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Our Website Design and Development Services

We're focused on UX design for the web and mobile

Design & Prototyping

Our designs begin with an information architecture analysis and content audit. We then create personas and develop a content strategy before moving on to interaction design, wire frames, and eventually mobile-first HTML prototypes and/or style tiles. We then test and iterate based on usability tests and client feedback.

Testing & Benchmarking

Integration and unit tests add value to a code base by helping to ensure that additions or updates don't break existing features. Broswer and operating system compatibility testing help verify that our websites render correctly on the latest mobile phones and tablets.

Seamless Deployment

Production code gets shipped without downtime because—you know—it's 2017 and we're professional. We leverage modern deployment tools, testing software, and use the version control tools such as Git to make the update process as smooth as butter.

Refinement + A/B Testing

Fine tunning the design and polishing rough edges on features from the initial release, fixing minor bugs, and improving the user experience. We look at data from gathered from usage analytics to verify that we're meeting the goals set out in our foundation workshop.

We care about quality web design

Quality is exemplified in the way something is built. It's taking the time build something right—even when no one's looking or has access to your source code.

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Thoughts, resources, and links for UX designers and front-end web developers.

Node 8 and npm 5

Node 8 and npm 5 were released last week.

Updating Node.js is probably a safe bet, but I wouldn’t rush it unless you’re really excited for its improved support for promises. It gets long term support (LTS) status in October.

I’ve been using yarn for several months and have a hard time seeing myself switching back to npm any time soon, although the latest release did add a new lockfile feature which likely came as result of the competition from yarn.

Ansible Playbook for WordPress on Nginx

Ansible is a tool to automate repetitive tasks like setting up and configuring servers or deploying updates.

It can automate tasks on multiple hosts, and has made my life simpler. When I tell other developers about it, I sometimes get the response that “Well I could just write a shell script for that” — and while yes you could, it’s much more flexible and is configured using YAML which is just a bit more readable. In addition to it being human readable it’s also cross platform and secure (it relies on open ssh and doesn’t depend on agents).

This is a small playbook to install WordPress running on Nginx for creating new local development environments and test servers: https://github.com/tucsonlabs/ansible-playbook-wordpress-nginx

Node LTS and Stable

Node.js v5 is an intermediate feature release line that is best suited for users who have an easier time upgrading their Node.js installations, such as developers using the technology for front-end toolchains. This version will be supported for a maximum of only eight months and will be continually updated with new features and better performance; it is not supported under our LTS plan.

They’re calling the odd numbered version releases “stable”. Which is model similar to Ubuntu. I’m interested to see how well this plan plays out in the long run.


New logo for REI is more like a throwback

This will likely be unnoticed by most REI customers, but they’ve decided to redesign their logo taking visual cues from an older (possibly original) version. Even though REI may technically be a coop, I think many recognize it as a large, national brand — and with 140 stores in 33 states, it’s really lost the feeling of a co-op. Maybe this is a move to get back to their original co-op roots?

In related news the Capitol Hill Value Village is closing. This was once home to REI’s flagship store which I have fond memories of visiting as a child in the 1980s when it definitely felt like a co-op.

New REI Logo


Peter Seibel:

How to think about engineering effectiveness

I think a big part of the problem is that we—as an industry—are not very good about thinking about how to make engineers effective. For our software, especially back-end software, we can measure its goodness by the number queries per second it can handle, the number of incidents we experience, and the amount of hardware we have to buy to run it. Those things are easy to measure and even fairly easy to tie to financial implications for the business.
Engineers’ effectiveness, on the other hand, is hard to measure. We don’t even really know what makes people productive; thus we talk about 10x engineers as though that’s a thing when even the studies that lead to the notion of a 10x engineer pointed more strongly to the notion of a 10x office.

But we’d all agree, I think, that it is possible to affect engineers’ productivity. At the very least it is possible to harm it.

The Twitter EE motto is: “Quality, Speed, Joy”. Those are the three things we are trying to affect across all of Twitter engineering. Unlike that other famous triple, Fast, Cheap, Good, we believe you don’t have to pick just two. In fact they feed into each other: Building things right will let you go faster. Building faster will give you more time to experiment and find your way to the right thing. And everybody enjoys building good stuff and a lot of it.

This is an interesting way to look at developer productivity. Generally in my experience, when there’s an emphasis on speed in the sense to ship something on a tight deadline, the quality of the project might suffer. However, this isn’t speed in the sense of tight deadlines. It’s speed in the sense of writing code quickly which as Mr. Seibel points out, frees time to experiment and explore better ways of problem solving.


Ashley Madison hack

Dave Kennedy for Ars:

Researchers are still poring over the unusually large dump, but already they say it includes user names, first and last names, and hashed passwords for 33 million accounts, partial credit card data, street names, and phone numbers for huge numbers of users, records documenting 9.6 million transactions, and 36 million e-mail addresses. While much of the data is sure to correspond to anonymous burner accounts, it’s a likely bet many of them belong to real people who visited the site for clandestine encounters. For what it’s worth, more than 15,000 of the e-mail addresses are hosted by US government and military servers using the .gov and .mil top-level domains.

There are some incredibly smart people working in the federal government—and then there are these people.

The Ashley Madison Hack

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