Tag: WordPress

New Brand Identity and Website for Randy Burkett Lighting Design

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Case Studies.

From Rich Fisher, Project Designer:

Back in 2015, Randy Burkett Lighting Design began the process of developing not only a new website but also a refreshed brand identity. As we were fast approaching the firms 30th year in existence, it was important that we leverage our history in creating something for the future. To best achieve that goal, we turned to Spry Digital. From the very onset of the process through to the website launch their team kept our goals at the forefront while guiding us to an end product has exceeded our expectations.


When Spry Digital were asked to design the new web experience for Randy Burkett Lighting Design, we were thrilled to accept the challenge. Randy Burkett Lighting Design has designed lighting for some of the most prominent buildings, monuments, landscapes and public spaces in North America.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

Founded in 1988 by Randy Burkett, the St. Louis-based team consists of design professionals across disciplines, with lighting related backgrounds and educations in architectural engineering, architecture, interior design, and theatre. Coming from design backgrounds ourselves, we could appreciate the firm’s unique digital business challenges and help them to overcome any obstacles in communicating their work, discipline and philosophy to a wider audience.

The Challenge

Randy Burkett Lighting Design’s previous website was minimalistic and featured content that was tidy but small. Like many websites of the time, the site had been designed for screens less than 1000px wide and was not responsive. The content was high on aesthetic, but void of brand messaging and calls-to-action. The copy required an industrious attention from the user to read and synthesize what the firm had to say about their own work and practice.

The site was not built on a modern content management system (CMS), so was difficult to maintain and update, and did not provide scalability to grow with the firm as their work examples and content needs did.

Goals of the new website:

  • Design a responsive web experience that works and functions across a myriad of screens sizes and devices
  • Build on a modern, easy to use CMS that is scalable and can grow with the firm
  • Design layouts that make full use of the web canvas to highlight beautiful work
  • A multi-layer approach to content that appeals to a multiple audiences
  • Build the site on an SEO-friendly platform
  • Incorporate a blog where the client can express their culture and work

The team at Randy Burkett Lighting Design was quick to point out that while many of their partners include those in the architecture field, key decision makers and stakeholders on projects range from architects, building managers, interior designers, landscape designers and other non-design professionals. Thus, the primary content goal was to showcase the high level of expertise in their field, while making the content accessible to a range of audiences and not appear overly aloof – in other words, it needed to appeal to individuals from the technical and visual design field, as well as those who were not.

Spry Digital began work by conducting stakeholder meetings with the principals and staff to understand their business, people, approach, how they represent their work and the firm’s unique value proposition. One of the first areas on which Spry focused was the Randy Burkett Lighting Design brand itself: How has the brand historically represented the firm and how can the brand accommodate the future?

Brand Identity

Spry Digital considers every decision for our clients through the lens of a customer interacting with the brand. We spent time with the client to understand how the brand identity was used in communication pieces in the past, and how the brand is represented and perceived today. After evaluating the identity, it was agreed we would begin our work with a brand identity refresh to represent what Randy Burkett Lighting Design is today.

Legacy vs Future

The client’s previous word mark logo included a stacked and justified Old Style typeface. While an elegant treatment, it did not necessarily speak to the to modern highly-technical practice of lighting design. Since their existing logo enjoyed some familiarity with their audience, we considered how to remain loyal to the original mark, yet bring it forward with an updated typeface and treatment.

Old Randy Burkett Lighting Design Logo

Previous logotype

During the design process, Spry explored a variety of logo treatments – from variations of the old logotype to more abstract interpretations. The result is a primary logo that remains loyal to the original word mark with a more contemporary typeface and treatment. The 45 degree two tone background evokes a lit facet, hinting at the practice of lighting design.

Setting the Stage

Since the logo would typically be presented alongside visually striking imagery of lighting plans, architectural drawings and finished projects, we limited the palette to a selection of monochromatic dusky hues, akin to a midnight blue sky – a time of day when the magic of lighting design is revealed.

Creating a Brand System

With the primary logo revealing itself in the process, we then addressed the multiple uses of the brand identity across medium.

