Tag: web

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 38

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Roller coasters and preteens weren’t the only ones breaking records and setting precedents this week, so enjoy another dose of the Spry Hive and catch up on all the news!


feeling prosthetic

Source = Darpa

This week in Tech brought quite a touching story… Researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed a neural prosthetic that returns the sensation of touch to its owner.

This one on the other hand… has us seeing red.


Users Beware: Some websites are beginning to identify and strike back against those running ad blockers.

Facebook is finally developing a dislike button, but they are exploring options that would make the feature less alienating and more empathetic.


Facebook empathy design

Source = Wired

Almost immediately after Facebook spoke their piece, designers jumped right into the challenge of designing empathy.

Your design team becoming too chummy and designs too processed? Don’t forget that it’s okay to fight with each other.

Life becomes stagnant when learning is no longer constant, so check out these 50 books every web designer should read.


It’s no secret that the Web has been held together with popsicle sticks and glue. It’s been a fun ride, HTTP, but it’s time to move on.

Forked a repo and can’t get up? You may need first aid for git.

Web designers, ensure that you’re pleasing users instead of making them sick. Take these resources for a spin and learn how to make your animations more accessible.


Our stomachs are already dropping and turning at the sight of Cedar Point’s newest world-record breaking roller coaster.

What is this magic? Trust us when we say your life will change after trying these cotton candy grapes.

Forget the gondola men of Venice. Visit Osaka, but not without your wasabi! Evidently, the city’s turned their river into a conveyor belt of floating sushi.

Space exploration is inherently exciting, but we were on the edge of our seats reading about these two preteens who sent a homemade ship to the edge of space.

So, keep an eye out for giant balloons in the atmosphere and new features on Facebook. Don’t forget to stop by next week, as it will surely bring even more exciting news!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 32

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

This week kicked off with rumor that Windows 10 had already reached 67 million machines, but Microsoft quickly quashed the tall-tale, announcing on Monday that the launch period actually saw about 18 million machines upgraded. We saw more than just rumor throughout the week, though, as Lexus’ hoverboard resurfaced and Jon Stewart made his final appearance on The Daily Show. So, hopefully you can find something to enjoy as we dig into this week’s news!


Just a few weeks ago we found ourselves drooling over the images and concepts of a real-life hoverboard announced by Lexus. Now, making some of us question reality, the popular luxury-car company has released the first video demonstration of their seemingly impossible device.


If you are looking for a quick and easy way to come up with a color scheme, then we’ve found the website for you! Generating colors that looks sit well next to each other, either randomly or based on personal selections you’ve locked into place, Coolors.co is a great web-tool to use on your next project.



Source = Microsoft

The Apple Watch has been available for a little over three months, and we are finally beginning to see more third-party applications appear in the Apple Store. One of the biggest issues slowing down the production of applications for their smartwatch is simply trying to design a user friendly experience. That might be a thing in the past, at least for email clients, as, according to MacWorld, the design of Microsoft’s Outlook app shows other companies how it’s supposed to be done.

Pulling together as many icon fonts as possible, fellow designer and developer Tim Pietrusky has made it easier than ever to find, select, and integrate icons into your next web page. We really suggest you check it out because we love icon fonts!


When it comes to implementing truly original and creative design on a website, most developers will agree that there are a plethora of issues that can arise, especially around Graphical Text Effects. Well, Sara Soueidan, a freelance front-end web developer, has reached out through Adobe’s blog to help you weigh out the pros and cons of solving these problems using SVG vs. CSS.

Are you looking to create a more formal web articles that elegantly and effectively utilizes data-driven graphics, tables, and side-notes? Well then look no further than Tufte CSS, a grouping of tools that will make it easy to style your next publication.



Photo by: Anuar Patjane Floriuk

After receiving and sorting through over 17,000 entries, National Geographic has finally chosen a winner for their yearly Travel Photo Contest. While the selected photo is expectedly stunning, one can find just as much beauty and excitement inside the photographer’s story.

