onlnie news collage

In February 2016, I gave a presentation for Sustainable UX: Digital Design vs. Climate Change, a conference about how content strategists, designers, developers, managers and site owners are addressing climate change. Thirteen different presenters spoke about their work, which included open source methodologies, creating a green content management system, and building sustainable behaviours and frameworks within teams.

I wrote a blog post called Online News is the Canary in the Coal Mine about my presentation. The talk focused the massive growth of online news and how news sites, because of code, feature and content bloat, are contributing to carbon emissions. Since then, I had the opportunity to connect with a number of other presenters and received great feedback about the talk, which you can watch here on YouTube.

I also had the presentation professionally transcribed so that folks who don’t like video, can’t see video, or have any accessibility issues, can access the content. YouTube has the ability to automatically transcribe content through closed captioning but I would much rather have it available in a blog post.

Here it is.

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I was recently asked by someone if I could help transition their website over to SquareSpace, a current and popular website platform. Their current site was built from scratch, and running on WordPress, the world’s most prevalent content management system. However it was made many years before WordPress matured into the software that it is today. The existing site was awkward to update, and they had been experimenting a bit with a trial of SquareSpace. They were excited to show me how easy it was to make a page, and add some basic content.

I tried my best to make a case for WordPress, and the brilliant platform it has become. I suggested the client carry on with WordPress and have a new more up-to-date website built. However, budget was a big concern and it appeared to me that their their mind was already made up. After all, SquareSpace makes the whole signup process very easy so it hooks you right from the get-go. Which really got me thinking; are there good reasons to start with, or to switch to a DIY systems like SquareSpace, or any of the widely-available off-the-shelf WordPress themes?

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person reading annual report

Stick To Your (Branding) Guns

In today’s busy world companies must fight harder then ever for customer awareness and brand recognition. Your annual report is an extremely valuable tool to help solidify your brand and deliver a concise message that will both connect and demand respect.

The most effective way to achieve annual report nirvana is through strong design coupled with well written copy and tightly integrated visuals. Design without powerful copy is just decoration while text without thoughtful and strategic design is disheartening and sad.

Visually Demonstrate Your Impact

While presenting your financials are part of most annual report’s mandate, employing visuals like infographics, illustrations and photography make data and information more useful and manageable. We work with clients to identify key informational components and build easily digestible graphs, charts, tables, and infographics to highlight them.

Personal stories are more emotionally compelling then raw data because they link your company with the personal and professional achievements of the individuals that use your product or service. Showcasing impact stories of employees, clients or partners to demonstrate the change you are fostering can be very powerful. And using pull quotes to highlight key points helps ensure they are not overlooked in the body of the report.

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A Brief History

For the past 16 years the FWA (Favourite Website Awards) has been honouring websites that push the boundaries of what is possible on the internet. There have been many other awards sites step forward during this time, too—Awwwards, CSS Design Awards and siteInspire are just a few examples.

Still, to this day, the FWA is regarded as the “Oscars of web design” and considered an extremely coveted award. Much of what you see on the internet today stems from a community of companies and individuals that were pushing the envelope in the early to late 2000’s and the FWA should be credited as one of the originators that paved the way for others to follow.

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The Manoverboard Team

Since beginning work with Manoverboard six months ago, I have learned a great deal about the graphic design industry. Not from the graphic world myself, it has been an interesting half-year getting up to speed on this laser-specific style of creativity. What I have discovered is that design is an intentional creative communication tool which has left me in awe of both the skill and detail of my coworkers. Here’s a peek behind the curtain with ten highlights:

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