The Memphis Agency is now Zero.

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The Memphis Agency has been acquired by CentricMinds. Together we are now Zero.

Zero is crafted by highly skilled professionals with backgrounds in business development strategy, computer science and various design disciplines.

Our body of work reflects our skill to blend these competencies carefully into applications across web, mobile and film.

Visit the Zero website – zeroagency.com

Social statistics study; Breaking Bad

Breaking_Bad

The rumours are true.

Some of us here at TMA watch Breaking Bad.

So with the idea of mixing work with play, we’ve gathered a selection of research and stats from articles (thanks SocialGuide and Mashable), and some fossicking of information of our own (Trends map above).

Here are just some of the stats we’ve been able to gather (all in good fun of course):

Twitter

  • When the show aired in the US hit 22,373 Tweets per minute
  • The three days before the finale aired over 287,000 Tweets were made about the show
  • Bryan Cranston’s (the actor who plays the main character) farewell Tweet was retweeted over 50,000 times
  • Overall Twitter has generated a total of 1.24 million Tweets

Facebook

  • The finale saw 5.5 million interactions from 3 million people
  • The season 5 saw 28.5 million interactions from 14 million people 
  • 500,000 illegal downloads of the show have occurred (tsk tsk tsk)

Spotify

  • Streams of a song in the final episode by Badfinger called “Baby Blue” (from 1976) has increased 9,000% 


What measurements or digital media monitoring have you seen in place for brands?

Have you noticed any wild social media statistics of late (that don’t involve Miley Cyrus)? 

Guest blogger Tim Parkinson, on wearable computing and the web

This week we have one of our star developers, Tim Parkinson, as our guest bloggers.

Tim is web developer with 8 years experience, whom is currently on board with The Memphis Agency working in ColdFusion developing web, intranet and e-commerce solutions based on the FarCry web application framework. Tim also has several years of experience in PHP development including working in Moodle, Mahara, Drupal and WordPress.

Here is his insights on wearable computing and the web, some light Friday reading for you!

In David Brin’s epic science fiction book Existence, the author describes a near future world where most of its citizens are plugged into the Mesh, a multi-layered virtual reality which is overlaid over the real world using glasses, contact lenses or implants. AI assistants offer a constant stream of helpful captions, notifications, translations and other information which help the people of the 2050s navigate the world through a combination of sub vocal commands, eye blinks and tooth clicks. In Brin’s future, rather than everybody walking around with their cell phones in hand tapping out texts, everyone will be wearing computers on their faces, grunting and clicking and blinking their way through the world.

The concept of wearable computing has been around for several decades. In the early 60′s a pair of mathematicians built small computerised timing devices which helped them cheat at roulette, which they strapped to their legs or concealed within their shoes.

In the 1980s and 90s, Canadian researcher and inventor Steve Mann developed a series of prototype wearable computers. Initially consisting of bulky helmet mounted displays and a backpack full of computer hardware, cables and accessories, his designs have been refined to low-profile, though still futuristic looking eye glasses, which provide enhanced vision through image processing algorithms.

Steve Mann’s 1990s wearable computer

Steve Mann’s 1990s wearable computer

The most recent and perhaps most famous development in wearable computing is Google’s Project Glass. This eyepiece is designed to interface wirelessly with a smartphone or tablet, and provides information to the user via a transparent overlay, such as message notifications, navigation directions, weather, and most recently, web browsing. The unit has a bone conduction transducer which sends audio signals through the skull to the user’s ear, detects eye blinks and movement, and responds to voice commands and tapped inputs through the built-in touch pad. It has a camera which is roughly equivalent to a modern smartphone, and is capable of taking photos, video and making video calls. It appears that Brin’s future is almost here.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass

The steady advance of this technology provides a challenge for web and app developers. With every new device form factor and screen size, the way that websites are designed and built must be adjusted to make the viewing experience as seamless as possible for the reader. This technology poses unique questions such as how do you design a website to be navigated by head and eye movements, how can you design webpages which can be browsed through an overlay interface without obstructing vision and how do you optimise pages to load quickly on a device such as the Google Glass?