Fans of Star Trek will be delighted to hear that actress Nichelle Nichols, famously known as Lt. Nyota Uhura, will be teaming up with NASA this coming September. Joining the crew aboard NASA’s newest, flying telescope, SOFIA, she will become one of the first humans to take on an active role in one of the agency’s projects as ‘non-essential personnel’.

In a teary-eyed celebration of the cast and crew behind the comedic genius of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart hosted his final show last night, bidding his adoring fans a fond farewell. While his departure certainly marks the end of a legendary, side-splitting era, we can rest assured that we haven’t seen or heard the last of him, yet.

Well, there we have it folks. This week’s news sent us looking to the stars as a Sci-Fi icon makes her way through the atmosphere and left us holding on for dear life as we try hovering for the first time. So, go forth, enjoy the weekend, and try not to get stuck in Philadelphia over the weekend or else you might end up like poor Hitchbot.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 30

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

In case you didn’t hear, NASA has once again captivated the world by announcing the discovery of a planet eerily similar to Earth. While everybody else may not have been performing rocket science this week, the founder of Wikipedia announced his plan to revolutionize social networking and a group of hackers figured out how to wirelessly control a car. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of this week’s news!

Web & Apps


Source = tindog

For those who aren’t adventurous enough to explore the popular dating app Tinder, the developers at Holidog have created an alternative that puts your canine in the spot light. Whether the app is really for the dog or the owner doesn’t really matter as both benefit from the genius of Tindog.

If you frequently engage major companies on Facebook, asking a question or even complaining about service, then you’d better look out! Evidently, a couple comedians out of Atlanta have taken the popular social media site by storm, providing customers with fake answers while posing as ‘Customer Service’.

Evidently, the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, is preparing to launch a donation based social network in the United States. Allowing users to connect with and receive updates from participating charities and individuals, The People’s Operator, or TPO, is self-described as, “similar to Twitter, but better.



As creative teams everywhere continue to utilize and experiment with digital design for their clients, it’s become more and more difficult to remember how beautiful and fitting physical, visual art can be. So, to help jog the memory and provide some inspiration, take a look at these gorgeous examples of analog typography.

Businesses require design that is both intelligent and enjoyable. Like most tasks, though, such an accomplishment is much easier said than done. Alina from Zurb Blog writes that the root of the problem may stem from the inability of a company to properly utilize their own design team.


Those who have never come across Sitepoint’s, “12 Little-Known CSS Facts,” now have some catch up to do! Following up to last year’s successful and helpful blog post, Louis Lazaris provided coders with 12 more little-known CSS facts.

Looking to add beauty, class, and powerful, data-driven widgets to your web-based dashboard? Then you have to check out this charming yet powerful framework called Dashing.

WordPress has served the web development community since its first appearance 2003, growing from a simple blogging system to the multi-purpose CMS it is today. Now, the system is on it’s way to becoming a fully integrated and functioning application framework, making it easier external, mobile programs to communicate with the WordPress database using the new WP Rest API.


Just as a disclaimer, stopping a vehicle on the highway in the middle of the day is never a good idea, and can probably end up with a ticket. That said, we should probably give a free pass to the team of researchers who showed the world how vehicles like the Jeep Cherokee are currently vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Have you been following the incredible progress Tesla Motors has been making with electric cars? Well, if you haven’t, then there’s no better time than now. Touting acceleration of 0 to 60mph in 2.8 seconds, the popular car company has announced the release of “ludicrous mode,” for the Model S.

While the technology behind music has expanded leaps and bounds in the recent decades, it took almost 500 years for someone to finally create Leonardo da Vinci’s musical invention. Dubbed the Viola Organista, da Vinci’s instrument combines the qualities of the harpsichord, organ,and viola da gamba.

