Dec 11 2014

Merry Christmas from S8080

blog-image

 

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!

Nov 3 2014

UK Prime Minister tweets Vampire Energy campaign!

Number10 Twitter S8080

On Halloween, the official Twitter channel for Prime Minister David Cameron’s office, based at 10 Downing Street tweeted the Vampire Energy campaign we developed with the Department of Energy and Climate Change!

GOV.UK ran a nice piece on the campaign too. Follow the link to see the infostrips, Vine and FaceBook videos we produced for DECC, or have a look at what’s happening on Twitter #VampireEnergy.

DECC Vampire Energy infostrip S8080

Oct 30 2014

S8080 Presents: The Night of the Living Devs


Happy Halloween from the team at S8080

This year, S8080’s spooktacular Halloween treat has set the bar even higher with a chilling (and thrilling) HD YouTube movie.

Filmed and edited entirely in-house by our own creative team, the guys* show they have talents way beyond websites development.

Click the video link and see who you think has the best zombie moves… if you dare.

Thank you to everyone who played part in putting this together – and a huge thank you goes out to Gethin Jones for his outstanding sound design.

Happy Halloween.

*Despite appearances, no developers were harmed during the making of this film.

team-zombie

Oct 22 2014

Web Developer

S8080 are seeking a talented and experienced web developer or  CMS developer – you don’t need to be a designer or a Unix command line guru.

We are looking for likeminded people to join our expanding team – people who want to learn Drupal, including the more technical aspects, and work with some of the best end to end Drupal developers, front end developers and designers in the UK. Our team work on some of the largest and most important websites in the UK – every day is interesting, different and stimulating.

You may currently be working as a front end  using Joomla, WordPress or some other CMS or be the person that does all the ‘web stuff’ (end to end) in a smaller agency, including some of the more technical bits and pieces. If you can put together solid sites on any of these platforms, we would love to hear from you.

Our working environment is vibrant, modern and relaxed but very professional. The kit, software tools and development methodologies you’ll use are cutting edge and our project management team help keep everything on track, so that means no late nights are weekend working. As far as salary goes, we pay good people very well.

If you would like to find out more, send an email to directors@s8080.com and we’ll arrange for you to pop in for an informal chat so you can have a look around, meet us and learn more about working at S8080.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Chris and Matt

Salary: Very competitive. Depends on level of commercial experience

Date of issue: 22-10-14

Vacancy: Immediate new role due to expansion – again!

Aug 8 2014

Perspex Agile / Scrum boards

We are moving into our new larger offices this weekend and today we had our agile boards installed – all seven of them, each 2 x 1 metres.

We couldn’t find any to buy, so we designed our own and had a local sign company make them up for us in clear Perspex.

agile scrum board s8080

agile scrum board s8080

agile scrum board s8080

Jun 27 2014

WordPress / Joomla Web Developer

photo

S8080 are looking for a talented and experienced WordPress or Joomla developer to join our team. If you can put together solid sites on either of these platforms and have experience developing extension / plugins for them, we would love to hear from you.

Send an email to jobs@s8080.com and we’ll send you all the details.

We look forward to hearing from you

Jun 26 2014

S8080 job: Drupal Developer / Drupal Themer

 

S8080 have a job opening for another Drupal Themer and site builder.

It’s a great opportunity for a Drupal guru who has an excellent knowledge of CSS, JQUERY and HTML 5 and wants to work in our highly experienced Drupal team and expanding team on some really big sites. But it is essential that you have lots of commercial Drupal theming experience too!

Job role / description

Salary: Very competitive. Depends on level of commercial experience

Date of issue: 25-03-14

Vacancy: Immediate new role due to expansion – again!

We are looking to expand our ever growing and highly skilled Drupal web development team again and we would love to hear from you if the following brief description sounds about right for you?

This is a permanent and full-time position in one of the country’s top agencies. Salary is very competitive and you’ll be working out of SA1 in Swansea.
This is an excellent opportunity to work on some very high profile websites for some great clients (No10, Dept. of Energy and Climate Change, National Assembly for Wales – take a look at the ‘Our Work’ section of our site).
You’ll be part of a very talented and busy team working in a modern environment with all the benefits you’d expect working for a company like S8080.

