Uncertain development of IT market in 2023https://www.cleverlance.com/en/blog/Pages/uncertain-development-2023.aspxUncertain development of IT market in 2023<p><strong>​​The economic situation in Europe and worldwide is currently facing many uncertainties. Globalization trends are in question after covid-19 pandemic and, more recently, also due to geopolitical risks. But as for our industry, IT custom software development stands on a stable foundation, has still a lot of potential for deeper international cooperation and a fatal recession is not imminent in our business.</strong><br></p><h3>​Economic uncertainty<br></h3><p>Many commentators predict a significant slowdown or even crisis within the European and global economies. The real situation is not, in my opinion, as bleak as many paint it. What I observe from market behaviour is more of uncertainty rather than crisis. Fortunately, inflation appears to be easing in key markets and unemployment is still at record lows, both across Europe and in the US. Moreover, most clients are not cutting back on orders, but are planning for shorter periods with monthly or quarterly budgets. <strong>The situation favours flexible players who listen to their clients and can respond flexibly to their needs.</strong></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/inflation_trends_caloun.png" data-themekey="#" class="ms-rteImage-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:680px;height:419px;" />source: Eurostat, BLS<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/unemployment_EU_caloun.png" data-themekey="#" class="ms-rteImage-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:680px;height:419px;" />source: Eurostat, BLS<br></p><h3>Strengthening position<br></h3><p>The continued attractivity of the IT sector is reflected by strong M&A activity. Major players in the IT business are on a shopping spree and the market is consolidating further. This consolidation is also in the interest of most clients, for whom IT and software are increasingly moving to the centre of their business. As a result, they need to entrust their contracts to reliable companies to manage risks involved, and can no more afford to work with smaller riskier suppliers for their core IT services. Clients are also interested in the quality and breadth of t​he offering, as suppliers with a broad portfolio of services and skills are gaining an advantage over smaller specialised entities. <strong>Companies in the IT sector are in high demand, and the idea of consolidation into larger units is supported by investors globally.​</strong><br></p><h3>Globalisation vs. geopolitics</h3><p>Globalization is not a new addition to the list of IT trends as interest among clients in near-shore or off-shore delivery has been growing for many years. While the covid-19 pandemic has severely crippled global supply chains and many manufacturers have begun to wonder whether they should move their global operations back closer to their home markets, in the IT world globalisation has continued mostly undisturbed. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, clearly showed the limits of globalization for the IT world as well, and reinforced the concept of friend-shoring. This concept still focuses on globalisation, but restricts it only to reliable and politically-allied countries. This puts Russia on the outside of this global economy, and also increasingly China and potentially other countries that are not politically aligning themselves with the Euro-Atlantic community. Therefore, in 2023 I expect to see further globalisation in IT services where language barriers allow, but now only within the circle of politically friendly and stable countries. <strong>Companies with linguistically equipped people in the right locations and a global sales network will still have a clear advantage and will be increasingly able to reach interesting clients from Silicon Valley to Singapore.</strong><br></p>
Animation plugins in Figmahttps://www.cleverlance.com/en/blog/Pages/animation-plugins-figma.aspxAnimation plugins in Figma<p><em>​​​​​​​​​Disclaimer: all tools mentioned in this article are under active development with frequent releases, so the version used when writing this article may already be older than yours. All animations referenced in the article can be found in this </em><a href="https://www.figma.com/file/rtjSqflfNWeaMPAjrQzhoM/Figma-Animations-overview-article---resources?node-id=0:1" target="_blank"><em>Figma file</em></a><em>.</em><br></p><p>When one says "animation tool", most people in the industry immediately think of Adobe Animate or After Effects. No wonder, it's the "industry standard" after all. But when you only animate every once in a while, need to make a nice loading screen, and you already have all the assets made in Figma, you don't want to deal with other tools. As you will see, there is no need to resort to such overkill solutions!<br></p><p>At an opportune moment, Figma plugins enter the scene, enriching its native shape compositing and prototyping functionality with exportable animation capabilities. In this article I will present a selection of the best ones. But first, a bit of terminology.<br></p><h3>Keyframe<br></h3><p>Represents the state of an attribute of a given layer at a given time.<em><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/position_and_color_shift-2.gif" data-themekey="#" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin:5px 200px;width:190px;height:190px;" /></em></p><p><em>The keyframe for attribute X at 0 seconds into the animation sets the switch position to the left, the next keyframe to the right. Two more keyframes change the color of the switch, the remaining two change the background color</em> (created with Motion).