The value of a good 404 page is often underrated and with so much competition on the web, it’s important to ensure that your 404 page stands out from the rest.
Many users are unsure of the purpose or role of a 404 page and are likely, when coming across one, to leave the site. In order to protect yourself there are some steps you can take against this.
What are 404 pages
A 404 page is what a user sees when a page on a website it not available because the requested page could not be found on the server of the website they are looking at. This could be because the page they are looking at has been removed, or because they typed the URL wrong.
Rather than assuming the your visitor understands the issue and knows how to resolve the problem, give them plenty of options to use to help navigate to the page they need. Ideas include a search bar, home page link and links to other popular articles on the website, they will have plenty of options for continuing across your website.
Many websites choose to add a bit of humour to their 404 pages. This can help to manage a situation that could otherwise be annoying for visitors. Jokes in reference to the error will usually be successful as it shows that the website acknowledges the hassle and is attempting to compensate for it.
It’s too easy to create a generic 404 page, but they can be used as a fantastic opportunity to re-establish your brand and voice. Using the colours and fonts most closely associated with the company will reassure those customers are confused, while also keeping them on track with the company message.
Following my review of the BlackBerry Curve Case at the end of last year, today I am going to review another product: a KitSound iPod Dock called the XDoc. As always, I will strive to remain impartial.
What is the XDock?
KitSound’s XDock is an iPod dock, radio, alarm clock and time display unit. All iPod docks are different, some focus on portability, others on sound quality, and others on multi-functionality – the KitSound dock is the later.
The KitSound XDock.
Considering how small the KitSound XDock is, the speaker (one, on the rear of the unit) packs quite a punch. For casual listening to your tunes, the XDock has a perfectly adequate speaker. If you want to fill a large room with high quality sound, the XDock isn’t cut out for the job. For what I want it for though (waking me up and listening to music), it fits the bill 🙂
How portable is the XDock? Well it isn’t. If you put two AAA batteries in the base of the unit, were there a power cut, or were you to want to move the dock between rooms, then the batteries will keep your settings (i.e. the time and any alarms you have set) but they won’t keep it on. Without a mains power supply, you can’t play music or use the clock.
Clock and Alarms
The clock has a very clever feature. When you dock your iPod, after a few seconds the XDock synchronises the time it displays you with the time on your iPod. Handy if it starts to lose time, or you don’t want to try and set the clock manually, however if you have just come back of a holiday from Italy (moi), and you have forgotten to reset your iPod to the current time, it could be a little annoying if you have just spent 10 minutes trying to set the time! If you set your iPod to the right time (which is much easier than programming the XDock) then the time synchronising feature is very useful.
Unlike most iPod docks, the XDock also has an inbuilt alarm; in fact, it has two! You can choose to be woken up (assuming that’s that you would use the alarm for) to your favourite song, a buzzer, or the radio. I am not going to lie, at first programming the XDock was a little tricky, but all the instructions you need are in the handy User Manual.
XDock User Manual
The XDock User Manual is unlike most instruction manuals, in that it is short (short and sweet encourages more people to read it) and written in a casual, slightly humours way. An example of this can be seen in the section entitled ‘Common Sense…‘ where this list can be found (I have excluded some of the entries).
Give the X-Dock a drink of anything: it is not thirsty, it is full of clever electronics which are no good at swimming, they will all drown and die with puffs of smoke if you get them wet. So no dancing naked with it in the rain either please.
Drop the X-Dock: it won’t like you for it and your warranty will be invalid.
Hit it with a hammer / similar blunt object / run over it with your car / take it base jumping (or any other experience that would be considered traumatic for a little box that just wants to play your tunes and wake you up this list is not exhaustive).
If you get an XDock, my advice would be to read the instructions, as it is hard to use without reading them, and they are worth the read, as I am sure you can see!
Unlike most iPod docks, the XDock comes with built in FM radio, another handy feature. As I said earlier, you can choose what wakes you up, your favourite breakfast show, or your favourite tune. You can also choose what you listen to when using the XDock as a sound system – excluding the beeping sound that you can have as an alarm, that said, I am not sure anyone would want to listen to that 😉
To the best of my knowledge, the XDock is compatible with all iPod’s and iPhones with the standard, Apple iConnector. Any Apple devices with the new Lightning Connector are not compatible. Because of the nature of the slot where your music player/phone slots into the XDock, iPads won’t fit, so if you are looking for an iPad dock, this isn’t the device for you.
