The Streets of Old Timaru

Being part of an awesome project working with the South Canterbury Museum to preserve photos of 'Old' Timaru. 

Photo Credit - Mytchall Bransgrove/Fairfax NZ South Canterbury Museum director Philip Howe, left, watches Yellow Design creative director Tony Zwies reveal an historic view of Timaru's Church Street on the museum's new touch-screen photographic display.

Photo Credit - Mytchall Bransgrove/Fairfax NZ

South Canterbury Museum director Philip Howe, left, watches Yellow Design creative director Tony Zwies reveal an historic view of Timaru's Church Street on the museum's new touch-screen photographic display.

The South Canterbury Museum came to us to seek advise on displaying a historic map of Timaru while showing some old photos of various locations of the city centre utilising the technology of a touch screen display.

This was an interesting challenge due to the limitations of the touch screen in that it only recognises the touch and drag input, so no pinch zoom or finger scrolling gestures could be used, which most people are accustom to with mobile devices. Our challenge was to come up with a solution to prompt the movements and actions of a user and to make that action give the correct response in the simplest way possible.

We designed several layouts and tested these with some crude prototypes and found the best methods were utilising large scroll bars and large buttons. It may sound crude but we think it works. The true test is now at the Museum, head on down, try it out and let us know your thoughts.

Throughout the display you will find some great old photos telling of Timaru's past and some fantastic panoramic photos of modern Timaru supplied by photographer Craig Perkins.

If you scout deep enough you will also discover a slider featuring some 'now and then' photos, giving you a good taste of life back in the day, dogs and horse were part of every day life in the main street of Timaru.

Read more in the full article featured in the Timaru Herald.

Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/...

We’ve Moved - How about a coffee?

We have now joined the thousands of others who work from home! Sadly we had to vacate our studio, but will be looking for a new space later in the year.

In the mean time we are running as normal, the only difference is meeting space. If you are wanting to catch up about that new website or improving your search engine results then luckily Timaru is home to over 60 cafes.

The coffee is on us, so look forward to catching up.

Google update their mobile friendly search results.

With the large number of google searches coming from mobile phones Google has now, as of the 21st of April, decided to rank mobile friendly sites higher than their non friendly friends. 

Note that it only affects searches from mobile devices. This meaning that having a responsive mobile friendly website is even more key to being found on Google.

The update

  • Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
  • Affects search results in all languages globally 
  • Applies to individual pages, not entire websites

More on the Google friendly update.

If you are wanting a report on how your website performs on a mobile search, or need to make your site mobile friendly, get in touch.

Otherwise test your website to see if it is mobile friendly.

I need a website... Where do I start?

When deciding to go down the “it’s time to get a website path” I remember it being a daunting task, filled with both excitement and gosh, where do I start. You would have no doubt heard or starting hearing terms you’ve never heard of before like, CMS, Drupal, HTML, CSS, Javascript, blog, wordpress, domain names and servers etc. This would be enough to put anyone off and starts to hurt the head pretty quickly. More questions arise like do you need a custom design or a Prebuilt template?

Don’t Panic, hopefully we can share some information about these system and help your understanding. For today we are going to focus on a Static HTML website.

STATIC WEBSITES

A static web page (sometimes called a flat page/stationary page) is a web page that is delivered to the user exactly as stored, in contrast to dynamic web pages which are generated by a web application. - Wikipedia

Static webpages are great for small business with content that don't need constant updating. A static website contains pages with fixed content, text, photos, youtube clips etc, similar to that of any website but each page is hand coded and displays the same information to every visitor. 

Note - A static website requires a web developer to build the web pages and make changes to  the content on those pages. Larger websites typically use dynamic pages, (pages which can be updated by simply modifying a content management system. We will discuss these in a later post.)

 

WHAT WEBSITES OR COMPANIES ARE SUITED TO A STATIC WEBSITE?

  • Websites that don’t need constantly updated
  • Businesses that are simply wanting a web presence and providing basic details. (A Static webpage is good for gaining enquiries or delivering contact information.)
  • Startup Companies that need a web presence immediately.

 

SOME BENEFITS OF A STATIC WEBSITE

  • Often considered cheaper (Once built you just hosting fees)
  • More flexible in terms of layout. Not limited to a template or the structure of template code.
  • Once it is up it ticks over and requires little maintenance.
  • Static websites can still be responsive (mobile and tablet friendly) - Learn about Responsive Websites here.

