I can’t overstate the importance of testing what you build for the web.
When we design and build without testing the experience with actual users, the entire project becomes one big assumption. The assumptions are often skewed because we have different, web-oriented domain-specific knowledge that the actual future users often don’t have.
There are plenty of reasons why testing gets skipped in the build process: limited time/budget, overcomplicating the process, or not knowing where to start. But the main reason is that it’s not a perceived necessity in the same way design and development are. We can pass from start to finish without it.
It’s easy to overlook, but the consequences can be dire—you risk building the wrong thing altogether, and returning to the drawing board just when you thought you could hang up your keyboard and bask in the digital glow of your thriving web project.
Building user testing into a web project doesn’t have to feel like a burden or an interruption.
Arconas is one of our oldest clients. I’ve worked with them since my earliest days at Domain7—nearly 9 years ago!
This Canadian company has an international corner on high quality public seating—for spaces like airports, train stations, justice buildings, government service centres and libraries.
One of my geeky habits when travelling around the world is trying to identify their products in airport terminals. They really are everywhere. Chances are you’d recognize their Bernù line. I love the subtlety of the cross-sections in the armrests and wing shape of the benches—it reveals the care and artistry that Arconas puts into each of their products.
Recently they reached out to us about a new opportunity: their first consumer-facing product.
It’s a product they’ve carried for decades—a favourite among their line and a big hit over the years: Bouloum. The design has been around since the '60s but...
Vancouver has a thriving restaurant scene—and at Domain7 we’re a bunch of foodies. We compare notes on what we made for lunch, where we ate the night before and what restaurants have just opened.
So partnering with Bistro72 was a good excuse to indulge a passion while creating beautiful, human web.
This hip little French bistro has a great BC wine list and a great story. About 45 minutes from our Vancouver office, it’s in the basement of a heritage building that’s home to the Old Surrey Restaurant—a local institution of fine dining for over 20 years. Old Surrey has devoted regulars who’ve been coming back for high quality food since it first opened.
Our client saw shift in the area—younger, urban families were moving from Vancouver to take advantage of affordable housing and more space. Bistro72 gives them the kind of dining experience they’re used to finding in the city, close to home. We wanted to connect with this new demographic on the web.
We’re lucky to work with amazing clients, but every once in a while a client really catches our vision and gives us free reign to bring their story to the web.
Inspired by the work we did for the Greater Vancouver YMCA, UBC Continuing Studies did just that when they approached us to build a storytelling microsite. They asked us to tell their story in a completely fresh, human (!) way—and we were happy to oblige.
Our team brought everything to the table for this project: film, photography, writing, responsive web design and drupal development—all within the confines of UBC’s fairly tight Common Look & Feel guidelines. The end...
The new Microsoft website is pretty nice.
This week's official launch of microsoft.com has caused quite a buzz with its clean, responsive redesign—not to mention the use of icon fonts and web type. It's a giant shift away from the dense, content-heavy Microsoft we've known in the past. And frankly, it makes the Apple site look antiquated.
This is a great article that describes the risk Microsoft had to take to get to this point:
"For the Microsoft.com team to take a calculated risk and pour their understanding of their users into a cleaner, smarter, and modern page, the change had to start with the the source of the, and in my opinion every, problem: People."
In case you missed it, Google has officially stated they encourage and favor responsive design, and otherwise, device-specific markup from the same URL.
According to Google, it makes it "easier for Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content." Read the rest of Google's recommendations for building websites for mobile devices right here.
Recently, Domain7 made a bold decision.
We've been talking about the centrality of the mobile web for a long time, and it was time to put our media queries where our mouth is. Domain7 is now actively developing every new site responsively, and responsive design is a standard offering on every proposal we put out.
Responsive websites are built on a flexible grid that shifts and adapts, depending on the device used to access it. A responsive site will scale just as gracefully for a smartphone as it does for a tablet or a desktop browser, and the user will never have to pinch, pull, or scroll to the right. It negates the need for a separate mobile site and means you only need to develop your site once, for all platforms.
In the last few weeks we've launched four responsive sites. Resize your desktop browser window to see the layout change depending on the width of the browser window.
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