This technology also offers exciting possibilities. What if instead of a single display sitting above one eye, the device had a display for each eye? This could allow the potential for 3D websites and overlays, with depth as an added dimension to the browsing and user experience. There are also opportunities for digital strategy and marketing. Imagine looking at a product or storefront and being instantly taken to a company’s website or Facebook page.

The Glass is not yet available to the general public, being scheduled for release in 2014.

We’re hiring: Digital designer!

Hiring-digital-designer

Are you an experienced & outstanding digital designer with kick-ass skills in engaging user interface design across devices?

If you’ve answered yes we’d love to hear from you!

So who are you skills wise?

We are unashamedly after the best digital design person around…

You have experience at designing engaging, brand driven websites (preferably with responsive experience) as well as mobile and tablet apps.

You may be either a junior, mid-level or senior designer – your truly awesome digital design skills and passion for the medium are what is important to us – not how long you’ve been working. You must have digital design experience though.

So who are you as a person?

You get really pumped about everything digital. You live and breathe it. You want to take the next step and be part of an agency that not only has awesome coffee, but will allow you the opportunity to work on some of the coolest digital projects around.

You are a great person – really fantastic to be around. You inspire your colleagues to achieve great things – especially front-end developers who will love to code your outstanding design interfaces.

So what’s the job details?

This is a full time permanent gig in our Adelaide office. Your salary will be commensurate with your skills, expertise and experience.

You’ll be working in a modern studio environment and be joining our leading team of digital project managers, strategy & social media experts, designers and developers. We work hard, but we like to have fun too (did we mention office ping pong?).

What will you be sending us to get this job?

You’ll be providing examples of the websites and apps you’ve designed.

You’ll be providing information on your career thus far, and also providing information about yourself – in the process convincing us why you are indeed this really fantastic person we’d be silly not to employ.

Apply here!

5 things you need to know about 2013 internet trends, by Mary Meeker.

Mary_Meeker_2013

“Queen of the Internet” Mary Meeker gave her annual Internet Trends Report at the Wall Street Journal‘s annual “D: All Things Digital” conference in Los Angeles – one of the biggest “industry” talks of the year.

Here are 5 key takeouts from her presentation.

  1. Get smart – smartphones are dominating, with increasing market share since 2003.
  2. US dominating - 80% of the top 10 global internet properties are based in the US
  3. Facebook still ahead in social channels – but declined in 2012.
  4. Ad it up - Although we spend a mere 6% of our media consumption time with print, we are not capitzaliing on mobile usage. Untapped audiences are to be found!
  5. The OS Shift - Windows and Intel combined dominate the OS market over two decades, but now Apple and Android lead across all computer platforms.

But… big data doesn’t escape scrutiny.

One slide depicted that “the average smartphone user looks at his or her phone 150 times a day”.

What was missing from the presentation was solid data to back it up.

According to the original author of the statistic, the figures in question were “definitely only opinion,” and “not intended in any way as a ‘study’ of consumer behavior.”

Not to mention the original source wasn’t even discussing smartphones, but non-smartphones.

What does this mean for our industry?

Stanford University lecturer Howard Rheingold claims “one of the many reasons we need journalists experienced in the craft of fact-checking. … The media megaphone that some of these spokespeople have at their disposal can turn poorly sourced or even made-up statements of fact into the kind of search-engine-substantiated factoids that Stephen Colbert called ‘wikiality.’ “

Perhaps we all need to take a crash course in the Harvard referencing style.

‘UAT’ now called ‘client verification’ – the way forward in project delivery

Client_Verification

Some of you are probably thinking “what the hell are they on about?”.

Well, they say you learn something new everyday and this can be that one thing for you.

