Oct 13 2016

S8080 now a Registered Umbraco Partner


After working with the Umbraco CMS for many years, we are proud to announce that S8080 are now a Registered Umbraco partner. Being a registered Umbraco partner helps us keep to the forefront of the latest Umbraco developments.

Our experienced team of Umbraco developers have delivered many high profile and complex .NET based websites for public sector and private sector clients including the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), HM Cabinet Office, CITB Construction Skills and Ministry of Justice.

Umbraco is one of the most popular Web Content Management Systems on the Microsoft .NET platform. It’s open source, meaning you don’t need to pay licensing costs. It’s also a very powerful and yet easy to learn CMS that is highly extensible.

It’s great to be part of the Umbraco family and we look forward to working with Umbraco over the coming years.


Oct 13 2016

GoConstruct wins the Masters of Marketing User Experience and Design award


We are very proud to announce that GoConstruct.org has won the 2016 Masters of Marketing User experience and design award. GoConstruct won the award after being shortlisted along with Guardian Travel and Gu puddings websites.

The site was launched to encourage people to consider a career in construction. We worked closely with CITB to create a site that would inform and entertain a diverse audience by utilising a range of interactive tools including a career profiling tool, a series of interactive construction sites and a personality quiz.

The site has had extensive usability testing to give the best possible user experience. The campaign has been a huge success with over 450,000 unique visitors. To check out the site for yourself click here.


It’s been a privilege to work on the site and we are currently working with CITB on more major projects, watch this space!


Aug 17 2016

Go Construct.org – An interactive tour of Infrastructure


Hot on the heels of the interactive tour of Off-Site Manufacturing our creative and front end development teams produced another engaging visual interactive page to help attract, inform and retain a talented workforce for the Construction and Built Environment sector.

The interactive consists of a bespoke portal page and a series of phased construction scenarios designed to showcase specific job roles. The creative team developed an infrastructure scenario that covered the construction of a bridge that incorporates a high speed rail link, a motorway connecting town to city, water transportation and sustainable energy.

Our creatives and front end devs worked closely to ensure the interactive worked across a large range of devices from a desktop monitor to a smartphone. The result of this agile and collaborative working process meant that the product not only looked great but worked seamlessly across client specified devices featuring adaptive layouts and content solutions.

Take look and explore the infrastructure roles in construction

Aug 10 2016

Go Construct.org – An interactive tour of Off-Site Manufacturing


Our creative and front end development teams have recently produced a whole host of highly visual interactive pages for the newly launched GoConstruct website, which has been specifically designed to attract, inform and retain a talented workforce in the construction and built environment sector. The interactives consist of a bespoke portal page and a series of phased construction scenarios that showcase specific job roles.

In one example, the off-site interactive section takes the user through the 5 stages of off-site manufacturing and the roles in construction involved in each stage. There are multiple ways to navigate the content; Scroll with the mouse wheel or use the pagination sidebar. Each of the 5 phases contain a collection of job specific characters with clickable hotspots that allow the user to explore a wealth of detail on each job role.

Our creative team worked closely with CITB careers advisors and construction industry experts through co-design to create an interactive piece that not only represented real world manufacturing processes but also delivered a cross-device experience allowing unparalleled mobile access for our audiences.

You can explore the ‘Off-Site Roles in Construction’ interactive at goconstruct.org – watch out for the rather cool animations!

Aug 1 2016

The benefits of the Drupal community and S8080’s maintenance and support



Drupal is renowned for its flexibility and extensibility, proven by the sheer number of high quality modules available. By using common modules in Drupal deployments, we not only increase functionality quickly and easily, but massively reduce costs whilst benefitting from community security updates. This approach also ensures complete portability for our clients in the future. These are primary reasons why open source solutions are in such high demand.

The Drupal community has an exceptional security team that performs audits and manages the process of communicating their security update findings to module owners.

As an agency of passionate Drupal developers and active Drupal community contributors, every week S8080 get notifications from Drupal on any security releases along with alerts from other specialist tools we use.

These tools monitor all of the Drupal sites that we maintain, to identify all the relevant updates that need to be made to the Drupal core and the modules running on those sites – this ensures nothing is ever missed.