</p><h3>Ease<br></h3><p>Defines the acceleration and deceleration of the transition in time, whether it is faster at the beginning, at the end, or in the middle. This adds a sense of life to the animation - after all, few things in the world move uniformly (linearly), except perhaps gears.<em><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/Ease-2.gif" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px 200px;width:190px;" /></em></p><p><em>The light square moves with a linear ease setting, while the dark one moves with "Ease in and out" - it speeds up at the beginning and slows down at the end </em>(created with Motion).<br></p><h3>Object anchor </h3><p>A point that defines the position and anchor of the layer in space. The layer rotates around the <span style="color:#232323;font-size:16px;">anchor; it is used for all motion calculations.</span><br></p><br><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/Anchor_center-2.gif" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="color:#696158;font-size:14px;margin:5px;width:190px;" /><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/Anchor_top_left-2.gif" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:190px;" /><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/Anchor_offcenter-2.gif" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:190px;height:190px;" /><br></p><p><em>Anchor in the center, top left corner, and at 50% of the X dimension and 75% of the Y dimension </em>(created via Motion).</p><h3>Formats<br></h3><p>in which motion graphics are commonly found on the web:​​​​​​​​<br></p><p><strong>MP4 and WEBM</strong></p><ul><li>Video formats<br></li><li>do not preserve quality when scaling<br></li></ul><p><strong>GIF</strong></p><ul><li>sequence of raster images<br></li><li>does not preserve quality when scaling<br></li><li>large volume<br></li></ul><p><strong>SVG</strong></p><ul><li>XML containing Javascript, CSS or SMIL code that defines individual shapes and their movement<br></li><li>scalable, easy to edit (if you can write the code)<br></li></ul><p>Bonus: <strong>Lottie</strong></p><ul><li>a new minimalist format based on JSON<br></li><li>shapes and their movement are defined using a maximum of two-letter attribute abbreviations<br></li></ul><p>Now let's get into the details of the individual animation plugins.</p><h3>Motion​<br></h3><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/motion.png" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:658px;height:336px;" /><br></p><p><a href="https://motionplugin.com/#" target="_blank">Motion</a> is a plugin with wide animation possibilities, based on keyframes. It allows animating a wide range of attributes, changing anchors with great granularity and copying keyframes between layers with X and Y value recalculation for a simplified workflow. A rich library of preset animations, effects and motions is available so we don't have to set everything up manually.<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/link_and_vector_path_shadow-2.gif" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:648px;height:402px;" /><br></p><p><em>A paper plane moves according to the drawn vector and the shadow follows it thanks to the dependency provided by the handy link function.</em><br></p><p>​The finished animation can be exported in many formats, including GIF, MP4/WEBM and SVG in beta. GIF and SVG also support layer transparency.<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/figma1.png" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px 230px;width:190px;height:411px;" /><br></p><p>Motion has four different licenses, with the free version limited to two-second animations and 30 FPS. The Professional license for 8 days per month is convenient for users who don't animate for a living.<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/figma6.png" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:658px;" /><br></p><p><em>The 8-day Motion license costs $6.39 per month.</em></p><p>Overall, the Motion plugin is very pleasant to use, although I would appreciate the option of a separate window for multi-screen work.<br></p><h3>Figmotion<br></h3><p><a href="https://www.figma.com/community/plugin/733025261168520714/Figmotion" target="_blank">Figmotion</a> is a free plugin with a web interface that makes it ideal for multi-screen work. It is also based on the use of keyframes. Compared to Motion, it supports animation of individual rounded corners and stroke widths, on the other hand, copying keyframes is done without recalculation, which in combination with the need to click Save every time, considerably slows down the workflow.<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/figmotion_corners-2.gif" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px 200px;width:190px;height:190px;" /> </p><p><em>Rounding of individual corners and stroke width.</em><br></p><p>​Figmotion implements the dependency between layers using expressions, i.e. calculating values based on variables (time in milliseconds or progress as a decimal value between 0 and 1), or attributes of other layers. However, this functionality is not well documented and you need to know Javascript.<br></p><p>​​​​​The plugin has only four basic preset ease options and completely lacks a motion library, which means the users have to do everything manually. The anchor can be set to one of nine preselected positions. It supports export to MP4, WEBM and GIF up to 60 FPS, but without the option of transparent layers. Lottie format export was also recently launched in beta, and front-end developers will be interested in the new export for React's Framer Motion.