We are looking for you if…
You are a talented and commercially experienced coder who loves everything about the web. You are always looking for ways to do things faster and better. You are always learning new things. You embrace a real challenge and are happiest when you are solving problems that baffle others. You are the ‘go to’ person in your social circle for everything web related. At work you enjoy being surrounded by smart, like-minded people who you’ll learn from and who will want to learn from you.

You’ll love it here. Join us and work on stuff that really matters.

Essential skills and experience
3-5 years’ experience web site build and theming with Drupal REQUIRED. You will need to demonstrate that you have had commercial level Drupal experience working on large projects which include:

  • Drupal Multi sites
  • Multilingual Drupal sites using the I18n module
  • Workflow and permissions especially with the Workbench module
  • Build of custom modules
  • High-quality and well-organised Drupal themes with special attention paid to cross-browser testing, and standards compliance
  • Bespoke jQuery development, as well as making use of the jQuery UI library and other jQuery plugins

THEMES and SITE BUILD – A Solid understanding of Drupal themes, site building and best practices, Drupal theming experience (which includes the CSS/HTML), Advanced commercial experience of CSS / HTML / jQuery / JavaScript

  • Creating custom Node templates to re-write the markup of a node
  • Creating custom View templates to re-write the markup of a view
  • Experience in writing custom modules to handle pre-processing of variables, and other functions relating to theming the markup.
  • Experience of using Views to create complex views using relationships
  • Experience using the Panels module to build pages of nodes, views and blocks
  • Experience of using the Rules module
  • Using theme functions
  • Creating Drupal sub-themes
  • Creating theme regions
  • Creating Drupal content types such as slideshows and carousels with bespoke jQuery functionality to drive the interactivity
  • Creating bespoke interactive elements using jQuery for applications such as custom galleries, quizzes or custom applications
  • Extensive experience producing standards-compliant and cross-browser tested CSS inside a Drupal theme. Experience of using SASS is highly desirable
  • Slicing the graphic assets for the theme from a Photoshop file
  • Building fully-responsive websites in Drupal
  • Experience of developing a site with HTML5
  • Building and testing website build to accessibility standards WAI AA, and web standards

Desirable skills and experience
If you have the following skills and experience then this will be a distinct advantage:

  • MODULES –Drupal custom module development, key contributed modules, theming and core API, programming of modules a distinct advantage with   of creating and modifying Drupal modules and Drupal API, writing Drupal modules.
  • PHP – Commercial PHP coding experience on a large project such as an Open source CMS; including understanding and use of  AJAX, JSON, XML, Web services and other web technologies is required.
    – Experience of importing JSON or XML data
    – Use of web services to input and display data
    – Running MySQL commands from PHP
  • MAINTENANCE – Proficient in the maintenance and administration of Drupal modules and sites.
  • SECURITY & PERFORMANCE – Exposure to security and hardening best practice for Drupal websites (primarily Drupal CMS / web application, to a lesser extent familiar with hardening the LAMP stack). We expect you to be able to demonstrate performance enhancements in Drupal / PHP and Unix environment.
    – Experience of configuring Memcache, Varnish and APC to achieve optimum caching performance on a site
    – Configuring the PHP, MySQL and Apache config files to achieve optimum performance
    – Updating the Drupal core and contributed modules using Drush
    – Use of the Backup and migrate module to provide regular database backups
  • UNIX/ APACHE / LAMP – Practical knowledge and LAMP experience, comfortable with Unix Admin commands e.g. setting permissions. So you’ll have a PC to work on but be expected to run Unix commands on a daily basis.
    – Experience of contributing to the Drupal core and contributed modules.
    – Active participation in the Drupal.org issue queues
    – Demonstrable participation in the Drupal.org forums or on drupal.stackexchange.com
    – Using Drush to build Drupal sites, install/update modules
    – Importing data into Drupal from XML/JSON
    – Experience of deployment of a site from a staging to live environment
    – Desirable: Using Drush to synchronise and deploy sites

Feel free to get in touch if you would like more details, or just send your CV for the attention of Matt to jobs@s8080.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.

No agencies at all. Thank you.

Jun 24 2014

Matt’s Dragon Ride for ARUK

matt_howard_S8080

We’ve been working with Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) for a year or two now. We’ve designed and built their Dementia Blog and their intranet. They are a great team to work with and they run their wonderful organisation with passion and great enthusiasm. As you may know, Matt is a very keen cyclist and last week he used his legs to raise a whole pile of money for ARUK.

