We design intuitive, high-performance websites and interfaces

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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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Weblog

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

I decided to disable AMP on my site

Alex Kras:

I initially enabled AMP on my site for one reason only – ranking well in Google search results.

Shortly before AMP became a thing, Google announced that they will begin penalizing websites that did not render fast on mobile devices. My website had a responsive theme, but I wasn’t sure if that was “mobile friendly” enough. Therefore, when I learned that WordPress had an AMP plugin, I quickly enabled it. Even though Google has officially stated that AMP support does not affect site’s search ranking, I figured it wouldn’t hurt.

Another search ranking benefit of AMP, is that only AMP enabled sites are shown in Google’s carousel feature. While my site is not likely to make it into the carousel, getting featured there must be very important for big publishers.

I understand why at first glance AMP seems like a good deal to both big publishers and independent authors. People like websites that load quickly and Google makes this difficult task easy with AMP. The tradeoffs are huge though and how it’s currently implemented is heavily skewed towards Google’s favor. If you have AMP or are thinking about using it, read this article first.

https://www.alexkras.com/i-decided-to-disable-amp-on-my-site/

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.

https://nodejs.org/en/blog/community/node-v5

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

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