PHP Developer Job in Bedford

We’re looking for Front-end full-stack web developers to join our expanding Web Design Agency, based in the centre Bedford. We are a digital agency, based in Bedford’s cultural quarter, with a great culture and track record. We make our clients’ businesses …

Scan PayPal QR Code

PayPal Contactless QR Codes

PayPal have launched an update that enables people to pay using contactless payments via PayPal QR Code. Customers can safely pay for products or services through the PayPal app on their Smartphones, touch-free, by scanning a QR code linked to …

ecommerce fills the gaps as Shops close during coronavirus lockdown

March 2020 sees highest ever move to eCommerce

eCommerce is helping to fill the gaps as physical shops close during coronavirus lockdown. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, online sales (as a proportion of all sales) reached a record high of 22.3% in March 2020. …

eco-search

Is Advertising on Ecosia Worth it?

We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities for our clients and big fans of ethical business practice so, when we became aware of Ecosia, a new-ish search platform that donates 80% of their ad profits to environmental charities, we took …

Ratings With Emojis *heart eyes*

Instagram has created a new twist on the traditional star rating with the ability to use more than stars. Instagram’s Emoji Slider means your followers can rate what you ask them to. As a rule of thumb, usually the higher …

Countdown Clock To Every Event

Getting your customers hyped up about something new and exciting to do with your business is hard and takes time. Instagram offers a little feature on their stories that makes that slightly easier. A countdown sticker was added to Instagram’s …

Instagram Stories: Tips and Tricks

The renowned platform is now the 3rd most popular social media site. Ranking in popularity, Instagram comes just below Facebook and YouTube, according to Dustin Stout, providing a potentially massive reach for your company. The vitality of Instagram is a result of …

Organise Your Stories With Highlights

The beauty of Instagram stories is that even once they disappear after their 24 hours is up, Highlights give you the ability to keep your stories up on your profile. This is done by choosing them from your archive and …

Question Time Quiz Sticker

Instagram’s most recent add to the sticker collection is the quiz sticker. A new fun and relaxed way to interact with your followers that can also help them learn something. Educating your followers could create more trust between you and your customer. …

Put The Poll Into Practise

If you don’t know much about them already then read on to find out what Instagram polls are and how to use them for your business. One of the most powerful features that Instagram stories offer is the Instagram poll …

#HowToUseTheHashtag

Hashtags are a great way to spread your posts beyond your following. Since Instagram first came around in 2010, hashtags have been in its blood. Found on the Instagram explore page is a search button where any Instagram user is …

Let Them Locate You

Let your followers come and find you by using the Instagram location sticker to tell them where you are. There are many reasons you could want to use this, including to invite your followers to an event, or to show …

Q&A Queries

This Instagram feature is commonly used to give your followers the microphone and let them ask you some questions. Social Influencers do it regularly to keep the conversation going between them and their following. You are able to see who …

Photography for Wrangler

Chris Smith, one of Narrative’s founders, was extremely chuffed when Wrangler, the long-established fashion brand, approached him asking to use some of his photography for their AW17 T-shirt designs. A professional buyer for Wrangler was seeking-out fresh new creative work and stumbled …

Facebook Buys Snopes

EDIT: This was an April Fool’s Day joke. It is not true. We thought it was obviously a joke to anyone with half a brain… but then conspiracy theorists started citing it in blog posts and we started getting a …

eCommerce at Creative Bedfordshire

We’ll be talking eCommerce for the small, creative business (with a focus on Shopify), at the Creative Bedfordshire event on 3rd Nov at the Gordon Arms on Castle Road, Bedford. To find out more about what we can do for your business, …

Hidden Netflix Genres And The Paradox of Choice

You don’t get many surprises with Netflix. Netflix won’t, for example, suddenly pop a list of Japanese action movies into your results just because they have them available, because that would be unexpected to most of its customers. Netflix aims to provide …

The Value of Experience

Sometimes it can be tricky to explain why Narrative’s 20+ years of specialist digital experience and expertise can be so powerful when it comes to helping businesses perform better online. Then, today I heard this little anecdote that sums it up …

I love LAMP

At Narrative, we work with a lot of Open Source, often referred to as the Linux / Apache / MySQL / PHP (LAMP) stack so, of course, we love LAMP too.

