Updates: May '17

June 16, 2017

May 2017 DesignHammer Updates!

The weather is heating up in North Carolina; summer tends to show up early here. At DesignHammer, the heat and humidity cannot slow us down. We are kicking off the summer months with four Communicator Awards granted by the AIVA, prepping for summer conference presentations, developing new client projects, and supporting our local eateries (one of our favorite pastimes, yum!).

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


Featured Blog Post

Getting paged data from the Teamwork API using vue-resource and Promises

Here at DesignHammer we are in the process of moving to Teamwork Projects, an online project management app. I am leading our transition and it’s a big job making sure everything goes smoothly. A key part of my job is identifying areas where standard Teamwork functionality doesn’t do exactly what we need and, if necessary, building tools to help meet that need.


Recent Projects

Mansfield Oil Sales Academy

As part of our ongoing work to migrate and consolidate ten websites for Mansfield Oil from multiple hosts and content management systems to WordPress on a new unified hosting platform, we deployed an updated Mansfield Oil Sales Academy website built on WordPress.


In Production

Plastpro

Plastpro is a fiberglass door manufacturer based in Los Angeles, CA with a production factory in Ohio. They are undergoing a redesign for their Drupal website. DesignHammer is providing user testing services and theme development in support of that redesign. DesignHammer has offered a wide variety of design, development, and maintenance services to Plastpro since 2014.


New Clients

Solution Search

DesignHammer has recently taken responsibility for support and executing development updates for Solution Search, an annual prize competition to help identify and support existing solutions to many of the world's most pressing conservation challenges. Solution Search is a program of Rare, an international environmental organization committed to conservation programs that benefit both people and nature. Rare has been a client since 2015.


Awards and Recognition

23rd Annual Communicator Awards

As judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), DesignHammer won four awards in the 23rd Annual Communicator Awards, the leading international creative awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals. All of DesignHammer’s entries, Freudenberg IT, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, The William Blake Archive, and Interiors in Flight, won Awards of Distinction.

23rd Annual Summit Creative Awards

DesignHammer entered three websites in the 23rd Annual Summit Creative Awards (SCA), an international advertising competition recognizing the work of small and medium-sized agencies in a variety of disciplines, including website design and development. DesignHammer was recognized with a Gold Award in last year's competition for the Interiors in Flight website, developed in collaboration with Pausback Advertising.

12th Annual W³ Awards

DesignHammer entered two websites in the 12th Annual W³ Awards, an international competition focused on recognizing exceptional work in website design and development from agencies of any size. The W³ is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, interactive, advertising, and marketing firms. DesignHammer was recognized with Gold Award in last year's competition for the Interiors in Flight website, developed in collaboration with Pausback Advertising.


Tools and Technology

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a very user-friendly online program and mobile app that allows users to work with Posts, Pages, and Videos at no cost. While it is not limitless, it is a program that helps suggest and edit designs for memes, mini websites, and tutorials. I have personally only used the Posts feature, and my favorite aspect is that it includes all the recent sizes for popular social media platforms and a variety of generic sizes.

twitteraudit

An interesting service, twitteraudit leads with the question “how many of your followers are real?” This service provides an interesting data point when analyzing your Twitter followers, that of a client, or even that of a competitor. The free level will sample 5,000 of your followers (if you have that many), while the pro version has no limit to the number of followers audited. While it’s great to boast a large Twitter following, bots don’t buy, so another feature of the Pro version is the ability to block fake followers. While not of value to everyone, visualizing data is fun.


Conferences

Drupal GovCon

The DesignHammer team is looking forward to participating in Drupal GovCon from July 31 through August 2, 2017 at the Natcher Conference Center on the National Institutes of Health Campus in Bethesda, MD. DesignHammer is sponsoring once again this year and has submitted sessions on Accessibility and Project Management. Our fingers are crossed hoping that one or both of our sessions will be selected. Last year we had such a big crowd for our Website Strategy session that we had to be moved to a larger room to avoid breaking the fire code!

This will mark DesignHammer’s fourth GovCon (formerly known as Capital Camp) and David and I are looking forward to hanging out with Drupalers from all over the country in hip Bethesda. If this will be your first GovCon, be sure to check out Smoke BBQ one evening. You will be glad you did!


Professional Development

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

On May 18th Triangle UXPA and the a11yRTP meetup collaborated to host a Global Accessibility Awareness Day event featuring speakers as well as hands on interaction with disability simulations and assistive technologies. Ryan E. Benson, Lead technical subject matter expert for Section 508 at the Centers for Disease Control and Liani Yirka, Accessibility & Inclusion Coordinator from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences shared their experience both as industry experts, as well as users of assistive technologies. While DesignHammer has presented on accessible web design at a number of conferences, it is great to to learn from experts in the field. Special thanks to SAS for hosting the event.

Think Outside the Bowl

David and I attended Think Outside the Bowl, an interactive presentation by Stan Phelps and Evan Carroll on how to leverage customer experience (CX), Technology, and Purpose to win the hearts of your customers. Stan and Evan showed real-world examples of differentiators that companies have used to successful stand out from their competition. The event was sponsored by AMA Triangle.


Community Involvement

CED Founders Day

CED hosted the second annual Founders Day on May 16, 2017. This Founders Day CED honored the 2nd class of the Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame. It was a beautiful Durham evening, and David and I had a great time celebrating entrepreneurship in the triangle. CED is a network that helps Triangle entrepreneurs build and grow successful companies by providing education, mentoring and capital formation resources to technology-based, high-growth entrepreneurs.


Investors Title

Based in Chapel Hill, NC, Investor’s Title is a leading underwriter of both residential and commercial policies for customers across the US. DesignHammer has worked with Investor’s Title since 2015, supporting their main site as well as developing and deploying two supplementary websites. Recently DesignHammer and Investor’s Title collaborated to create a scalable solution to provide sites for close to two dozen of their Agents using a Drupal multisite solution.


Around Town

Falafel 54

If you are looking for quick, casual, all you can eat, delicious Mediterranean food - Falafel 54 is your place. As an office we have been there a few times now, and the food is always consistent and there is great variety as well. One of my favorites is the curry chicken, and, of course, the gyro meat is classic.


Anything Else

Wilber's Barbeque

As a native North Carolinian, I am expected to have opinions about barbecue. However, as a native North Carolinian, I do NOT have opinions about barbecue: I have facts. And the fact is, the best barbecue in North Carolina (and by extension the whole world, universe, and this plane of reality) is available at Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro, NC. With great hushpuppies, available family style dining, an in house barbecue sauce AND Texas Pete, and (as noted above) the best barbecue available in this lifetime, I’m basically unable to drive past without stopping for food. And then bringing some home.

Recently Stephen Pashby (DesignHammer Account Manager) and I officiated at a fencing tournament in New Bern, NC. As Stephen is an enlightened individual, part of our decision to officiate at that event was based on the fact that about halfway between Durham and New Bern is Wilber’s. So inevitably we stopped by for some food in the dining room, and some more to go. All in all, it was a good day.


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