Our ISO/IEC 27001 secure development policies means we have strict protocols in place to ensure our website and online applications are patched quickly and to reduce exposure to any emerging vulnerabilities. When updates need to be made, we prioritise them based on severity and our team will deploy them to the sites that we mange for our clients. Our clients are therefore assured that their Drupal CMS is running the latest and most secure code.

How is Drupal and the modules kept secure?

If you are interested in understanding a bit more on how Drupal’s security team work, then this is a very interesting article: https://www.acquia.com/gb/node/2023186. Their infographic explains the process so well!

Drupal security release infographic

Source: Acquia.com

How does S8080 help the Drupal community keep Drupal secure?

Our Drupal developers are very active in the Drupal development community; it’s common for them to be working on modules and providing updates back to the community. For example, on the 20st April, a commonly used 3rd party module ‘EPSA Crop’ was announced to have a security vulnerability – initially no details were issued to allow the community to react.

This module allows editors to crop the images they upload to their Drupal site, so they don’t have to use third party graphics packages. The owner of this module was no longer available to maintain ESPA Crop, and therefore the central Drupal security team recommended that it should be uninstalled and no longer used. However this would mean that the thousands of sites using the module around the world would suddenly show images uncropped and full-size, causing websites to look terrible – something nobody wants.

This is where s8080 and the Drupal community came into play. We use EPSA Crop to provide an enhancement to the way users manage images in their site, we consider this module to be of importance to us and our clients, so as soon as we were notified of the issue we set about working on a fix for our clients and the whole community.

After quick initial investigations, before the details of the vulnerability were released, we spotted the potential problem and immediately started working on a fix for our Drupal sites and the community as a whole. We deployed the hot fix to the sites that we manage and support to protect them immediately.

Once the official security vulnerability details were released, we were pleased to find that our investigations were correct and we were able to submit our patches / fix to Drupal very early for review by the community. Along with our patches and those of other members of the community, an official fix was released. We then set about the process of updating all of our managed sites with the official fix.

In this particular instance, S8080’s proactive approach to security and our interaction with the Drupal community meant that our managed service clients benefitted from very early protection from potential hacking attempts. And without resorting to making their sites look dreadful by removing the module!

Just as importantly the community and other websites benefited from our work by getting a fix to the module very quickly.

We think this is a great way to work.

Jul 13 2016

Homepage background video: Dezrez get the WOW factor.


When the guys over at Dezrez asked our creative team to add the WOW factor to homepage of they’re now consumer facing website we know video would deliver a big impact.

Using background video on your website is a great way to convey your company’s brand to potential customers. Displaying footage of your team in a dynamic office environment or candid clips of customers using your product range is far more engaging than a static image or repetitive carousel.

The team combined fly-through footage of the London cityscape and a countryside vista along with futuristic, live action displays of the Rez software, edited in Adobe After Effects with the final video optimised to an amazingly low file size of 4MB allowing for autopay with minimal playback issues on desktop PCs and tablets with low bandwidths.

You can check out the video on the new website at dezrez.com.

Jul 6 2016

Umbraco – Lee Valley Park Farms – one for the kids this summer!

Lee Valley Farms


Due to the great success of the White Water Centre website which we built using the Umbraco CMS for our long standing partner Lee Valley, we were asked to create an Umbraco site to promote the Farms in the Park, with the website design appealing to children as well as parents.

The brief was simple, make it engaging for children (and mum and dad), show off the animals and events and make the site easy for the team to update.

Our team thoroughly enjoyed working on the site (and we had a great day out too!), Lee Valley Park Farms had lots of great images and it gave the creative team the opportunity to use some fab animal cartoons to add something a little different to the site without overcomplicating things.

See: www.lvfarms.co.uk

Jun 6 2016

Haringey Council. Tottenham Regeneration website


Haringey Council has ambitious regeneration plans for Tottenham, with schemes underway to address local people’s priorities for more job opportunities, better housing and improved transport links.

As the programme’s momentum grew, a separate website was needed, away from the main Haringey.gov.uk council site, with distinct sections of content for investors and developers, residents and local business audience groups.