stop distracting people on your website

Before we start take a look at those cute jumping cats. You’re not so interested in what we have to say now are you? In fact some people may have left this page altogether and are now happily searching on …

How Cognitive Load Is Costing You Customers

No-one likes hassle. If it takes a lot of thought to work something out, then people are far less likely to do it. I don’t imagine thats a revelation to you, but somehow many businesses seem to forget about this when designing …

Google SEO Update Favours Blue Websites

SEO 01 April 2016 [ edit: Before reading this, you should probably check the date it was published on – 1st April… OK.. got it?] First it was keywords, then it was inbound links, SSL, social & mobile support and then Accelerated …

We Live in Amazing Times

The other day, I noticed a fellow digital peer was having one of those #FirstWorldProblems moments on social media. “My Internet connection is slow.” he posted, before he added “I’m on a plane. A metal tube. At 34,000 ft… I deserve a kick …

Never trust anyone who is passionate about their work

[ edit – 02 June 2016 : I stumbled across Google says “Passionate People Don’t Use The P-Word… which summarises parts of Erick Schmidt’s book, How Google Works, suggesting that Google share many of the same concerns as I do about people who claim to …

in case of fire, git commit

We’re Hiring!

  Would you like to love your job again? We’re looking for Front-end full-stack web developers to join our expanding team in Bedford. We are a digital agency, based in Bedford’s cultural quarter, with a great culture and track record. We …

The problem with cheap

Despite having wheels and not actually hovering, the Hoverboard has become one of the most-wanted gadgets of 2015. The self-balancing boards that let the rider glide along while standing perfectly still, giving the impression of moving like a vampire,  have become an international …

The Entrepreneurial Work-life Balance

One of our Founders, Alec East, was interviewed for The Guardian in an article about the entrepreneurial spirit and finding a work-life balance. We only discovered it because we spotted the backlink when checking our professional SEO tools. The reporter was …

FontDeck is closing

As of 1 December 2015, you won’t be able to create a new account on Fontdeck, the professional webfont service, and it will stop working on 1 December 2016. Obviously we will start migrating affected clients’ sites to one of …

sales through mobile and tablet plateau

Online Sales Through Mobile & Tablet Plateau

It looks like the the way in which we buy online is beginning to settle down. While, overall, online continues to take more share of all UK retail sales, more and more people have been opting to buy through their mobiles & tablets …

Getting your tone right

The video clip plays a selection of famous Horror & TV themes. The notes are unchanged but have been shifted to a Major Key instead, providing a very literal illustration of how a simple change of tone can transform how something comes …

Google Alphabet

A few days ago Google announced it was splitting off into a holding company, called Alphabet, and sub sections for search, advertising, R&D, etc. Everyone has an opinion about it but the day I am qualified to give Google business …

The OED gets more responsive

People can be averse to change, even when that change is necessary & inevitable. The recent news that the Oxford English Dictionary is adding twitterati and meh have caused a bit of a fuss on the interweb because of this aversion to change, however …

Shopify for Charities

Shopify for Charities

The Technology Trust is offering charities a cut-price deal on Shopify, the cheap & powerful eCommerce platform, so we thought it was a good time to pass on some of what we’ve learned building successful eCommerce sites with Shopify. The Technology …

Fall of the Robots

As a society we put a lot of faith in technology; sometimes too much. Every once in a while it’s worth remembering that even the most advanced technology can be every bit as fallible as a human being and, occasionally, it can …

A Record Breaking Thank You

Like most digital agencies, we occasionally provide our web consultancy services to small community projects, non-profits & third sector organisations for free. Doing pro bono work is, generally, reward enough in itself but agencies are made-up of people and that’s why …

Branding for Films

Convergent Evolution occurs in nature when two species evolve along similar paths because it’s most practical solution to survival. One of many examples is the aye-aye lemur and the striped possum which both have one elongated finger used to get insects …

re-marketing hell

Re-Marketing Hell

If you dare to visit a website and look for a product, e.g. a Slow Cooker or some car tyres, for next week or so afterwards you might notice that you’re being stalked by adverts for slow cookers and car …