So, while the likes of Tesla Motors and Jimmy Wales continue innovating life here on Earth, NASA might want to consider some creative upgrades for their rockets to expedite the journey to our planet’s newest cousin. We hope you were able to find at least one piece of interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining news. Don’t forget to stop by next week and enjoy a well-deserved break of the weekend!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 26

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

While the past seven days have brought about a handful of innovations and changes in the worlds of technology, design, and the World Wide Web, this week’s most notable news came from the United States Supreme Court. Too busy and productive to keep up with the ever-changing news cycle? Have no fear, for Spry Hive is here! So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s news!



Source = Lexus

In case you’ve forgotten, we are finally living in the year Marty McFly visited during the second installment of Back to the Future. While we unfortunately lack some of the technologies they conceived, like self-lacing shoes and flying cars, Lexus finally announced that they are currently making the Hoverboard a reality.

Are you tired of paying $200-$800 for a phone that was literally built to break? Well, so were the Dutch developers behind the Fairphone. Built and manufactured with the highest of ethical standards, this phone is easy to repair in your own home and brings upgradable parts to the mobile market.


Have you ever wondered which companies are fighting to protect your data from government requests? Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together an in depth analysis that systematically ranks the leading digital brands from around the world.

It seems like it was yesterday when the news and media industries were moving from print to the digital, web-browsing era. Well now, thanks to popular apps like Flipboard and Apple News, it seems as though we may be quickly moving away from web-browsing all together.

For those of you who haven’t jumped on the Inbox bandwagon yet, Google is still releasing some new features for their aging Gmail service. This past week, Google officially enabled the ‘Undo’ function for emails, providing users with a 30-second grace period after clicking the send button.



Source = @LukeW on Twitter

The disconnect between designing a new, unique user interface and the ability for a user to understand such a redesign provides a constant stage for improving upon past headaches. Thankfully, Piotr Koczorowski from Usability Tool has put together a collection of mistakes from 7 UX experts which every designer can learn.

During the past week our team came across the design standards for NASA in the 1950’s. Housing everything from their old ‘worm’ logo to how our national flag appeared on space shuttles, the designers hoped to portray a, “modernist vision for an optimistic future.”


Here at the office, we love developing with the help of Git. Are you interested in learning about the system and what it allows a team to accomplish? Well, give it a try with their 15-minute guide to Git!


Source = Github

We’ve been big fans of the Atom text editor since it’s release by Github just over a year ago. So, you can imagine how excited we were to see the official 1.0 release! It’s come a long ways in a short amount of time, and now that the foundation is pretty solid, the team is pondering some of the following questions for future features:

  • Under the “what goes around, comes around” category, some developers are questioning the need for CSS.
  • Fueled by React, some developers are reducing or even eliminating stylesheets altogether.
  • Ever the voice of reason, Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks wrote up a summary of the debate.


In the digital world, tiny little numbers acting as unread notification indicators have taken over almost every platform. Whether it is from a minor case of OCD or sub-conscious training, most of us have become conditioned to tap or click such numbers into non-existence. This little designer’s trick that makes us all tick may have met it’s match following the release of so-called Deconditioning Stickers.

Are you tired of feeling like your voice isn’t being heard with regards to the controversy swirling around the Confederate Battle Flag? Well, if your device features a microphone and you’re feeling a little ghostly, then now is your chance to speak up!

AAc7cWh (2)

Source = AP Photos

Following a pair of landmark rulings for citizens across the United States, SCOTUS has voted in favor of using subsidies to fund national healthcare as well as allowing same-sex marriage in every state.

While officials in D.C. were busy tackling universal healthcare and marriage equality, the Department of Consumer Affairs in NYC was busy catching Whole Foods with their pants down. After a thorough investigation, the DCA concluded that the popular grocery store has been consistently and illegally overcharging customers on pre-packaged food.

So, there we have it, folks. In a matter of days, the Supreme Court has brought a general sense of equality and care for citizens back to our government, the Hoverboard of our dreams is finally coming to reality, and the end of web-browsers may be in sight. As always, we appreciate you tuning in and wish you the spryest of weekends!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 20

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Well, we have made it back to the one and only Spry Hive, which means it’s finally Friday! This week, the office was buzzing with talks of pet cameras, Drupal development, curse words and more. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s news!


