Updates: May & June '18

June 18, 2018

Keeping it Cool this Summer

It’s finally hot enough to complain about how hot it is! Thankfully, due to the nature of this industry, the DesignHammer team has the luxury of staying thermally content as we continue to crack out code in our North Carolina office.  

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

Featured Blog Post

Preparing for the GDPR

For anybody who's been living under a rock; the European Union recently enacted a global privacy law called the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, which came into full effect on Friday May 25th. That being said, it appears as though many U.S. businesses have chosen indifference towards the new legislation, operating under the assumption that the law will not apply to them. As a result, numerous companies have left themselves extremely vulnerable to future litigations.

Our recent blog post attempts to break down some of the complexity and trepidation surrounding the GDPR into easily digestible chunks of vital information. If there is any chance that your website or any third-party apps (e.g. #GoogleAnalytics) could be tracking cookies or collecting data from any EU citizens, then the GDPR will apply to you. Thankfully, many privacy policy generators and inexpensive consent solutions exist online & can be easily implemented onto your site. Feel free to visit our blog to learn more about how DesignHammer has tackled this new privacy law and to see our suggested resources on GDPR compliance.

Recent Projects

Highland Composites

We recently launched the new website for Highland Composites. Highland Composites offers world-class custom manufacture composite components to industries ranging from aerospace to automotive. The new website was developed in WordPress and features dynamic videos and engaging photography to demonstrate Highland Composites process and capabilities. The website also features Case Studies of past Highland Composites projects and White Papers by Highland Composites staff.

In Production

DesignHammer Staying Busy through July

DesignHammmer is keeping busy in July. We are switching from HipChat to Slack so there's a bit of work to update some of our internal deployment tools to send messages to the right place. We are nearing the home stretch on a new WordPress site build for one client and we are adding a new company profile feature for NetOne's Drupal site. We have also started a re-branding project in WordPress for a new academic client, the UNC Center for Innovation & Sustainability in Local Media.

UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media

UNC-CISLM supports local news organizations through research on economic sustainability and innovative digital solutions. DesignHammer is currently rebuilding CISLM’s existing site so that they may more effectively house their reports and updates around local newspaper offices. The new site will be more maintainable by UNC-CISLM staff, and will have new features such as state specific pages with openings, sales, and closures; relevant facts about the states and their newspaper providers; and research specific to the state.

Awards and Recognition

DesignHammer Named Finalist for 2018 When Work Works Award

We are excited to announce that DesignHammer has been named a 2018 finalist for the “When Work Works” Awards. An award-winning company since first applying in 2012, DesignHammer has officially advanced to phase two of the judging for the 2018 winners, which are to be announced in October. At DesignHammer, support for workplace flexibility comes from the top and filters down to all levels of the company. Workplace flexibility helps improve quality of life for DesignHammer’s staff, leading to lower turnover rates, and ultimately improving profitability. DesignHammer’s parental leave policy has even been featured in Inc. Magazine. Learn more about maintaining work/life balance, as well as a few theories on why satisfied employees are more successful at the Designhammer Blog.

Tools and Technology


Iubenda is a SaaS (Software as a Service) provider of privacy policy, cookie policy, and consent tracking solutions. They have been providing these solutions for European privacy laws for a number of years.

Here at DesignHammer we have been leveraging their service to provide GDPR privacy policies, cookie policies, and cookie banners for ourselves and our clients. The cookie banner provides for automatic script blocking and is supported by modules and plugins making integration into a CMS more straight forward. The biggest value add of the service, however, is that iubenda provides specific, legally reviewed, policy text covering a large number of third-party services as simple selections to add to your privacy policy. Iubenda then maintains the necessary information (privacy policy, contact information, etc.) for each of those services and updates the text, allowing sites to stay current with information without having to monitor all of their third party services for updates. This alone makes the service worthwhile.


NCTech4Good Recap

DesignHammer (sponsor since 2012) was a silver sponsor again this year for the 9th annual NCTech4Good Nonprofit Technology Conference hosted in Durham, NC. This year we heard keynote speaker and CEO of Caravan Studios, Marnie Webb, speak about how to successfully engage communities in participatory design projects.

In addition to participating in a very productive and engaging day of learning, the DesignHammer team also had the opportunity to share some tech knowledge with various non-profits represented at the conference. With David and Hunter leading discussions on the “4 Secrets to Building Successful Websites”, as well as “Understanding and Preparing for the GDPR” our intention was to give back to the movers and shakers of the nonprofit industry who are working hard every day to build us a better future.

Professional Development

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2018

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2018 was, May 17. To celebrate the occasion, I attended the a11yRTP Meetup Accessibility Unconference at the SAS Institute campus in Cary, NC. As an “unconference,” there wasn’t a set lineup of topics, but the participants do suggest a number of good ones. Some of the good ones that I attended included designing for accessibility, and a real-time look at how to use a screen reader to complete complex tasks (such as eCommerce activities). Although the meetup was up until now an annual event, the a11yRTP meetup members proposed moving to a quarterly schedule to better educate and support people who design and develop accessible systems. 

Community Involvement

DesignHammer Partner Elected to Public Information Network Board of Directors

DesignHammer’s Managing Partner, David Minton was elected Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Public Information Network, Inc., an organization founded in 1989 as an internet technology provider responsible for facilitating information exchange within and among the governments and citizens of communities, especially those in Chapel Hill. As technology has changed over the years, PIN has long evolved from using the computerized bulletin boards that appeared at the start of the internet age. Today the organization’s focus is increasing the ability of nonprofits and encouraging them to take advantage of the various features in IT, surpassing the basic website. PIN hosts the annual NCTech4Good Conference, as well as a monthly NCTech4Good Meetup.


Registration is now open for the 2018 CED Tech Venture Conference which will be Sept. 12 – 13, 2018 in Raleigh, NC. Attracting over 800 attendees from across the nation, the CED Tech Venture Conference is considered one of the premier event for technology entrepreneurs in the Southeast. CED, short for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, connects entrepreneurial companies with high-value resources to accelerate business growth.

Around Town

Triangle Restaurant Week

Arguably the best summer event taking place throughout Raleigh-Durham area, Triangle Restaurant Week kept both the stomachs and wallets of local restaurants happy alike through June 4-10th. This year 64 separate, high-quality restaurants participated in the week-long event to offer various three-course dining opportunities priced at $20-$30 a person (venue dependent). Some of the more notable Downtown Raleigh participants that you might recognize were 18 Seaboard, Buku, Caffe Luna and 42nd Street Oyster Bar. In Durham, Mateo Tapas, Harvest 18, Guglhupf Bakery also opted in among many others this year. I was excited to learn that this the event just happened to fall on my birthday (June 4th) and that my favorite restaurant-The Melting Pot just so happened to be a participant! No surprised that my friends, family and I jumped at the opportunity to spend less cheddar on more cheddar this year. Hopefully that wasn’t too cheesy for you!

Anything Else

USA Fencing National Championship

David and I will be competing in the 2018 USA Fencing National Championships. The Championships are being held in St. Louis, MO from June 28 to July 7, 2018. David and I will be be competing both individually, and also as two of three members of a team representing Mid-South Fencers Club. Thousands of fencers from across the country of all ages and experience levels compete in over one-hundred events at the National Championships, from 8-year old beginners to US Olympians to septuagenarians.

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