Inside the industry and inside the agency
As a Sitecore partner, Wickedweb will be exhibiting at the Digital Trendspot 2012 UK event on March 15th. This innovative and thought-provoking conference will explore emerging issues and opportunities in the digital environment. The theme this year will be “Adaptive Web Experiences”.
Some of Europe’s leading brands have successfully adapted their web experience to meet the online business challenges of the future, and so this promises to be an insightful event for senior client-side digital marketers. The line up of speakers includes easyjet, Dyson, Virgin Active and Miller Group.
Wickedweb will be available during the conference period to talk to delegates about how we take brands to the next level of engagement – come and join us to discover how we do this.
To find out more about attending Digital Trendspot 2012, visit Sitecore’s website for more detail.
Native browser support for HTML5 has advanced rapidly in the past year with everyone keen to push forward with new features (even Microsoft, to their credit, are actively pushing to get rid of IE6 and force users to upgrade to the latest version).
Unfortunately app formats seem to be going the other way and I have found a great article that you may find interesting. It points towards something of an app arms-race similar to the browser one-upmanship we had about 10 years ago, in which app development becomes fragmented.
From personal experience it is clear that Flash and ActionScript are not yet dead and buried, despite rumours to the contrary. As annoying as Flash is from an SEO point of view it is still the best, and in many cases the only realistic way of delivering rich media content cross-browser. Swiffy and similar SWF to HTML5 converters are working to bridge the gap between the plug-in and open Web but from experience there’s still a long way to go (filesize and performance issues abound).
This informative and insightful article from .net is definitely worth a read and personally I’m looking forward to the design/dev challenges that 2012 will have to offer. Let us know what you think...
The weekend is nearly upon us, so without further ado, here’s a few not so serious things from around the web.
If We Don’t, Remember Me
A collection of animated gifs and cinemagraphs from the world of Hollywood to make you smile.
A wonderfully simple idea – just grab a record and use it to complete a picture. Some real crackers in here.
Comic Sans Project
Goodbye Helvetica, thank you for your years of service. Forget what you thought you knew about Comic Sans, turns out, it’s awesome.
LEGO Album Covers
To finish up with, take a look at these rather splendid LEGO versions of iconic album covers.
Wickedweb were delighted to have the opportunity to work on a top secret project for Built Asset Consultancy leaders EC Harris.
The mission: To announce EC Harris’ merger with top Dutch engineering firm Arcadis.
The solution: A homepage takeover featuring a 50 second film announcing the merger and highlighting the exciting changes ahead. At the end of the video the user could click through to an interactive flash animation where they were able to find out more information about EC Harris and Arcadis offices around the world.
After sourcing film footage to suit the storyboards drawn up by our budding inhouse film directors we joined forces with our good friends over at Strip Studios to bring the video to life. The inclusion of a lively soundtrack and some classy animation added the finishing touches and we were good to go!
The aggressive timelines and hush-hush nature of the project certainly kept us on our toes but we love the end result (click image to view):
So, you want a sparkly new website right? You want it to work on your desktop obviously. And the laptop you use at home. And it’d be great if it looked the same on the netbook you tap away at on the train. And you’ve just got one of those fancy tablet things as well, so it’ll need to work on that. Oh, and your mobile, naturally. Your TV has internet browsing? So does your games console...
As web designers and developers, we’re used to change. We’ve long had to worry about intangibles that few other mediums would for years. Variable window sizes, screen resolutions, user preferences are just a few. And please, nobody dare mention IE6. Every couple of years we experience a new paradigm of thinking – and we adapt. But even in this industry, things are moving fast, very fast.
Over in Las Vegas this week at the Consumer Electronics Show, dozens of devices have been proudly displayed to the world for the first time, from mobiles to tablets to televisions. Devices of all different sizes and many which can be viewed both landscape and portrait.
The rapid influx of new browsing devices means that we are now at a point where it is impractical, both financially and otherwise, to try and keep up.
Thankfully, there is an alternative to supporting each and every user agent by creating bespoke versions of each and every website.
Responsive design is perfectly suited to the multi-platform world that we now find ourselves in. Simply put, responsive design is flexible, device independent design for the web. Even more simply put, the web content that you’re viewing will adjust itself to the size of the screen you’re browsing on.
The primary appeal is to build a website which can look great on both your mobile and laptop, without having to create a mobile specific version. The size of the window is the key, not the device being used to view it. 10 years ago the notion of a 24” monitor being common place would have seemed almost unreal. Responsive design also allows us to go BIG. Banishing the ungainly white space which sits on either side of the web content and increasing the size of images and videos would dramatically change the user experience.
There are all sorts of clever tricks and tools that can be used by delivering media queries to enhance the user experience as well. On smaller screens or touch devices the ‘hit area’ of a link could be increased and typography can be spaced differently to improve legibility and much more.
Responsive design is a technical mixture of fluid layouts, flexible images and media queries. Tackled from a design perspective, more than ever, the way in which content could be viewed is of huge importance and the way that content translates from one device to another is crucial to the success of a project.
And for once, it really just might be about making the logo bigger.
Wickedweb builds an engaging suite of websites for Riley Consulting, consolidating eight individual brands under one powerful umbrella site. Riley Consulting is a leading UK consultancy firm, providing multi-disciplinary construction and property services. The group has a proud history, with over 100 years’ experience in sectors ranging from aviation to retail.
With no fewer than seven sub-brands under the group umbrella, Riley Consulting approached Wickedweb seeking to revamp its full suite of eight websites.
While pursuing creative consistency across the sites, Riley Consulting wished to continue marketing its services independently as well as collectively. The challenge was therefore set to deliver an engaging and cohesive site structure that enabled sub-brands to stand alone as separate entities - while simultaneously maintaining the group’s core identity.
With a focus on long term success, search engine optimisation (SEO) was a key consideration from the very beginning. The site was also to be integrated with a content management system (CMS), facilitating simple in-house updates to all websites through a single interface.
The full case study will be released in January 2012.
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