.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
+44 (0) 870 471 8579

NewsRSS feed

ExpressionEngine eCommerce for natural skincare

 

Balance Me make natural skincare beauty products. And they now have an updated and redesigned eCommerce website that gives them a cleaner look and feel to match their brand’s expression.

Andrew Fairhurst from AJF Design managed the redesign process and produced the new visual design for the site liaising with us here at BridgingUnit for our technical insight. Unlike many designers Andrew has a good feel for code too and so he was also closely involved in the build itself towards launch.

BridgingUnit took the final designs and then built out code for them ready for the tight deadline and integrated those templates with ExpressionEngine to produce a site that gives the client the flexibility to do what they need. The site is linked up via CartThrob 2 to SagePay to handle payments and features a slew of addons, both free and commercial from the wider community, and also makes use of several from our own personal back catalogue, including extensions that link into the ever-popular Freeform to provide antispam features and other that links to the client’s third party mailing list manager.

More features and functionality will be added to the site in the coming days, but why not go and visit the site to take advantage of Balance Me’s opening special offers now.

(separate page)

Online directory into paper directory

 

Working with Versa Studio, BridgingUnit has just privately launched the facilities for members to access, review and update their listings in a niche directory based in San Francisco.

This was a tricky project where a part-built system in ExpressionEngine was inherited from previous developers who hadn’t documented functionality and proved difficult to liaise with. After a period where we got to grips with the existing codebase and requirements we updated their system so that it was fully functional and adjusted the design to make it more user-friendly and clear to understand. We also updated a module that had been built to handle the output of the process for greater flexibility.

We sent out a sequence of emails using the client’s Constant Contact account to their members to encourage them to log in, review and update their details. The aim of all of this was that the online directory could be the mechanism for collating the listings which would then be output via .rtf to be imported into print publishing software and turned into a real world paper directory for distribution.

A later phase will see these updated listings turned into a public online directory too.

(separate page)

Jobs board for CathedralsPlus

 

BridgingUnit coded and added a jobs board to the site of CathedralsPlus built in the open source PHP framework CodeIgniter. This simple board allows administrators to list jobs for the site’s members, and for them to be added and expire from the site at designated times.

Are you looking for a job at a Cathedral? Go take a look.

(separate page)

Multilingual ExpressionEngine site for international shipping company

 

World Ship receive parcels on your behalf in the United States and then ship them to you wherever you are worldwide.

BridgingUnit was bought in to produce the ExpressionEngine backend for this site whose key feature was that it needed to allow for multilingual content. In this case the first alternative language is Arabic. Others are planned for down the line. So the build needed to take account not just of another language (and the potential for more), but of a right to left language too.

We set things up to allow for all content in the site to be translated, and we also created a system to allow for the inversion of the design as well as the textual content too. After all, our native left to right bias informs the basic hierarchies in our designs, so that ought to be accounted for in a right to left translation too.

Take a look at the English and the Arabic versions at World Ship.

(separate page)

AVA Academia publisher’s eCommerce website

 

AVA Academia is a growing publishing house specialising in the field of academic textbooks on design. They produce first rate educational books to guide you through the intricacies of everything from typography to branding. They call theselves “creative publishers for the applied visual arts”.

TwoBelowZero were the development partner tasked with building the design and they engaged us to help in the ExpressionEngine development process. BridgingUnit was pleased to be approached to help work on the site, which had been designed for AVA by well-known graphic designer (and author of a handful of key books herself) Lucienne Roberts.

Our work encompassed a multitude of adjustments to keep the design tight, but also areas of functionality like search, extending areas for sharing resources between academics and students, and linking their newsletter sign up to split lists dependant on interest at their mailing list management company.

This project was a big job and we worked alongside Peter Lewis (on whose ExpressionEngine ecommerce platform their shop is running), Made by Hippo and Orionesque to make sure that the site was delivered to the client’s satisfaction.

(separate page)

Split testing for redesign success

 

As part of an update to the existing website of Attachmetric, BridgingUnit went through a process of producing a series of variant designs which were run through a split test to determine which were most effective. The final result has contributed directly to an increase in sales. The visual design for this was handled by the experts Bluish.

(separate page)

Multi-language site for translation services

 

BridgingUnit expanded the existing site of Academic Language Services so that they could also target Dutch and French speakers.

(separate page)

Multi-site manager for industrial plant maintenance and machinery

 

As part of our continued ongoing relationship with Versa Studio (previously exp design), BridgingUnit has just finished work on a Multi SIte Manager installation in ExpressionEngine which combined existing content in a sister site with new content in a new site - cmmscity.com, a site for Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and Asset Performance Management (APM) Systems. We wrote a couple of little addons to help in this process.

(separate page)

Happy New Year!

 

2010 ebbs away and 2011 flows in. It’s been an even busier year here at BridgingUnit. More and more we’ve called on to work with other designers and agencies providing our ExpressionEngine expertise, and that’s seen us work on some very exciting and high profile projects, but neglect this site, our portfolio, and publicly released addons. Hopefully we’ll be able to remedy that soon.

In the closing days of the year we finally moved offices to a lovely new studio here in Ludlow that we’re sharing with the talented Bluish. We’re very much looking forward to the new year and settling into the new space and a new routine.

Have a very Happy New Year! We hope it brings you all you desire, and some things that you don’t at the moment, but would do if you’d thought about them.