Matt took part in the UK’s most prestigious cyclo-sportive event, the Dragon Ride. He completed the 95 mile Dragon Medio Fondo route across the Welsh Mountains in 5 hours 41 mins and came in 158th out of 1822 riders – inside the top 9% of riders!

95 miles is a very long way on a bike, but throw in 2000 metres of climbing and that’s one hell of an achievement!

The photo shows Matt 55 miles in, on the notorious Devil’s Elbow climb, which reaches a gradient of 20% at points. Take a look at this YouTube video and ask yourself if you could still smile after cycling up that!

Matt raised over £600 for ARUK – a cause very close to his heart. This was more than he had ever hoped for. If you would like to support Alzheimer’s Research UK, please visit Matt’s JustGiving page.

Jun 12 2014

Placement – Website Content Manager

We are looking for a website content manager to help deliver a series of very high quality websites for some of the most important organisations in the country. This project could lead to a permanent role for the right person.

As a web content manager you will be responsible for helping to load content onto our client’s websites and helping to test them before they go live.

Although you will not be writing the content, you’ll be capable of correcting wrongly placed apostrophes, incorrect capitalisation and badly constructed sentences. If you can do this in English AND Welsh, that’ll be the icing on the cake!

You will be part of our project management team but you’ll be working very closely with our creative and technical teams to ensure the pages you build look fantastic and work as they should.

Desired knowledge and skills are:

  • Excellent writing (and grammatical) skills, ideally in English and Welsh
  • You will be extremely well organised and be able to work to tight deadlines
  • You will have superb attention to detail and enjoy delivering a very high quality end product
  • Experience using a Content Management System (WordPress, Drupal, etc.)
  • A basic understanding of website accessibility
  • A basic understanding of web technologies (HTML, FTP, analytics)

Your duties will include:

  • Loading and styling text in a CMS based on guidelines from our design team
  • Resizing and optimising images
  • Testing websites in different browsers
  • Testing website functionality
  • Carrying out quality assurance checks on content

If you think you like the sound of the placement, head over to our good friends at GO Wales and apply – click here!

Jun 11 2014

Swansea Bay 5K

Team S8080 took part in the Swansea Bay 5k race last night.

After a day of rain, the weather was thankfully kind for the event and the five elite athletes, all in peak physical condition, put in a good run, beating their various target times that ranged from 20 to 30 minutes.

Although most of us were pretty wrecked and hobbling after the effort, the curry and Carlsberg helped.

Well done guys! Same time next year?

the-start

james 

ash1     simon

chris

Dylan

Jun 6 2014

World class cycling venue

Matt and I are very keen cyclists. Not one of the recent rash of MAMILs that you see tearing around country lanes on a sunny Sunday. We’ve been at it for decades.

We are very lucky to have Lee Valley Regional Park as a long standing client and they recently took control of the VeloPark in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This incredible venue saw Team GB take 9 medals, including 7 gold, in the London 2012 Olympics.

Earlier this week, we visited the Olympic Park for one of our regular account meetings and had a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the VeloPark. This was a pretty cool place for a meeting, even if you are not a cyclist, but for us, it must rate as the best meeting venue we’ve ever visited!

S8080_velodrome1

Take a look at the iPad friendly interactive map we developed for Lee Valley, showing the Velodrome, mountain bike trails, BMX track and the 1 mile floodlit road circuit.

s8080_interactive_map_velodrome

This job certainly has its perks – next time, we are definitely booking a track taster session before we hit the M25 for the journey home! A big thank you to the Lee Valley team for a good day!

S8080_velodrome3

Dec 17 2013

Move over ‘Selfie’, here’s the S8080 ‘Elfie’.

We’ve had another exciting year working on some wonderful projects. We would like to thank you sincerely for your support during 2013. The S8080 team and our clients have done some pretty amazing things together this year. Every single day is interesting and rewarding. Here’s to an equally exciting 2014!

We would like to point out that no elves were harmed during the making of this email…no really, we checked with our Elf & Safety Advisor!

By the way, we are looking for a talented graphic designer to join us, so if you know anyone who wouldn’t mind dressing up in a daft costume for next year’s Christmas card, please send them this link!

Click to see a larger version.

S8080-Christmas-Elf-poster

Dec 13 2013

Job! Graphic Designer – Senior / Mid

S8080 are looking for a creative, talented and very experienced graphic designer to join our expanding team. It’s a full time position starting as soon as possible.