Randy Burkett Lighting Design requested specific strategy around the fact the firm is often referred to as RBLD. We designed a version of the mark with the four letter forms against the same background, knowing this treatment would work well as an avatar, icon or watermark on project images, presentations, and social media. For additional flexibility, we created a horizontal version of the full word mark. Both the abbreviated and horizontal versions are used on the two sides of the business card, while the stacked word mark is used on the website.

 

Randy Burkett Lighting Design Business Cards

Business cards

Randy Burkett Lighting Design Branding

Brand system

Spry Digital continues to work with Randy Burkett Lighting Design to extend the brand into multiple marketing, sales and communication pieces.

Website Planning

While the brand identity exercise was underway, Spry Digital got to work on planning the new website experience.

Architecture and User Experience

We took the information presented in the initial stakeholder meetings and began the process of documenting the requirements for the new website. We created an information architecture diagram to inform the main landing areas of the site and the audience’s journey through the site with navigation.

Randy Burkett Lighting Design UX Wireframes

UX – Content architecture wireframes

Wireframes were developed to inform the user experience and content architecture of the new website. At this stage, we are thinking about the user’s priorities, considering a multi-layer messaging approach to attract intended audiences and guide them to the call-to-action.

We designed multiple areas on the home page to draw users into key landing areas, like featured work, services, studio, and the blog. Throughout the site are omnipresent calls-to-action to reach out and contact RBLD, assuming a visitor has already been wowed by the beautiful work. We consider the multiple audiences and address their questions and expectations when they land on any area within the website.

With the user experience portion of the planning done, we set forth on the visual look and feel of the new web experience, taking direction from the brand identity exercise.

Defining the Visual Language

A priority of the visual aesthetic is to to consider how the website form, as well as any user interactions, translate between mobile and desktop, or any other device for that matter. Thinking about these different scenarios up front informs a more comprehensive design, consistent user experience and functionality across devices.

The visual design employs a magazine-style layout in its presentation. We created multiple versions, taking into consideration multiple font and color treatments. We were sure to make use of the phenomenal photography owned by RBLD with oversized areas, showcasing details of their work previously not seen by making full use of the web canvas.

Randy Burkett Lighting Design Portfolio

Portfolio project

Brand extension comes in the way of angled overlays in various content areas – the blog, studio, and calls to action – carrying the faceted theme of the logo through to the interface.

A unique “off canvas” menu hides the traditional masthead so not to conceal any of the beautiful photography. Microinteraction design in the form of animated hover states on thumbnails and key content blocks were included to create an enticing experience, encouraging discovery and interaction.

By the end of the visual design phase, we had achieved a balance of design aesthetic and practical data that would satisfy all audiences no matter their background.

Bringing it to life

The new website was built on the WordPress content management system (CMS). WordPress is the most popular open source CMS platform in the world, and could be easily managed and maintained by the client. We leveraged the Advanced Custom Fields plugin for WordPress to make content management a breeze, and utilized Zurb’s FoundationPress theme to speed up development of RBLD’s custom responsive web templates.

Other features of the new website include:

  • Featured work masthead on home page that randomizes on every page load, communicating the breadth of work and giving the site a fresh look on every visit
  • Customizable block on home page for Randy Burkett to push announcements
  • Off canvas main menu
  • Portfolio area sorted by industry
  • Portfolio projects cross-linked with related work and services to encourage further discovery
Randy Burkett Lighting Design Multi Device Responsive Website

Multi-device experience

Spry Digital tested the website on most popular screen sizes, operating systems and devices to ensure a consistent experience for every user.

Results

The new Randy Burkett Lighting Design web experience delivers on the goals defined at the offset of the project and presents the firm’s work and philosophy in a new light.

Randy Burkett Lighting Design Results

The new Randy Burkett Lighting Design web experience.

Since its launch in September, 2016, Randy Burkett Lighting Design has reported dozens of new leads generated by the website, and continues to receive positive praise from partners for the new brand identity and website.

Testimonial

Founder/Principal Randy Burkett had this to say about working with Spry:

The Spry team expended a significant amount of up-front time getting to know our design practice and philosophy, before embarking on the website and rebranding effort. The time spent proved invaluable throughout the entire process, as they were able to better anticipate our needs and meet expectations.