(separate page)

Bringing healthy eating online

 

BridgingUnit provided ExpressionEngine expertise to the designer of a website for an expanding chain of healthy eating stores. Amongst other things we helped develop a menu system to show what is available now, but for the administrators of the site to be able to store future entries and schedule them to appear at later dates. We also coded up an extension to enable them to add subscribers to their mailing list management software CampaignMonitor. And set up a system that could hold the data for a nutritional calculator that visitors can use to help understand the content of their potential meal.

(separate page)

Redesign of site for video producer

 

Working with Bluish, BridgingUnit launched a refreshed site for Destination Film, a company providing video production for the websites of the travel and hospitality industry.

(separate page)

ExpressionEngine migration of large corporate site

 

Atego is the new name for Artisan Software Tools. They call themselves the leading independent supplier of industrial-grade, collaborative development tools for engineering complex, mission- and safety-critical architectures, systems, software and hardware.

Their internal staff needed help managing the amalgamation of content from various companies that had been bought or merged, and also when migrating the existing partially multi-language ExpressionEngine site to more robust and stable services. BridgingUnit managed this process and then helped them continue updates and finally switch domains and move member data.

(separate page)

ExpressionEngine expertise for other agencies

 

BridgingUnit has been engaged by another agency to provide expertise on some of the more tricky parts of the ExpressionEngine installation for one of the nation’s leading high street retailers.

(separate page)

Tracking email attachments in Outlook

 

Attachmetric is a new add-in for Microsoft’s Outlook that tracks who has opened your attachments or clicked on links in your emails. This is a very useful tool for seeing who has engaged with your mail and, most obviously, could be invaluable for sales.

BridgingUnit was brought on board to move an existing designed site to ExpressionEngine. We took this and moulded it to ExpressionEngine’s architecture and the client’s emerging and changing needs. Amongst other things we built an ExpressionEngine addon for managing and reporting multiple referrals, tied the installation into Zendesk to provide a support capability, and coordinated the site’s transition from one server to another.

(separate page)

Providing ongoing support

 

As part of our continued association with exp design, BridgingUnit has been working on numerous sites providing ExpressionEngine help, but also other services such as site usability reviews, general coding, including help with complex navigational interfaces, hosting support, and liaising direct with clients and responding to their requests.

ExpressionEngine tasks have included setting up events calendars, video libraries, upgrades, integrating third party addons, troubleshooting conflict issues, and linking up installations to third party resources like YouTube, Amazon S3, Google Analytics, Feedburner and more.

We can provide this sort of help to your design company too. Drop us a line.

(separate page)

Showing Medieval art

 

Marc du Ry is a dealer in medieval art and a long-standing customer. He needed to be able to better manage his website. Updates and moving content around needed to be easier. He also needed a solution that wasn’t tied to software on his computer as he has bases on the continent as well as here in the UK and needs to be able to work wherever he finds himself.

ExpressionEngine allows Marc to update his website from any computer with access to the internet. We built a comparable architecture to that of his previous site, but set things up so that he can easily move details of his works of art from one section of the website to another. We then moved across the existing design, code, and all his content, and managed the switch so that the old pages were smoothly redirected to the new ones. A properly managed members’ section was added to the site where those who sign up can access private content and have first pick of the treasures that he sources. Visit his website to see these beautiful artefacts for yourself.

Three custom addons were written as part of the project which will be available here soon for other users of ExpressionEngine.

(separate page)

Helping ProFundCom provide trusted email marketing in finance

 

ProFundCom is a software company that provides a service for tracking where and how your email communication is received, offering insight into its effectiveness and your best prospects. They target a very particular niche: the asset and fund management sector.

BridgingUnit was contacted because they wanted to migrate their existing website across to ExpressionEngine 2. They had purchased the software and hosting and wanted to move away from their previous content management system, which had proved awkward to use and rather problematic from a security point of view. They needed something that was more solid and reliable.

We took their pre-existing design and content and moved it across to a new installation, re-purposing the architecture for better URLs and added some new sections for news, events and press releases so that ProFundCom could better promote and talk about their various successes and what they were up to. We then managed the domain change so that existing URLs were smoothly moved across to the new ones, so as to ensure no lost traffic.

We put together our first addon for ExpressionEngine 2 as part of this project and it will be available here soon.

(separate page)

Academic Language Services from Dutch and French to English

 

ALS (Academic Language Services) offers a complete academic language service for Dutch and French speaking academics who need to publish in English. Marc du Ry and Imke de Gier are both well-qualified multi-lingual speakers and able to correct or translate academic texts, books or articles between the three languages.

They needed a very simple website that lays out their stall, but which does so in an elegant and sophisticated manner that will appeal to their audience of educated academics and publishers. BridgingUnit designed their logo and created a simple, attractive and comprehensive one page site that provides all the necessary information. Dutch and French versions will follow shortly to provide a visible demonstration of their skills.

(separate page)

Helping promote health in Wisconsin

 

HWLI (Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute) is an organisation concerned with helping promote public health in the US state of Wisconsin. They encourage leadership amongst local health care workers and provide educational resources and workshops to help them develop their skills so that they can then apply what they’ve learnt to the community.

exp design designed the site and liaised with the client and contracted BridgingUnit to code and build the site using ExpressionEngine, which we were able to do to the very tight timetable required.

(separate page)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

 

It has been a fine year here at BridgingUnit. Business has been brisk, we’ve made new friends, new clients, new strides. We hope your year has been as good.

Here’s to an even better 2010. May your carols always sound sweet and your tinsel always twinkle.

(separate page)

A city blog network for city moms

 

StrollerTraffic is an online resource and blog for city moms that was successfully started in New York by Tara Mandy, a former editor of New York Magazine. The client wanted a redesign and to be able to expand outwards from New York to cover other major US cities too.

