It seems to be the done thing with a new, or re-launched, website to put up a news article welcoming visitors. Usually these posts just give an overview of what a visitor can find on the site. However, one of the advantages of launching something we’ve crafted ourselves is that we can give you an insight into how the site works, as well.
Well, if you’re as proud of your work as we are, wouldn’t you want to talk about it?
We know that many of our visitors, particularly those reaching us for the first time, will be looking to answer one of the following questions.
- Who are The Distance?
- What do we offer?
- How good are we?
- How can we be contacted?
Therefore, we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to answer any of the above. You can find out about the services we offer and the principles that drive our work; see details of our long-standing client relationships; and get in touch with us from any page.
On top of the wealth of information around the site, we’ll be regularly updating this journal with both company news and our thoughts on wider developments in the mobile, ecommerce and digital marketing communities
As such, we’ve employed a clean, bold and content-centred design which gives us a solid yet flexible framework in which to build and grow. A design choice that we feel encapsulates The Distance’s ethos as a whole.
With an emphasis on content, one of the most important considerations was ensuring the site remains readable regardless of the medium in which it is viewed. The wide variety of devices and resolutions used to surf the web means one-size-fits-all design is no longer the panacea it once was. Making a site look good on today’s widescreen monitors while remaining usable and attractive all the way down to mobile is a discipline in its own right.
Nobody enjoys sidescrolling to read an overflowing website, so our design uses a combination of fluid and responsive styles to format the content. What that means is our design adjusts automatically to its available space, whether that’s full-screen in a browser, portrait mode on a tablet such as the iPad, or on your mobile.
Want to see this in action? Simply resize your browser or rotate your device.
The differences aren’t purely cosmetic, either.
Element interactions have different conventions in different mediums – dragging items with a mouse feels unnatural, while hovering over images on a touch device is simply not possible. Therefore, we have implemented as native an interface as possible for each platform.
Platform and Build
Any structure is only as strong as the foundation it’s built on. For our foundation we’ve chosen HTML5, which gives us a much richer pool of semantic markup to draw from. Although HTML5 is not yet complete (nor fully implemented by browsers), it already offers more than its predecessors as well as promising much more for the future.
Our underlying markup itself is design agnostic, meaning it reads logically and coherently with or without styling. The benefits to this approach is a topic better suited to a separate article; however, if you’re interested, you can take a look at this site completely naked.
To manage the content itself, we use WordPress 3.2. While WordPress is traditionally seen as a blogging platform, the advances made since version 3.0 (released in 2010) have transformed it into a fully-fledged, versatile content management system.
Its custom post types and taxonomies (or categories) allow us to manage all aspects of our content quickly and easily. Being completely open-source means we can maintain control of the site’s markup using a completely bespoke theme.
WordPress is a platform we recommend where possible to any of our partners looking for a non-ecommerce web presence (for example Sculpture by the Lakes). I guess you could say this is our way of eating our own dog food.
At the end of the day, all of our above decisions have been designed to ensure you get the most out of our website. If you have any problems navigating the site, or a comment about the design or build in general, feel free to leave us a comment either here or via our contact page.
And, of course, if you like what you see and are in the market for any of our services, just get in touch and see if we can go The Distance with you.