Archive by Author

Paras’ 10 Complete

Well done to Mike and the rest of the guys from Norwich who took part in the Paras’ 10 P Company Challenge at the weekend in aid of Army Benevolent Fund. It was a great day, and all for a great charity. There is another event in Colchester on 21st October, and we will surely be there again. We hope you are too!

Norwich Based Elite Teaching Goes Live

We’ve launched a new site for Norwich Based EliteTeaching, you can read more in our website design portfolio.

Building a WordPress Theme

WordPress is becoming one of the most popular platforms on the web for all shapes and sizes of business and personal sites. Since version 3 of WordPress was released, creating themes with function as well as look has become much more powerful.

In a new multi-part series, I am going to go through the steps required to build a new bespoke WordPress theme. This is something that we do for our clients as one of our services here in Norwich. This series will be quite heavy on code, rather than design and will give an insight into the type of work that goes on behind the scenes here. Stay tuned for the part 1, in which I will explain the base structure of a WordPress theme and the minimum required files to create one.

Why I do Web Design

Just read a great post over at 37Signals about career progression. Got me thinking about how we got here in the web design world. Like Jason, I can’t remember exactly where my interest in software design came from, but from the age of about 15 I knew that I wanted to be a software designer. Somewhere along the way, a few drunken nights at university got me an a flat mate working on a new website for the University of East Anglia, right here in Norwich. The idea was simple, a website for all the students to sign in and share ideas, thoughts, reviews of all sorts of student related things, and more. This turned out to be a great success, and after just a few short months we found ourselves nominated for the Guardian Media Awards for best student website….

…We didn’t win, but we still had a lot of fun running the site. This was back in 2002, and we shut the site down in 2004 as we finished our studies and needed to go get a real job. Little did we know, if we stuck around a few more months, we would have learned about this thing called “social media” and who knows where that site would be now?

I digress, the point is, this site got me hooked, and is pretty much the reason I have ended up working with websites rather than playing with databases in some dark cellar like some of my old class mates!

Why are you where you are now?

Elite Teaching

We’ve just started work on a new eCommerce solution for a brand new client Elite Teaching. Elite Teaching provide primary school physical education classes before and after normal school hours to help them believe and achieve.

The new site will allow parents to book places for their children onto a variety of courses at the school their child attends. We’ll keep you posted with our progress.

Cupakes by Gemma Photo Shoot

We’ve had a great time the last 2 days doing the photo shoot for Cupcakes By Gemma. We teamed up with Fiona Alexander for this shoot and it was a great experience. Trying not to eat the subject of each photo was by far the toughest challenge. We can’t wait to see the end results!

Cupcakes make the world go round

Well, probably not. But still, every one tends to agree, cupcakes are great.

That’s why we’re delighted to announce our latest client: Cupcakes By Gemma, coming to an internet browser near you… on PC, Mac, Android and iPhone.

Fiona Alexander Photography

We’ve just launched a new site for a Norwich based photographer:

Check it out now, or see more work in our portfolio.

Responsive Web

We’ve recently been working on a couple of web applications that will be used on a huge variety of devices. We’re talking 60inch TV screens, 30inch PCs, laptops, notebooks, tablets and mobile phones. The challenges faced for building a website under such circumstances are significant.

Building a website to work just on a PC is relatively straightforward, building a website to just work on a mobile phone is, again, relatively straight forward. Things get more complicated when you need a site to look great in a multitude of scenarios. With web applications, things get even more complicated. With these current projects, we are providing a secure login area, data capture, diary scheduling, reports and dashboards. Looking great in any given requirement is important, but working correctly is essential.

Embracing modern technologies, such as HTML5 and CSS3, makes life much easier. But what about when the requirements include working with older browsers? Progressive enhancement versus graceful degradation is a question that must be solved in this scenario.

Graceful degradation means designing for the more modern browsers and then making sure older browsers (IE8 anyone?) still have some sort of usable experience. Essentially each modern feature has a “backup plan” of some description.

Progressive enhancement is the opposite: here we begin with old style markup (HTML 4 etc) that older browsers can make sense of, and then extra features are added at run time if the browser can support them.

The truth is, there is no “one size fits all” solution here, but here at Head Energy, we can work with our client to figure out the best approach for each feature, and a combination of these two methods is what we end up with across the whole app.


The Perfect CMS?

What makes the perfect Content Management System (CMS). Here at Head Energy, we’ve worked with several leading open source and off-the-shelf CMS offerings and built a few of our own bespoke ones. What features really make them great though? The answer depends on what you need of course. Not all CMS tools are made equal, and not all of them are perfect for everyone. The answer then is not to invest too heavily in any one system. Sometimes off the shelf is just want is needed, sometimes it needs tweaking and sometimes it needs so much tweaking that you no longer recognise the original offering.

We fully understand that there is no such thing as “The Perfect CMS” and there is no problem with this. In fact, recognising that each site we create has unique requirements, whether great or small, allows us to choose the best tool for the job to cater for those requirements. Be weary of anyone who says that a particular CMS is right for everyone. The only perfect CMS is the one that best fits YOUR requirements, the one that allows YOUR to update and manage YOUR content the way YOU want to, and work in the way that YOU want to. In other words, the question you need to ask yourself, is what is the perfect CMS for YOU. Here at Head Energy, we will help you answer that question openly and honestly and then get to work putting the CMS to work for YOU.