Peniferella Creative managed the redesign and coding whilst exp design handled the base ExpressionEngine implementation. BridgingUnit worked together with them, providing our ExpressionEngine expertise to develop a system that would allow per city facetting of the site’s content.

(separate page)

Shortlisted for Devot-ee’s ExpressionEngine plugin of the year

 

BridgingUnit’s search pagination plugin for ExpressionEngine has been shortlisted in Devot-ee’s AcademEE Awards as 2009’s plugin of the year. A big thank you to those who have favourited our little plugin over at Devot-ee. Voting for the actual winner finishes midnight December 21st.

(separate page)

Providing a toolkit for adult learning in Britain’s Cathedrals

 

CPAL (Cathedrals as Partners in Adult Learning) is an organisation that has been set up to encourage and aid adult learning throughout Cathedrals, Greater Churches and other Places of Worship. Saul Penfold drew together and wrote material that could be used as a tool kit by Education and Learning Officers and their teams. BridgingUnit designed and built a website to house this resource and will be working with Saul and CPAL to develop and extend it further in future.

(separate page)

Downloading made simpler

 

As Artisan Software Tools portfolio of products has grown, so has the mass of support information, marketing material and accessories available for them. BridgingUnit designed and built a download area for their site where all these sorts of things are gathered together and they’re presented in an organised and easy to locate way. Further navigational tools will be added as the area continues to expand.

(separate page)

Massive art installation in London tram subway

 

Leading artist Conrad Shawcross has constructed a huge site-specific installation of two vast machines spinning reels of coloured rope in the Kingsway Tram subway in Holborn. This project was commissioned by and created in collaboration with Measure, an arts organisation that specialises in projects that arise from the intersection of art, architecture and history. Read more about this remarkable event.

The Kinsgway Tram subway has been closed to the public since 1952 and will only be open during the course of this event for one month, from 8th October to 8th November. There are limited numbers of tickets available to see this unique space and amazing installation, but they are free. Go and book your tickets now.

(separate page)

BWPA winners announced

 

The winners of the inaugural British Wildlife Photography Awards were announced at the evening opening of the BWPA exhibition at Hoopers Gallery. Awards were presented by Nick Baker, naturalist and broadcaster. You can view the winning entries online, or go and visit the exhibition as it tours the country.

(separate page)

It’s oh so quiet, shh!

 

You, the adoring and ever-patient public, might be forgiven for thinking that not much has been going on round here for a while. But that’s far from the truth. Oh no. Here are some projects that are in progress:

  • Planning an online booking system for use at a contemporary art event.
  • Design and build of a site that provides a toolkit to encourage adult education in Britain’s Cathedrals.
  • Helping judge a poster competition for an exhibition.
  • Designing a small site for a dynamic business consultant.
  • Building a download centre for a software company.
  • Helping out in the reinvigoration of the website for a particular patient’s association that’s very close to our heart.
  • Working on the redesign for a London arts organisation.
  • Providing ongoing ExpressionEngine assistance to an entrepreneurial American colleague.
  • Designing a new website for ourselves to share more of the things we learn along our travels.
  • Getting out to meet people face to face from the various internet communities we’re part of.
  • Which includes planning a trip to Holland to attend EECI2009, the first ExpressionEngine and CodeIgniter conference in Europe.

And there’s more, much more…. plus of course support for all our lovely current clients and the regular day-to-day admin and paperwork.

Watch out for more detail on all these different things soon (we promise not to talk about the admin and paperwork).

(separate page)

BrainTumourTrust.co.uk redesign goes live

 

The Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust website has relaunched again after a loving redesign (reported earlier). BridgingUnit was commissioned by Dharmafly’s ever-energetic Premasagar Rose, and closely collaborated with The Copy House’s wonderful Ellen de Vries, to produce the final visual design.

(separate page)

British Wildlife Photography Awards closed, judging begins

 

The British Wildlife Photography Awards closed a little after the published deadline to cope with the slew of last minute entries. Since then the BWPA elves have been hard at work and we’ve extended the backend site functionality to help provide reports to aid the shortlisting process (requiring another custom ExpressionEngine plugin). The difficult task of judging has begun, with the Judges having to work their way through thousands of images. Everyone has been very impressed by the quality of the photos submitted. It’s a cliché, but it’s going to be a very difficult final choice.

We’ve been lucky enough to see behind the scenes and there are some stunning pictures that really open your eyes to what else shares these small islands with us. It’s been great fun, and very interesting indeed to be party to the whole process. We look forward to seeing the final winners and viewing the opening exhibition at Hooper’s Gallery in September.

(separate page)

Multi-language website for software company

 

Artisan Software Tools produces a range of software for modelling enterprise software architecture geared towards users in a wide array of industries. They are a rapidly expanding company and it is difficult for their website to keep pace with the speed of their change and evolution. They contacted BridgingUnit back in April to help take over development on their existing ExpressionEngine-based site which had originally been produced by Who Made Me.

Since then we’ve been providing support and working on day to day additions to it as well as aiding larger projects. We set up a development server to enable us to road-test things prior to moving across to the live site, added a French-language face to a subset of the site and in July we consolidated the way that languages were handled across the site so that the French, German and Italian languages now each has its own home root URL. Over time we expect that the full website will be translated, but for now the per-language material has been organised together into one place to make it more friendly to use.

(separate page)

Towards ExpressionEngine 2.0

 

BridgingUnit is very pleased to have been chosen to help beta-test the much anticipated ExpressionEngine 2.0. We’re very much looking forward to playing with it.