UAT (user acceptance testing) is a part of the delivery process here at TMA.

Despite being a widely adopted stage of project management in our industry, we decided to question the term “UAT”.

Now coined here at TMA as “Client Verification”, this phase of a project is performed by the client to certify the system with respect to the job requirements and scope.

Our clients were questioning the process and asking questions such as “Why am I testing your work? Don’t you do that?”

Well to help answer that, Lauren Villani, our Client Services Administrator has given us the low-down on exactly what occurs during this stage of delivery, and why it is beneficial.

When do you start Client Verification?

We begin client verification when final internal testing and refinement has been completed and the client has been trained to use the site and FarCry CMS (content management system).

Who does all the verifying?

Well firstly, the client (one main contact who will report any issues to the CSA), as well as the Project Manager and Clients Services Administrator. Additionally, a developer is on hand to look in to any issues that may arise during the verification process.

How long do you verify for?

Lasting approximately a week (depending on the size of the project), the Client Verification process is finalised once all issues are addressed.

Once complete, this will signal the completion of development, and The Memphis Agency three-month silver support warranty will begin.

What are the core benefits of client verification?

  • Ensures the website meets client’s business rules/website objectives;
  • Provides a chance for our clients to review the site and FarCry CMS implementation on their own;
  • Provides the client with an opportunity to utilize training session learnings as well as use the training manuals provided;
  • Following this process, the client will start to feel more confident in maintaining the website on their own, and totally own the whole process all together!
So the next time you hear buzzwords such as “UAT” or “Client Verification”, you know exactly what we are talking about, and why it will help you in the long run.
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Moving Forward with a Mobile Web; Australian Marketing Institute seminar

This morning two of the The Memphis Agency crew presented to members of the Australian Marketing Institute on future friendly mobile web strategies.

The presentation covered all things mobile web.

Jon, our Lead Application Developer and Danni, our Digital Strategist, discussed the revolution of mobile, why you should maximise your reach with a device-optimised web experience, and how to combat this as a marketer.

AMI-preso-01b

AMI-preso-02b

We wish to give our sincere thanks to the AMI for allowing us to share our insights, as well as all those that attended at such an early hour for staying awake :)

Be sure to check out the slides to our Moving Forward with a Mobile Web presentation. It is mobile/device friendly – we must practise what we preach!

Also make sure you visit the Australian Marketing Institute website for more information, or to register for this great event.

In the meantime, here is a great infographic about understanding your need for either a mobile app or mobile website.

Enjoy!

mobile-app-vs-mobile-web-small

Facebook rolls out new status update features

Functionality_2

As of this week some serious new Facebook changes have been released.

One particular one that we found amusing and wanted to share was that users can now express what they’re watching, reading, listening to, eating, drinking, and feeling with further customisation functionality on Facebook’s status update box.

You’ll know if you’ve been included in on the first round of people that can access the functionality if there is a smiley face next to the camera icon (shown above).

Clicking this reveals a new drop-down menu:

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 1.58.47 PM

Once you’ve decided what you’re watching, reading, listening to, eating, drinking, or feeling, you can then customise it further, as indicated on the RH side arrows.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 1.59.01 PM

After this, you can proceed with writing your normal status update, as well as attaching a location, photos and friends.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 1.59.11 PM

We are wondering how this feature will progress.

Will you soon be able to advertise on this menu? I’m eating “McDonalds”, costing them ‘x’ amount per click? It could even be displayed to people who don’t like the page as a way to increase reach and exposure?

It will be interesting to see how much this feature gets used. While only a few of us have this functionality at the moment, most people are wanting the feature (particularly on their smart phone).

Nevertheless, in this instance we (unfortunately) were not actually eating ice cream. How sad.

LinkedIn update Privacy Policy and User Agreement, and what the changes REALLY mean

Today, LinkedIn have released an update of their Privacy Policy and User Agreement.

