zuLIVE

zuLive is home to musings from the zuCrew, photos, and generally anything that interests us. Don’t expect anything too polished, this is where we let it all out.

The UX Bar is Rising

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Creating an amazing user experience (UX) is something we’re deeply passionate about. Not too long ago, we had the distinct privilege of redesigning and developing the City of Saskatoon’s website. More recently, we built the new economic dashboard for the Ministry of Economy. When your digital project is inviting, simple to use and provides an exceptional UX, it delights your customer - and that is good for business!

Clients often approach their own website and digital requirements with a degree of scepticism. Not realizing a website is more than a marketing tool, at first glance, it may appear visually and functionally acceptable. But after a better understanding of the digital landscape, you’ll soon realize that you may be falling short of what your customers expects. Because your

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Leveraging technology in First Nations communities


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From talking with my friends who work in First Nations communities, it’s clear there is a building interest in better leveraging technology to engage members and deliver better services. By using technology, communities can connect with each other, other communities and access outside services to support their community. Technology can mean a lot of things - from printers to websites to software. There are simply too many technology trends to address in one blog post, but I have selected a few progressing digital technologies that seem to always come up in client meetings.

Before I start, I need to state that we’re not a typical software design firm at zu. Yes we have developers and consultants, but we are much more heavily rooted in the user experience than the average technology

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That moment when you realize your website is much more than a marketing project

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To kick off the new year, we held a cleaning bee around the office. Just like everywhere, a lot of junk had been accumulating under my desk. Original iPod mini? Check. The ever unpopular U-Force controller for Nintendo? Check. As we looked through boxes, I stumbled upon some dusty notes that I had taken from projects that we started a decade ago.

It’s a bit like going through old pictures to see how process and design trends have changed over the years, but the biggest difference to me was how one dimensional websites were back then. At the time, websites were the ultimate bolt-on marketing tool. They were a place that held all of your content and PDFs in a maze of information. Most of them were built primarily for lead generation, awareness, hours, service, product overviews and the

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Fight User Disillusionment! Designing for Performance

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Do you ever find yourself searching for information on your phone, loading the first interesting google result only to get impatient and hit the back button for the next result? And perhaps you find yourself repeating this process over and over until your ravenous information appetite is finally satiated?

Can I get a show of hands?

The truth is this is a common situation. It’s known that ‘people will visit a web site less often if it is slower than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds’. But really, how quick is that you ask?…well it’s quicker than the blink of an eye. A blink takes a whopping 400ms. Although my mind has a hard time comprehending that, I know I notice it. And so do you.

I feel a twinge of pain when I check out an old website I designed and worked on for

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Web Animation and zu (and you)

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One of the perks of working at zu is the encouragement that employees receive to enroll in training courses to improve their skillset. In mid-July 2016, some members of the zuKeepers team took part in the pre-release of Rachel Nabors’ Web Animation Essentials: CSS Animations and Transitions course. Our team had past experience with web animation, utilizing javascript libraries like GSAP and jQuery (our team’s preference is GSAP), but had little experience when it came to CSS-based animations, which is what this course focused on.

Rachel Nabors is an American cartoonist and web animation expert who shares her skills at various conferences around the world. She is known for her comic Rachel the Great, which features the daily life of her alter-ego and her cat sidekick Tuna P. Katz, the

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