Category: Tech

We're gearing up for this year's WordCamp 2013, and in anticipation of the event, we'll share a few cool (and helpful!) things about WordPress that make our keyboards glow with glee.

There are so many ways to tackle developing a new WordPress plugin that it's easy to lose your way, especially when it doesn't work as expected. So to shine a little light on it, we've put together a short guide to the best practices that can help make your plugins more effective all around.

Continue Reading

The new year means new predictions for the web. We've been watching the latest industry trends--taking part in more than a few of them--and seeing where the industry is going. And the overarching theme we're seeing for 2013? Better user experience.

Here are the most prominent and relevant trends we see to be making an impact during this year.

Continue Reading

The next level of project confidence is all about good communication and the right tools.

For the Rogers Raising the Grade initiative by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, a nationwide program focused on helping youth achieve more in school, good communication wasn’t just a necessity for good project management—it was vital to the success of the project. So when we were brought in to develop the tools needed, we knew that a communications-optimized SharePoint implementation would be the ideal solution.

Because of the nature of a national program headed by multiple teams in various locations, good communication would be founded on a straightforward organizational structure that would provide a clear flow for teams to work with one another. It would also be crucial to ensure the teams could easily access the information they would need most frequently and then work without any unnecessary distractions. Likewise, because SharePoint can be such a massive application, it needed to be developed in such a manner so that it wouldn’t become another time-consuming and complicated task in the midst of the project.

Continue Reading

If you work in IT, or even in a department that is associated with IT, at some point you may be asked to take over a website or web application that you had no part in managing. You may have been in grade school for all that matters when it was installed, but somehow this landed on your plate and you are the go to person when it comes to the site questions. Even if it does not work the way the current world works, it may look like some hideous attempt at something leading edge. So congratulations--you are the proud new owner of a “Legacy Website"!

Continue Reading

Stories may be the single most powerful way to convey an idea to another human being. At its most fundamental, it's not only how we learn about the world around us, it's how we interpret it and teach it to others. Metaphors and descriptions spark understanding in a way that plain-and-dry data never can. But although Story itself is rarely disputed as a powerful way to educate and humanize tedious subjects, it's often overlooked as a method to improve the user experience of websites today.

For the web industry, storytelling by design is a growing interest of many designers. But why? Do cookie-cutter websites really leave anything left to be desired? And moreover, can storytelling by design have a practical purpose beyond subjective aesthetics?

Continue Reading

Although at first glance Microsoft SharePoint seems like it would mostly benefit large businesses that deal with a number of internal and external department, many small businesses see substaintial gains in terms of productivity and project efficiency through SharePoint. When taking into account the improvement in overall workflow, the costs are generally negated--if the free version of the software (WSS) doesn't suffice and additional customization and add-ons are required (as is usually the case).

Regardless of which version of SharePoint is implemented (there are several suitable to different structures), its benefits shouldn't be overlooked by small businesses. Here are three ways SharePoint can revolutionize the way your small business works--for the better.

Continue Reading

It's human nature that we're interested in the latest and greatest, attracted to recent fads, fashions and subsequent faux pas like red ink edits on the first round of web copy--we're all over it. Especially in the web production industry, trends can be a powerful current. The larger the stream, the more the entire river changes its course.

Watching trends isn't just for those trying to keep up with the Jones--it's also an invaluable metric for understanding the larger economics at play. When the Web 2.0 look developed, why did glossy, beveled edges and reflections dominate new design? The ease-of-use created by CSS3 has opened the web up to new possibilities. And large footers with sub-menus? New SEO algorithms and a shifting importance on User Accessibility directed designers towards revising traditional elements. We're quite guilty of experimenting with a number of the latest trends ourselves; there's nothing wrong with a fad as long as it doesn't compromise the accessibility of the content. Ultimately, the important take-away from web trends isn't so much about aesthetics as it is about the future of the web and the way we use it.

For this reason, we decided to break this topic up into two categories. Trends generally refers to aesthetic treatments or ways of interacting with content, while evolution refers to bigger picture ideas about the way this industry is progressing. In general, there seems to be a stronger focus now more than ever on content on the web. The driving force behind this is that content publishers (authors, bloggers, designers, developers, etc.) now have so little control over how their content is going to be accessed. People might view it on their 2G feature phone, their new iPad 3, their 27" Thunderbolt display, a stripped down version via an RSS reader, Instapaper or Readability, or on a 60" TV through their Nintendo Wii browser. Web designers are being challenged to not only contend with tides of technology, but ride the digital wave as well.

Here's the six most prevalent trends we've encountered in 2012 thus far, along with a run through of six evolutions we expect to continue to shape the face of the web.

Continue Reading

When you consider the vast (and ever growing) field that development is, it’s easy to see why it can be a daunting career choice. Covering everything from programming to front-end, our developers are all specialists in their own field—development is an increasingly varied industry. And for this industry, this is really only the beginning.

So where do you begin? Here’s the first ten things you should know when learning to code and starting out in the industry.

Continue Reading

Creative Facebook timeline covers can help make or break your first impression on this platform. Fortunately, this new Facebook feature has untapped possibilities to showcase your creativity and display your brand in a new and clever way.

Below, we present to you 15 of our favourite highly creative timeline covers to get you thinking. Have one you think should have made the cut? Drop us a note in the comments!

Continue Reading

Websites are excellent means to communication with the public, but the bad thing about website is just that: they're public.  Anyone on the web can access DNS information from sites like InterNIC, which can be used not only to identify you, but identify your host.  There's no surefire way to prevent hacking or Internet fraud (unless, frankly, you quit using the internet altogether, but we realize this would be a near-cataclysmic event).  But you can arm yourself with the latest knowledge and combat Internet fraud with these security best practices.  Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of suggestions.  However, it will provide an excellent starting place to increase your online security.

Continue Reading