We are a digital agency, so exceptional online design skills are required – some understanding website UX and UI design is useful, but your core responsibilities will be website look and feel, engaging digital content design, infographics design, basic motion graphics, online brand development… you get the picture.

This is a pure design role; you won’t have to touch code, although a general knowledge of front end development processes is obviously an advantage (so if you’ve designed and built a WordPress site and understand the constraints of CSS / Themes / layouts and web accessibility from a design perspective that’ll help!).

Experience

You would have been working on high end digital projects for at least 10 years and in that time built an outstanding portfolio. You’ll understand the fundamentals of user experience design and know how to make your designs accessible. You will be able to work directly with clients and explain your design thought processes eloquently – you will be expected to run creative briefing sessions and drive creative meetings. You will have worked with important brands developing online campaign assets, rich creative content including infographics, diagrams, carousel graphics, etc. as well as designing their website’s front end.

This is a wonderful opportunity to work in a talented, busy and very experienced digital design team working in state of the art offices in Swansea’s waterfront district. If you take a look at our portfolio, you’ll see we work for some pretty important clients. We are offering a superb package for the right person in our expanding team.

Please send your CV, current salary level and notice period for your current job to jobs@s8080.com , along with any examples of work covering web design and infographics.

DEADLINE: Friday 3rd January

This really isn’t a role for a print designer who fancies making the move to digital, sorry! And definitely no freelancers, contractors or agencies.

Thanks very much, we look forward to hearing from you,
Chris Cowell, Creative Director

Oct 31 2013

The S8080 team are in high spirits

A very happy Halloween to everyone

Once again, the team got together to delight you with our spooktacular annual Halloween photograph. With everything from a headless designer, Dalek, phantoms, demons and a mad axeman or two, S8080’s ghoulish team are ready for the witching hour this evening.

Just make sure you choose ‘treat’ rather than ‘trick’ when we come knocking!

Click here for a larger view – if you dare

Happy Halloween

Oct 7 2013

S8080 job: Drupal Developer

S8080 have a job opening for a Drupal Themer and site builder.

It’s a great opportunity for a Drupal guru who has an excellent knowledge of CSS, JQUERY and HTML 5 and wants to work in our highly experienced Drupal team. But it is essential that you have lots of commercial Drupal theming experience too!

Job role / description

Salary: Very competitive. Depends on level of commercial experience

Date of issue: 07-10-13

Vacancy: Immediate new role due to expansion – again!

We are looking to expand our ever growing and highly skilled Drupal web development team again and we would love to hear from you if the following brief description sounds about right for you?

This is a permanent and full-time position in one of the country’s top agencies. Salary is very competitive and you’ll be working out of SA1 in Swansea.
This is an excellent opportunity to work on some very high profile websites for some great clients (No10, Dept. of Energy and Climate Change, National Assembly for Wales – take a look at the ‘Our Work’ section of our site).
You’ll be part of a very talented and busy team working in a modern environment with all the benefits you’d expect working for a company like S8080.

We are looking for you if…
You are a talented and commercially experienced coder who loves everything about the web. You are always looking for ways to do things faster and better. You are always learning new things. You embrace a real challenge and are happiest when you are solving problems that baffle others. You are the ‘go to’ person in your social circle for everything web related. At work you enjoy being surrounded by smart, like-minded people who you’ll learn from and who will want to learn from you.

You’ll love it here. Join us and work on stuff that really matters.

Essential skills and experience
3-5 years’ experience web site build and theming with Drupal REQUIRED. You will need to demonstrate that you have had commercial level Drupal experience working on large projects which include:

  • Drupal Multi sites
  • Multilingual Drupal sites using the I18n module
  • Workflow and permissions especially with the Workbench module
  • Build of custom modules
  • High-quality and well-organised Drupal themes with special attention paid to cross-browser testing, and standards compliance
  • Bespoke jQuery development, as well as making use of the jQuery UI library and other jQuery plugins

THEMES and SITE BUILD – A Solid understanding of Drupal themes, site building and best practices, Drupal theming experience (which includes the CSS/HTML), Advanced commercial experience of CSS / HTML / jQuery / JavaScript