The ubiquitous internet

The internet is disappearing and that’s mostly a good thing. When I first got my hands on a modem, back in 1995, and connected my computer to the Information Superhighway it was a fiddly and unreliable process. I used a …

ROTW Innovation Award

A huge congratulations to Rhythms of the World music festival who picked-up a Most Innovative Organisation/Business award at this year’s Flame awards. We’re very proud to be part of the award winning team, providing web consultancy to this exceptional non-profit music festival, alongside other …

Freelance Devs Wanted

Narrative is a web consultancy based in Bedford. We help organisations use the internet more effectively. We are currently looking for experienced freelance & full-time PHP developers and/or HTML/JS/CSS coders to join us. If you live around the Bedford area, …

Fashion eCommerce website

CP Company Online Store

We worked with CP Company to make their online retail more efficient. The results are now in and the work we did has proven to have consistently increased revenue and reduced operational costs compared to their previous supplier… and here’s …

Festival Website for ROTW 2014

After a two year hiatus, the 2014 Rhythms of the World music festival went off with a bang with a weekend of music, fun and merriment at the Priory in Hitchin. Hertfordshire’s favourite music festival has grown from humble beginnings, with …

Formula for the Perfect Content Marketing Blog Post

Formulas can be really useful. They provide a set of prescriptive rules that, if followed properly, turn out the same results every time. We have formulas for medicine, formulas for drinks and baby formula because we want consistency and reliable …

Get Rik Mayall to Number 1

Many of us of a certain age were deeply saddened by the passing of Rik Mayall. His appearances in such iconic shows as A Kick Up The Eighties, The Young Ones and Blackadder, to name a few, shaped our formative …

Eugene Goostman is Human

Eugene Goostman is a 13 year old boy… or, at least, that’s what a number of people in a test at the Royal Society in central London believed. In fact  Eugene Goostman is an artificial intelligence programme which managed to …

Google Wants You To Support Smart Phones

You know what it’s like: You’re browsing on your smart phone and see a link to something really interesting; you click it and, suddenly, you’re redirected to a cut-down mobile site that refuses to show you what you were looking …

Is It Safe?

After Heartbleed comes news that eBay got hacked, once again prompting us to change our passwords to something more secure and wonder if there was anything embarrassing in our watchlists. According to Reuters report on the eBay hacking, all the passwords …

Spell-Check

I came across this little ditty which, apparently, was written in the early days of spell-checker. It’s a fun reminder of the continued need for humans to think about what they write and not rely on technology too much. Eye …

What is Multi-Variate Testing?

The film Groundhog Day came up in a pub conversation the other day. In the 1993 comedy feature film, Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant, egocentric TV reporter assigned to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in a small …

Cleantech web design for Arctern Ventures

Arctern Ventures Website Design for Cleantech Fund

ArcTern Ventures (formerly MaRS Venture Fund) is a privately-run, cleantech investment fund out of Canada and a partner of the innovative MaRS Discovery District. With a wide range of companies in their cleantech investment portfolio covering everything from smart metering …

Rhythms of the World Festival 2014

Rhythms of the World Music Festival is back for 2014! This year,  The Priory in Hitchin will once again play host to Hertfordshire’s favourite festival. The not-for-profit, family friendly festival has been run entirely by volunteers since 1992, supported by grants, donations …

SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Search Engine Optimisation is one of the fundamentals of any digital strategy but SEO specialists can be expensive so, as a web consultancy, we’re regularly asked what small business owners can do for themselves. We put together the following short …

The Digital Week

A quick round-up of stuff we liked on the interweb this week, including M&S, Glassholes, Being interesting, virtual changing rooms, and lots of data… but first: We’re giving a talk at Bedford College! It’s on 26th Feb, about the Connected …

The Digital Week

If you look at one thing this week WTF Is My Twitter Bio (NSFW) Crafting an interesting, relevant Twitter bio has never been easy. They can enviable, insightful or a source of cringeworthy hilarity (and not always intentionally), and this …

Creative Domains

  Having a memorable domain name is one of the recommended requirements of a decent website but you might have noticed that almost every domain name you can think of has already been taken. The problem is that there was …