(separate page)

Members-only legal resource site

 

BridgingUnit has been working closely with exp design on a number of projects, providing help with code and ExpressionEngine.  Recently we’ve helped build a members-only resource site for US legal professionals that is still under wraps, but which we hope will launch soon.

(separate page)

BridgingUnit to meet Kaylee

 

BridgingUnit is very pleased to have been provided with access to Kaylee, the developer preview of ExpressionEngine 2.0.

(separate page)

A safe pair of hands

 

Cramer Pelmont are a successful, growing London-based firm of solicitors expert in commercial and residential property amongst other areas. Non Centred Design (on graphic design) and BridgingUnit (on code) paired up to deliver them a new website to present their offer and help them with recruitment. Since launch they have expanded their team and attracted more senior practitioners which has enabled them to extend to an office in Cavendish Square.

(separate page)

British Wildlife Photography Awards opens for submissions

 

The British Wildlife Photography Awards opened for submissions at the beginning of April. There are seven different categories to enter for the adult competition and separate awards for photographers who are under 18 and also for school or youth groups. For your chance to win a prestigious photography award, cash first prize of £5,000 and exposure in a nationwide touring exhibition or various other prizes, go and check out the competition’s requirements and enter your photos before the 31st July.

This second phase of the site involved building in the ability for entrants to register, pay for their entries and submit their photos, and for the judges to view entries and make their shortlists prior to the final judging at the beginning of August. All this functionality was added into the ExpressionEngine build utilising the built in simple commerce module, Paypal’s website payment standard account and by the production by BridgingUnit of four custom-coded plugins, one custom fieldtype, and an extension. One of these ExpressionEngine plugins has already been released to the community and some of the others will be made available at some point soon.

(separate page)

Head to head with brain tumours

 

Work for non-profits and charities is always rewarding as you are helping people that are trying to make a difference. The Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust is the largest brain tumour charity in the UK and ploughs money into research and provides support directly to patients and their families and carers alike. They needed a website that appealed more directly to their audiences and which was more attractive and easier to use. It needed to be warm and sensitive, simple and clear. Longstanding associates, Dharmafly, Brighton’s multi-award-winning social media experts, called BridgingUnit in to provide the visual design and so, in collaboration with Ellen de Vries (guest star on project management, copy and IA), we together worked things through to arrive at what we think is a very successful design, and provided the templates to handover to the developers to produce the finished article. And we hope you’ll be able to enjoy the final live result yourselves very soon.

(separate page)

BridgingUnit joins ExpressionEngine Pro Network

 

We’re very pleased to be able to say that BridgingUnit has been accepted into ExpressionEngine’s Pro Network. This means that we’re joining the ranks of such well-known and influential web design companies as Happy Cog, Blue Flavor, Airbag Industries, Erskine Design, Mark Boulton and many others too, which is very inspiring. It sets us a high target.

ExpressionEngine is our content publishing tool of choice. It can be used to manage dynamic websites, to build applications or even to set up a simple blog. It makes our work here easier and is such a flexible and robust bit of kit that we plan on concentrating more and more on it. We’ve already started releasing some of the add-ons for ExpressionEngine that we’ve produced so that we can give back to the helpful and intelligent community that surrounds it. As you can probably tell, we recommend it wholeheartedly.

If you’re interested, go and read our profile.

(separate page)

A new site for London solicitors’ firm

 

Cramer Pelmont are experts in commercial and residential property law and also provide a variety of other legal services to clients. BridgingUnit is working closely with Non Centred Design to produce a new website to display their services and whilst work is ongoing has designed a simple but elegant one page site that provides their key information.

(separate page)

New ExpressionEngine Plugin: Countries Select

 

The BU_countries_select plugin provides an easy means of adding a Country Select drop down box to the front-end of your site. This is a very simple plugin whose primary purpose is to just save you from a bit of typing because we wanted to save ourselves quite a lot of typing on a current project.

As usual, you can go and download it from the dedicated page we’ve built for it here in our Labs.

(separate page)

Website for videos for websites

 

Emmy-nominated documentary cameraman Andrew McClenaghan now also films and produces videos for hotels, resorts and tourist boards that they can then use to promote themselves on their websites. Because of his background he offers a more polished and professional product than most who provide video for the web. He wanted a website so that he could set out his stall and show what he can do. BridgingUnit were happy to work closely with him on the design and provide him with what he needed. Visit Destination Film to see what he can do for you.

(separate page)

Shire foods famous pies

 

We’ve mentioned Rawww, a fantastic Coventry-based creative agency that we like working with before. This time we built out two websites for them after they’d provided the design and graphic assets: sister sites for Shire Foods and Famous Pies, business and consumer websites respectively. Go and check them out - there’s lots of lively animation from Rawww at famouspies.com and you can even suggest a recipe to win a month’s supply of free pies.

(separate page)

Commenting on reliability

 

BridgingUnit provides outsourced expertise in ExpressionEngine to other developers and designers. We’ve been helping out exp design from Madison in the US on various projects and in this instance provided the commenting functionality for Reliabilityweb.com, an online hub for maintenance and reliability professionals.

(separate page)

One million stories

 

Well, 46,656 at time of going to press anyway - a ‘million’ is a term often used nowadays to just symbolise a very big number. Karen Holst Bundgaard produced a literary project where ten interconnecting stories are split into six parts that appear in random order each time the page is refreshed.

BridgingUnit helped put it together on behalf of Measure. Go and read your way into the labyrinth.