 

5 EXAMPLE OF STATIC HTML WEBSITES

  • Starwoodspecialise in the manufacture of beech wood skewers.
  • Stompz - Stompz is a Timaru based fashion footwear store who specialise in high quality fashion footwear and accessories for all ages at an affordable price.
  • Unspoken - Bodies, emotions, relationships - They don’t always feel good.
  • Tailored Moments - It's all about celebrating life and Making Memories. The moment is now, not tomorrow, yesterday or someday!
  • Economy Campers - Reliable and functional Hi-top camper-vans with ample headroom, easily driven and highly manoeuvrable vehicles.

Work Productivity - some apps to help, maybe?

If you ask my friends about productivity apps they all know, I love them. I don't really know why, I think it's the thought that they make my life more productive, making me a better person, a person who doesn't procrastinate (as much) and gets things done.

Whether they help or not is up for debate but here is a rundown of four of my favourites.


TRELLO

Keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details.

www.trello.com
Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.

Trello is made up of boards, on those boards are cards. You assign tasks, pictures, lists, due dates etc. tocards. You can assign staff members to the cards and move the cards between boards making it easy to track tasks and their progress and the overall project.

How I currently use Trello? 

I know that I am probably not using Trello to its full potential but it does make my office life a lot better. I have several boards such as, general tasks, specific projects, sales leads and an invoicing board. On these boards I have several lists, coming up, to  do now, review (waiting for clients to respond), developments, work complete. Within these lists I create cards for specific tasks or jobs. These cards i get to move from list to list and from board to board and assign staff member to them. Great for tracking projects, who is doing what, completed tasks, sales leads, the limits are endless.

What this means for my life. 

  • I remember the things I need to do.
  • I can assign tasks to my team when i'm out of the office or if they are based in a different town.
  • I can see when projects are completed, moved or ready to do something.
  • Works with my phone and desktop.
  • For more info check out Trello

POCKET

When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket.

www.getpocket.com
 

I like reading, I like keeping up to date with crazy bits of information, mostly internet articles and blog posts. The problem is I'll come across something I want to read but I don't have time right this second. This is where Pocket comes in, I save it to my pocket reading list and I read it later.

Pocket, an application and service for managing a reading list of articles from the Internet. The application allows the user to save an article or web page to read later. The article is then sent to the user's Pocket list (synced to all of their devices) for offline reading. Pocket removes clutter from articles and allows the user to adjust text settings for easier reading. - Wikipedia


How I use pocket

Here is a cross section of what's in my pocket at the moment.
Several articles about design, e-commerce, how to improve my writing, an interesting article about selling all my junk and paying off my debt - will I ever do this? I'm not sure but I know if I wanted too I know where to turn. Plus, I'm a tennis player so this is where I keep my tennis tips.

A Great way to keep yourself informed... when you're ready.


Slack - Be Less Busy

www.slack.com

I like to keep my inbox pretty clean, anything clogging it up I don't really like. I don't have the problem that larger offices have, emails from other staff members, if you have this problem then Slack could help reduce the inbox overload.

Slack offers one-on-one messaging, private groups, persistent chat rooms, direct messaging as well as group chats organized by topic. All content inside Slack is searchable from one search box. Slack integrates with a number of third-party services, including Google Docs, Dropbox, Heroku, Crashlytics, GitHub and Zendesk.

How do I currently use slack?

Well admittedly I'm not sure if i'm the perfect candidate to be using it as Yellow Design is only 2 staff, given that, I love these kind of apps as my friends all know too well. I can see it being awesome in a larger office and even more so if people are working out and about or based in different towns.

It integrates with Trello, Mailchimp, Twitter and heaps of other this so I can just keep track of lots of these things, all in one place.


Evernote - Your life’s work

www.evernote.com
Evernote, designed for note taking and archiving. A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched, and exported as part of a notebook.


How I use Evernote

I often listen to podcasts, (Reply All being one; interesting tidbits about the internet) read books and the odd article, I use Evernote to take notes on the things I want to remember. I often go back to these notes, read up and become more learned. Who knows if remember the info but i'm sure it attributes to something.


