What we do

We love creating design and code that push the boundaries of what the web can do, without leaving anyone behind. To us, this means:

Focus on solving problems that matter

We look for opportunities to solve hard problems, not just push pixels. We like the challenge of taking a complex application workflow and creating an experience that is effortless, beautiful and engaging; or taking an abstract concept and creating the words or visualization that makes it clear and simple. To get there, we ask smart questions and are good listeners. We work with you to uncover the essential priorities that drive your business success and make customers happy. We partner with our clients, working closely and communicating often, and build prototypes in code as early as possible to inform the design conversation and help us iterate quickly to a final product.

Promote access for everyone

Everything we do is focused on making the web accessible to everyone, on any device. It’s a tall order, but we aren’t starry eyed dreamers. We have built a pragmatic design and technical approach that enables our clients to reach the largest possible audience without breaking the bank and that just makes business sense.

We see responsive design as a natural extension of progressive enhancement ideas: things like screen size and density are just new enhancement opportunities. Progressive enhancement is a big name for a simple idea: start with a foundation of lightweight, semantic HTML first, then defensively target advanced CSS and JavaScript features only to capable devices to ensure the broadest compatibility and accessibility. And no, PE is not a lowest-common-denominator approach, it instead allows us to take full advantage of cutting-edge HTML5 and CSS features with the peace of mind that less capable devices won’t be left in the cold. Testing on screen readers and over 70 mobile devices in our test lab ensures that we deliver on our accessibility goals. We even wrote a book on PE with Peachpit Press to spread the word on achivienvg beautiful designs without sacrificing accessibility.

Make it “just work” on every device

The new, mobile-first world is massively complex, with people seamlessly moving between mobile phones, tablets, ebook readers, desktops, and even TVs and gaming devices in their interactions with companies. Customers now expect a seamless experience that “just works” across every device and we’re here to help. We're believers in responsive web design (RWD), an approach that uses a single codebase that adapts the layouts, features, and interactions to take advantage of the unique capabilities and constraints of each device. It’s more than just screen sizes: we carefully craft our every interaction to consider touch, mouse, and keyboard events to make sure each interaction works smoothly on any kind of user input. We built the acclaimed Boston Globe, the first large-scale responsive site, and recently released our South Street responsive framework for others to build on our experience.

Pursue performance every step of the way

Making a responsive site fit on screen is only a small part of the equation. If a site is not as fast as it possibly can be, all the other great design features are moot—users don’t want to wait. We’re obsessed with making code as lean and efficient as possible so it works well on the low powered, bandwidth-constrained mobile world we now live in. We help companies embrace a mobile-first development mindset and help keep things focused by establishing performance budgets, sharing best practices from our experience, and performing regular analysis of sites to keep performance on track.

Share the great ideas to make the web better

Everything we do owes a great debt to those before us. Our code component lab and GitHub repositories give us a place to share ideas and code to push the conversation forward. We actively participate in web standards development for things like responsive images and frequently speak at conferences on the topics we're passionate about. We contributed thousands of hours to the jQuery UI and Mobile projects to help bake best practices into the frameworks people use every day.

Balance quality of work & life

We love working together, and are committed to using our clients’ and our own time well. This means that we typically choose a small number of projects at any one time, so we can collaborate and give the work the time it requires. We enjoy visiting out clients for key workshops and reviews but are generally homebodies, happy and productive collaborating remotely with clients around the world.

We believe in reasonable schedules that allow for proper review and thought. If you‘re a company that needs a consultant who will work on-site in your office for weeks, or frequently expect team members to work nights and weekends, we’re probably not the guys/girls for you.

Want to chat?

If you think these kinds of ideas are important, and you’ve got a project you’d like help with, a responsive site or app that could use an expert review, or a team that might enjoy some training, please get in touch.

And feel free to check out our work, our thoughts on coding and open source resources, or find out more about who we are.