As design professionals ourselves, we chose to remain closely engaged with Spry during the development and rollout. They were always accommodating and worked responsively, while using their knowledge to keep us on track to our goals. They were the experts and it was their insight that ultimately led to a successful project for us all.

Visit Randy Burkett Lighting Design to explore their beautiful portfolio of work and the new brand identity and website by Spry.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 21

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain

Around Spry

It’s been a busy week for open source community building.

This week members of Spry Digital represented the Drupal Association at the PHPTek Conference hosted May 25-27 in St. Louis. We met a lot of cool people and companies building amazing things with PHP (and Drupal) and had fun talking to attendees about the benefits of using Drupal and share some of the things we have built with it, including corporate websites, eLearning systems, and nonprofit solutions.

Speaking of nonprofit tech, we’ve also been busy preparing to travel for Ft. Collins, Colorado for this year’s CiviCon, a gathering of the CiviCRM community. Spry Digital co-founder Sheila Burkett will be on hand to lead training sessions throughout the week. CiviCon takes place between May 31 – June 8.

Thursday night we attended the DevOpsSTL meetup, where Kim Mahagee from Zivra gave an engaging presentation about how to lead successful DevOps transformations. Special thanks to Unisys for hosting the event, where there was plenty of devops discussion, pizza and beer on hand.

Content Strategy

A sound content strategy is one of the most important things you can do if you design and build content-managed websites.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Content development can be one of the biggest hurdles to delivering successful web projects. Learn how to identify and prevent content and documentation debt in this article by 18F.

User Experience Design

One of the biggest questions in user experience design is whether you are designing solutions that your customers actually want. Learn to dive deeper into customer’s wishes with this UX Thought of the Day.

Decision fatigue comes about when you give your users too many choices. Learn to improve customer experience by limiting the choices they can make.

Web Design & Development

Happy 13th Birthday, WordPress.

 

Great designers look beyond the tools. We enjoyed this read about “Maturity and the Weight of Learning”.

How to create even more fluid typography with vh and vw units.

An excellent case study on redesigning the Arriva website.

Use Git on a team? Here are some golden rules to live by.

And now, a tiny sassy alternative to Bootstrap.


Enjoy a long Memorial Day weekend, and remember those that have served our country. We’ll see you next week!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 20

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists.” – Marcel Duchamp

Around Spry

If you’re in the St. Louis area, make your way over the World Chess Hall of Fame in the Central West End to experience their latest exhibit: Tom Hackney: Corresponding Squares: Painting the Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp. Members of Spry hit the opening Thursday night, where artist Tom Hackney described his paintings as representing the chess moves in matches between Marcel Duchamp and notable opponents.

Tom Hackney: Corresponding Squares: Painting the Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp.

Courtesy: World Chess Hall of Fame

Design

Fonts.com surveys their lovely typography-driven mastheads, designed by internal and famous guest designers.

The designer’s struggle is real. [Lorem F# Ipsum]

An article about finding the visual center of designs.

User Experience Design

Brushing up on your UX? Here are the Top 10 User Experience Articles for May.

Web Design & Development

Straight from WordCamp St. Louis, Ryan Markel shares why and how you should do a code review on your WordPress projects.

New to Drupal 8? These Drupal 8 Activity Cards are a good place to start.

Courtesy: jensimmons.com

Jen Simmons wants to help web designers break out of the boxes so common in grid-based design. So, she has launched this site that hosts some of her experiments with web layouts.

In the latest RWD podcast, the team from Vox Media discusses their approach for the responsive redesign of the Curbed website.

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project continues to gain traction, and will continue to do so, especially with this tool that converts all of your articles to AMP.

Misc

We were hyped to see this new teaser trailer for Twin Peaks Season 3.

This three part series by Girls Who Code skewers stereotypes about women in tech.

WSJ shows the difference between political affiliations in this social media aggregator.

 

Google ups the ante for desirable VR tech with the Tilt Brush.


See you next week!

How Cybersecurity Fails Created The Panama Papers

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Security.