The Digital Week

Here’s a quick round-up of what’s been keeping us interested in the Narrative (previously THBOOM!) studio, this week: The Shock of the New. Sometimes we can put too much emphasis something new and misinterpret its popularity amongst the digerati as a sign …

Come With Me If You Want To Live

Yeah, yeah, yeah. A lot of people are talking about Google’s sale of Motorola to Lenovo but that’s not what’s interesting. The sell-off is really just Google having a clear-out and the word-on-the-street is that they were going to put …

The Digital Week

A quick round-up of what we liked on the web this week, ending 24th July. Conference Call If you’ve ever had to endure conference calls, this video that’s been doing the rounds this week  will bring a smile to your …

Free Font for Climate Groups

We consult for a number of cleantech businesses, providing digital strategy, branding & development and, while this particular idea doesn’t apply to us, we really loved the concept behind it. Matthew Anderson is a typographer at  350.org, a grassroots climate …

The End of Windows XP

What does it mean to your business? Windows XP was released in 2001 and has been Microsoft’s most popular operating of the last decade. It was stable, reliable and, for many businesses, there was no financial benefit in upgrading to …

The Digital Week

A highly subjective selection of things we found, were sent and generally liked on the web this week, ending 17th January 2014. Nest Eggs This week’s big news has been Google’s purchase of Nest for 3.2 Billion USD. It’s not …

Android & Apple In Your Car

First came Microsoft with Windows Embedded Automotive… but it never really got started (see what I did there?). Then, last summer, Apple announced iOS in the Car and this week at CES, Google have  announced deals to bring their Android operating system to …

Hummingbird. Did you notice what Google did there?

What is Hummingbird? At the end of September Google announced that it had started using a new search algorithm, which it has named “Hummingbird”. Interestingly at the time Google made it public Hummingbird had already been running for about a …

Keep Taking the Tablets

Even The Economist is reporting on it: tablets & smartphones have taken over and they’re changing the way people use the web & buy online, but it’s surprising how many organisations have yet to make the changes necessary to take …

What is a Conversion Funnel

A conversion is when someone, e.g. a visitor to your website, does something you want them to, e.g. signs up to your newsletter, makes an enquiry, buys a product etc). A conversion funnel is just a way of describing the …

What is Online Reputation Management?

You’ve got a great product or service. Your customers are happy, your staff are content and your ethics are above reproach. You’ve spent a long time nurturing your website’s SEO until you sit comfortably in top search results but then, …

What is Content Marketing

Part of the Glossary of Web Terms More than just generating blog posts and stories, Content Marketing is the use of targeted content, distributed through various channels, to achieve specific marketing goals. Content marketing is widely considered the next phase of …

Soul Bay Press Web Strategy

Soulbay Press is an independent book publisher operating out of London, Sydney and Eastbourne.  They specialise in novels whose main characters skirt the edges of convention; they champion poets who flirt with reality and occasionally they uncover and republish old …

Social Learning Network Branding

The Social Learning Network is a new generation of virtual learning environment used by schools across the country. An innovative and focussed company in a competitive field, they were aware that their branding would be an important to contrast them against …

Spiral Branding

Narrative Industries Web Consultancy created the branding for Spiral, an online learning resource and part of the Social Learning Network’s range of services. Spiral is aimed at the pupils and takes a more collaborative approach to helping pupils learn. The …

Amazon eCommerce

Amazon have announced a new service to help small businesses take payments online. The catchily titled “Login and Pay with Amazon” is a new payment gateway that enables businesses to take payments from anyone with an Amazon account, and there’s …

What is the Mobile Web

The mobile web, is a generic term – like the terms “one foot experience” or the “third screen” – that refers not just to websites that are suited to mobile devices but also to the behaviour and mindsets of the …

What Does Keyword Mean?

In simple terms, Keywords are the words (or search terms) people use to search. It’s what they type into Google or Bing etc. If you want your website to show up when people search for a specific keyword, that keyword …

What is Responsive Design

Responsive is a design approach that ensures websites display correctly across the plethora of devices and screen sizes that people use. Responsive design creates an optimal viewing experience on practically any device and does not require any complex server side …

What is a Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a specific instruction meant to prompt a user to perform a specific task. Usually in the form of a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text, they are used to drive visitors down a …

Narrative Web Consultancy

The end of organic keyword data?

