things we learned

lessons from working in the design and web development business

September 20, 2012
by Tom
Comments Off on Smashing Conference, Freiburg, Germany, September 2012

Smashing Conference, Freiburg, Germany, September 2012

The first Smashing Conference was the second »web« conference I attended. Having talked with Vitaly Friedman and Marc Thiele at last year’s »Beyond Tellerrand«, it was a no-brainer to attend the debut of Smashing Magazine’s conference. I was sure that this would be another great opportunity to refill my drained batteries, to catch up with the changes happening in our industry, to get to know in person the likeable people who inhabit my twitter-timeline, well, frankly, to have a good time.

Continue Reading →

Taking Your Talent to the Web

Written in 2001 and still a good read!

I wrote this book in 2001 for print designers whose clients want websites, print art directors who’d like to move into full–time web and interaction design, homepage creators who are ready to turn pro, and professionals who seek to deepen their web skills and understanding. (…) While browser references and modem speeds may reek of 2001, much of the advice about transitioning to the web still holds true. – Jeffrey Zeldman

We Are Architects

We all have a vision of what architects do, right? They sit in front of CAD all day drawing walls, doors and toilets on floor plans, right? But after realizing the duties of architects, the similarities are compelling and it leads to one conclusion: web designers are architects.

August 5, 2012
by Tom
0 comments

The Findings of the Digital Marketing for Small Agencies Survey

Newfangled, a webdevelopment studio with offices in North Carolina and Rhode Island, interviewed about 300 small agencies about their digital marketing practises.

Last month, we began a survey of the digital marketing practices of small agencies in the United States and elsewhere. The survey contained 132 questions, covering the operations, business practices, websites, content marketing, social media, web development and sales practices of participating firms. The survey respondents provided us with a huge amount of information, which we’ve organized, analyzed and prepared to share with you below.
newfangled.com

This is interesting:

59% of the small agencies interviewed are not happy with the current state of their website,
94% see it as an integral part of their marketing plan,
62% had it build in-house,
81% plan to rebuild it in-house

So if it is an integral part of your marketing plan and you built it for yourself (which is a key part of your services for clients I suppose), so how come you’re not happy with it?
Maybe there’s a business opportunity. Why not cross-design? Have another agency build your website and vice-versa. Almost everyone I know struggles when it comes to work for him/herself, which may be the reason why your own website is not as good as the websites you build for others…

August 2, 2012
by Tom
0 comments

The Mobile Shift – the end of small studios?

[TL:DR] With the cultural change in processes (agile vs. waterfall), the need to educate clients and partners, and the imperative of working early in processes, small studios may lack the financial resources and manpower to fund this pioneering phase. Big agencies on the other hand have the resources, contacts, and the standing to establish new processes and cross-finance.
Continue Reading →

How we learned to leave default font-size alone and embrace the em

(…) Our design decisions are now more commonly informed by the context in which a component lives in the page, and how it adapts fluidly and proportionally within that environment, regardless of its pixel-based scale (…)

Filament Group’s blog on why re-setting the browser’s default font-size just because it’s easier to do the math needed for relative units may be a less-than-good idea when applying contemporary webdesign principles. Make sure to read the follow-up on rems and ems as well.

 

Perspectives in Experience Design

For me, the word Experience in the context of Design work refers to the way people experience the world, and making everything we produce fit into their lives. The word preceding Experience is about the perspective you use when talking about someone’s experience, the roles and the scope you want to focus on. For an enterprise, this translates to the ways it chooses to appear in people’s lives. Let’s look at some of the concepts floating around – and please be aware that these are fairly personal views (…)
– Milan, Blurring Boundaries

July 18, 2012
by The Team
0 comments

How much does a responsive web design cost? (german translation)

Prelude: The web community is spread all over the world and has more or less agreed to communicate in english. Many of today’s trends and tomorrow’s features are discussed in mailing lists, in changelogs, on twitter, and in blogs. Nevertheless there are many “local” communities and not everybody is fluent in english. So we thought it is a good idea to translate this (to us) important article on “Responsive Web Design” by Brad Frost to german, for “our” community. So enjoy. Continue Reading →