Whilst they notified this was happening three days ago, that orange box at the top of the window when you sign in? Yeah, that’s what this is about.

We dare say, since the Instagram outrage following policy changes and use of photos, people will probably be paying particular attention to further changes across their repertoire of social platforms.

While of course we always strongly recommend to review the official documentation via the LinkedIn Privacy Policy page before deciding to use any of these platforms for yourself, or on behalf of a business, here are the changes summarised in non-fluff jargon, so you can break it down to your homies on convo. “They” is referring to LinkedIn:

  • The changes have been made today, Tuesday 13 May 2013. Should you happen to disagree to anything outlined in their policies, then deactivate your account now. If you use LinkedIn at all, you agree to everything they say. Abide my pretties!
  • They now refer to us as “members” (instead of “users”) to ensure consistency across all their legal documents. Hey – I feel right at home now.
  • You MUST use your real name. Don’t misrepresent yourself. Some people use company names for a personal / profile account. This is now not approved.
  • If you use LinkedIn for escort or other adult services, this is now banned. Back to the newspaper perhaps.
  • They no longer do refunds, and they no longer accept every payment type. Dollar signs in their eyes much?
  • Decisions to close or transfer a group or company page are at their own discretion.
  • Street address of LinkedIn is now listed as their Ireland Limited address. Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one!
  • Some headings have been changed to apply more broadly.
  • Some wording has been changed to simplify the whole document, including some information on payments and fees. Pay yo’ bills essentially.
  • Links have been included to their other help sections.
  • They have now provided some more examples on applications that are available.
  • They can use your feedback in anyway they wish. They don’t have to ask for it either.
  • They have clarified their use of the term “operators” is for third parties only.
  • LinkedIn disclaimers, limitation and liabilities now apply to suppliers as well.
  • They have provided notice of LinkedIn’s intellectual property rights.

Pickin up what we’re putting down?

So be sure to read the fine print, and digest all the changes even if you think you understand the above.

We are sure for a lot of you, this will not affect your use of the platform.

Happy networking!

Stratco Facebook social media competition app

Stratco-WOW-01

We have recently been assigned to a super social project, for a super savvy client – Stratco Australia. Stratco wanted a refreshed social media competition, based on an existing concept, titled “Win One Wednesday”.

The name is rather literal  - win something on a Wednesday. Stratco had witnessed some excellent results from their previous competition. They wanted to continue its brilliance, but with a strengthened offering within their budget and to implement basically straight away!

That’s where TMA stepped in – we wanted to take the idea further via the introduction of a new third-party application supplier and introduce some reinvigorated ideas to further strengthen brand awareness. Our challenge was to deliver within the timeline specified, and achieve within a reasonable budget.

Campaign objectives

  • Increase brand awareness;
  • Facilitate a level of engagement with existing and potential Facebook fans;
  • KPI for customer data acquisition of approximately 200 entries per week (6% conversion); and,
  • KPI for 50% of entries to be shared (not a compulsory entry mechanism).

Campaign strategy

  • Create a Facebook App, administer contest using ShortStack as to abide by Facebook Promotions Guidelines;
  • Develop the app to be as easy as possible to enter, and easy as possible to share;
  • Promote the competition weekly using organic posting, and paid if budget permitted;
  • Create a placeholder image for the tab on every other day but Wednesday;
  • Provide broader communications strategy recommendations to organically promote the competition; and,
  • Alternate the offering to understand what Stratco Facebook Fans may like and dislike. Gather consumer insights using ShortStack and Facebook, and use them to optimise future competition performance and increase customer data acquisition.

Benefits

  • Efficiency savings - A great solution to Facebook competitions that will be easy to coordinate and extremely measurable;
  • Knowledge growth – TMA to act as a resource to provide insight as to the guidelines, best practices and other optimization tips to support the coordination of this competition;
  • Resource savings – increase Stratco’s in-house productivity, so that Stratco staff members can concentrate on their own core role requirements; and,
  • Continuity and risk management – allows the agency who built the app (TMA) to be more embedded with deployment and maintenance.