(separate page)

Beavering away….

 

It may look a little quiet here, but behind the scenes it has been anything but. Here’s a quick update on what we’ve been working on since Christmas: producing the visual design for the website of a leading brain tumour charity, building two partner sites for a company that makes pastry-based foodstuffs, working on another for a video producer, supplying ExpressionEngine skills to another developer, planning phase two of the British Wildlife Photography Awards site, and dealing with the daily routine of client maintenance and communication. More detail will follow on all these things soon.

(separate page)

Top reviews for Norwich luxury B & B

 

On the internet success breeds success. We’d noticed that a lot of traffic was coming from Tripdvisor to boutique bed and breakfast, 38 St Giles. We’d also noticed that their reviews were flagged up in Google Local which powers the mapped section at the top of its search results page for locally related searches. We knew too that reading other people’s reviews is often a good way to help convince a prospective client that their decision will be the right one. Tripadvisor wisely provide a widget that allows you to display the reviews that their users have provided on your own website, so we added it to a reviews page at 38 St Giles and customised it to fit in with their design.

But in having your profile raised you also can become a target for some of the lower forms of life that lurk out there on the web. Some people write nice things about you, but others may try to take advantage of you, and automated spam messages sent through their contact form were becoming a persistent problem to 38 St Giles. So we added a captcha field to the form and that has helped cut fake messages substantially.

(separate page)

Seasons Greetings

 

BridgingUnit wishes all of our clients, partners and friends a very Happy Christmas and hopes that 2009 will be an even better year for you than this past.

May the prickles on your holly always stay sharp and your snowman never melt.  See you in the new year!

(separate page)

Announcing a new wildlife photography award

 

Launching in 2009, the British Wildlife Photography Awards, a brand new photography competition aims to highlight the diversity of the wildlife in Britain’s environment.

Working from an initial design by Weedoo.tv and information supplied by photographic curator Maggie Gowan, BridgingUnit has provided a site providing detail about the competition and how to enter which also enables visitors to sign up to be reminded when entry submissions can be first sent in. Using ExpressionEngine allowed us to develop the site very rapidly and phase two should follow early next year.

(separate page)

From bricks to clicks in Bath

 

A basic website showcasing the work and services for a building and renovation company based in Bath. After providing advice on alternative methods of producing the site, BridgingUnit toook a design by Weedoo.tv, modified it and then coded it up so that it could be integrated into the content management system (ExpressionEngine) that the client Bath City Renovations had wisely chosen in order to enable them to manage day to day updates to the site themselves.

(separate page)

They grow brands

 

Rawww are a small creative agency with big experience. From their base in Coventry they reach out and touch people worldwide. They have just relaunched their own website to better describe what they do and showcase their fine work. Rawww provided the design, direction, images and animation and BridgingUnit has made it all work using things like sIFR and MooTools to add the required individuality and slickness, and even getting hands dirty customising and theming Wordpress for their new blog.

BridgingUnit has enjoyed working with Rawww on various projects over the last year and is very pleased to have been able to help them out with their own website.

(separate page)

Four centuries and five continents

 

Coats has been involved in the manufacture and sales of thread and needlecraft products since 1730 and are truly a worldwide company. BridgingUnit did a little development work on their history section, which was designed by Non-centered design

(separate page)

Mechanical reproduction - bringing the old to the new

 

Old Master print dealer Christopher Mendez is an acknowledged expert in his field. Based in London, he wanted to be able to reach out to clients around the country and the world to show his regularly changing stock - a project perfect for the internet.

BridgingUnit has designed a site that elegantly complements his existing style and which is simple, clean and doesn’t overwhelm what is most important - the print itself. He can manage all the content of the site himself through the easy interface that ExpressionEngine provides, adding items piecemeal as and when they become available so that he can rotate his stock every 3 or 4 months. He also manages his own mailing list which enables him to keep in touch with his clientele and provide them with news of latest acquisitions and so on.

It has been a particular pleasure to work on a project which involves so much visual beauty and where the subject matter itself is the result of such dedicated craftsmanship.

(separate page)

Release of new ExpressionEngine plugin

 

ExpressionEngine is a powerful and flexible content management system that BridgingUnit loves to use on project builds. One of the great things about it is that you can extend its functionality when there’s something you need to do that it doesn’t yet do itself. On a forthcoming project we hit just such a moment and delved into the world of its add-on architecture.

And the result is a new plugin - BU Search Pagination - which was built to provide more granular control over the display of the pagination links for search results provided by ExpressionEngine’s search module. It’s a small thing, but it’s these small things that make a difference. Once we’d got it doing the things that were needed right away, ideas for further features occurred to us and so we’ve started adding them in too.

You can find the plugin now, publicly available to download for free from the dedicated page we’ve added to this site and it’s also documented in the ExpressionEngine forums where we’ll try to respond to any queries that crop up.

(separate page)

Eyecatching, powerful and vibrant graphics

 

Signs Unlimited rebranded themselves and needed a redesigned site which was consistent with the new identity that was provided by Take Two Ltd. They came to BridgingUnit to get the job done.

BridgingUnit worked in close collaboration with Ellen de Vries who after an initial workshop planned the site’s information architecture, provided wireframes and a content specification which formed the foundation on which the new site was designed. BridgingUnit designed and developed the site, integrating it into the ExpressionEngine content management system so that updates and amendments could be more easily made by the client in a controlled fashion when the need arises. Ellen and her proof reader Roshnii Rose also provided help on the copywriting to make sure that everything flowed a bit more fluently.