Well, you could certainly call this big news for SEO. Google is now redirecting ALL traffic to https. This means that all search terms will now be encrypted, even for users who are not signed in, which means that Google …

Digerati

Something of a pejorative term, the Digerati is a name for the collection of people who are visibly concerned with all things digital. The digerati may include famous computer scientists as well as tech magazine writers and technical artists. A …

What is a Social Media Profile?

A profile is the information you give about yourself when you sign up for a social networking site. It’s what used to be referred to as account information but, as the level of personal details increased, the term profile became …

Reach

Reach is the number of unique users, stated as a percentage of the target market, who have viewed your content ( post, tweet, status update, etc) or   online advertisement (like a banner ad).  

Robots

Robots, bots, crawlers or spiders work for search engines and crawl the web gathering information on new web pages, updating old pages and deleting dead pages. They follow links, some can run javascript and most of them hate Flash.

Robots.txt

A Robots.txt file is just a text file that sits on your site and tells the search engine bots to ignore certain folders, such as the admin of your Content Management System. The point of a robots.txt file is to …

What is on-site SEO?

On-Site SEO is the area of search engine optimisation concerned with what happens on your site. Partly to do with content and partly code structure, on-site SEO ensures all the  boxes are ticked regarding where and how often keywords appear, …

Search engine results page (SERPS)

As the name suggests, these are the results pages that you get on a search engine. Go to any search engine and type in a keyword and press search. The search engine results page (SERP) is the page that comes …

What Are Vertical social networks?

Vertical networks (or vertical social networks) connect people who have very specific interests or passions. To be considered a vertical network, the focus of that group must be a specific niche, but the breadth of that niche can be quite …

Semantic Web

Part of the Glossary of Web Terms The Semantic Web is a project under the direction of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which aims to extend the current Web and will allow you to find, share, and combine information …

Paul Costelloe Studio

We developed a simple brand & web strategy for Paul Costelloe Studio, a new online store selling limited-edition ladieswear exclusively designed by Paul Costelloe. Renowned as a fashion designer with a love of detail & fine tailoring, Paul Costelloe’s range for women …

Shopify extends into POS

We’ve used several eCommerce solutions over the years but have been very impressed with newcomer Shopify. Shopify provides a low-cost entry point into eCommerce; for as little as £20 per month you can get a fully functional, very respectable, easy to use …

Content

A generic term that literally means “The things that are held or included in something” but, in terms of a website, relates to the text, video, audio, images, downloadable PDFs etc. that populate your site. Ideally your content strategy should …

What’s The Future of Search

Voice is the touch-screen of search and Colloquial Search, Contextual Search & Session-Based Matching making searching smarter

Speed

Some things in life are best done slowly. Loading web-pages isn’t one of them.

eBooks / e-books

e-books or ebooks are electronic versions of books which can be downloaded from the internet and read on your PC or hand held device. Originally developed to be compatible with screen readers for visually impaired, they are now the standard form …

How Much Horse Is In Your Website?

You may have seen a little flurry of activity recently when some horse meat found it’s way into beef ready meals. This happened because manufacturers of ready-meals wanted to sell cheaper products which, in turn, led to squeezing the supply …

Google Bomb

Google Bomb or Googlewashing is when a group of people collaborate to get Google to associate a specific keyword with a particular link, image, person or site. When done successfully it’s known as a Google bomb and was brought to …

GoogleWhack

A game where you find a unique combination of words that brings up one result. Ideally you then complete the game by telling the site owner they are a GoogleWhack. The comedian Dave Gorman made a film and comedy routine …

Congratulations Tom!

We’d like to congratulate Tom Rand (one of our clients) for being awarded the Outstanding Commitment to the Environment Award at this year’s Earth day Gala Dinner.

What is a Conversion Funnel?

A Conversion Funnel is a pre-planned set of steps (a journey) that is optimised to take the visitor down a specific path, most commonly as part of a digital marketing strategy. The end result may be a purchase or a …

The Connected Customer is Here

The connected customer isn’t just about technologies or whether you have a mobile-friendly website, it’s about radical changes in consumer behaviour & expectations that impact on your business model.