Interested in keeping up with the development of Google’s Self-Driving Car? Well, after traveling 1.7 million miles, the team has plenty to share about their experiences thus far, including 11 minor accidents.


Source = TechRadar.com

Ingeniously combining the characteristics of a drone, a self-driving car, and a Go-Pro, a group of individuals from the University of California – Berkeley has developed a flying camera that follows you! Named Lily, this ground-breaking device provides a hassle-free way to record your every move.


This week saw another win for the Net Neutrality movement, and the internet in general, as the FCC has refused to budge on any aspects of their new regulations for Internet Service Providers. If everything goes as planned, the new rules should go into effect June 12, 2015.

In an attempt to regain their footing in the market of internet browsers, Microsoft has announced that they are shutting down Internet Explorer and releasing their new browser, Microsoft Edge. Hopefully the logo’s changes aren’t indicative of how much (or little) effort went into the new browser’s functionality.


Source = imageidentify.com

While we have been able to search through Google using images for a few years now, Wolfram has now provided the internet with a tool that will identify an image for you! The web-tool isn’t perfect, yet, but this marks a huge step in the direction of legitimate artificial intelligence.


Here in the office, our team uses a combination of Sketch and Photoshop for web-development purposes. This past week they came across Daniel Schwarz’s article about the various ways to extract HTML/CSS code from the two platforms.

As it is one of the major Content Management Systems used by our team, Drupal is discussed thoroughly around the office. So,our interests were piqued when we heard about the new Drupal Console, a platform built to help manage the complexities of Drupal CMS.

Interested in joining the Drupal community and learning how to develop using the CMS? Well, you’re in luck! This May 22nd, Drupal developers around the world are hosting a slew of free or low-costing training sessions for new & beginner users!



Source = Titans Creations

LEGOLand Malaysia takes the 4th of May very seriously. So seriously that they hold a Star Wars event in honor of the aging “May the Fourth be with you” puns. What stole the show, however, was Titans Creations’ 10,000 brick model of the Millennium Falcon.

Do you find yourself cursing like a sailor whenever you get hurt? Well, keep it up! Evidently, researchers have found that an individual can strengthen their emotional resilience by cursing their way through pain.

So, with another week in the books, be sure to keep an eye out for Google’s Self-Driving Car and camera’s following people around, take a look into joining or engaging the Drupal community, and keep on swearing! We hope you join us next week and, as always, have a spry weekend!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 19

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Well, once again, we have finally made it to Friday! Here in the office, the week had our team talking about everything from spamming friends with Goats to voting on your phone to the ideology of bathroom signs. Trust me when I say, you won’t want to miss any of this week’s news!


For better or worse, the team discovered a new web-page that you can use to both surprise your goat-loving friends and annoy anyone with a SMS-enabled phone! Either way, Goat Attack is another great example of the internet’s true potential.

Blogging is an integral part of connecting with the internet community, allowing people and companies to express their thoughts and share their voice. If you don’t think you have what it takes to write good blog posts, Cali Pitchel shares a bit of knowledge and says that, with just a few simple steps, everyone can be a writer.


How would you feel about voting on your smartphone? Well, evidently, Voatz has been trying to make that a reality, developing a secure voting app that could forever change the democratic world.

Source – Cnet.com

Those looking for a new way to edit photography on the go, keep an eye out for Pixelmator’s newest release. After successfully adding support for iPads last fall, the company is finally preparing to launch their app for iPhone.


Nobody likes to waste time searching for the perfect font, especially one that you’ve probably used a dozen times already. Thankfully, designers can rejoice as RightFont for Mac integration is coming to Photoshop, Sketch 3, Illustrator, and Indesign this fall, but you can try the beta (for Mac) today.


Since incorporating Atomic Design practices into our team’s web design process, we have essentially replaced traditional web style guides. If you work with Drupal, this article explains how the methodology will be very helpful for a developer working in that CMS.