The Panama Papers leak reveals the shadowy workings of the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, in establishing offshore corporations for businesses, politicians, heads of state, athletes and celebrities for the sake of providing tax shelters and channels for arms and human trafficking. Illegal activities aside, what is particularly shocking is the lack of cybersecurity that may have contributed to over 2.6 terabytes of emails and documents (totalling over 11.5 million in all) being nabbed by hackers and landing at the feet of the Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who broke the story a year after obtaining them.

Security experts have analyzed the methods by which the attackers were able to obtain the data, and what’s come to light is an astonishing lack of basic web security practices on the part of Mossack Fonseca and their web administrators. Data breaches occur every day to government, business, and personal websites with varying degrees of damage. Although the Panama Papers sheds light on secretive and largely illegal activities, security vulnerabilities like these can affect legitimate companies who want to protect their customer data.

Panama Papers, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Image courtesy of Panama Papers, Süddeutsche Zeitung

To understand the level of the security shortfalls, it helps to understand the software that Mossack Fonseca uses to power their multiple web properties. The firm uses two of the more popular content management systems (CMS) around, WordPress and Drupal, to power their public and client-facing websites, respectively. The client portal was used to share sensitive documents between the law firm and its clients. Both are written in PHP and are open source, meaning that their code base is free, accessible, and developed and maintained by community developers. While these systems can be secure environments for storing important data, the manner in which these systems were maintained, or not maintained, by Mossack Fonseca has been attributed as the cause for how attackers were able to steal the damaging documents used in the reports.

WordPress security company Wordfence analyzed the law firm’s web hosting environment following the leaks to determine how attackers may have obtained all of this data. Wordfence determined that the WordPress site was over three months out of date while their Drupal site was almost two years out of date. Furthermore, the company was using outdated third party plugins for WordPress which may have opened the doors for hackers to access other systems and passwords.

Website owners can learn from the mistakes made by Mossack Fonseca. Here are some of the main takeaways from the Panama Papers:

Protecting the Core

Both WordPress and Drupal have a large community of web developers contributing code to various aspects of the platform, also known as “the core”. Because they are open source, the code is able to be viewed by a larger user base, which can lend a hand at exposing potential security risks in the code base. When this happens, those vulnerabilities are typically brought to the core development teams who then fix the issue, release an update, and publish bulletins to notify web developers and users of the risk and the fix.

Mossack Fonseca’s client portal on Drupal was vulnerable to hacking due to running a version of Drupal that was over two years old. In that time, Drupal security teams had brought to light major vulnerabilities and urged website administrators to patch the software. Because these security bulletins were ignored by Mossack Fonseca, it was entirely possible for hackers to access sensitive files and data from their client portal.

In WordPress, security updates are typically announced at WordPress.org, while Drupal has their own security team and security bulletins are announced via news lists. WordPress by default will automatically update itself when security updates are released, which makes it painless to keep core WordPress up-to-date. Drupal updates need to be manually applied, which means that it’s vital for website admins to pay attention to update notifications and apply security updates immediately.

Leaving The Door Open With Plugins and Modules

Third party code that extends the functionality of the core CMS platform are known as plugins and modules (for WordPress and Drupal, respectively). Besides using an outdated version of WordPress, Mossack Fonseca was using the Revolution Slider plugin, a plugin that is “one of the most common WordPress vulnerabilities” when not updated. In an update to the original report provided by Wordfence, because Mossack Fonseca’s email server was hosted on the same server as their websites, it is likely that their email was hacked via a vulnerability in Revolution Slider.

Plugins and modules have varying degrees of scrutiny and oversight by security teams based on the platform, the popularity and the method by which they are distributed. In general, Drupal has wider and more stringent security review of community-developed modules for its platform than WordPress, however, plugins that are distributed via the WordPress Plugins directory must pass a security review and are typically maintained and supported. Revolution Slider, which has had known vulnerabilities going back to 2014, is not available at WordPress and is instead sold and downloaded directly from the company website and also from the popular software storefront Code Canyon

When you obtain code directly from plugin developers (or via sites like Code Canyon) you are on your own to determine whether the plugin is maintained and to find out if there are security updates. In these cases you will rely on the individual developer or development team to assure that the plugin is maintained and patched as new and potential vulnerabilities are exposed, so look for plugins that are frequently maintained and actively supported. If they are not, avoid using them lest risk your site and data being exposed to attackers.