We think the app is pretty sexy – so head to Stratco’s Facebook page (even more awesome if it’s a Wednesday) and have a play around yourself.

Stratco-WOW-02

Happy Birthday x 3

Birthdays_April_2013v2

So we celebrated some Birthdays this month.

We’ve been wickedly busy, so here they all are – as one :)

From left to right, Alice (our General Manager) had her birthday this week, Matty (one of our Developers) a couple of weeks ago, and Scotty (one of our Principals, and our Business Development Manager) last week.

The cakes varied in sizes. A direct correlation to their age.

Just joking.

Happy Birthday Alice, Matty and Scott!

Twitter Music App to launch soon

We_Are_Hunted

So we know from earlier today that Twitter acknowledged that it had acquired
“We Are Hunted”
. Originally developed in Brisbane in 2009, it is now playing with the big dogs!

So how does it differ from Spotify, Rdio, Pandora or Last.fm and the like?

Allegedly the app reccomends artists and tracks to users based on multiple personalised “signals” – ie – those you follow on Twitter.

Users can also listen to clips of songs from iTunes and Soundcloud as well as additional music videos provided by Vevo (Universal Music and Sony).

Which devices are supported?

What we don’t have a lot of details on is what platform the app is launching on. CNET’s report said it would be iOS only; AllThingsD’s sources don’t specify this.

What has Twitter confirmed so far?

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on when the app will open, but there is an official press release on the We Are Hunted website.

A spokesman for Twitter in Australia did not reveal the precise role We Are Hunted will play.

When will I be able to use it?

We hear on the grapevine that Twitter are planning to launch this new music application as early as tomorrow (“Friday” in the US), and we hear that its fairly coincidental with Coachella occuring this weekend also. However, this has not been confirmed.

Is it available to Aussies?

We believe so. The project is backed by Aussie entrepreneur Graeme Wood but relocated to the US.

So, why?

Larger social companies are notoriously known for purchasing tech start-ups, such as Twitter purchasing Vine, Summify and Whisper Systems, and Facebook purchasing Instagram. Twitter have not confirmed purchase prices for any of these acquisitions.

The mean strategy behind this is that social media platform head honcho’s need to be able to continue expansion of what their product has to offer, so they can maintain and defend their current levels of user-ship across the globe.

After all, we are a bunch of greedy, information hungry consumers. We get bored easily!

We can’t wait to hear more about how this will pan out.

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There’s more to a digital marketing agency than just coding and design

Values

While we’re on the topic of hiring new staff, we thought we’d add some more info about what it’s actually like to work at TMA.

To do that, we thought we’d start with sharing our values.

Okay, so we don’t go around talking about these every minute of every day, but we like to keep these in mind when:

  • starting new work;
  • commencing new client relationships;
  • hiring staff (hint, hint); and,
  • our day-to-day operations.

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They are:

Give back to the community;
// 
We are commercially aware of the importance of local business. We try and keep things local where possible.

Take ownership with passion, energy & pride;
// 
We like to transfer these skills to our ping pong table also.

Solution driven ideas with the 360 philosophy;
// 
Our solutions solve the problems our client present us with but we continue to monitor our solutions and use our learnings to drive further improvements.

Continual improvement;
// 
We strive to continually evolve our internal processes to ensure the service we provide is thorough, but is also a hassel-free process for our client.

Cherish our mistakes;
// 
Acknowledgement is the first step to self-improvement. Saying “we screwed up” or “we could do this better next time” is all about a commitment of transparency!

Collaborate with others of similar values;
// 
We love to work with like minded people (all the more reason to share our values)!

Have fun and be cheeky;
// Integral to the enjoyment of our working lives.

Be genuine and act with integrity;
// We recruit for these personality traits. We want those wearing the TMA badge to be open and honest.

