What a seriously good year. So many great projects and fantastic new teams to work with.
We‚Äôve been busy, busy, busy designing and developing Open Source CMS‚Äôs with Drupal and WordPress being favourites alongside .NET development on Umbraco, and a very exciting project using the Enterprise CMS EpiServer‚Ä¶ and of course all of the projects have been wrapped up in our in-demand web usability, consultancy and legendary design!
business.wales.gov.uk ‚Äď a custom Drupal web design and build
An agile, rapid web usability phase that ran in parallel with our designers who were developing a website re-brand, meant we were ready to start the custom bilingual Drupal website build in record time. Working with the fantastic Business Wales web team meant the long days (and nights), working to super tight deadlines, was truly appreciated!
www.visitleevalley.org.uk ‚Äď bespoke .NET CMS development
Built and deployed to maximise the re-branding of Lee Valley and to promote the Olympic White Water Centre, VeloPark and the Hockey and Tennis Centre well in time for team GB to rack up 120 medals‚Ä¶ so lots of custom .NET development, creative design, illustration and a website rebrand, UX and integration into 3rd party systems.
Creative and online branding
S8080‚Äôs creative team weave their magic into every single project that leaves our doors ‚Äď beautifully designed email, banner and social marketing campaigns, web builds, interactive content, video and our own special pieces we do a few times a year. We love it‚Ä¶
Our web usability and consultancy
2012 ‚Äď Wow! We ran so many stakeholder workshops, generated hundreds of personas, ran card sorting sessions and in the process scribbled on a small forest‚Äôs worth of recyclable post it notes! Plenty of in-depth user testing, eye tracking and accessibility testing of our work along the way meant we delivered better informed and highly tuned websites to grateful audiences.
EPiServer Partner status
The .NET tech team worked hard in 2012, building on their skills to become qualified Enterprise CMS EPiServer developers ‚Äď they enjoyed the challenge and are loving working on the new platform ‚Äď more exciting things coming in the New Year!
Digital marketing and SEO
Our online marketing and SEO consultants have been working on a number of SEO and content marketing projects, poring over raw data, generating detailed key phrase research, SEO and social media technical audits and ensuring that robust SEO and on page optimisation is fused into our whole UX, design and build process.
This work dovetails perfectly with our email marketing campaign and email newsletter work ‚Äď list management, design, distribution and live tracking and analytics that keep marketing teams very happy indeed!
Mobile & Apps
More and more of our sites are being optimised for mobile and tablet consumption with HTML5 replacing Flash development for interactive elements. We have some exciting web app developments that will be launched in 2013‚Ä¶ watch this space.
Number10.gov.uk ‚Äď we‚Äôre all still very proud of the our branding and design
Of course the on-going success of our web design of Number10.gov.uk on WordPress brings a smile to our face every time we get an email from the Prime Minister‚Äôs office!
13 years and growing…
So 2012 was S8080‚Äôs 13th year‚Ä¶ huge demand has meant we‚Äôve grown again. Three talented technical developers joined the team further growing our Drupal, bespoke PHP, Front end dev and heavy .NET development capacity.
So, a fantastic year and 2013 is loaded with more fun projects to keep the whole team entertained and smiling!
As we are coming to the end of a wonderful year, we asked everyone in our team to have a little think about three things that they would like to share on the S8080 blog‚Ä¶
- What ‚Äėbig thing‚Äô would you like to do in 2013?
- Your best thing from 2012?
- Your fave site and why?
They didn‚Äôt have to be web design specific things as it‚Äôs always nice for our clients to get a little personal insight on the s8080 web developers they work with day to day, it makes a nice change to chatting about design, UX or technical stuff!
Anyway, we‚Äôll start with me‚Ä¶
- Take my family somewhere sunny ‚Äď when we were cold, wet and knee deep in (festival) mud in mid-August, I promised them the Med‚Äô in 2013!
- Learning to play an instrument and performing in front of 100‚Äôs of dancing partygoers
- YouTube. An amazing resource for learning anything and everything ‚Äď branding specifics, content marketing, SEO or playing bass guitar!
- To go on a week-long yoga retreat, preferably somewhere hot with a beach!
- Taking my daughter surfing for the first time. Truthfully it was mainly jumping over waves but fun all the same!
- Twitter, it feeds my nosiness quite well both personally and for work of course!
- To finally finish doing up my house so that I can actually get out and explore Wales with the family
- Made my first short film with my Canon 60d, a fast fifty lens and the support of my brother who produced the sound design and also starred in the feature
- Flickr ‚Äď Just love randomly searching the site and finding new and exciting examples of photographic art
- Master my electric guitar. Three chords may cover most Status Quo songs but I need more than that to play some AC/DC!!