Separation of Concerns

The reports reveal other shoddy practices that likely led to stealing of of the 11.5M+ documents that would be known as the Panama Papers. In web security, the practice of “separation of concerns” means that you mitigate the risk to any one system by decentralizing where your data lives and how it is accessed. Mossack Fonseca hosted their email server on the same server as on their web server, and had passwords for their email stored visibly in the WordPress database. With a compromised WordPress installation, it would have been easy to obtain email passwords and retrieve email. If emails had been on a separate server, it would have made it harder for hackers to obtain the emails even if the website was hacked.

Ask The Right Questions

The largest data breach in Internet history was likely caused by a lack of security best practices. Companies should understand how their website is hosted and information stored. Demand to understand from your developers or web hosting team how data is secured and risks to hacks and attacks are mitigated. It could save your business, as well as your client’s business.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 15

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

Around Spry

This week opened with an addition to our creative team, Jay Yerxa. Jay is Spry Digital’s new Sr. Digital Art Director. Warm welcome, Jay!

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The rest of the week was filled with celebration as Spry Digital turned 6 years old! On Wednesday, our festivities took us to the ever-delicious Clementine’s Creamery. Above you can see part of the team after indulging in a little too much ice cream!

Web Design & Development

Laugh in the face of your web development & programming woes with these brilliantly hilarious coding inspired captions paired with classical paintings.

Discover why all client questions, both the commonly easy and challenging ones, are as much a part of UX/UI as user testing itself in Orr Shtuhl’s “Looking for ‘Trouble’” on A List Apart.


Faster image loading and responsive preview are just two of many new features in WordPress 4.5 “Coleman”, which is now available and named after jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins.

Learn all there is to know about content quality audits and how they can rejuvenate your website with Content Strategy Inc.

Continue indulging in web design topics with the Top 10 Web Design Readings for April 2016 by Mybridge Design.

Misc.

Discussing & keeping track of individual topics in Slack just got a whole lot easier as the company announced that they are bringing threaded messaging to the application.

Find the solutions to your design problems as Bloomberg has brought together 25 original thinkers in The Design Issue 2016.

BN-NO084_microd_M_20160414112246

Microsoft is officially joining Apple in the fight against the government secretly accessing citizen’s emails, suing the U.S. Department of Justice.

Check out the data behind about 2000 screenplay scripts and uncover what it means about the current state of film.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good 404 page or people who are able to laugh at themselves? Well, you’ll find both when you can’t find what you’re looking for on Hillary Clinton’s website.


That wraps up the news of the week. Don’t forget to stop by next week for more from the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 12

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

Around Spry

This week we hosted St. Louis DevOps monthly meetup. The topic (presented by Spry partner Julia Koelsch) was Ansible. If you want to get in on this meetup, you can join the group here.

The Web & Apps

Compare and shop for TV, internet, and phone services, starting with Comcast, in the new Amazon Cable Store.

For the time-crunched bookworms out there, check out Serial Reader, a new iOS app with huge educational potential, that serves up bits and pieces of classic literature.

Design

See what the world’s top architecture firms created when The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago sent them each 1,200 white legos for their newest exhibit.

batman-vs-superman-posters (1)

Since the 1940’s, Batman and Superman movies have had one iconic poster after another. Take a look back at some of the classics and see what The Poster Boys have come up with for Batman vs. Superman.

Web Design & Development

The Accessibility Team and WordPress are combining forces, announcing a set of Accessibility Coding Standards for all new or updated code releases.

Make your life significantly easier with these dirty tricks for front-end developers.

While on the topic of front-end, head over to Sitepoint to learn more about cleaning up a CSS codebase.

Misc.

Discover which Irish novel was so good that people have been afraid of translating it for almost 70 years, until now.

phife grove

The third full week of March saw the unfortunate passing of two revolutionary minds. Andy Grove (79), former CEO of the tech giant Intel, left his mark world as one of the integral pioneers of the personal computer, while Malik Taylor (45), also known as Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, brought a social consciousness to hip-hop and helped shape the world of music as we know it.

