August 24, 2017

DesignHammer Wanders the Globe While Staying Cool

Welcome to vacation season in North Carolina! We're taking turns getting out of the office and enjoying scenic North Carolina, or leaving the state (or even the country!) to beat the heat. While some of us wander the globe, the rest of us are still working hard. Whether sharpening our skills, getting the word out at a conference, or enjoying a cooling treat at Goodberry's, we're keeping summer fresh.

Recent Projects | In Production | New Clients | Awards and Recognition | Tools and Technology | Conferences | Professional Development | Community Involvement | Featured Client | Around Town | Anything Else

Recent Projects

Qualyst Transporter Solutions

Qualyst Transporter Solutions, LLC provides in vitro hepatic modeling services for a wide variety of scientific, agricultural, and consumer purposes. We have recently finished phase one of a website redesign, delivering a responsive WordPress site. Qualyst now has the ability to use content in a variety of locations across the site by leveraging the custom content types created during development. Phase two will add a custom kit utility and an e-commerce implementation.

In Production

One of our regular clients, Investors Title, approached us with the need for a new website in a very short time period. We are currently working to develop and launch a new site,, to provide search, document retrieval, and recording solutions. The site is scheduled to launch August 1, 2017, and we’re hard at work making that a reality!

New Clients

Duke Health

DesignHammer has a track record of working with a variety of groups at Duke University, and has recently begun working with Duke Health. Duke Health is comprised of the Duke University School of Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School, Duke University School of Nursing, Duke University Health System, and the Private Diagnostic Clinic. Additionally, it includes the health and health research programs within the Duke Global Health Institute as well as those in schools and centers across Duke University, including the Duke Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy.

Awards and Recognition

Summit Award Results

DesignHammer is proud to have been recognized for two projects in the 2017 Summit Creative Award competition: Bronze Award for Freudenberg IT and Finalist Award for The William Blake Archive. The Summit Creative Awards recognize small and medium-size creative agencies worldwide. This year saw more than 5,000 entries from 24 countries.

Tools and Technology


We pride ourselves on proactively maintaining our client sites. One of the tools we use to know about potential issues before our clients is Pingdom. Pingdom provides third-party remote monitoring services including up-time monitoring (from 60 global locations), real user monitoring, and transaction monitoring. Pingdom can send email or text alerts and can also connect with other alerting services.


2017 Conference for North Carolina's Nonprofits

In addition to redesigning and updating the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits website, DesignHammer will be returning as an exhibiting sponsor for the 2017 Conference for North Carolina’s Nonprofit, September 13-15 in Concord, NC. With this year’s theme of Embracing Uncertainty, the conference serves as the largest annual gathering of nonprofit leaders in North Carolina.

Professional Development

Google Mobile Sites Certification

After my colleague Michael received his Google Mobile Sites Certification in June, I knew I wanted to prioritize studying and taking the exam in July. Even though I am already familiar with and actively developing using best practices for mobile devices, I decided to review all of the study guide material and external links to additional Google documentation. This was a great way to review the material for the exam (there are some tricky questions!), solidify my existing knowledge, and learn a few new items as well about Progressive Web Apps and AMP.

July Triangle UXPA Book Club

For the latest installment of the Durham Book Club, we read Resilient web design by Jeremy Keith. The book starts with a history of the Web, from its origins at DARPA, to Tim Berners‐Lee’s work at CERN, through the challenges of keeping up with the latest disruptive hardware and software pushing the envelope of content delivery. Stressed are the competing design philosophies of Progressive Degradation vs. Graceful Degradation (do you start at the lowest common denominator and add, or at the most featureful and remove). All in all a great trip down memory lane for those of us working on the Web since the early days, while poignant perspective for those that who started later and always wondered why we do things the way we do. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution‐ShareAlike 4.0., the free download is short enough to complete in a single session, and at the least worth what you paid for it.

Community Involvement

Triangle UXPA

DesignHammer has renewed its sponsorship of The Triangle UXPA, the North Carolina Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association. Focused on building and supporting the local community of practitioners who craft great user experiences, the chapter hosts a number of recurring and one off events, as well organizing as a mentoring program.

The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits Upcoming Conference ‘Embracing Uncertainty’

The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits hosts an annual statewide conference to support NC based nonprofits. The conference hosts 750-900 nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers representing all sizes, fields, and missions. This year’s conference is entitled on ‘Embracing Uncertainty,’ and will be held from September 13th to September 15th in Concord, NC. Learn more about the conference at

Around Town

Goodberry’s Frozen Custard

Goodberry’s Frozen Custard is a NC must-visit, having originated in Raleigh in 1987. They now have 9 locations in the Triangle, so it’s pretty obvious people love it. What makes them special is their pure and simple ingredients and toppings, and a dedication to making a fresh product hourly. While vanilla and chocolate are daily staples, they have a flavor of the day to help keep things interesting. I personally recommend trying cheesecake, but really you can’t go wrong with any of their flavors.

Anything Else

Salt Lake City Fencing Tournament

David Minton and I made a whirlwind trip to Salt Lake City for the USA Fencing 2017 National Championships and July Challenge. We competed both individually and as part of the Mid-South Fencers Club Senior Men’s Saber team. While neither David nor I medaled ourselves, we were on hand to cheer the Mid-South Senior Women’s Saber team onto a hard-fought Bronze medal finish and our teammate Carl Badger’s bronze medal finish in the Veterans 60 Men’s Saber national championship. Carl’s finish made him a lock for the US Veteran 60 World Team. Way to go Carl!


Stephen and I are both traveling to the 50th GenCon convention which will be held in Indianapolis, IN from August 17-20. GenCon is the largest tabletop gaming convention in North America. In 2015, GenCon had 61,423 unique attendees (and I promise you, unique is the right word!). Games range from traditional card games (last year Stephen won a medal for euchre), collectible card games (Magic: the Gathering launched at GenCon in 1993), miniature based games (one of my favorites), tabletop roleplaying, LARP, board games (for instance, the first ever official Cones of Dunshire game)… and, well, really way too many to list. In addition to the games, there are artists, authors, musicians (including a concert this year by They Might Be Giants), vendors, celebrities… pretty much anything related to games and gaming. If any of you readers are also headed that way, have a safe trip, have fun, and maybe we’ll see you there!

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