<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/figma2.png" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px 230px;width:190px;height:325px;" /><br></p><p><em>Anchor settings are on top, keyframe settings in the center, and transition options on the bottom.</em></p><p>​​​Figmotion has a huge number of features, but many of them are unfinished, and frequent bugs and a cumbersome workflow take away from its usability. On the other hand, it has unlimited animation length, is free, and has the largest number of users in the Figma community.<br></p><h3>Bonus: Jitter.video<br></h3><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/figma3.png" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:658px;height:399px;" /><br></p><p><a href="https://jitter.video/" target="_blank">​Jitter</a> is a web tool for creating animations from vector shapes which doesn't work directly in Figma, but you can import assets from Figma in a single click using their plugin. While it doesn't yet support all attributes (for example, individually rounded corners), it solves this relatively elegantly - it imports the unsupported layer as a PNG. Rather than keyframes, it focuses on the transition process. It provides a decent library of preset animations and a simplified view of individual attributes.<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/figma4.png" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px 230px;width:190px;height:460px;" /><br></p><p><em>The user is shileded from individual attributes by user-friendly verbs.</em></p><p>Jitter in the free version does not allow transparent backgrounds and export to higher resolutions. In the case of the beta Lottie export, this limitation is quite easy to work around - you just need to know a bit about the Lottie format and set the transparency manually. The paid version costs $12/month.<br></p><h3>Conclusion<br></h3><p>As you can see, there are several ways to get otherwise static assets moving in Figma, it just depends on what one expects from the tool and whether one is willing to pay something for the extended possibilities to implement one's ideas. The fact that they compete with each other encourages dynamic development, which of course is not without bugs, but the developers of these tools are quick to respond and appreciate every bug reported (I've written about ten of them myself).</p><p>Would you like to learn how to use one of the plugins? You can look forward to a sequel in the form of a tutorial on Motion.​​<br></p>
Place yourself in the centre of your datahttps://www.cleverlance.com/en/blog/Pages/PST-interview.aspxPlace yourself in the centre of your data<p>​​In May 2022 Petr Štros gave ​an interview to <a href="https://www.cio.cz/clanky/postavte-se-do-stredu-svych-dat/">CIO​ Business World​</a> telling what's in the store at Cleverlance.  ​​​​​​</p><p> <strong>​​Since 2019, Cleverlance has been part of a group of technology companies united under the Aricoma brand. The original plans were that you would build a large international organization, ready for expansion into foreign markets. How is this vision being fulfilled?</strong></p><p>​This is a huge and key topic for us.<br>The goal of making the company a European technology supplier has not changed at all. We are standing on the threshold of great things, of which Cleverlance will be a significant part.<br><br><strong>What does building a European supplier mean to you?</strong><br><br>There are a lot of American and Asian providers on the market but really big European players are missing.<br><br><strong>Do you mean with the EU flag?</strong></p><p>​​​​​​​​​No, with the European flag. We want to have the flag of Europe, but to do business worldwide,  to be proud that we are from Europe. In the United States, for example, Europe is still considered a mark of quality, so why not take advantage of that? Today we are at the beginning of our European journey. There are currently around three and a half thousand of us in Aricoma, we want to grow at least threefold, only then will we be big enough to operate in the European context. For me personally, it is interesting to take part in it, to give meaning and contours to the expansion. The target customer is Europe, it is our home address, we certainly will not even resist exporting our services to other continents.<br></p><p> <strong>Why is it so important for the growth of a company to be part of a large international group?</strong></p><p>Our business is connected to digitization, which has two parts – customer and delivery. The delivery part is problematic all over the world due to the lack of people who would be able to deliver all the required services within the framework of digitization. It is no longer possible to do it with just one company from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.<br>That is why we are part of Aricoma and why we opened branches in Germany and Spain. We need to expand our options. But even there, of course, we have problems finding skilled people at a reasonable price who will fit into our company culture. And we need a lot of them.<br><br>Many of our potential customers in Europe and around the world are really large and as such expect their partners and suppliers to be large companies as well. Cleverlance, even though we are huge with a thousand employees, is not big enough for them. Big companies simply don't like small ones, so Aricoma's size, when it grows to the strength of at least ten thousand employees, will be a springboard for us to new large international customers.