Get in the mood for Easter with these hilariously anthropomorphic pictures of Peeps.

Not all Easter bunnies cute and cuddly, something clearly portrayed in a new Tumblr feed titled Sketchy Bunnies.


Enjoy the holiday weekend and don’t forget to fly by next week for more buzz around the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 11

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

Around Spry

This past Wednesday, we had the pleasure of hosting the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis’ Arts Marketers event, where we presented SEO strategies and tactics for content producers and website administrators that work for the Arts. We always enjoy sharing ideas with this group, so we can’t wait for the next one! Also, be sure to check out Arts & Education Council of St. Louis’ new website, a Drupal site designed and built by Spry Digital that includes a new crowdfunding portal.

While CiviDay, an annual, international celebration of all things CiviCRM, was originally February 24th, our local meetup was, unfortunately, postponed due to snow. The key word is “postponed”, though, as we are hosting a virtual CiviDay Makeup Meetup over lunch next week!

Artificial Intelligence

Find out what happened when the Google-owned Deepmind AlphaGo AI went head to head with the greatest Go player in the world.

UX Design / Prototyping

Adobe’s program for designing and prototyping websites and applications was recently re-branded as Adobe Experience Design (XD).

Looking to compete with Adobe XD, Invision has purchased Sketch’s prototyping plugin Silver Flows.

Web Design & Development

Government webpages are becoming significantly easier to create and navigate with the help of CivicActions, which is now available on Drupal.

Learn more about using Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project on your next WordPress website.

Ecommerce for WordPress just took a major step forward as you can now use Shopfiy for WordPress.

As if there were already enough reasons to secure your servers and website, research has shown that hacked sites suffer long term SEO penalties.

Misc

Managing the images on your social media profiles just got a whole lot easier with Landscape by Sprout Social.

What if kids presented your ideas? Full article http://goo.gl/NglYPS

Posted by Fantasy on Monday, March 14, 2016

There are times when you need something to that makes your presentation unique and easy to understand. So, why not have kids present your work?

Discover what’s so great about the Department of the Treasury’s DATA Act, a money tracking program that spurned out of the continuous push for increasing transparency in government,


That’s a wrap for Week 11 of 2016. Join us next Friday for more from the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 8

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The final week of February saw a handful of developments in technology alongside a plethora of news from the web development industry. So, dive into this week’s news with another exciting Spry Hive!

Apps

The wishes & dreams of millions have finally become a reality as the navigation app Waze will allow you to receive directions from Morgan Freeman.

Web Development & Design

The saying, “Never judge a book by it’s cover,” applies to more than just paperbacks and hardcovers. For example, while studies show that women tend to produce better computer code, their work is less often approved when the public knows they are female.

Robots don’t only exist in the physical world. Find out how and why graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are finally being replaced by bots on Slack, Facebook, and SMS.

Jump on Google’s newest mobile-bandwagon by enabling Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on your WordPress site.

Software fixes can sometime lead to more problems than they solved. That’s because software maintenance is an anti-pattern that desperately needs more attention.

gif-facebook-itorch

Bring your code to life and get a better idea of how unique each piece of code truly is with Codeology.

Are you familiar with SASS? Well, you may recognize more of the features in ES2015 than you first thought.

Skip the constant bouncing back-and-forth between applications and prototype your design in Sketch with Silver.

Tech

Keeping up with the ever-changing computer industry can be quite the chore, but blogger Chris Dixon just made it a little easier with a comprehensive overview of what’s next in computing.

While the video game industry has already begun dabbling in virtual-reality and 3D scanning, Sword Art Online: The Beginning may be the first to combine these technologies with IBM’s supercomputer, Watson.

Boston Dynamics released a new video this week, announcing the newest version of Atlas and demonstrating the robot’s ability to navigate and manipulate objects.

Misc.

Cable cutters took a huge step forward this week as the FCC proposed that cable companies should allow people to access your favorite channels via devices like Apple TV, the Roku Box, or Amazon Fire.

Wish starting a business was easier? Most people agree, which is why Stripe Atlas launched a service that helps you easily incorporate your business, open a bank account, receive payments, and get legal advice.