- Swansea City staying in the Premier League despite all the pessimistic predictions by the pundits.¬† It was worth a few quid down the bookies to me!!
- So many sites to choose from but one I visit a lot is uk.imdb.com because I love my old TV shows and a lot of the time I‚Äôll see an actor on TV and think, ‚ÄúWhere do I know them from?‚ÄĚ and have to look them up!
- Drive across Europe in an open top sports car to Le Man 24hr or Monaco F1 Grand prix.
- Seeing my children grow and evolve into lovely, funny kids.
- Not really a site, but DropBox.¬† It‚Äôs amazing.
- Getting married in the arctic circle
- Becoming a Dad! (plus joining S8080 ūüėČ )
- ISO50 ‚Äď because its full of design eye-candy (well worth a read)
- Go back to NZ & visit my root
- We are a Grandfather
- www.linn.co.uk \ www.linnrecords.co.uk. Some of the best hifi around, and brilliant music to play on it. Love the Dunedin Consort in particular.
- I would like to finish renovating my house ‚Äď it‚Äôs been on-going for a few years and there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel
- Spending my 40th birthday on the beach in a warm sunny country (not UK!) and spending it with my wife
- Stackoverflow.com is a bit nerdy to mention but it gives me answers to most of my technical development questions that I pose to Google
- Hopefully a holiday abroad, haven‚Äôt been on one in a while as the kids have been too small to travel
- Seeing all of the ‚Äėfirst‚Äôs‚Äô from my little boy and watching my little girl in her Christmas play singing her heart out
- My inner geek says it has to be The Verge ‚Äď It‚Äôs been a bumper year for Microsoft and it was the best place for all my Microsoft news
- Introduce my son to the wonders of the Alps to see his Uncle‚Ä¶.. skiing OR boarding that‚Äôs the question. Although as he‚Äôs not yet 4, I imagine it‚Äôs more likely to be sledging OR snowballing!
- The incredible summer of sport, wife agreeing to let me do an Ironman (training is the only thing that stands in my way), discovering real coffee and of course another good year at S8080
- uncrate.com and gallivant.com ‚Äď continues to supply me with lists of things I could never afford and places I‚Äôll never get to go‚Ä¶ we‚Äôve all got to dream
- Already booked tickets to see favourite band Green Day playing next year at Emirates, but I would also like to go to New York on a holiday
- Going to see NFL game at Wembley on my birthday
- Favourite site hard to choose so go with favourite App ‚ÄėFlipboard‚Äô which pulls in all feeds from my favourite websites, and keeps me up to date with everything happening in technology, entertainment, social etc.
- I would love to watch Swansea City lift the league cup at Wembley (the first major trophy in our 100 year history) but apart from that, get more involved with responsive web development as we are now in the age of tablets and mobile
- Seeing the massive response of entries into the National Assembly for Wales Photography competition and feeling quite chuffed, as it was our bi-lingual WordPress site!
- You can‚Äôt go far wrong with the BBC website, but I‚Äôve become rather fond of the Huffington Post website of late.
- Early in 2013 I will get the keys to my first house
- My Sister‚Äôs wedding in Sorrento
- BBC.co.uk: iPlayer, news and radio 4 podcasts, what more could you want?
- Give blood for the first time, run a marathon, maybe even both! (not at the same time, that‚Äôs asking too much of 2013)
- Getting to grips with (Drupal, Umbraco, EPiServer)‚Ä¶while planning and building a large decked area in the garden at home. (Went perfectly to plan, apart from the continual rain ever since‚Ä¶.)
- Wikipedia, it‚Äôs an amazing service; simple, effective and functional build – always there when you need information about literally everything and anything. No adverts, no hassle, no updates that could have ruined the experience. They‚Äôve just completed their yearly fundraising to keep it that way, they need our help!
- 2013 ‚Äď more of the same please, 2012 has been a fantastic year both with the family and with the ever growing team at S8080.
- 2012 – Seeing my daughter grow up fast and give us endless fun
- It may have been hitting my 40‚Äôs in 2012 combined with my daughter growing fast (and loving all those iPad phonic and number apps), my nephew asking me about ‚Äúhow did you get into computers when you were in Junior school‚ÄĚ, and working with the great team at Technocamps that I‚Äôve become rather nostalgic about the days of the ZX81 & BBC.
Through 2012 I‚Äôve been inspired by Raspberry Pi and the theme of sites like Codecadamy.com which are enthusing and developing a new generation of young people to design and build the web rather than just consuming it‚Ä¶ lets see more of that too in 2013.