Facebook Home

We all wanted to see a Facebook Phone or Facebook OS because it’s big and exciting and we like the shiny things but what they’ve actually done is much, much cleverer and far more likely to cane your data plan.

What Does Organic Search Mean?

Organic Search (or Natural search) results display websites that aren’t paying to have top position – as opposed to the sponsored ads. Getting good organic search results is the goal of SEO and requires a balance of on-site and off-site optimisation. …

What Are Business Blogs?

Blogs that are written by companies and organisations are known as business blogs. A number CEOs of major organisations blog, and some businesses encourage their staff to do the same. It can be a powerful way to communicate directly with …

What is Off-site SEO?

Off-site SEO is the side of search engine optimisation concerned with what happens away from your site, most commonly getting inbound links. While there’s a lot of issues surrounding inbound links and companies selling them, Google ranks websites according to …

Infographics

Information displayed through graphics. Most commonly this will be a jpg/gif showing statistical data in a visually pleasing and easy to understand way. The goal of the best infographics is to render complex data into self explanatory visuals.

Jon Burgerman's Facebook app

Importance of Design

When you need to think about accessibility, SEO, conversion optimisation, content hierarchy and a dozen other factors, is design too important to be left to designers?

Blogs

A shortened form of the word weblog, blogs are easy to use, self-publishing platforms that have grown to cover practically every aspect of human interest. Micro-blogging (Twitter), photo blogging (instagram), vlogs (video blogs) and other variations have sprung up. Usually …

Graphics for One Chance featuring James Corden

One Chance

We’ve wrapped on the graphics for the new feature film about Britain’s Got Talent winner, Paul Potts, rise to fame.

Fashion Website

We’ve just launched a new site for Four Marketing, the company behind oki-ni, Stone Island, C P Company & Woolrich fashion brands

Content Management System

A Content Management System (CMS) is software that allows the owner of a website to edit and add content ( text, images, video etc ) usually through a web browser interface. CMS take many forms but they all remove or …

What Your Visitors Want

Fill that yawning gap between your audience’s expectations and what they often have to settle for

HTML Banners

HTML5 set to replace Flash on banner adverts.

Atom (RSS)

Many people like to subscribe to a web site using an aggreator or newsreader so they can see  new articles from a range of places in one place without having to go to the site. If you provide a feed …

Landing Page

The page a visitor arrives at when they click a link in an email, a banner advertisement or other promotional content. This may be a page on your site or a specific microsite and there is an entire strategy to …

Responsive Design

Around 8,000,000 people in the UK use their smartphones to access the Internet every day*. Almost 50% of all mobile phones in the UK are smartphones (that’s around 23 million). £830million is being spent online in the UK, every week, and 20% of that is through mobile devices. It’s time to understand how the mobile web & mCommerce impacts your business.

What is a Content Aggregator?

An aggregator is a piece of software (or website) which collects news from other websites, blogs, podcasts and vlogs and makes them available all in one place. At one time these offered SEO opportunities and would rank quite highly in …

Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a specific instruction meant to prompt a visitor to perform a specific task.

Bounce rates

There can a number of reasons for a high bounce rate, from bad design to lack of relevance or just that the visitor found exactly what they came for on the first page

What is Black Hat SEO?

With recent advances in search engine algorithms, black hat SEO has become almost impossible and many of the techniques commonly used (and still sold to naive webmasters) will actively undermining your search position.

Analytics

Analytics are essential in setting benchmarks & evaluating the success of your online strategies.

What is Astroturfing?

The practice started as an underhand marketing trick but is increasingly common in the strategies of less scrupulous political groups and lobbyists attempting to disrupting intelligent debate

M-commerce Launch

We’ve just launched a new ecommerce site for Intelligent Pelican, optimised for mobile commerce

Hitman Trailer for MTV

The Hitman movie is adapted from a video game and, as part of the film’s promotion MTV were giving away a trip to Russia. We created a Hitman Trailer for MTV with our own, original  Russian-themed animation and mixing it with …

Advertising for MTV

Another MTV project for a film promotion, this time for romantic comedy Heartbreak Kid starring Ben Stiller. The MTV promotion included a holiday competition to win a trip to Mexico which gave us licence to have some fun with the …