The Haringey Council digital communications team had done a lot of thinking around the shape of the IA and the types of content they needed to fulfil their aims and provide a user centred experience. They had decided on the open-source Drupal CMS (with demanding security requirements) and had a well-considered creative brief prepared for our alignment sessions. A perfect start to the project!

Here’s how we designed and developed the council website

  • Evolved their initial Information Architecture (IA) and key user journeys
  • Developed a wireframe paper prototype
  • Created design routes – homepage and lower level pages with rapid prototyping to arrive at the final designs
  • Built accessible and adaptive page templates
  • Set up and configured the core Drupal CMS and implemented the site structure, glueing in the templates and developing the workflow for their publishing team
  • A news system was integrated and XML feeds to display events were set up
  • MailChimp newsletter functionality was embedded
  • Content was loaded and checked and our QA team tested the site ready for soft launch
  • One of our project managers and a Drupal developer spent a day with the Haringey team, training them to use their new Drupal website
  • The site was made live and the Haringey team have a 12-month support contract to help them with Drupal upgrades and site improvements

You can see Haringey Council’s Tottenham Regeneration website at http://tottenham.london/


What makes Open Source systems such good value for local government websites?

  • Free – no licence costs for the CMS software
  • Agile and moveable – you are not tied into your web development agency
  • Vast (and fast moving) open-source development communities
  • Modular systems – thousands of 3rd party extensions to further keep costs down
  • Regular security updates by a highly active community
  • Proven functionality – tried and tested by the likes of No.10, The Whitehouse, Heinz…
  • Fully featured – whatever functionality you want on your site, the chances are that there’s already an extension for it

If you’d are considering an open source CMS for your organisation, take a look at our information on Drupal and Umbraco, or contact us for a friendly chat or email info@s8080.com.



May 24 2016

S8080 help Nottingham City Council with new Umbraco website

Nottingham city council Umbraco website homepage
When Nottingham City Council appointed us via G-Cloud, we were delighted to learn that they had chosen Umbraco, the open-source CMS, to develop their new online self-service platform.

As an agency, our public sector clients tend to request either Drupal or Umbraco. The Council had spent time during their discovery phase investigating the suitable platforms for a large, busy local government website and Umbraco matched their requirements exactly.

Channel shift is becoming increasingly important for local government as digital transformation strategies are being realised in order to improve customer access to council services. Umbraco (and Drupal) are both powerful and flexible enough for the most demanding council and open source means they don’t pay a single penny for the software. This frees up budgets for the important stuff: user experience (UX), engaging designing and robust, secure functionality.

Nottingham city council Umbraco website mobile

As well as the obvious cost benefits of digital self-service, modern local authority content management systems allow a mobile first approach. This means users can undertake online transactions like arranging waste collections or making planning applications using their phones or tablets as well as their laptops and computers, making life easier for users and the Council. From the outset, our brief was to create a “great looking”, user-friendly, customer centred experience that could stand up against the very best local government websites in the UK. Here’s how we designed and developed the Council website:

  • We co-designed a clear top-task focused homepage
  • We broke down the content into compartmentalised areas to simplify the information
  • The Council’s brand colours were used consistently for content hierarchy
  • We developed a user-friendly column based dropdown navigation
  • The site was designed to be extremely accessible and fast to use
  • The CMS platform was specifically designed to enable the Council to add their own micro-sites
  • The mobile first templates we developed and tested across multiple devices
  • Our Umbraco technical developers Implemented Nottingham City Council’s preferred search solution provided by Funnelback
  • We created a suite of content blocks in which to build the content pages
  • We made it super easy for the Council’s in-house team to further develop the site by componentising and templating the functionality so it can be updated separately
  • We set up the server architecture and deployed the website which  is hosted on Microsoft Azures’ scalable cloud hosting platform
  • We will be providing ongoing maintenance and support, but typically 3rd level technical Umbraco expertise, so the day to day support on the website will be handled by Nottingham City Councils IT team

To find out how your organisation can use an open-source content management system for customer centred digital transformation, take a look at Umbraco and Drupal – two extremely capable and extensible CMS’s.


Nottingham city council Umbraco website screens




Dec 11 2015

Merry Christmas from S8080

A very merry Christmas from all of us at S8080!

The team at S8080 would like to sincerely thank every single one of you for your support in 2015.