S8080 and public sector clients
S8080 spent 10 years on the Central Office of Information (COI) digital roster designing and developing websites for some incredible clients ‚Äď this helped us start long term relationships with clients including Ministry of Justice, Welsh Government, NHS, Cabinet Office, Department of Energy and Climate Change and No10 Downing Street..
COI maintained a number of rosters with some of the best commercial web design agencies in the UK. These rosters were created in accordance with UK government and European Union (EU) rules on procurement and accounting. The agencies went through the full, rigorous Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) tendering process, which can take many months. UK government departments that made use of COI for procurement were able to use the resulting pre-existing OJEU approved contracts, obviating the need for a new OJEU tender for each new project, thereby saving considerable time and cost.
This means is that most COI rostered web design agencies were seen to be a very safe and experienced pair of hands. During this time, we achieved ISO 9001, 18001 and 14001, IL2 pan-government security accreditation and Counter Terrorist Check (CTC) Security Clearance. We gained experience working across many government departments at all levels, delivering user experience and information architecture, website design and development and creative campaigns. Those 10 years helped shape S8080 into the website development agency it is today.
COI closed in March 2012 and will be missed by agencies and clients alike. We had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people and made some very good friends.
But there is a new way of doing things via the Government Procurement Service (GPS).
‚ÄúGovernment Procurement Service is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office. Our overall priority is to provide procurement savings for the UK public sector as a whole and specifically to deliver centralised procurement for central government departments‚ÄĚ.
Business as usual – Framework Number RM1707
S8080 have been Government Procurement Service approved supplier from the start, as the COI contracts were transferred to GPS, this is via the framework Number RM1707 which is divided into four lots:
Lot 1: Digital Strategy
Lot 2: Digital Design, Development and Delivery
Lot 3: Specialist Digital Media Solutions and Services
Lot 4: User Experience Evaluation and Analytics Services
Agile Route to Market
GPS also administer the new Agile Route to Market (ARM) framework.
The Agile Route to Market provides public sector organisations with an easy route to market for sub OJEU / lower value projects (up to ¬£100k). S8080 have also been chosen to be part of this framework for the following lots:
Lot 3.1: Web Strategy, Planning, Creative, Build and Implement
Lot 3.4: Email Strategy, Planning, Creative, Build and Implement
Lot 3.6: Visability & Eye Tracking
‚ÄúThis route provides easy access for suppliers, including small agencies and sole traders, reducing the cost and time burden on suppliers when competing for government business.‚ÄĚ
Easier for our clients
Although it‚Äôs not a replacement for COI and isn‚Äôt trying to be, the Government Procurements Service and Agile Route to Market frameworks make public sector procurement easier when looking for a very good web design, digital marketing and web development company to work with.
Apple has launched this years ‚Äô12 Days of Christmas‚Äô app, and it is now available to download for free from the iTunes app store, the app will let you download free content to your iOS device from the 26th of December.
Apple releases the 12 Days of Christmas app every year, and from the 26th of December there will be a free download each day, which will include music, games, TV shows and more.
Via Geeky Gadgets
Our very good friends, Technocamps and Software Alliance Wales are holding a FREE Christmas Lecture for the whole family‚Ä¶
From Silent Night to Slade…Christmas tunes transformed by technology
Tuesday 11th December 2012, 6.30 – 9.00pm
National Waterfront Museum, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 3RD
Join Physics and Music guru Wendy Sadler, founding Director of science made simple – the award-winning social enterprise that offers science shows to schools and families across the UK and overseas to find out lots of unusual ideas on how you can make music at your Christmas party this year.
Before the age of digital recording, families used to sit round the fire and make their own music, but now we can use machines of all kinds to improve the process and help those of us with a less musical ear enjoy the auditory joys of Christmas music.
Join us on a tuneful tail of how technology has transformed the ways we make, record and modify sound. From the basics of how we generate sound with our voices to the way computers – and even phone apps – can help you sing in tune.
‚ÄĘ 6.30pm Registration
‚ÄĘ 7.00 – 8.00pm Wendy Sadler, Director of Science Made Simple
‚ÄĘ 8.00 – 9.00pm Buffet
Booking you place
The event is free to attend, but you‚Äôll need to book your place. Click here to book your places.
This annual Christmas lecture, held in association with ITWales’ major projects, Technocamps & Software Alliance Wales and BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT, is FREE to attend and open to all ages, however advance booking is required, as numbers are strictly limited.
Not likely, far too cold.
Sorry to disappoint ūüėČ
Maybe we should shoot our annual Halloween photograph during summer next year. But for now, here are most of us sporting very seasonal pumped-up hairdo‚Äôs, courtesy of Rod‚Äôs exceptional photography and retouching skills.
Click on the picture for a larger view – if you dare.
A very Happy Halloween to everyone.
- Digital¬† illustration
Archive:¬†View the archived version