ALL THIS TALK ABOUT PRODUCTIVITY; Does it help?

Do they actually make me a better person and help me get stuff done? It is hard to be the judge of that. 

I know when I put an item into Trello, it is not on some piece of paper floating round my office getting lost. If someone asks me to read an article I can save it to pocket and not forget about it and read it at my leisure. I think yes they do make me more productive or at least free up some time so I can enjoy the things I enjoy, something we all want. 

 

Do you use any of these apps? How do you find them?

If you want more info then I happy to help, where I can. E-mail me - info@yellowdesign.co.nz

 

Responsive Website Design

Responsive Design.

It’s a term that is thrown around a lot by web designers but what is it and why do you need it?

 

In my spare time I play the piano and in this new digital age I left behind the screeds of paper that used to litter the floor in an untidy mess and moved on to digital scores. It’s great. I’m able to have the largest collection of music without all the physical space it takes up, not to mention never accidentally losing a page. 

Most of the time i’ll set my laptop up on top of the piano and open up whatever I want to play. This particular day I was feeling lazy, i’d already sat down at the piano, my laptop was in the other room, it wasn’t turned on and I didn’t want to move the two meters to get it. That’s the great thing about handheld devices, mine is always on me, so I pulled it out to give myself a quick reminder of what I wanted to play. It’s happened to everyone who has any form of smart device, the moment you get to the web page you want and everything is tiny, so tiny I don’t think even getting my grandmothers sewing magnifying glass out would have helped.

Then the struggle begins placing both thumbs on the screen trying and desperately failing to zoom into the one section you want. You’re so close, almost at that perfect level of zoom when you move unexpectedly. Tapping the screen as you do so and all the hard work you were doing is gone, and you’ve loaded some obscure advert that was sitting at the side of the page.

Needless to say I gave up, the hassle of finding what I wanted on such a small screen with such an unresponsive website was frustrating to say the least. So I shut the Piano lid, threw my device on the couch and wished for the days of that untidy sheet music pile on my floor.

Responsive web design it’s about eliminating that frustration when you can’t access a website from whatever device you’re on, wherever you are.

 

How a Responsive website makes your life easier.

A responsive design will produce the best viewing experience for your device with a minimum of pinching, zooming or horizontal scrolling. Meaning you can read the content uninhibited whether that be on your phone, tablet or desktop. In Short the website responds according to the device you are using.

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/responsive-design-definition-gif

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/responsive-design-definition-gif

Why is Responsive Web Design Important?

According to the comscore U.S. Mobile App Reports mobile and tablet digital media engagement overtook the desktop in 2014. 
One of the design practises we try to adhere to is to always design for the user. This can be in relation to the layout, user interface or optimising the content toward the user. What has happened in the last 5 years is more and more people are looking to their mobile phones and tablets to look up information on the web therefore designing content to be easy to read and navigate on a mobile phone should increase your interactions with these users or at least making the experience more pleasurable.
Having a responsive website means you will be able to capture more users positioning yourself to more influence your audiences.

 

Is there more work involved in having a Responsive Website?

During the design process, yes, there is a lot more work due to the fact that typically we are designing three layouts (Mobile, Tablet & Desktop). Once the design has been built the website maintenance would be the same of a typical website. Generally the same content is displayed onto the different devices, one content stream for various users and devices. 

 

What about you? Do you have a Responsive website, how is it working for you? Do you have any questions about responsive websites? Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or would like to enquire about a responsive website.

It's a Blog!

Hi, meet the team at Yellow Design.

In such a digital age it can be difficult to find answers to your questions, or even know what questions to ask in the first place. We know it can be hard, which is why we are bringing both the questions and answers to you.

This is our blog. It’s where we let our hair down. It’s a pretty nice blog as far as they go; but our blog is less about how great we are and more about how it can help you. Which is why we started it in the first place. Helping you understand the new digital world we live in and how it can help you make the most out of your digital footprint.

We’ve got some ideas about the content. Actually, we have a whole list of topics but that doesn’t mean we don’t love being asked questions. So send us your queries, every question is a good question no matter how silly you think it may be.

Whether you’re a current client or just looking for some good information, Yellow Design is all about creating content that will be useful to you and your business.