We hope you all enjoy your Christmas break and we’ll see you in the New Year.



Click to view a larger image

Oct 30 2015

Join the S8080 team if you dare, for a Halloween scare!

S8080_Blog_Halloween email

A very happy Halloween to everyone

Once again, the team got together to delight you with our fangtastic annual Halloween photograph. With everything from a Frankenstein designer, a superhero project manager, a Dalek and a mad swordsman. S8080’s ghoulish team are ready for the witching hour tomorrow, are you?

Be sure to choose ‘treat’ rather than ‘trick’ when we come knocking!

Click here for a larger view.

Aug 19 2015

Drupal 7 and the release of Drupal 8

Over the past few months we’ve been working with a number of new clients on redeveloping and moving their sites over to Drupal, and with the release of Drupal 8 in the pipeline we’ve been answering questions about Drupal 8 release dates, migration from previous versions of Drupal and more which I wanted to share…

When will Drupal 8 be ready?

Drupal 8 release date has not been announced and is a case of its done when it is done… Here is the official dev cycle.

Our Drupal team (a number of whom are very active in the Drupal community contributing heavily to Drupal) estimate that it will be released early next year.

As Dries (Dries Buytaert is the original creator and project lead of Drupal) says “Drupal 8 will be ready when it’s ready

After release how long does it take to be stable?

From our experience there is a plateau which needs to be reached after the release date of any new version to ensure a secure and robust platform, particularly on more complicated solutions which use numerous modules.

According to Dries, the plateau of productivity for Drupal 7 happened 6-9 months after the release date of the new version, from our experience we agree and think it’s safe to assume a similar timeframe for Drupal 8

SEE: http://buytaert.net/how-i-think-about-drupal-release-date-planning

The reassuring fact is that Drupal has a system in place called LTS (long term support) and generally covers support for the current version and the previous version of Drupal.

SEE Drupal Long term support: https://www.drupal.org/d6-lts-support

Support for Drupal 7 – how long will it be supported?

As the LTS covers the current and previous version, support for Drupal 6 will start to expire when Drupal 8 reaches its LTS release – long past the Drupal 8 release date.

This means that Drupal 7 will be supported for security updates well past the Drupal 9 release date and onwards until Drupal 9 itself reaches a stable LTS release which is estimated to be around 2019+ based on the current release cycle.

What is the upgrade Path from Drupal 7 to 8 and onwards over time?

One of the great new features of Drupal 8 is a vastly improved migration path from previous versions of Drupal, the Drupal community have been working hard to help Drupal 6 site owners upgrade to Drupal 8 now the support will be coming to an end and they have added migration support into the core of Drupal 8 to upgrade from 6/7 as smoothly as possible.

This upgrade path will be present in Drupal 9 as well so that a Drupal 7 site can exists for many years before needing to be upgraded and when that time comes the process should be as smooth as possible. This is significantly better than other CMS’s we work with.

Maintainability – upgrading a site to a new version

The ease of upgrading a site to a new version of Drupal depends largely on how well it is built, a properly built site that is modular in its construction and follows best code practices (which we do and we run code review audits on) will allow each module’s code to be upgraded in isolation and re-integrated into the new Drupal site much easier than a site that has a large spaghetti codebase that has to be recoded from scratch during an upgrade. A little care and attention when building the site means you will always have an upgrade path to follow.

Related Drupal Links: https://www.drupal.org/d6-lts-support

So if we are considering a project now should we develop in Drupal 7 or 8?

This really depends on the complexity of the project and the timings – through the discovery phase of the project we weigh up the pro’s and con’s along with the project time line, modules required and organisation’s objectives and discuss this in some detail.

Fortunately, our team has experienced many upgrades of many different CMS products over the years, we have found Drupal to be a better path for upgrades than some very expensive commercial CMS products, and similarly the rate of release for security patches / updates is excellent.

Drupal 8 is an exciting release, hopefully this post has helped to answer some of your questions.

If you want to see how we’ve helped our clients take a look at our Custom Drupal Development.



May 21 2015

S8080’s information security standard ISO/IEC 27001


Early last year, after completing yet another information security questionnaire as part of a public sector website tender, we made the decision to add ISO/IEC 27001 certification to our suite of ‘ISO’s’.

