We’ve Redesigned… Responsively

Welcome to our updated and refreshed website. It’s not a dramatic redesign—we did that in January. Rather, it’s an overhaul to make sure that we’re using all the best technology. Exactly the stuff that we recommend to our clients, in fact.

There’s a lot that’s different. First, we’re running WordPress 3.2, the latest version. We’re very happy with it, and we’ve got it set up to run fast. We’re becoming rather comfortable with the system, and if you come to us for a website, it’s almost certainly what we’ll suggest.

Next, we’re using what is called Responsive Design. That basically means that this one single design is actually optimized for no less than six different browser sizes. That means whether you’re on a fancy 27 inch display, like the one in our office, or a three-and-a-half inch iPhone, it looks right. It doesn’t look the same, however.

For example, if you’re on a desktop browser, we show you a nice big multi-column layout, but on a phone, we rearrange the columns to fit and still be legible. On a mobile browser, navigating from one portfolio item to the next might involve a lot of scrolling, so we surface that navigation element at small sizes. We’ve spent the time to get the layouts optimized for different devices, and we considered mobile first.

We’re also using the latest web standards, like HTML5 and CSS3. This has a visual impact. For example, the circular shapes on the site are all created by the web browser you’re using, but if you have an older one, they’re square. The animating fade-in on the home page isn’t a complicated JavaScript like you usually see, and it’s not Flash. It’s just plain old CSS, which means the animation is smooth even on a cell phone. And because we’re using HTML5, the code we’re writing is simpler, cleaner, and more search engine friendly.

Finally, we’re using Futura, one of our favorite fonts. We were very excited last month when Typekit announced this release, and we were itching to use it on our own site. Futura looks great in a bold weight, reminiscent of those old Volkswagon ads, and we wanted to be sure to use that nice heavy type with some breathing room. We’re delighted to see it in action.

We’re not done. We plan to add better social features, design in comments for our blog, architect the main pages better to help potential clients get a feel for us more quickly, and so on. But we’ve never been so excited about a starting point as this. It’s a very solid refresh that should carry us forward several years.

I plan on writing a bit more about the technical details over the next week or two, and I’ll be sure to share any design insights. In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think.