On a related note, for development teams using Drupal, keeping track of every part that goes into building a website on the powerful platform can be understandably difficult. Due to the CMS’s extensive configurability, Palantir’s newest blog post is stressing the importance of the planning phase.


@durnesque (Twitter)

You won’t want to miss out on this creative re-imagining of the figure used as a sign for female restrooms. Focusing on people and not just process, the company Axosoft began the campaign as a way to raise-awareness about gender-based assumptions and perspectives. With just a little added color, it becomes quite obvious that those extra lines were never a dress.

With another election year right around the corner, every hopeful presidential candidate should make sure to remember to register any and all relevant domain names! Evidently, both Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz forgot this very important rule of the internet. Think you can find the bonus page on Carly Fiorina’s website?

Finally, we want to give a giant shout-out and congratulations to the entire St. Louis area for an amazing GiveSTLDay this past Tuesday! More than $2,000,000 was raised for nonprofits in just 24-hours! For non-St. Louis natives, find out when your local #givingtuesday event is being held!

Just like that, another week has come to an end. We took a look at some new tools, had some good laughs, and heard some enlightened perspectives. And with that, we want to wish all the mothers out there a happy Mother’s Day, and, as always, we hope you have the spryest of weekends!


Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 15

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

Happy birthday week to us! This week we were thrilled to celebrate Spry Digital’s fourth birthday. Or is it anniversary? Birthiversary? Either way, we totally had cake (and the cake was not a lie). And beer. It was delicious. We’re looking forward to what the next four plus years will bring. It’s been a wild ride. 

Up next, the links!

  1. If you’re looking to improve your writing style, the Hemingway app might prove useful.
  2. The New York Times takes on one perspective of the culture that’s keeping many women out of technology.
  3. New top level domains are being made available if you can afford it. The Wild West of what’s after .com, .gov, and .edu.
  4. Most of the team at Spry are Game of Thrones fans, so Hootsuite’s new promo made us LOL.  But then this mash up had us ROFL.
  5. Speaking of goats, have you seen Goat Simulator? Be the goat. Blow things up. Bad goat.
  6. If you’re interested in protecting yourself online, here’s a handy Chrome extension that may help detect if a website’s been compromised by Heartbleed.
  7. A really popular Android anti-virus app has been outed as a fraud.


That’ll do it for this week.  Have fun and stay out of trouble (or at least don’t make more trouble than you can handle).  

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 51

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

How are you liking the WordPress update we told you about last week?  We’ve been really digging it.

We’re busy little elves – trying to cram all of our end-of-year work in to the last days of the year and looking forward to our office family party tonight.  But we’re already daydreaming about sugarplums, eggnog, and a marathon of Christmas movies to come next week. In the meantime, here are a few things that kept us buzzing and focused this week:

  1. A jquery plugin that selects the dominant color in a photo to create some really delightful adaptive backgrounds.
  2. Spotify makes their mobile streaming option free (but only for shuffle mode).
  3. Inspiration to go paperless: Per ounce, printer ink costs more than the most ridiculously expensive perfumes. Should we package it accordingly?
  4. We did not buy this. Promise.
  5. Twitter backpedaled on changes to “block” function.
  6. ICYMI: Google made some changes to Gmail that affect email marketing.
  7. Want to apply to be part of the first human colony on Mars? 200,000 people already have. Fine print: It’s a one-way ticket.
  8. No Internet Week, understanding tech addiction in the digital age.

Just a reminder: Our offices will be closed much of next week so we can spend time with our loved ones for the holidays.  But never fear! If you have a pressing Spry service question, you can always reach us at support@sprydigital.com.

Hiring: St. Louis Web Application Developer

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Jobs.


Spry Digital is looking for an experienced and motivated Web Application Developer to help us create compelling, scalable, and creative web applications. We primarily use PHP, WordPress and Drupal, but we constantly evaluate new tools and technologies so we can build solutions to fit our clients’ needs.

Learn more about the position.