We currently hold 9001 for quality management, 14001 for environmental management and 18001 for occupational health and safety management. These combine into what is called an Integrated Management System and every year we are audited over a period of several days to make sure we comply with each of these strict international standards.

27001 is the best-known standard for providing a detailed set of bullet-proof requirements for an information security management system (ISMS).

During our day-to-day activities, developing websites for our clients and performing our general ‘running a busy business’ duties, we interact with a variety of information assets, with various degrees of confidentiality. Our 27001 ISMS helps us manage these information assets providing assurance of its confidentiality, integrity and availability.

As we have been working with high profile public sector clients for about 15 years, it turned out we had most of what we needed for 27001 already in place. We just needed to spend time formalising all of the policies and procedure to satisfy the audit team.

We passed with flying colours and received our certificate last month.

Why is this important?

We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure confidential things stay confidential.

Everything from the secure coding standards we work to, how our network infrastructure is designed and monitored, our hosting and our disaster recovery plans, through to how our team use mobile devices for their S8080 email accounts has been considered, risk-assessed and hardened.

It’s all a bit James Bond, but it means our clients have one less thing to worry about.

May 20 2015

S8080 becomes a Rackspace Preferred Partner



S8080 has joined the Rackspace® Partner Network to provide our clients with a portfolio of Hybrid Cloud solutions.

We’ve been working with Rackspace for a number of years, hosting our larger client’s Drupal, EPiServer and Umbraco websites. We’ve been impressed by their service and flexibility, especially when we’ve thrown complex problems at them, so we’ve decided to make our relationship formal.

Rackspace is a leading provider of hybrid clouds, which enable organisations to run their workloads where they run most effectively — whether on the public cloud, a private cloud, dedicated servers, or a combination of these platforms.

Contact Matt or Chris for more information.

Apr 16 2015

So what’s an ‘explainer video’…

“…and how can it help my organisation?”

What is a video explainer

An explainer video is a short online video used to explain your organisation’s product or service.

There really is no stopping the uptake of online video consumption, according to a recent iStockphoto article there’s been a staggering 800% increase in online video consumption in the last 6 years.

So can an explainer video help you? We think the answer is yes.

Video is definitely one of, if not the most popular marketing platforms currently available as for most people, it’s far easier to consume than a lengthy article (so I’ll try to keep this post short, and don’t worry, there are links to some great explainers just a short scroll away, so bear with me!)

But don’t be fooled that any old video will do, as the consumption of online video increases so too does our audience’s thirst for higher quality graphics and insightful content. Producing a successful explainer video consists of a combination of script, graphic look and feel and audio. Each element needs to sing in harmony with the other if you want to retain the viewer and convert them into a loyal fan or customer.

So how can explainer videos benefit your brand?

Here’s one of those harsh but true moments: If you’re not already producing online video marketing for your organisation, company or brand, then you’re going to be playing catch up with your competitors.

All you need do is Google ‘online video stats’ for a vast list of incredible statistics indicating the huge surge in video consumption. According to a recent Guardian article, YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month.

Welsh-Government e-Crime Wales video explainer

With these huge numbers there’s going to be a lot of video content out there shouting for attention, your video will really needs to hit the spot, so understanding the production process of a typical explainer is a good place to start your journey.

Here’s a taste of the steps we follow when creating a typical s8080 animated explainer video:

Research and development

Following a scoping meeting the s8080 creative team will spend an agreed amount of time researching potential look and feel concepts including colour palettes, illustration and animation styles and character development which will be presented for feedback before considering any high-fidelity graphics production.

Business Wales Explainer R&D

The script

The script is arguably the most important part of any explainer video and you play a huge part in its production. After all, who knows more about a product or service other than the people that created it? Sounds a little scary, right? Don’t worry though, we’ll help you with the script structure and we’ll even commission a copywriter to polish and add a bit of humour if needed.
There’s a proven structure that most explainers will follow; keep it simple, be consistent and be sure to add a call to action. Here’s a great article from the guys over at Demo Duck that gives you some pretty useful script writing tips – ‘How to Write a Video Script that Sells.’