You can connect other audio devices to the XDock using the AUX-IN jack at the back of the dock. It is a standard 3.5mm audio jack socket, so the dock is potentially compatible with more devices than just iPods and iPhones.
I like the XDock, and it has been waking me up for a few days now. It is handy to know that if there is a power cut in the night, as long as it returns by the morning, my AAA batteries will ensure that I am still woken up on time.
It would be good if the XDock had a slightly better speaker system, maybe two speakers for stereo sound would be better, but the quality of the mono speaker can’t really be argued with. I would also like it more were it to be portable, but that would probably involve a lot more batteries, so in some ways it is a good thing.
For the price it was at the time I was sent it (just over £30 GBP) I would say it is worth the money. Alarm clock, iPod dock and radio all in one tidy little box. It depends what you want from your iPod dock as to whether you choose a KitSound XDock or not, but I am happy with it for me 🙂
Mobile Fun are the company who sent me the XDock, and they have asked if we would mention that they sell iPhone accessories, so you know where I got the iPod dock from!
In the run up to Christmas, I thought we were due a fun, quirky post, so this post is about the most watched videos 2011 on YouTube in the United Kingdom 🙂
In 10th place is a video called Diary of a bad man 5. With 16,026 likes and just 839 dislikes many people seem to like the humour that HumzaProductions (the videos makers) created. It’s an odd one, you either like it or you hate it, why not watch it and find out?
Masterchef Synesthesia by YouTuber Swede Mason is the 9th most watched video on YouTube of 2011. It is a funny (and rather weird) song that has been made out of clips from the TV show MasterChef. It’s very well put together, so I have included it below for your enjoyment 🙂
The video of Michael Collings audition for Britain’s Got Talent is 8th on the list. This is the story of an IT engineer who works in a computer shop in Plymouth, and decided to enter the show Britain’s Got Talent. Most people prejudged him, including the judges, however he turned out to be a really good singer. 76,212 likes vs 920 dislikes really does show how popular this video is!
asdfmovie4 by TomSka is in 7th place. Depending upon your type of humour will depend as to whether you find it funny or not, but considering it has over 14,000,000 views, I am guessing that most people do find it little humorous, although rather… weird at the same time – maybe not one to watch with young children.
6th place goes to the very funny T-Mobile publicity video called The T-Mobile Royal Wedding. The video, at first, looks like it was made by someone with a camera, at the actual Royal Wedding, however it soon becomes apparent that it is a really funny spoof! I just had to include this one 🙂
In 5th place is a very controversial video. The video is a dubbed version of Rebecca Black’s Friday song called Rebecca Black “Friday” (Brock’s Dub). Some people find it amusing, whilst others say that the strong language isn’t justified, and that the ending is a bit harsh. Out of the 447,893 ratings, just 14,295 people dislike it, so it would seem that overall the public really like the video.
4th place goes to Charlie Sheen’s song: Winning. A bit like the MasterChef video, it’s a song made up of loads of different clips. Again, most people would find it funny, however the video does have 5,957 dislikes which may suggest otherwise, that said, it does have 276,113 likes.
I am not quite sure how, but in 3rd place is a video called Nyan Cat [original]. Only around 5% of ratings don’t like the video, but I just don’t get it! Watch it for yourself and see if you can explain its popularity.
In 2nd place is a video of two babies, seemingly holding an entire conversation in baby! The video is called Talking Twin Babies – PART 2 – OFFICIAL VIDEO and is posted by jayrandall22011. It is cute, and slightly amusing, but I think it could be much better were it to be dubbed, with funny captions, like many of the other videos in the top ten are 🙂
Finally, the winner of the most watched video on YouTube 2011 is the Ultimate Dog Tease! The video is very funny and is basically a video of a normal dog, which has been dubbed to make it look like it is talking. The maker, Talking Animals (AKA klaatu42) has made loads of other similar videos, like ones with a beaver on the road, a cat playing I Spy and many other funny ones. Non however are quite as popular at the Ultimate Dog Tease. For your enjoyment, here is the video.
From all the above videos, it would seem that if you want to become a YouTube phenomenon, you need to be funny! All of the above videos aim to be funny, with the exception of Michael Collings audition for Britain’s Got Talent.