<br><br><strong>So you're finally delivering on the strategy </strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/cleverlance/"><strong>Cleverlance</strong></a><strong> was founded with? That it will be a company that will primarily serve the foreign market.</strong><br><br>Those were the original assumptions. But after the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2000, we had to reorient ourselves to the Czech market. After a while Czech clients started asking us to go abroad with them on international projects. So we went beyond the borders again. We started to rebuild our positions on the German market. But nothing will ever change about the fact that the domestic market has become key for us and we'll never leave it, nor our Czech clients.<br><br><strong>Which foreign markets do you prefer?</strong><br><br>We are starting in Germany, we already have offices in Munich with salesmen and technicians, now we are trying Austria and eventually we will go to Switzerland. These countries suit us best with their mentality.<br></p><p> <strong>How does Spain, where you opened offices in April, fit into the expansion?</strong></p><p>Because we are looking for a solution to the critical talent shortage problem, and in addition to expanding our reach, we need English-speaking people. We looked around Europe and found an ideal place in Valencia that offers thousands of technically educated university students every year at a reasonable price, so it was an obvious choice for us. Let's hope it goes well. We want to have 20 people there within six months and 100 within a year, thereby starting a major expansion into Europe. Our goal is also tenders from the European Union.<br></p><p>But it is not easy to get such tenders. You have to go through a series of checks and tests, sign a framework contract with the European Union.<br><br>That's right, we've already gone through all that and we've been officially promised that we'll be one of the 8 companies that will sign such a contract with the European Commission. The contract will set barriers for the supply of services, people or technology for any European company that falls under the European Commission. The contract is for five years and the amount of money contracted is huge.<br><br>And this is also possible only because we are in <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/aricoma-group/">ARICOMA Group</a>, because one of the monitored elements was of course our size and stability, which Cleverlance alone would not be enough for, although our knowledge and capabilities are.<br><br><strong>So that contract gives you automatic access to European Commission contracts?</strong><br><br>No, it gives us the opportunity to participate in tenders for contracts from the European Commission, we will be able to apply for contracts in competition with the other seven companies that also have this framework contract. For the fact that we are actually only a Czech company in quotation marks, this is a phenomenal success.<br><br><strong>What are your expectations for the impact on </strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/cleverlance/"><strong>Cleverlance</strong></a><strong>?</strong></p><p>We expect our turnover to triple at least within those five years.<br>Of course, we would grow even without the contract with the European Commission, but not nearly as fast.<br></p><p> <img src="/en/blog/PublishingImages/Pages/PST-interview/Petr%20Stros-7945.jpg" alt="Petr Stros-7945.jpg" data-themekey="#" style="margin:5px;" /> <br></p><p> <strong>Cleverlance is establishing itself very much in the digital economy service. What do you think is the situation in this area?</strong><br><br>The world simply needs <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=digitization&highlightedUpdateUrns=urn:li:activity:6975061770495266817">#digitization</a> or <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=digitaltransformation&highlightedUpdateUrns=urn:li:activity:6975061770495266817">#digitaltransformation</a>, it doesn't matter what buzzword we call it. For now, as a world, we are only in the initial phase of the next act of the digital future.<br><br>Undoubtedly, we need tools to build a digital environment that allows us to acquire and use data, communicate with third parties, and then work with all that knowledge. But there are so many of them that it is simply not humanly possible to process them all. Therefore, tools are created to process them, which tell you what you should do on the basis of this data, how you should behave, what to buy, what to sell... But even with automatic data processing, you are soon overwhelmed by the reduced outputs. There's just too much.<br><br><strong>And what can be done about it?</strong></p><p>Change the approach completely. From an attitude of machines telling us what to do, you need to move to a system that offers advice on how to do better what you think is good for your business.<br><br>Therefore, you or your systems must learn to take only the one tiny particle that interests you from the processed <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=data&highlightedUpdateUrns=urn:li:activity:6975061770495266817">#data</a> and continue to work with it. In a week you can take another part and alternate it as needed. As a customer, you have to put yourself at the center of your data and only get what you need and want, not be overwhelmed by the volume.<br><br>Today, however, it still essentially does not work that way. When that time comes, it will be very interesting. We want to be both a data platform supplier and a user when the system recognizes the customer's feelings in advance and offers him exactly what he needs.