When the final script has been signed off we move onto the storyboard, producing a series of sketches that convey the basic concept for each scene along with the corresponding copy from the script. This gives you a really good idea of what we’ll do at the animation phase. Changes at this stage are easy to make so make sure you are completely happy with the concept, messaging, information accuracy and the look and feel
Remember to keep your explainer video to around 1-2mins if possible, if you’re planning on breaking that 90sec mark you’ll need to have some pretty relevant content or you’ll risk losing viewers.

Business Wales Sketchbook storyboard


Our workflow will include a number of Adobe Creative Cloud applications and we’ll sync artwork between them resulting in a more streamlined approach. Scene templates will be developed in Adobe Illustrator and, to a lesser extent Photoshop, before placing the assets into Adobe After Effects, our video editing app of choice.

Animation and audio

The storyboard sets the animation style but once we are in After Effects, we can start to fine tune the animation effects, dialling the speeds up and down to emphasise key points, actions or scene changes.
Another key step in the process is adding a narrated script, for this we’ll commission a voiceover artist to add a final layer of professionalism to your explainer. We can find a voice for every occasion – even some famous ones, and they are not as expensive as you’d think! The narrated script is imported into After Effects and synced to the animation within the timeline.

Render and upload

The final explainer video is exported for online use as a QuickTime movie with a H264 codec and AAC audio output and uploaded to your video channel on YouTube or Vimeo where key metadata and transcripts are added.

S8080 Explainer Video examples

We’ve recently worked with DECC, Welsh Government’s Business Wales and Welsh Government’s eCrime Wales to create a series of informative and playful explainer videos forming part of a larger engagement campaign.
You can view the explainer videos on the s8080 YouTube channel.

S8080 YouTube channel

Don’t forget to subscribe to the S8080 YouTube channel to catch the latest video creations from our creative team.

Feb 12 2015

How we do agile and lean development projects in our web agency

At S8080 we like to keep things lean and we like to get things done. How exactly do we like to get things done? By sticking to some key principals taken from Prince2 and Agile (why limit yourself to only one project management methodology!)

After the client alignment, UX and creative phase, we’ll have a big kick off session. This ensures that everyone on the team knows the end goal, how it can be achieved and their role in achieving that goal.

User stories and the agile wall

Once all is understood and all questions asked, the team will plan out the project by creating user stories, these are simply cards that contain a specific story, or goal. For example one story may be “As a student, I want to be able to view all books available”. Once all stories have been built up, the team as a whole will estimate how long each story will take to complete.

With all the stories created and work estimated, the team place the cards up onto the Agile wall. Think of the Agile wall as a huge ‘to-do’ list.

As the team work on a story they will pass through several stages from the ‘backlog’ to being ‘accepted / completed’. To ensure this process runs smoothly, the teams will have a quick 5-10 minute stand up in the morning, at these stand ups the team will work though any problems or ‘blockers’ that are stopping them from working.

Iterative approach and sprints

We keep our clients well informed by showcasing our work to date at the end of every iteration / sprint. This is a great opportunity to gather feedback early on in the development process, instead of the big reveal at the end. We couple these showcases with a weekly report, which contains contains a general status, dependencies, risks and any issues.

At the end of each sprint, we will perform a retrospective, this is the opportunity for the team as a whole to suggest how we can make improvements for the next iteration – and usually demolish a pack or two of Welsh cakes.

Because some customers require a fixed scope, time and budget we also provide a Gantt chart, this will contain a detailed list of the functional outputs along with any user testing, security testing, UAT and other dependencies. If there is any additional work to be added to the scope, this is simply dealt with via a change request.

Our key take away points are:

  • Encourage team communication through daily stand ups
  • Encourage team organisation through visible Agile boards
  • Encourage early feedback from the client by introducing end of iteration showcases
  • Encourage team performance with end of iteration retrospectives

Sometimes agencies can get too clogged up in ‘how to do Agile development’ to the letter instead of finding a method that works for them, after all, not all clients, teams and companies are the same.

Feb 4 2015

G-Cloud and open source for public sector

CCS logo

We are delighted to let our existing and potential public sector clients that S8080’s complete set of services is available via the new G-Cloud 6 framework, delivered by the Cabinet Office’s Crown Commercial Service.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) works with both departments and organisations across the whole of the public sector to ensure maximum value is extracted from every commercial relationship and improve the quality of service delivery. The CCS goal is to become the “go-to” place for expert commercial and procurement services.

