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Monthly Archives: June 2007

Earlier this year we undertook a survey with a small group of web and digital agencies that we’re working with in the UK. The purpose of the survey was to gather information about the UK web and digital agency market and identify future business and technology trends.

All those that took part received a copy of the survey results at the Web Agency Dinner back in May, but we’ve now published the results of the survey online for anyone who is interested.

Whilst the sample set for the survey was kept deliberately small, we ensured that views were gathered from a diverse set of agencies, ranging from start-ups right through to the well-known global organisations. Hopefully you will find the results of interest – you can download the Web Agency Survey report here.

If you weren’t invited to take part in the survey this time round, but have views on the topics raised or thoughts on how Microsoft can improve support web agencies then please let us know via the comments.

For those agencies waiting to receive their ‘incentive’ for participating rest assured, it will be with you shortly 🙂

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MIX this year was a great success. From the feedback we got direct from attendees, anecdotally at the agency dinner, or more visually via some of the photos we’ve seen 😉 A good time was had by one and all.

One of the big changes with MIX this year was that when the doors closed on MIX 07 in Vegas this wasn’t the end of MIX. It was more like the beginning!

Not only has the web site been updated constantly since the end of the event but MIX has been out on the road.

Known as ReMIX in the other geographies, ReMIX has been run in 9 countries in 8 weeks in the EMEA region. Taking the best bits that were at MIX in Vegas and adding a local flavour. This is one of the reasons things have been fairly quiet of late as I’ve been on the road with the ReMIX team and presented sessions at 5 of the events. I’m happy to report that the last event has now drawn to a close. The final event was in South Africa, which was a prefect place to end the ReMIX tour as it was held in the Casino complex at Fourways in Johannesburg.

And yes it is every bit as bizarre as Las Vegas.

I had lunch today at an Italian Restaurant on a Tuscan Street under a moonlit sky… at midday in South Africa while the sun beat down outside, while UK 80s music played over the speaker system – yes very Vegas!

One of the positive things that came out of my travels is the number of developers I met that have not been interacting with designers or agencies at all up to now.

In the Netherlands there were over 2500 people in the room for the keynote at the DevDay event of which ReMIX was a small part, and when asked how many had been concentrating on UX, or working with agencies I could have counted the number of raised hands on one hand with a few fingers to spare.

I think this is going to be a massive opportunity over the next 12 – 18 months as the developers that Microsoft know very well come looking for help on the UX side as they are start to understand the impact this can make on the final product. The new technologies and tools are also showing them that while the positive impact on the final result is high, the impact on their traditional workflow’s is minimal and they’ll be able to develop and iterate versions quicker with an agency onboard than without. This has been bourne out at at all the ReMIX events that I’ve attended. Interest in improving user experience and customer retention and satisfaction is high on their agenda, but they don’t know where or who to turn to.

This is one area we aim to rectify this year.

It will be down to the Partner program we are putting in place, and people such as Emma, Andrew and myself to act as match maker between the opportunities the developers are bringing to us with the right agency with the right skill set.

So as you test out the technologies and tools in more detail over the coming months, keep us up to date, let us know what’s working, what isn’t working, continue to show us the internal POCs you may be building as we can use all this information to really help us understand you better as we move forward over the next 12 months.

Thinking of ReMIX again, I’d like to say a special thanks to the guys from Conchango for their support at many of these events.

But what of ReMIX UK.

Well as you saw from Emma’s recent post like typical Brits we like to be a bit different. So we’re not holding ReMIX in July like everyone else, we’ve decided to hold it in September on the 11th and 12th, new content, new speakers, a great venue and already some interesting things bubbling up to show 🙂 I think it was worth waiting!

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Budapest:
The set up and venue.

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Netherlands:
Getting ready for the keynote, the ReMIX picnic table, and the largest hi-def projector screen I’ve ever seen!

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South Africa:
Sneaking in as Beau Amber gets set up for his session, Tuscany… Casino style.

The date has been released!

Following on from Mix 07 in Vegas earlier this year, we have announced dates for MixUk for web designers & web developers.

At Mix:UK 07 you will:

  • Get creative inspiration from design and development gurus, web agencies and innovators
  • Discover how technologies like Silverlight, Expression, and Live Services are already being used to create a new generation of rich media experiences and RIAs (Rich Interactive Applications)
  • Connect with others in the industry who, like yourself, have a passion for innovation and creativity and have built personal and business success on that passion.

Register your interest now to ensure your place.

Posted by: Emma Bateson