<br></p><p> <strong>What do you mean by that feeling? Do you mean his current business need?</strong></p><p>No, needs can already be found and satisfied by today's artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms. But recognizing those feelings will be more girlish for the AI, we are only very slowly heading down a very difficult path there. No one even knows yet how to incorporate such an ability into algorithms. First, AI has to really be AI, and then all these things can be incorporated into it. The question is also whether AI will ever really reach a state where it will be intelligent.<br></p><p> <strong>What limits it today?</strong></p><p>Mainly hardware, when there are quantum computers, we will be in a different situation. Today we are really at the beginning of this journey.</p><p>And thanks to Aricoma, we can embark on that journey and work to create the future. Because the future of the digital economy does not end with building a platform for smart intelligence. An additional layer of blockchain will be needed on top of the AI layer.<br></p><p> <strong>How does blockchain fit into this?</strong></p><p>I'm not talking about cryptocurrencies, those are completely out of the question. I am referring to pure blockchain technology, which itself offers a safe, unassailable and trustworthy space. Trust is key in business, and so will blockchain in the future. And we are gradually trying to make these technologies available to our customers in the future.<br></p><p> <strong>How are you trying?</strong></p><p>We have our own blockchain research department where we test our stuff. It's really pure research, classic blockchain science. It is still early for practical use, it will take years. But without science, the future would not come. We are a technology company, and this is exactly the field for us.<br></p><p> <strong>When we talk about artificial intelligence, the European Union wants to regulate it in a fundamental way. How do you look at it?</strong></p><p>Now, if we set some frameworks for AI behavior, it's not entirely out of the question. I think that is correct, but it depends on the size of the playing field that the EU wants to define. It's a hard nut to crack, because we can't see into the future, it's hard to build future guardrails. If the playing field is too small, we won't be very competitive, if it's too big, there won't really be any regulation and it could happen that the whole thing gets over our heads.<br></p><p> <strong>Will Skynet or the Matrix come?</strong></p><p>I don't believe that AI will take over us, but it can go over our heads. We're not going to like that anymore, so we have to have some way to stop it. Let me give you an example for drivers - if you drive aggressively, such an overpowered AI will conclude<br>that you are dangerous to the environment and will stop you at every traffic light you meet on the road. Even if you calm down and drive sensibly, he will still run a red light just out of inertia, because you were simply a risky driver. You won't like that. Therefore, it is necessary to have the rules set in advance, and I note that I am not a fan of regulations. But in this area, you can't rely on everyone to self-regulate.<br></p><p> <strong>But won't such rules limit the competitiveness of European companies?</strong></p><p>I think the whole world will follow us in this, just like for example with GDPR. Everyone feared it as the scourge of mankind, and in the end nothing really happened.<br></p><p> </p><p> ​<br> </p>​<br>
Five Current UX Trendshttps://www.cleverlance.com/en/blog/Pages/UX-trends.aspxFive Current UX Trends<p>​​​In 2009, when we issued the first yearbook on User-friendly Interface in the Czech Republic, there were only about twenty professionals focusing on the area in the Czech Republic. Today, according to data from Glassdoor, a global leader in the area of information about jobs and employment trends, the position of UX designer is the 25th most sought-after job world-wide. Google’s entry into the world of education resulted in more than half a million certificates being issued. The field is still evolving and so are the requirements and outputs of these creative activities. Let’s have a look at which ones we found the most interesting at the moment.</p><h3>1. User interfaces as brand bearers</h3><p>The more we can learn about users from research, the more time and resources development teams have to focus on the form and consistency of user interface outputs. In order to achieve the best possible user experience, all outputs need to have a unified design –companies cannot afford to use a different tone every time they speak to the client. Still, many companies only focus on the appearance and controls of the application, and at best perhaps also on the corporate colors. However, the brand essence carried by the user interface is an important communication dimension not only towards clients but also within the companies themselves. One such example is Nike, whose user interface is always easily recognizable already at first glance.</p><h3>2. Design system as part of UX delivery</h3><p>In order for a brand to maintain its uniqueness, it is not possible for the look of individual technological solutions to depend only on the supplier or the platform. Design System Management (DSM), which is a set of standards for large-scale design management, is becoming increasingly popular. The tools created in this field provide non-stop access to the current design manual, even to third parties. This ensures visual consistency across various interfaces and digital channels.