Our G-Cloud services cover specialist public sector open source, Drupal, Umbraco and EPiServer web usability, web design and web development.


Working with public sector

We have a long history working with our public sector clients. Before G-Cloud, we spent over 10 years on the COI digital roster working with clients including No.10, Ministry of Justice, Cabinet Office and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Open source software like Drupal and Umbraco has become increasingly important for public sector organisations. Open source means the CMS software is free. This frees up budget for user experience, engaging design and robust, secure functionality.

Whatever features you need, chances are there’s already a free extension for it. Coupled with an agile and iterative development process, this is what makes Open Source systems such good value for public sector clients.


Our open source G-Cloud services

Open Source Content Management Systems

Open Source Responsive CMS website – mobile optimised

Open Source Website UX, design and development

Drupal for public sector

Umbraco for public sector  

We can also offer the enterprise level CMS, EPiServer, via G-Cloud

EPiServer for public sector


Public sector open source and Drupal case studies

If you would like to find out how open source content management systems like Drupal or Umbraco can help your public sector organisation, or would like to see our public sector open source and Drupal case studies, contact us or email info@s8080.com.

Dec 11 2014

Merry Christmas from S8080



2014 has been another wonderful year. We’ve done some incredible things with our clients. From playing a part in helping Welsh Government deliver what is probably the world’s most comprehensive and engaging business information, guidance and advice website through to the hugely successful #Vampireenergy Halloween campaign that helped the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change show thousands of consumers how easy it is to save a pile of cash. The Prime Minister even tweeted it!

Our EPiServer experience continues to attract attention at the very highest levels with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists being launched (thank you guys!) and continuing exciting developments working with the exceptional CITB team.

We also took part in the Swansea Bay 5K (warning – photos of sweaty, puffing developers!), we moved offices and had a number of talented people join our exceptional team.

We are very lucky to work with so many enthusiastic clients who are committed to improving the way people can interact with their organisations using the internet; it makes every single day interesting and rewarding.

The whole S8080 team would like to sincerely thank every single one of our clients for your support this year

We hope you enjoy your Christmas break and we’ll see you in 2015.

Chris, Matt and the S8080 team

Nov 18 2014

What is Vine, and what’s a Vine video?

“…and do I need to know about it?”

What is a Vine video

For those that haven’t heard (and don’t worry, until recently that included us) Vine is a free online video sharing service brought to us by Twitter. Vine allows users to create and share six second long looping video clips. Basically you can think of it as a visual tweet – a micro-blogging movie.

So do you need to know about Vine? We think the answer is yes.

It’s a relatively new concept for most of us but as the creative team at s8080 came to realise on a recent project for The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), it’s a trend that’s really helping support complex social engagement strategies.

Vine video featured strongly in the recent DECC campaign #VampireEnergy – which gave energy efficiency advice using the quirky videos and infostrips to build awareness instead of a text heavy Twitter conversation.

So how can Vine benefit your brand?

If you’re looking to bolster your social campaign collateral, then a series of Vine videos can be a smart and cost effective alternative to traditional video projects. The Vine audience is growing quickly (with 40 million users as of August 2014) and with brands like Nike, Samsung Mobile and Government departments creating their own channels, it’s definitely the right time to test the water.

Vine examples

Here’s a quick overview of how s8080 creates a typical animated vine video.

The Storyboard and Artwork

We always start with a storyboard or wireframe to communicate our proposed concept. This can be as simple as a series of sketches or, as in the case of #VampireEnergy, where we had already created a series of hifi assets for other channels, we’ll work with those to streamline the process.

Vine storyboard


The storyboards are relatively simple as 6 seconds really is a short amount of time to get a message across – so the concept needs to be strong and impactful. ‘Boards’ generally consist of 4 – 6 screens showing the key messaging and transitions. We then show our client the concept and can give feedback well before the animator gets anywhere near the editing software.

Animation and Audio

Following approval of the boards, we’ll finalise the artwork and move into the animation phase. Most of the work is done in Adobe After Effects, professional video editing software that allows us to quickly animate and work with audio, all on the same timeline.

