New Kicks

December 17, 2013 Jalapeno Creative

We’ve been like the proverbial shoemaker’s children for a while now; running barefoot. This was the year of digital, and we had brought so many great online centric projects in house – numerous branded interfaces for Claromentis, an app-promotion for startup Glowfeed not to mention a full wordpress theme for the Mandala. Countless landing pages and endless EDMs.

And yet here we were using a slightly modified themeforest template for the studio website, all the while promising ourselves that “it’s ok, we’ll do it properly eventually” – a DIY fixer-upper that, if we continued to be busy, would hang over our heads forever.

Enter November. The year is winding down, Christmas insanity is in full swing, the weather is reliably unreliable. Our major clients have eased off, completing their yearly cycles of promotional material, preparing for what is sure to be a whirlwind January. This was our opportunity, a small window where we could work on all the personal projects we’d been putting off. First on the list? A new website. Second? Rewatch ghostbusters.

We’d been iterating designs throughout the year, slowly cataloguing things we liked, things we hated and things we had to figure out how to code. The emphasis was always on large graphics. Stylesheets optimised for large screens as well as tablets and phones. Buzzword: Responsive. Icons coupled with highly legible typography – FontAwesome. Make it easy and clean.

We pounced. To cut development time, we only designed 2 pages – home and about. From there, we iterated in browser, using CSS to arrange our pages. The build was in wordpress and coded for maximum ease of use. Want to write a post on your mobile? You can do that – easier than ever with the serendipitous release of wordpress 3.8. Need to upload a portfolio item with a gallery? Consider it done, images are stripped from posts and rearranged – no formatting needed.

The end result? Weapons-grade website within 3 weeks. We learned lots about rapid development, CSS3 and wordpress. How to handle custom post types, customise template-tag output. From the ground up we worked on our markup technique and naming conventions. +10 code skill, +15 coffee intake, -5 liver function. But the end result? We’re no longer running barefoot – check out our Jordans.