  • Creating custom Node templates to re-write the markup of a node
  • Creating custom View templates to re-write the markup of a view
  • Experience in writing custom modules to handle pre-processing of variables, and other functions relating to theming the markup.
  • Experience of using Views to create complex views using relationships
  • Experience using the Panels module to build pages of nodes, views and blocks
  • Experience of using the Rules module
  • Using theme functions
  • Creating Drupal sub-themes
  • Creating theme regions
  • Creating Drupal content types such as slideshows and carousels with bespoke jQuery functionality to drive the interactivity
  • Creating bespoke interactive elements using jQuery for applications such as custom galleries, quizzes or custom applications
  • Extensive experience producing standards-compliant and cross-browser tested CSS inside a Drupal theme. Experience of using SASS is highly desirable
  • Slicing the graphic assets for the theme from a Photoshop file
  • Building fully-responsive websites in Drupal
  • Experience of developing a site with HTML5
  • Building and testing website build to accessibility standards WAI AA, and web standards

Desirable skills and experience
If you have the following skills and experience then this will be a distinct advantage:

  • MODULES –Drupal custom module development, key contributed modules, theming and core API, programming of modules a distinct advantage with   of creating and modifying Drupal modules and Drupal API, writing Drupal modules.
  • PHP – Commercial PHP coding experience on a large project such as an Open source CMS; including understanding and use of  AJAX, JSON, XML, Web services and other web technologies is required.
         – Experience of importing JSON or XML data
         – Use of web services to input and display data
         – Running MySQL commands from PHP
  • MAINTENANCE – Proficient in the maintenance and administration of Drupal modules and sites.
  • SECURITY & PERFORMANCE – Exposure to security and hardening best practice for Drupal websites (primarily Drupal CMS / web application, to a lesser extent familiar with hardening the LAMP stack). We expect you to be able to demonstrate performance enhancements in Drupal / PHP and Unix environment.
    - Experience of configuring Memcache, Varnish and APC to achieve optimum caching performance on a site
    - Configuring the PHP, MySQL and Apache config files to achieve optimum performance
    - Updating the Drupal core and contributed modules using Drush
    - Use of the Backup and migrate module to provide regular database backups
  • UNIX/ APACHE / LAMP – Practical knowledge and LAMP experience, comfortable with Unix Admin commands e.g. setting permissions. So you’ll have a PC to work on but be expected to run Unix commands on a daily basis.
    - Experience of contributing to the Drupal core and contributed modules.
    - Active participation in the Drupal.org issue queues
    - Demonstrable participation in the Drupal.org forums or on drupal.stackexchange.com
    - Using Drush to build Drupal sites, install/update modules
    - Importing data into Drupal from XML/JSON
    - Experience of deployment of a site from a staging to live environment
    - Desirable: Using Drush to synchronise and deploy sites

Feel free to get in touch if you would like more details, or just send your CV for the attention of Matt to jobs@s8080.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.

No agencies at all. Thank you.

Jun 25 2013

Tour de Gower

With the Tour de France only a few days away, on Sunday, a group of intrepid S8080 web developers, web designers and project managers became ‘le peleton’ for the day. Well, sort of.

A wide variety of bikes were pulled from sheds, tyres were pumped up, chains were oiled and we took part in the South Wales Bike Ride, a series of routes ranging from 12 to 46 miles.

The weather was kind(ish), everyone made it and all enjoyed. A few of us were hobbling on Monday morning.

Well done guys!

s8080-cycle-ride-1

s8080-cycle-ride-2

s8080-cycle-ride-3

s8080-cycle-ride-5

May 23 2013

Signpostings on web design, SEO starting points and refreshers…

Over the last few weeks I’ve been pinging between web development workshops, kicking off new web design projects and talking to lots of people, all very exciting, lots of fun and of course, we’ve been fielding many questions.

Here are a few links and resources from the guts of my ‘sent items’ folder, based around the search engine optimisation starting points I promised to share a bit wider – covering the basics…

.NET magazine illo by S8080 – spot the long tail

SEO web design – two key refresher’s for everyone

On pretty much all web design kick offs we talk to the web editors and usually chat around where to start with SEO, content planning and on page optimisation. We talk about brushing up on the basics of search engine optimisation and give some tips… at the end of the day anyone who writes web content should have a good basic understanding of SEO, and here are two ‘must read’ (and well read) posts. Firstly…

The 1st three chapters help explain how search engines crawl and index websites, calculate relevance and how people interact with search engines.