</p><h3>3. Increasing reliability through user experience</h3><p>Just like before, users who make a purchase get not only the product but also the buying experience, only this time in a digital environment. The fact that the consistency of the appearance and controls are crucial for the user’s relationship to the brand has been confirmed by many studies. For example, according to Adobe Trust Report (The digital economy is personal, 2022), 57 % of users claim that as soon as a company breaks their trust, they will not give it another chance. 70 % of users then stated that inaccurate personalization reduces their trust in the brand. This goes hand in hand with the handling of customers’ data. Here it also holds that the more transparent the digital approach to the processing of the customer’s data, the more willing the customer is to share their date with a company they trust.</p><h3>4. Typography – small details with fatal impact</h3><p>Typography is a small but crucial detail for branding. The more text is transferred to digital equipment, the better the required quality of the text. A UX designer has to keep in mind that today text is used in various situations and places: a driver watching the dashboard in a car, a jogger setting the pace in their application, someone reading the news on the phone during their morning commute, a warehouse operator checking the data from a scanner, an operator configuring a machine in a production plant… All these situations have one thing in common: the user often holds the device in their hand and reads from a shaky screen. This of course places higher requirements on the font than when used on a static device. At Cleverance we often create new fonts on the basis of the client’s requirements to ensure legibility and readability of the text in highly demanding conditions.</p><h3>5. Limits of internal UX teams</h3><p>Many companies that desire to forego UX consultants and create their own internal UX teams quickly find out about the limits of such an approach. The expectation that a single internal UX expert can cover all UX skills often proves to be unrealistic. Sub-fields of UX such as research, copywriting or design are so specialized that not even one expert can manage to master all of these on the required level. This is why many companies now have UX teams with several members, and it’s becoming more difficult to find specialists with the expected skill levels and experience on the job market. As a result, the internal team often focuses on only one area of UX, for example research. However, without a high-quality designer, this only leads to theoretical results. A significant handicap of these teams is their narrow (albeit understandable) specialization on a specific product of the company. Designers and researchers then lack a comparison to, insights from and the best practices for other areas. That is where technological companies come in again, as the variety of the projects they handle can enrich companies with new approaches and nicely complement internal UX teams.<br></p>
Why are cookies a nuisance in our lives?https://www.cleverlance.com/en/blog/Pages/cookies.aspxWhy are cookies a nuisance in our lives?<p>​​Have you noticed that lately cookie consent bars have been popping up on almost every website you visit? Very annoying, isn’t it?</p><p>Does this mean that companies might finally be starting to take our privacy seriously? It’s certainly nice of them to always ask when they want to use cookies. But the reality is that website operators do not do this voluntarily, but because they have to.</p><h3>New legislation</h3><p>This is to say that new legislation came into force on 1 January 2022 which changes Act No. 127/2005 Coll., on electronic communications. This concerns a very extensive amendment with more than 400 changes. This amendment also led to changes to a number of other acts, such as the Roads Act, the Radio and Television Broadcasting Act, and others. All of the changes introduced by the amendment were adopted due to the implementation of the European Directive 2018/1972 into the Czech legal system, in the area of electronic communications.</p><h3>Cookies then and now</h3><p>This new act has a major impact on the use of cookies on websites. Even in the past, the website operator had to have the user’s consent to store cookies (according to the GDPR). However, it was assumed that the user primarily agrees to use of cookies unless they explicitly choose otherwise (the so-called opt-out principle). The option of refusing to allow use of cookies always had to be possible on the website.</p><p>But from 2022, the opposite applies to the use of cookies (the opt-in principle). The website operator must assume from the outset that the user does not primarily agree to cookies. And it therefore cannot use them to store data. Cookies can only be used on the website from the moment when the user has explicitly and actively expressed their consent. The only exception to this is constituted by basic technical cookies which are necessary for the functioning of the website and for provision of the service. The user’s prior consent is not required for this type of cookie. However, the condition still applies here that this concerns processing of personal data and the requirements of the GDPR must be met. And the website must inform the user about cookies.</p><h3>What should the new cookie bar look like?</h3><p>The cookie bar has been used for provision of consent for a long time, but it must now comply with new legislation. It is no longer enough to inform the user which cookies the website uses. It is no longer possible to have pre-ticked checkboxes to give consent. Consent cannot be re-expressed by using the site for which cookies are set.