Drum roll, please, for the launch of our latest client project: Hofrat Suess! If you are looking for a digital marketing and communication agency in the Greater Area Zurich and have a sweet tooth, you should to add Hofrat Suess to your shortlist. The two, self-proclaimed, Digital Brothers decided to offer their services directly to customers and hence started their own agency in Winterthur.
We are happy to announce the launch of our youngest client project: Mag20
Most things evolve democratically in Switzerland. However, we've never come across a print magazine that lets its readers vote up the stories for the next publication. Markus Bucheli's crowd sourced magazine takes exactly this approach. Every week users can submit an article on the website. If the contribution recessives enough votes via selected social media it gets published in the upcoming print edition. Profit is shared with the authors. The inaugural publication will be available on the 17th August in bigger cities of the German speaking part of our little country. mag20.com is powered by Drupal 7 and is fully responsive. Get your stories uploaded now.
We wish Markus Bucheli and his team a successful start with Mag20!
If the mobile subject has kept your life in a hurry, no worries: PCs are not about to disappear. According to the Economist (4017/8754), forecasters expect another 350 to 360 million of them to be sold this year and they say that the market is likely to keep growing. However, Morgan Stanley believes that in 2011 combined shipments of smartphones and tablets will overtake those of Desktop and Notebook PCs. The same for the Economist's latest chart in their special report on personal technology:
Mobile browsing is expected to outdo desktop-browsing by 2013. Not long ago Google has presented some fascinating insight to the mobile access of their search engine:
Indeed, mobile design has become of central importance for Amazee Labs' daily development work. The first thing that we had to synchronize was our terminology: What does mobile access mean? What's a native app? What's a web app? What's the difference between a web app and responsive design? And guess what - there are only few experts that dare to come up with a clearcut definition for all the terms mobile, especially when it comes to the separation between web apps and responsive design. Let's clear things up a bit:
Native App: Native apps are coded for specific mobile platforms with a specific programming language (ObjectiveC for iOS, Java for Android). Native apps have to be downloaded to your device, e.g. an iPhone, and allow for a fast and responsive user experience. They can access all of the devices hardware (e.g. sensors, camera, GPS, etc.), serve the user with push-notifications, and don't necessarily require web access. That's why mostly all games are native apps. The problem: Every time you want to serve users on another mobile platform you have to start coding from scratch. The better usability will therefore go at the cost of time, money and control.
Web App (in the narrow sense of the word): The Financial Times has launched one, Amazon too. Why? Because they wanted to own and control their client data and become more independent of operating systems and their providers, especially Apple. Unlike a native app, a web app is platform agnostic. It can serve any device, operating system, or browser. This means that doesn't have to pass Apple's lengthy app approval process. No software-clients have to be downloaded, neither do the software updates have to. Just hit refresh and you're done. Careful: Web app in the extended and original sense of the word includes Web App (in the extended sense of the word): Includes all software applications that can be accessed via the Web, basically using a browser, even the ones that don't work properly on a mobile device.
Responsive Design: A website that has been developed with responsive design will ask the recipient's browser for its screen resolution and serve the content in "liquid" manner. In other words, the content will get rearranged according to the height and width of the screen (so called viewport, you can simulate that by changing the sizes of your browser window). Whereas Native and Web apps (in the narrow sense of the word) ask for the operating system, the device and the screen resolution, the responsive designed website will only as for the viewport.
We're happy to announce the official launch of our youngest client project: Sosense.org - a fundraising platform for selected social enterprises.
Non-profit organization Sosense supports high impact social enterprises trying to solve some of the major social and environmental issues we face today. The Sosense team carefully selects the social enterprises, features and screens their credibility and impact. The platform provides a simple way for social investors and donors select and support these enterprises, facilitating collective impact.
The project work was familiar yet appreciatively challenging: One one side we could draw on our expertise in building community- and fundraising solutions, on the other side we built the platform on the latest version of Drupal, i.e. 7, including organic groups, Drupal Commerce and i18n. The Drupalistas among you will know what this means: A good load of bug fixing and porting of modules.
So much for our part. Now we wish Patrik Elsa and his engaged Sosense team success with Sosense!
Last month we launched our second mobile-first, responsive design for bundesplatz.srf.ch. The website runs on Drupal 7 and like KMU Businesspartner, is based on @himerus's and @thefubhy's awesome Omega theme.
Besides being responsive, another added feature was an ongoing changing background image, instantly updating every 30 minutes to reflect real-time weather conditions and activity around the Bundesplatz. Depending on your screensize, you see more or less of the live image.
Here's an example of how the site looks on a full-width, really wide desktop monitor:
And here's how the site adapts for visitors viewing the site from an iPad or other tablet device:
The outer margins are reduced, and the main column continues decreasing in width, until the sidebar drops below in an even narrower version... typically in use on mobile devices. Below is how the site looks on an iPhone... and it was all accomplished with Omega's built-in media queries and a little CSS magic:
Drupal friends: Have you tried out Omega yet? You should if you haven't!
More than three years ago our team launched the social collaboration platform amazee.com. By 23 December 2011 the platform will be closed - for good. Important: Our development agency Amazee Labs is not affected, but the cause for this decision. But let me take you back to the beginning: The idea behind amazee.com was to connect like-minded people in projects and empower public collaboration. A social Facebook so to say, and social it has been. Ten thousands of users have frequented amazee.com to work together, raise funds and ramp up offline achievements.
In the meantime, however, Facebook, Google and other big innovators have become all you can imagine, including enablers for social change. On our side, we have converted the business model. Amazee Labs has grown into a successful web development agency and requires our full attention. The work on amazee.com has therefore suffered big time and has become mostly restricted to maintenance work. If Web products don't move ahead, they go backwards. Hence our decision. What next? On 23 December 2011 the platform will be closed and all user and group data will be deleted automatically.
We thank you for your understanding.
Jiiihaaaaaa! We are proud to welcome Andrew McClintock to our UX & design team. Andrew is web designer by trade, and a talented one indeed. After completing his creative advertising degree at the university of Texas he took up the post of creative director at Digett, a San Antonio based web design company. And for the one's who know our peeps a bit better: Kathryn Cornelius' has lost her status as lone star - Andrew's the second Texan to join Amazee Labs. Andrew, we're looking forward to working with you. Meanwhile enjoy the Texan heat - Switzerland's so foggy the bird's are walking.
From today until 30 September the Swiss Public Radio and TV SRF will convert the Bundesplatz (our parliament square) into a big multimedia studio. The exciting campaign is broadcasting the election highlights for the next of term of parliament and promises a good load of political controversy. We are very proud to be SRF's development partner for the campaign's web presence: bundesplatz.srf.ch.
The development requirements were threefold: Design the website to look fresh independent of the viewport, integrate social media, and make sure the system (power!-)performs under high traffic load: We chose Drupal 7 (what else) as content management framework. Enjoy
Bine aţi venit! As of this very day Vasile Chindris is joining our team in Zurich. This is great news since Vasi is not just an intelligent computer scientist but a battle-hardened coder. He has proven his practical talents with several of our client projects working from our development partner epoint in Timisoara, Romania; probably the longest assessment we've done so far. We are excited to have you here for good Vasi - the Raclette and Fondue season is just about to start!