(separate page)

Updated galleries for photographer

 

Jennie Hart is a superb professional photographer who has worked with people like The National Trust, Mencap and Visit Britain and is linked to various image libraries where you can license her work, but who is also pleased to work one to one with the public doing what she’s best at: capturing moments of their lives. She’s a people person and people are her favourite subject too.

BridgingUnit provided the know-how to update and expand an earlier flash-based photo gallery (originally designed by Luke Woodcock, redesigned by Chris Hart). The gallery is now also linked to a set of Slideshow Pro-powered slideshows that in turn are updated from her desktop by Jennie via a copy of Lightroom. This allows her to organise and share her images with her clients the way she needs.

Go and have a look at Jennie’s pictures now.

(separate page)

Autumn newsletter for JustDifferent

 

The autumn print newsletter for JustDifferent highlights their work with PACSO and the ACE Centre and welcomes on board 2 new workshop presenters. Topically it also features background on the Paralympic Games and feedback on their workshops from teachers and children alike. As usual, the newsletter was produced on behalf of Dharmafly and in partnership with Ellen de Vries.

(separate page)

Helping bring change to the changemakers

 

JustMeans is a social network for people who want to encourage change - they provide a focus for those who care about making the world a better place and a place where companies already engaged in that can increase their visibility.

BridingUnit was bought on board to help provide design expertise and the key task was redesigning the look and feel for a reinvigorated homepage that appealed to their young and engaged audience of professional people in their twenties and thirties. This new homepage was to foreground the activities occurring within the network and encourage people to participate further. The basic paradigm behind the new interface is similar to that of a lifestream or river of news.

Liaising with various stakeholders within the organisation and led by the twin guiding lights of Madhava Bailey, their Director of online strategy, and Danny Hope of Hobo Internet who bought his interaction design experience to the table, BridgingUnit provided a clean, new design that evolved out of the old one but moved towards something much more organised, consistent and attractively simple. JustMeans has since taken on a new designer to their own staff who has taken the design and made it his own.

(separate page)

Planning the site of a bespoke signs maker

 

Signs Unlimited is the new trading name for Signs 4 You, a company that specialises in the manufacture of bespoke signage and display materials. BridgingUnit has been working in partnership with Ellen Devries who has been providing copywriting expertise and working with the client to perfect the information architecture of their new site prior to its design and build. In the meantime a temporary placeholder page has been added to provide basic business information, whilst eschewing the unhelpful ‘under construction’ signs that are still so prevalent.

(separate page)

A new site for a dealer in old master prints

 

Christopher Mendez is a London-based art dealer that specialises in old master prints - etchings, engravings and woodcuts. BridgingUnit is currently helping prepare him to move his catalogue online and take advantage of the international reach and ease of access of the internet.

(separate page)

Promoting technology for teaching and learning

 

BridgingUnit has been helping plan a redesign for the website of a man whose enthusiasm and passion are infectious and who is an expert in the field of IT and education.

(separate page)

A new face for a charities’ charity

 

Oxford Hub is a charity that has evolved out of Oxford University and links students up with news, events, resources, and opportunities to donate their times and energies to the third sector.

Dharmafly was called in to redesign their Drupal based site and turned to BridgingUnit to provide the new look and code for reintegration with the CMS by Ben Scott. Branding and styleguide had previously been produced by Scamper and Dharmafly had commissioned a usability report reviewing the old site and highlighting the work that needed doing. After assimilating these references and further information from the client a design was produced that went through a round of revisions to produce a reinvigorated look and feel for the site and provide much clearer navigation. The code itself was developed to provide a solid XHTML and CSS foundation from which useful Microformats could be extracted. JQuery was used to provide the gloss and interactive dynamism.

OxfordHub is just the start. BristolHub, CambridgeHub and SouthamptonHub are all due to launch in October following the same pattern.

(separate page)

Adding a catalogue of medieval art

 

Marc du Ry is a dealer that specialises in medieval art. He decided that it was time to add a copy of his latest catalogue to his site and expand things to show more of his recent sales. Go and have a read of his essay titled ‘Line’, look at the pictures of the beautiful and rare pieces that illustrate it and see his recent sales.

(separate page)

Help planning a redesign

 

BridgingUnit has been providing ongoing technical expertise and advice regarding such matters as accessibility, display of company registration details, terms and conditions to Norwich Cathedral prior to their commissioning a redesign for their site from a local company.

(separate page)

A showcase site for a builder in Bath

 

In association with weedoo.tv, and using ExpressionEngine as its CMS, BridgingUnit has been putting together a new site for a Bath-based company that specialises in building and renovation.

(separate page)

Making batter better

 

A playful microsite was designed by Rawww to promote a batter mix made with wholesome natural ingredients. On their behalf BridgingUnit took the design and made it happen - coding it all up and hooking the subscribe form up to the campaign’s third party mailing list management software. Go and sign up for your free sample.

(separate page)

Printed newsletter for charity Just Different

 

Just Different‘s first newsletter was a resounding success and a regular mailout now looks set to be a core part of their marketing strategy. Dharmafly commissioned BridgingUnit to follow on from the visual vocabulary developed for the first newsletter and to make it even more appealing to kids. So, working with Ellen Devries who provided copywriting expertise to tweak the raw copy provided by the client, we made everything stand out even more so that it was more vibrant and exciting, but without sacrificing the core look and feel which has been evolving for their brand. Post House Printing did the printing and delivered the finished leaflets on time to a very satisfied customer.