Be empathetic and flexible;
// Business decisions take time, we will patient to accommodate clients needs to the best of our ability.

Be inspired and inspiring;
// Think outside the box, share it and embrace our distinctiveness.

Its just got to be right;
// User Acceptance Testing ring any bells?

Build good relationships;
// Self explanatory and very simple.

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So we hope you know there is a bit more love and joy within the TMA walls.

We might be a bunch of nerds, but we have some purpose here too! It’s not all coding and design. 

Find out more about TMA on our Facebook profile, LinkedIn Company Page, or Tweet us.

Announcement: TMA Engagement!

Sandy-engagement

If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it!

Well, looks like Sandy’s boyfriend, Jason, liked it – because now she has a sparkly!

A huge, massive, monstrous congratulations to Sandy and Jason on their engagement.

Sandy, our Senior Web Developer, has been with TMA for the past five years. We have watched their relationship blossom and now we are very excited to see a ring on it.

As you can see in the photo, I think Sandy is pretty pleased too. Wouldya take a look at that rock!

Congratulations Sandy and Jason. 

The new Pinterest Analytics, how do they measure up?

Pinterest_Analytics_The_Memphis_Agency_Social_Media

Analytics are so hot right now.

That’s why this week Pinterest have introduced an in-built analytics tool for marketers. They have also introduced Business Accounts as part of their recent facelift.

If you have already been analysing your Pinterest account using other tools such as Pinreach, Pinalyzer and Pinfluencer then you’ll be pin…ching yourself when you hear the new analytics tool is free. That’s right, $00.00 (for the time being anyway!).

How is it free?

Free doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Let’s face it, it’s pretty basic. It doesn’t allow you to identify your most engaged and influential pinners and then track popularity and reach of boards and pins – but – it’s a huge step forward for Pinterest, and those who haven’t been paying for data can now get it.

Say hello to a new breed of (somewhat) knowledgeable marketers. Let’s hope other social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter follow suit with an offering of free analytics for it’s users (or access to data for small businesses who don’t have buckets of cash to throw at every single one of their social efforts).

How do I get these free, nifty analytics features?

Remember, this initiative is aimed more towards businesses as opposed to Sally Citizen who pins photos of her chocolate labrador (not to mention anyone at TMA).

This tool is better suited at ‘x’ business who has Pinterest and wants to learn some basic insight as to what their pins are producing for them.

So you think you are up for the taking – as per the eDM that went out this week, you have to do the following to hook up the analytics:

1. Update your Pinterest account to the “new look” by logging on, clicking the top, RH side menu and accessing it from there. What do you think of the updated look and feel? We think it’s a bit clunky, but I’m sure we’ll get used to it.

2. Make sure your website is verified by Pinterest. You can check this by going into your settings and seeing if there is a tick next to where you have written your website URL.

3. So you’re website is verified and you’ve got the new look, you might notice “Analytics” in the top, RH side menu. That’s your cue to click on it.

Fin!

What sort of data am I getting? 

Once Pinterest has played around with your account and generated your stats, you will see four tabs at the top which are quite self-explanatory:

  • Site Metrics
  • Most Recent
  • Most Repinned
  • Most Clicked

Every marketer will love the fact that all the analytics data can be exported as a CSV file (hopefully we see no glitches using Numbers for Mac).

Hello data.

What’s the catch?

Do you remember when Tumblr ased for money from advertisers without actually providing any analytics tools to measure ad performance? Well despite Pinterest not actually providing any ad hosting yet, this could be them prepping their site for their introduction. Business accounts + analytics tool = marketers frothing at the mouth and wanting to improve their accounts.

Why does my data suck?

We are all data-hungry marketers – but don’t let the data from your new analytics scare you if it is ridiculously low. Look it as a way to improve and increase activity. Also, remember it is just one factor of your social presence and perhaps your other platforms are better suited to your target audience. Twitter might work better for you, but Pinterest is another complimentary marketing tool that adds value to your social suite.

