What are "Bugs"?

Posted on Fri, August 23, 2013 in Web Design by Alum

No matter how perfectly architected or built, every running program or live website will eventually encounter a situation that it does not have an appropriate response prepared for. Whenever this unexpected thing occurs, the software running a website has a limited number of options.

  • Fail Silently
  • Fail and report the failure to a human (while hopefully logging the error).
  • DO SOMETHING TOTALLY CRAZY

Each of these actions are ultimately the intended action as far as our software is concerned. At a core level, software doesn’t understand the difference between successfully logging you in...

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Tell Your Web Designer Everything

Posted on Wed, August 21, 2013 in Web Design, Business Operations by Jason Bennett

Have you been planning on rolling out a new website for your company? Have you hired a web designer to help make it happen? Yes? Great! Now what?
The most important thing to remember when working with a web designer is that they don't know you. They probably don't know how your product is made or why people love it. They probably don't know how you handle sales calls, or how you're really popular in that one area of the world. They probably don't know who you're biggest competitors are. This is why you need to tell your designer everything you can about your business.

Talk about yourself. A...

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Offering A Complete Solution

Posted on Fri, August 16, 2013 in Business Operations by Alum

What Clients are looking for

Often, potential clients will come to GRAYBOX wanting one thing. Whether it be a redesign of their website, a custom web application, marketing planning and execution, business cards, or a consultation. However, one thing holds true almost every time; most of our clients need much more than what they’re looking for.

The GRAYBOX Mission: Serve Clients

Our mission statement definitively states that: “GRAYBOX exists to serve its clients well.”  I whole-heartedly believe in this mission statement, as does our founder Paul Weinert.  What this means to us is not...

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CSS 3D Transitions: An Introduction

Posted on Tue, August 13, 2013 in Web Design by Kevin Carpenter

On the web there are already several solutions for 3D capability: Flash; three.js in <canvas>; and, eventually, WebGL. Also, front-end developers have our own three-dimensional tool: CSS 3-D transforms.

Compatibility

Just like the 2d transition module released by Apple in Safari, 3D transitions initially were only supported by Safari. Since the release all of the major browsers, and IE10, everything either partially or fully supports 3D transitions. Take a look at the most up-to-date compatibility chart.

Please keep in mind that you still need to use Modernizr to ensure that you are...

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Using Git: Taking the Pain Out of Version Control

Posted on Thu, August 08, 2013 in Web Design by Mark Middleton

I love elegance, purity and simplicity

In the 90’s as a rookie developer, I spun my wheels… a lot. With no true version control, we would update the production server directly. Then, weeks or months into the project, we would spend the time to set up a dev server. Our team would do their best to wrangle the process of developing locally, updating a dev server, and when everything was tested we would update everything on the production server and pray everything was put into place correctly. But we often wrote over each other’s code and our only saving grace was a nightly server tape...

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Getting a quick Shopify or Wordpress site done well

Posted on Wed, August 07, 2013 in Web Design, Business Operations, eCommerce, Shopify by Alum

At GRAYBOX we will often get requests for a simpler site with the need for a quick turnaround. Here is what that process looks like. The kind of site we see come through with these needs are Informational and eCommerce. Pretty much any kind of website that you might need. This is how we do it.

  1. Clear Communication from start to finish
  2. Themes (Wordpress for informational sites and Shopify for eCommerce)
  3. One Site Review before testing (content edits and minor structural changes)
  4. Deadline Integrity

Clear Communication

This is all about expectations and deliverables. We like to get all of...

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Tips for Designing Successful Landing Pages

Posted on Fri, August 02, 2013 in Digital Marketing by Paul Weinert

Great landing pages are critical for effective inbound marketing campaigns — they distill your message down to one key action, thus simplifying it and boosting engagement. But reduction in design is hard — how do we get down to the essential elements to make the sale more effectively? Our marketing team can help you boost your conversion rates and make your landing pages perform better.
To start, let’s give you a few tips.
1. Start with a theory, test and measure that theory, and repeat — A/B (also called Multi-variant) testing is the key here. Start with a baseline control and...

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Interview with Gary Vaynerchuk on Social Media

Posted on Wed, July 31, 2013 in Digital Marketing, Business Operations by Alum

Earlier this year, part of our GRAYBOX team had an opportunity to take Gary Vanerchuk up on an offer he made to his almost one million twitter followers that he was doing an interview a day.

At GRAYBOX, we’ve enjoyed learning from Gary for over a year now through his website, tweets, instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google + and his books Crush It and The Thank You Economy. We got to ask him a few questions that we’re working through as we try to utilize social media better.

Q: We’ve heard you downplay the obsession with Return on Investment (ROI) when it comes to marketing. Is...

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IE Background Images

Posted on Tue, July 30, 2013 in Web Design by Kevin Carpenter

Introduction

A very handy CSS property is the “background-size” property. For background images, and images we need to cover an entire div we can simply apply “background-size: cover;” or “background-size: 100% 100%;”. Doing so stretches the background image to the entire width and height of it’s containing div. But that’s not it. I wish that was the case, according to W3c the background-size property is only supported in the following browsers: IE9+, Firefox 4+, Opera, Chrome, and Safari 5+.  Although our hate for IE as developers grows with every project we complete, it’s...

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Vertical Accordion Menu

Posted on Wed, June 05, 2013 in Greatest Hits, Web Design, User Experience by Kevin Carpenter

Vertical menu’s have recently become the newest rave in the Web industry. They are responsive, save space, and look great on any device.

Let’s get things started by putting in place our HTML and add the underlying structure to the menu:

Vertical Navigation Menu: CSS3 Coded

<div id="wrapper"> <ul class="menu"> <li class="item1"><a href="#">Friends <span>340</span></a></li>
<
li class="item2"><a href="#">Videos <span>147</span></a></li>
<
li class="item3"><a href="#">Galleries <span>340</span></a></li>
<
li class="item4"><a href="#">Podcasts <span>222</span></a></li>
<
li class="item5"><...

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