(separate page)

Website portfolio for a photographer

 

Russell Bell, a photographer in Brighton and the south east needed a portfolio to showcase his varied photographic talents. BridgingUnit produced a slick Flash and SWX driven website with lots of elegant transitions to display his photos which are pulled in from Flickr. Russell was also helped out with advice on using the social networks MySpace and Facebook so that he could get out there and promote himself.

(separate page)

Website resurrection for Destination Film

 

Destination Film specialises in making attractive promotional videos for websites of clients in the hospitality and tourist business. Bristol-based Andrew McClenaghan has 20 years experience filming for people like the BBC, Sky and National Geographic so all his work is broadcast standard and very professionally finished. Unfortunately things went awry with the company that designed and hosted his website and it vanished from the web. BridgingUnit bought it back to life and is hoping to help in its redesign and expansion later in the year.

(separate page)

Help for new venture who help people looking for help

 

Working in collaboration with John Batho of CPi Projects and Tony Brett of True Technical, I am excited to be taking over the front-end maintenance and development of new start-up People Shop from Oliver Bettany of Twist Internet. People Shop is a new venture planning to tap into the extensive resource of people with skills and and spare time. The idea is to hook up people looking to pay for help with people able to provide it. People Shop acts as a broker between the two parties.

(separate page)

New site for bed and breakfast near Hereford

 

Pool House is a beautiful black and white house which provides bed and breakfast near Hereford in the village of Sutton St. Nicholas. It is run by a friendly couple that used to manage a Hotel in the Lake District. The old site needed a fresh lick of paint and a little bit of work to help it more in search engines. Its old domain name did it no favours so a new one much better suited to its niche was procured and the small site was redesigned to be more attractive and to provide increased information and detail. So if you’re visiting and ever need a bed and breakfast in Herefordshire, you’d find it hard to find a more warm and hospitable welcome than that provided by Ian and Annette Mansie at Pool House.

(separate page)

HTML email marketing campaign templates for travel brand

 

BridgingUnit has been working with communication agency Rawww to help them deliver html email marketing campaigns for a well known online travel brand.

(separate page)

Online showroom for London art and design workshops

 

Christopher and Nicola Cox run a set of workshops that gather together a group of skilled craftspeople and provide access to a wide range of facilities and processes for the manufacture (in the old sense - by hand) and restoration of furniture, lighting and artworks. They see themselves as working in the Arts and Crafts tradition of collective applied craftsmanship. They are growing, have recently moved to larger, better equiped premises and want to promote themselves, so BridgingUnit is currently working with them to plan the design of their forthcoming website. In the meantime an informative placeholder has been added to their webspace and we’ve also suggested their new name - Cox Workshops.

(separate page)

Design of newsletter for charity JustDifferent

 

JustDifferent wanted to produce a printed newsletter to be sent out to schools highlighting the work that they do promoting understanding about living with disability. They had put together a rough outline of what they wanted, so Dharmafly asked BridgingUnit to take it and bring the design in line with the previously produced brochure and website - aligning it with the evolving brand. So this is what we did. And now there’s a clean, bright, simply organised, and easily understood newsletter shortly to be winging its way to schools around the South East.

(separate page)

Small Flash countdown animation

 

Non-centered design needed a bit of Flash customising for a project which required the timing of tasks. We took a digital clock built in Flash and adapted it so that it could be used as a timer, counting down from 20 minutes to zero.

(separate page)

A Merry Christmas to you all

 

BridgingUnit and all of our partners would like to wish you a very happy christmas. We hope your stockings are filled and that your goose is fat. 2007 has been a very busy year for us here: we’ve learnt lots, there have been many new challenges and exciting projects, and lots of new friendships have been forged. We hope it’s been as good to you. Thank you to all our clients, colleagues and friends past, present and future. We hope that 2008 will find you happy, healthy and prosperous.

(separate page)

A flexible calling card for The Dispensary

 

The Dispensary required a neat little card - the size of a business card - to be used as a mini-brochure or that could be used blank as a mini-menu for special offers and the like. They provided the prototype, we produced the PDF for the printer, everyone’s happy.

(separate page)

Norwich Cathedral’s online shop now has a golden padlock

 

Norwich Cathedral had an online shop built for them over 4 years ago. The golden padlock and the crucial ‘s’ in the ‘https’ are symbols of trust and hallmarks of security for ecommerce. Whenever consumer associations tell you about the signs to look for that the online shop you’re planning to buy from is kosher - these are always the key things you’re told to look for even though the site may actually be secure without them if it has other encryption measures in place. And various studies suggest that without them you stand to lose between 5 and 20% of your sales. Aside from these signs, you can also add a trust mark to your site - these are branded links to the authorities issuing security certificates that establish that they really did issue it to you. And, according to Verisign, adding one of these should reassure the 70-80% of UK online shoppers who either only make purchases from sites displaying them or who would bail out of the purchase process if they didn’t see one. These measures are obviously very important commercially when this year ecommerce in the UK stands to reach £40 billion and the general public is ever more acutely aware of and concerned by credit card fraud and identity theft. With their host Mainline installing the SSL and security certificate and BridgingUnit integrating it all into their shopping cart software, sales at the Cathedral’s shop can now hope to benefit from the sense of safety and security these signals provide.

(separate page)

Up to date web presence for engineering company

 

Kiloheat, a company that specialises in the sale of fans, has been in dire need of a new website for a long time now and at last the time is drawing near. In the meantime the site has at least been brought up to date so their product range is correct and their contact details current. People who are at home in the internet forget that there are many companies out there who are still behind the curve and whose communication, marketing and sales strategies are decades old. As web designers,  the benefit of a client like this is that you can be certain that the work you do is going to help and that they will be pleased. The challenge of course is bridging that knowledge gap.