Cheers to data, and a Happy Friday to all. 

Happy Birthday @Sandicino

happy-bday-sandy

Another TMA Birthday means more cake. And a looming Jenny Craig subscription.

Twas last week that we celebrated the birthday of Sandy, one of our star developers.

It sure wasn’t a TMA Birthday without those routine, obligatory cupcakes - which we absolutely hated, as our initial request for a spread of mixed salad was denied by upper management.

Oh well, cupcakes it was!

Happy Birthday @Sandicino!

TMA Web Developer creates ‘sandbox project’

Kate_York_The_Memphis_Agency_Web_Developer

Web development techniques change constantly, which means just being passionate about the industry isn’t enough – you must also be willing to commit to constantly challenging your thinking.

Our guest blogger, TMA Web Developer Kate York, shares her insight into her own thought leadership, and keeping up with best practise web development – with a ‘sandbox project’.

There cannot be many occupations out there that are more willing and able to share new ideas with others than the industry of web developers. So, as a developer, keeping up can be relatively easy.

There are tutorials and articles everywhere (for free) and the more popular the idea the more resources you’ll find to help you.

There is a catch however: in order to truly understand how a new technique can be used on your next client project you need something a lot meatier running through your head than the good old “Hello World” example.

For me the best thing I ever did was decide I couldn’t be bothered trying to work out a list of things to buy from the shop every week. I’m a programmer after all why should I have to add and group things together myself over and over again when I can write some code to do that for me?

What is a sandbox project?

A ‘sandbox project’ is a module or theme that contains experimental code that is not yet ready for general application.

I created my own titled “My Online Kitchen” (MOK) - not only because I hate doing repetitive tasks but also because at the time I was interested in trying out new techniques with ASP.NET and C#.

The advantage of a sandbox project is you don’t have to “finish” it by a given date (no pressure) and it doesn’t have to stay static in one technology – it can change as you change and learn.

My-Online-Kitchen-The-Memphis-Agency

Challenging your own ideas…

The original version of MOK using ASP.NET C# and very basic responsive techniques.

It soon became evident that mobile and tablet devices were becoming hugely popular and so learning to code with smaller devices in mind became a priority for me.

Ideally it would be a native app but I wasn’t ready to delve into such a different arena just yet.

Thus my next iteration of MOK was to create a version using Jquery UI Mobile as it looks and feels so much like a native app but uses trusty old JQuery. I found this to be quick to pick up and there were plenty of examples to try out and apply to MOK.

My-Online-Kitchen-The-Memphis-Agency-Mobile

Mobile cut the clutter!

Funnily enough, this soon became my preferred method of accessing the site as it was much faster to load each screen than the server refresh the main site uses.

However the more serious functionality of the site was still only on desktop.

This is when I turned to Backbone.js and Twitter bootstrap to not only make the  desktop site look better but also utilise the DOM to load content without the need for boring old page refreshes.

My-Online-Kitchen-The-Memphis-Agency-Mobile-Categories

I have since been lucky enough to use “Backbone techniques” (below) on a real world project at TMA – minus the steep learning curve I would have had without trying it out on MOK first.

My-Online-Kitchen-Backbone-Search

My-Online-Kitchen-The-Memphis-Agency-Backbone

So why a sandbox project?

If you haven’t already get into a sandbox project – it’s a no pressure way to learn new things and might even make some part of your own life easier or in the very least expand your career opportunities.

Like I said before, you don’t have to “finish” it by a specific deadline, and it doesn’t have to stay static in one technology – it morphs as you learn. A bit like pottery. Well, nothing like pottery really.

You get the idea.

Kate York has been a Web Developer at TMA for the past year, and shares a wealth of knowledge from other significant web development positions since 2005. Share your thoughts with her via Twitter, @Yorky001