And like that, February is now behind us as we push towards Spring. Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive.

Explore CiviCRM at St. Louis CiviDay 2016 Meetup

Posted by Sheila Burkett & filed under CiviTips, Events.

The Spry Digital team is excited to announce that we will be hosting the St. Louis CiviDay 2016 Meetup on Wednesday, February 24, 2016!

What Is CiviCRM?

CiviCRM is a free, open source, web-based Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system. The system is used by a global community of tens of thousands of individuals and organizations. This modular system integrates with websites built on Drupal, Joomla and WordPress Content Management Systems (CMS).

Key out-of-the box features with CiviCRM include contacts, memberships, events, email marketing, advocacy campaigns, peer-to-peer fundraisers, contribution tracking, robust search, and reports. The flexibility and customization available gives you the freedom to grow your organization without internal systems breaking down over time.

What Is CiviDay?

CiviDay is an annual celebration of all things CiviCRM! The global CiviCRM community will host CiviDay events in 26 cities around the world to share what we’ve been able to build, who we’ve helped, and where CiviCRM is going.

St. Louis CiviDay 2016

CiviDay is coming up on Wednesday 24th February 2016. Find out what CiviCRM can do for you, meet others that are using CiviCRM, and find out what CiviCRM services are available locally.

The morning meetup will explore how certain nonprofits are using CiviCRM alongside all the new features coming out with CiviCRM 4.7 & CiviCRM 5.0.

This will be a great opportunity for nonprofit organizations to learn more about CiviCRM. Already using CiviCRM? Come by to network with other organizations taking advantage of CiviCRM and get the inside scoop on new or existing features never explored.

We hope you will join us!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Spry Digital

2710 Lafayette Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63119

Parking: Free parking is available in parking lot or on street.

Agenda

7:30 am – Come network and enjoy free breakfast!
8:00 am – Introduction to the event
8:10 am – Talking Point 1: CiviCRM and what it can do for you
8:20 am – Case study 1: Gateway Off-Road Cyclists with Matt Hayes (Board Member and “Membership Guy”) discussing his experiences using CiviCRM.
8:40 am – Talking Point 2: What’s new in 4.7
9:00 am – Break for networking and more food!
9:30 am – Case study 2: Girls On the Run Operations Director Maggie Siemers shares her experiences using CiviCRM.
9.50 am – Talking Point 3: What makes CiviCRM different / The CiviCRM community / What’s coming in 5.0
10:00 am – Close and invitation to more networking at nearby venue

REGISTER Today! Space is limited.

Already a CiviCRM User? Make sure your site is registered at CiviCRM.org and consider becoming a supporting member of CiviCRM to ensure that the core team continues to enhance CiviCRM to meet everyone’s needs in the future.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 51

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Even though the holidays and release of Star Wars Episode VII held most people’s attention this week, the forces behind web design and development kept up the hard work with numerous announcements and releases. So, find out what you missed with another week of the Spry Hive.

Web Design & Development

We’ve all heard and probably experienced the saying, “Mother knows best.” So, find out what this mom can teach us about UX.

Sharpen your skills in design with this massive bundle of free design resources.

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Source = Webflow

Break into the next dimension on your website with these beautiful 3D CSS transforms. The best part? No coding required.

WordFence is giving back to the WordPress community in a big way this holiday season, announcing the launch of their free security learning center.

Misc.

Take your music everywhere without wasting precious space by using the personal music streaming server, Koel.

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Source = Joytree

Combining an evergreen, multicolor lights, and tree topper isn’t the only way to build a Christmas tree this year. Use emoji’s too, to digitize the experience with Joytree.

Can’t get enough lights these holidays? Tune into a live stream and control other people’s house lights.

Get hyped with Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, and multiple cast members from the new movie as they perform an a cappella tribute to Star Wars.

Waiting for mad rush to pass before seeing the Star Wars Episode VII, then keep away from all of the inevitable spoilers online with this handy Google extension that force blocks everything from the movie.


There’s only two more weeks left in 2015, so keep an eye out for an extra special, end-of-the-year edition of the Spry Hive.