Chapter four is all about making content really findable and open to crawling by search engines and bots, including references to ALT tags, TITLE tags, META tags and friendly URL structures, it also touches on the impact of duplication of content – canonicalization.

Although this was published a little time ago, it’s still a great starting point for covering the SEO basics and brushing up on best practices which are often missed, it has lots of easy to understand pictures, screen grabs and illustrations.

So it covers the importance of accurate page TITLES and META descriptions and how they appear in Google SERPs (search engine results pages) – i.e. why you should bother to invest time and effort on them. URLs and friendly URLS are covered and the importance of keyphrases appearing in those page URLs. Also covered are in link anchor text (and why they should contain keywords without ‘keyword stuffing’ of course) and ALT text. The guide then finishes up with a little on mobile websites, social links and links to webmaster tools.

A great SEO framework to follow

Building on the above introduces a post from the guys at SEOmoz from a few evenings ago, billed as ‘An SEO instruction manual for beginners’ it’s valuable information…

It pulls together lots of their learning’s on how to improve page ranking in Google using an SEO Blueprint touching on Keyword Research, Content, Site Architecture, On-page optimisation and Link Buidling.

Interestingly point 13 is “Design is 50% of the battle”, nice (and quite rare) to see an SEO expert recommend good design and UX as a key factor in ranking.

OK, I’ve just ran out of time, so more signposts coming soon. Of course if you would like to chat about how S8080 could help improve your web design and user experience and web related things, call 01792 485566 and ask for me, Matt Howard, or email info@s8080.com

May 23 2013

Native app vs mobile web: the shortfalls of mobile accessibility

One of the biggest demands by clients that we face is providing websites and applications for mobile devices. It’s no big news that web design is in a state of flux with the introduction of a wave of mobile devices, each with varying screen sizes and functionality, which raise a whole range of questions about web design best practice. Within the mobile app market, there is much debate over which is the better of two contrasting systems to deliver content to mobile devices – native applications, which can be downloaded from app stores and are installable software, and web apps – effectively websites that respond to being viewed on mobile devices.

Mobile development and apps IMAGE

Many argue that native apps offer better user experience; they are typically run much faster and utilise device functionality to perform sophisticated tasks, making them feature rich – plus, they don’t always require an internet connect to work. There are however drawbacks – they consume device resources, such as battery life; and require regular updates to maintain security and update their functionality. Not to mention that the issue that comes with market penetration. For example, Twitter’s mobile app might appear exactly the same on both Android and iPhone – but they will be built from different technologies – Java and xCode respectively. This presents large overheads when it comes to maintaining multi-platform apps for one service.

Mobile web apps

There are far fewer constraints when working with web apps – they require an internet connection yes – they are after all typically a mobile optimised version of a website. However, for our clients, they provide the better solution. They are extremely scalable – using standard compliant technologies such as HTML and CSS, website content can easily be optimised for mobile devices through techniques such as content adaption.

There are also other technologies that lend themselves to enriching user-experience that have begun to challenge the UX of native apps – such as HTML5 and various JavaScript platforms. As a web design and development agency, these technologies have provide us with the means to create engaging and highly interactive content that can on the surface behave to a greater extent as native apps would do.

Mobile accessibility

The benefits don’t end there – one of the biggest advantages web apps has over native apps, is ensuring accessibility standards can be met. Mobile accessibility standards for web apps focuses on standardising the implementation of HTML in an effort to ensure that content are viewable on mobile devices. Back in the day, WCAG 1.0 concerned itself with standardising good, accessible HTML – but post 2008, due to the diversity of technologies that were supported by modern browsers, such as CSS and JavaScript, WAI were prompted to revise their guidelines to create for more holistic standard. The outcome, WCAG 2.0 – which has since remained the gold standard.

It is important to remember that accessibility standards beyond the browser exist outside of web content accessibility standards. These guidelines don’t apply to the mass app markets we see available for the tablet and smartphone operating systems. Additionally, with native app SDK’s being made freely available to developers, regulating accessibility standards for native apps is near non-existent.

Of course we haven’t touched in this post on responsive designs for mobile web design which we are currently doing lots of work on… so more coming on that.

Resources

If you would like to chat about how S8080 could help improve mobile website design and user experience, call 01792 485566 and ask for Chris or Matt, or email, info@s8080.com.