This is where the storyboard literally comes to life and we fine tune timings, transitions and sound to best communicate a campaign message.

We created two Vine animations for the DECC #VampireEnergy campaign which featured an energy conscious vampire (yes, really) and followed his money saving journey. The campaign went live around the Halloween period allowing us to have a bit of fun with spooky sound effects and screeching vampires!

Uploading your Vine

This part of the process has become a lot easier since the Vine team introduced the ability to import videos into their app (available for download on iTunes). We create our Vines as we would with any video destined for online viewing (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), the only main difference being the video artboard size which is 480px x 480px.

We’ll generally export a QuickTime movie with a H264 codec and AAC audio output and let the vine uploader worry about the optimisation. Vine compresses your video to around 1MB but don’t worry about being limited to this size when editing.

And then repurpose…

Why stop there? Reformat your Vine into a Facebook ready newsfeed video, it’s a relatively straightforward process and gives your campaign another batch of engaging content that can be delivered to a whole new audience.

S8080 Vine Video examples

Check out the Spooktacular series of Vines s8080 created for the DECC campaign #VampireEnergy – https://vine.co/tags/VampireEnergy.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the s8080 YouTube channel to catch the latest video creations from our creative team.
S8080 YouTube channel

And if you have a spare 1 minutes 46 seconds, take a look at our YouTube Halloween parody which show that developers can dance (sort of).

Nov 13 2014

Working at S8080

Starting your career at S8080


We’ve recently had two new team members start working at S8080. Eric joined us as a developer from a small local design agency in September and Ernie joined us a technical project manager from Hewlett Packard in October.

Obviously, Eric and Ernie are not their real names, but we want to protect them from the constant hassle of recruitment agents!

Working at S8080 - our office

In their own words…

Eric, Drupal Developer at S8080

Started: early September 2014

Settling into working at S8080 has been both enjoyable and seamless.  Right from the first interview, I felt very comfortable talking about how I work and also learning how work is carried out by the team.  I was very drawn in by working as part of a team utilising Agile methodologies.

My induction allowed me to transition smoothly into working within the team; initially with time to familiarise myself with the technology and workflow that is used at S8080.  Coming from a small agency, it was often the case where I would have to do a considerable amount of research on particular aspects of development before beginning projects. Here at S8080, the team is only too happy to help and bounce ideas between each other, which, has been fantastic for picking up little nuggets of knowledge.

The office itself is state of the art, and is in a great location a stone’s throw away from Swansea Marina.  Personal development is a very high priority here, too.  There is plenty of material within the office to learn new skills or brush up here and there or even to keep on the desk as a reference.  I’m also studying an additional degree at Swansea University which S8080 are happy to let me attend once a week and provide any support I may need.

The atmosphere is very relaxed considering the fast-paced nature of our work.  The work itself is engaging and challenging.  Meetings are held every morning with project managers to ensure that we, as developers, have everything we need to check off all the tasks we have been assigned as part of our sprint for the week.

All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few months at S8080.  I have been made to feel very welcome and have already settled into the way the team works and I am always looking forward to the next challenge that our projects bring.

Ernie – Technical project Manager at S8080

Started: mid October 2014

I stepped through the door and was refreshed by the bright orange walls. I shook some hands and after being handed a cafetiere and 2 shortbreads I was ready for the interview, I say an interview, it was more of a sensible chat with some sensible down to earth people.

All went well and I was given a start date. The first few days were spent getting my bearings, meeting all the individual characters that make up S8080, setting up my shiny laptop and sipping from my new S8080 ‘e-tea’ mug.

Working at S8080 - e-tea mug

I was sent to work straight off the bat, no boring waiting around. The work processes are very agile, but if you think there is a better way of doing something, then you can just say so and they team will give it a go – no forms to fill in! The agile boards offer a great visual cue for the work that is going on and a focal point to discuss tasks.

The office is set in a huge open-plan, light airy room and when it’s time for lunch you can take a walk around the marina and take in the good sea air.

Since settling in I’ve learned the people are great, the work is great and the location is great – With the local gym being so close I can even come in early for a quick session!