User Experience (UX)
David Addison
by David Addison
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Another Successful Responsive Website (RWD)

04/18/2013
Another Successful Responsive Website (RWD)

Dirigo launch another mobile-first and responsive website (RWD) yesterday! And it's the most complex and tricked out site yet! JP, Jess, the client's creative department, and the rest of the Dirigo team really rocked on this one! The client's creative staff set the stage with a sleek black-space (you know, opposite of white-space) vision, substantial graphics that work well in the organization's sector, a lead generation strategy, and an incredible pedigree of staff and clients.

One trick we included is touch-based captcha. We aren't so wild about captcha (especially those graphics that are so difficult to read) though we get that captcha is necessary to thwart SPAM. In the spirit of mobile-first, we developed a swipe or gesture-based slider that makes captcha easy for a user to prove s/he is human and submit a form. We placed the slider on the contact forms and other intake forms.  It works just like the slide to unlock feature on an iPhone.  You can now find this very feature on the Dirigo contact form.

So the Dirigo team celebrated! [We love our martinis and other libations!]

A little about this client to set the stage: it is one of the top 3 advertising agencies in Maine ... but it mostly serves clients outside of Maine. All over North America as a matter of fact! They're not really a Maine ad agency, they just happen to work from Maine. They're actually an un-agency. Not like the rest. Many of the ad agencies are hyper-focused on Maine. This group is focused on a single industry and nationally acclaimed for its work. Big time. The team quietly goes about its work. They're the real deal. Direct response ninjas. We have an affinity for these guys (and gals).

They join the ranks of two other traditional top 10 agencies in Maine to sport a RWD website (McCabe and Sutherland). We give VIA a wee bit of credit for a fluid design with a separate mobile site. Sort of in a 2011 cool kind of way, not really a great solution by modern RWD standards.  The VIA site looks to be transcoded (a separate website/URL with content transcoded or copied from the main site) as apposed to mobile-specific (a separate website/URL with separate content).

Back to the party here at Dirigo. The martini glasses are drying and we're back to work. This site was a ton of work (heck all sites are a ton of work). Dirigo's creative team made it a mission to keep our client's creative team's vision at the fore. So much copy had to be written and re-written. Scads of blog posts were migrated, meta tags fixed, CSS versioned... all the new bells and whistles.

The site sits on the DirigoEdge content managment system (CMS). We're happy to report that the mobile version is half the file size (byte and bit stuff) as the desktop version. In our approach to adapt RWD we eliminate some images and JavaScript, and pull an entirely different image set with smaller height, width, and resolution. We prefer not to resize images on the fly because this can be CPU intensive. We also toggle on or off JavaScript that enables touch features. There are many flavors of RWD. Our approch is quite nerdy. DirigoEdge was upgraded on this project with more robust top and bottom menu controls and other cool features. The site UX is different for smartphone, tablet and desktop users. DirigoEdge deploys a modified Zurb Foundation framework. Way cool stuff.

This industry keeps changing. I love it! Helping our clients to grow and prosper is truly uplifting and totally fulfilling. To meet the industry’s needs, Dirigo has ushered in diverse new skills to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve. We'll do our best to continue being an industry leader for years to come. My true mission is to provide opportunities for others at Dirigo to enjoy as satisfying a career as I've had. This can only happen by making our clients ultra successful!

We're boots on the ground today, we've got another agency site, a ski resort, and our legacy client work too!

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