(separate page)

Boutique townhouse bed and breakfast in Norwich

 

Design of a straightforward website for 38 St Giles, a new bed and breakfast in Norwich that’s neither a hotel nor just a traditional b & b, but something much more special and personal. Run by Jan and William Cheeseman, who also own 2 fine delicatessens in Norwich, the rooms in this beautiful georgian building have been designed with a contemporary and luxurious feel that provide the comfort and style more often found in boutique hotels. The site’s design evolved as an extension to their logo (by Coco) and the flyer they’d produced for local marketing (by Kettle of Fish Design)

(separate page)

Updating the site of charity Gemin-i

 

Less of a redesign than a realign. In fact, not even that - more of a spring clean and organic expansion. Gemin-i, a UK charity that specialises in web technology that brings people together, needed to bring their site up to date with their changed priorities - highlighting the educational products they’ve built and adjusting their content. For the new pages we needed to add, the design evolved from their current design, using it as a base. Simple, straight forward and done.

(separate page)

Updated brochure for charity JustDifferent

 

A revised brochure was designed for JustDifferent so that they could show teachers how they can help school kids learn about disability. Their new logo and improved copy needed to be included in this 2nd edition, so the design was modified accordingly. Work was produced on behalf of Dharmafly.

(separate page)

Showreel and slideshow for arts organisation

 

A smaller project this: in association with non-centered design, production of a showreel for Measure so they can interest potential investors and sponsors in what they’re doing. Also a simple slideshow for their home page to give visitors a flavour of what they’re about.

(separate page)

New website launched for independent curator

 

Designed and developed a website on behalf of Weedoo.tv for Maggie Gowan an independent curator and exhibition organiser who specialises in dealing with photography of the natural world. Her latest exhibition: Exposed: Climate Change in Britain’s Backyard, which was produced for the National Trust in association with Magnum Photos, has won a Clarion Award with the IVCA (International Visual Communications Association) for its unique contribution to both business and society, and the new site was launched just in time to make the most of it. You can see more detail of the exhibition here at her site.

(separate page)

Bristol motion graphic design company gets a makeover

 

weedoo.tv, a motion graphic design company that BridgingUnit has been doing some work for recently is planning a redesign. In the meantime, we’ve put together a simple holding page for them that takes advantage of some of their brilliant past work.

(separate page)

Simple good-looking websites. By BridgingUnit.

 

Here before you now, the first tentative steps towards a new website to showcase and promote the services of web designer Aidann Bowley and associates. I couldn’t wait any longer, so here’s a beginning. More is on its way with, hopefully, answers to all your questions and, of course, examples and more detailed information about what’s available….

(separate page)

London gastropub gets a website

 

The Dispensary, a relaxed, smart gastropub with its own restaurant and private dining room, featured in The Independent’s Posh Nosh food guide this month, which it bills as ’ A Guide to the UK’s Premier Restaurants’. Now chef patron Dave Cambridge and co-owner Annie Smith also have their own website to give people a feel for the place and a peak at sample menus. The design is a simple and elegant affair that evolved from both the aesthetics of the interior design at The Dispensary and also from the work that Angela Gilham had already done on their logo and stationary.

(separate page)

website for a child and family psychotherapist

 

Development of a straight forward website outlining the services of Helen Watkins, a child and family psychotherapist based near Chippenham in the south west in Wiltshire. Designed by Chris Hart at Weedoo.tv.

(separate page)

website for a photographic consultant and exhibition curator

 

Planning the design of a smart website to profile the work and services of a lady who has a passion for photography and the natural world.

(separate page)

friends social media

 

discussions with an international organisation planning a friends and sponsors-type social networking facility

(separate page)

encouraging schools partnership

 

discussions to build an online system for a national organisation to show teachers how to engage in partnerships with schools abroad and get to grips with issues involved

(separate page)

film sales website

 

development of sales front-end for a dynamic new film distribution company

(separate page)

child and family psychotherapist website

 

discussions with designer over small website for a child and family psychotherapist that works with children in the South West

(separate page)

design for computer specialist

 

Visual design for forthcoming website of a computer expert

(separate page)

goo music management

 

design of website for a manager of a successful band at work on their 2nd album. On behalf of Dharmafly.

(separate page)

Arts project management system

 

development of private system to centralise and organise information to help plan and run arts exhibitions and events for London organisation Measure.

(separate page)

New site on its way

 

Working hard on a new expanded business site (this one) that better reflects what services are available and has room for things to be developed further as it’s all run of a slick and easy to use content management system. What you’ll see: more case studies, more information, better and more regular updates about what’s going on… and that’s just for starters.

(separate page)

brochure for teachers

 

My first print job complete - a redesigned brochure for the new charity JustDifferent. Produced on behalf of Dharmafly.

(separate page)

website for boutique b and b

 

ongoing development of a small website for a smart boutique bed and breakfast in Norwich

(separate page)

website for a pub

 

design and development of a small website for an elegant London pub that does delicious fresh food in a beautiful listed building. Also made a set of Word-friendly templates to make it easy to keep menus up to date.

(separate page)

learning about disability

 

Design of website and brochure for a young charity that sheds light on living with disability, produced on behalf of Dharmafly. See the fully coded site for JustDifferent here

(separate page)

planning arts event site

 

discussions to design website for an arts organisation’s annual festival

(separate page)