Gather Round...

Welcome to Campfire News where we post current happenings, review topics related to design and tech, and publish case studies about our work.  

A Website Emergency

We recently received a call from the owner of a successful local restaurant. He was having a website emergency and needed our help. His web developer, for reasons unknown, had decided that he no longer wanted to be in the website business. Apparently he had come down with a bad case of wanderlust and had gone off to explore the world. Unfortunately for the gentleman on the other end of the call, his restaurant was now without a website and in its place was the dreaded error message, and an ex-web developer who was MIA somewhere in the world. 

Sadly, the design and development industry is bursting with fly-by-night contractors and unscrupulous individuals who simply do not care. It is, after all, the digital wild west; Buyer Beware. The good news is that a lot of business consumers are catching on and making better choices about who to trust with their digital branding. In fact, this year we are seeing a growing number of small-to-medium businesses willing to invest more capital into their websites in exchange for professionalism and dependability. 

As more and more consumers use the internet to navigate their day-to-day life, websites continue to grow in significance. If you want to stay relevant in a tech-driven marketplace, it's important for your website to be current and fresh. In the not-so-distant past it was considered quite enough to have a basic, static web presence. It didn't have to be fancy. It didn't have to do anything, as long as it provided some kind of information about your business. Well those days are long over and business owners have a much better understanding of the real value that a strong, interactive website brings. 
 

Mobile responsive design, the latest mantra in the world of digital design, has caused a recent boom in the website design industry. It's an exciting time for designers as the demand for custom design is on the rise. We're in the midst of a kind of design renaissance. Illustration is making a huge comeback as the tools for digital integration get better and better, animation is becoming more accessible and video is being used in ever-more creative ways. Platforms also continue to improve. Squarespace, for example, has made huge strides in terms of integrated applications, design flexibility, and affordability.

And now back to the website emergency... Fortunately everything turned out OKAY. First, we determined that the URL was owned by the restaurant (whew!), so we were able to throw up a cover page made with a full-screen image from the restaurant along with location, hours and phone number, and a note about the new website that was coming soon. A week later, our "emergency call" turned into a new client, and a few weeks later, we launched their new website.

Check it out: PastaAmore.com

New Site Launch: USA Northeast Annual Report

A mobile responsive website design that is smart and modern. Visit site: http://www.jesuitstransforminglives.org

A mobile responsive website design that is smart and modern. Visit site: http://www.jesuitstransforminglives.org

Download Case Study

Download Case Study

In the Fall of 2015 we received a call from the New York City office of communications for the Northeast Jesuit Province. Having done extensive work for the organization (we developed and designed a global multi-site platform for www.jesuits.org) they knew we had an in-depth understanding of their brand and audience, and that we could help them resolve a brand-related communications question. 

They were debating whether to transition their annual report from a print to a digital publication. The traditionalists felt that a printed report was still important to their older donor base, but the thirty-something director of communications believed it was time to modernize to appeal to a young-to-middle-age constituency. Settling the debate would require a product that could meet the needs of both groups to make for a smooth transition.

The website had to reflect the established brand identity. Its content had to be image driven and personal. Its navigation had to be clean and straightforward, and it had to provide a more interactive experience than the printed report. It also needed to support email campaigns, handle and process donor registrations from within the site, and its design had to be 100% mobile responsive.

The website for the 2014-15 annual report, jesuitstransforminglives.org, was constructed using the developer version of Squarespace. We started with a Squarespace template and applied custom code throughout the site to meet the following requirements:

• Mobile desponsive design
• Beautiful, print-ready downloads of the annual report
• Provide metrics to obtain accurate audience response to email campaigns and donor appeals
• Provide secure registration area for visitors requesting proprietary donor information
• Able to be easily updated and repurposed for other campaigns and future annual reports
• Cost-effective to maintain and host

Adventure Launches New Website

This past summer we made the decision to remake the Adventure website. Not only was it time for a refresh, but we were ready to make a change. The first question we asked ourselves: What platform should we build it in? You would think the answer would be obvious. After all, we were software developers experienced with multiple platforms.

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