</p><p>The bar must have the prescribed properties and must not be aggressive or block web content. It must meet the following requirements:</p><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><p><em>• The user must actively opt-in to the use of cookies. Until then, use of cookies on the website is prohibited.</em></p><p><em>• The website must clearly and transparently inform the user which types of cookies it uses and what they are used for.</em></p><p><em>• The website only allows the user to check the consent box for certain types of cookies.</em></p><p><em>• The website must function without consent to use of cookies, it must not force consent.</em></p><p><em>• The user must be able to return to the cookie settings repeatedly and withdraw any consent which has been given.</em></p></blockquote><h3>What in fact are cookies?</h3><p>All of you have probably experienced the situation when you are looking for accommodation or car rental for a holiday on the web. You surf websites, researching alternatives, availability and price. After a while you return to the best offer and heavens above ... You are surprised to see that the price of the service has suddenly increased!!</p><p>How is that possible? Yes, the cookies are to blame! Marketers assume that if you come back to an offer, you are genuinely interested in it, so they raise the price. This is an example of use of so-called marketing cookies, which we regularly come across on the web. And we don’t even know about it.</p><p>A cookie is a simple technology which is part of a website and web browser. Precisely put, it is a file on your computer’s hard drive. The website stores various information about your settings and your behaviour on the site. If you reconnect to the site after some time, the site will retrieve this information and can work with it to adjust the site to your previously set preferences.</p><p>This behaviour is where this technology gets its name. Cookies are offered by hosts in the Anglo-Saxon world to make their visitors feel at home.<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/cookies_unsplash.jpg" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:center;">Photos via <a href="https://unsplash.com/" target="_blank">Unsplash​</a>.</p><p>Some cookies are useful to users because they make browsing the web more enjoyable. For example, the website will remember that you prefer “dark mode” and will always be displayed in dark colours for you. Other types of cookies allow us to track user behaviour and use this in advertising and marketing. This is the only real risk to the user if they turn cookies on - the imposition of content and targeted advertising. But it certainly won’t happen that the website won’t load, will be slow, or even infect you with a virus.</p><h3>Three quarters of the population don’t know what cookies are used for</h3><p>In April 2022, Avast commissioned performance of a public survey regarding cookies, which came up with some rather interesting findings. How did we do? Not very well in fact ...</p><p><em>Half of Czechs accept all cookies without thinking.</em></p><p>Most Czechs don’t know exactly what cookies are. Only a quarter of users (26%) know what this web technology is used for. When visiting a website , half of the Czech population automatically opts in tocollection and possible disclosure of all accessible information to third parties. This means that people “accept all” so to speak. Most often because they want to get to the website as quickly as possible (31%), the trust the website (20%) or they visit it repeatedly (18%). Some people (31% of respondents) even think that rejecting cookies will make it impossible to view the website at all. But as we already know, this should not happen thanks to the new act.</p><p>Another option is to reject cookies altogether, but only 9% of people do this, and these are mostly people who know something about cookies. Almost half (41%) of those who don’t know cookies don’t even know how to reject them. The internet population is clearly quite uneducated in this regard. For example, according to the survey, 29% of respondents believe that cookies slow down the website and 7% believe that they can even infect a website with a virus.</p><p>Based on the results of the survey, Avast decided to develop a public education campaign called <strong>The Man Who Allowed All</strong>. The face of the campaign is actor Martin Kraus and its aim is to explain to the Czech people how cookies work and how they are beneficial. But also how to protect your privacy online.</p><h3>Cookie bar remover</h3><p>So now we have learned that companies and website operators cannot work with cookies by default unless the user explicitly allows them to. So if you close the cookie bar using the “x” button, the website must behave as if you had rejected use of cookies. It must logically have the same result. Yet closing the bar is so annoying. If we reject cookies on a particular website, the website has no way to easily save this option (cookies are after all disabled) and the next time the website is loaded, the bar pops up again. How do we stop this happening?</p><p>There is a simple solution. You can install the <a href="https://www.i-dont-care-about-cookies.eu/" target="_blank">I-DONT-CARE-ABOUT-COOKIES.EU​</a> plugin which can be installed in most web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Edge). This will ensure that the browser does not display the cookie bar at all. And it works surprisingly well!<br></p>