News | 21 October 2020

Quarterly update – Autumn has arrived

Over the last several weeks, we’ve started to see a shift in the world around us: the leaves have started falling, going outside in just a t-shirt is no longer the best of ideas, schools have started again. It can only mean one thing: Autumn is here! For us, that means it’s time for another Quarterly Update blog to update you on what we’ve been up to since July, when we released our last one.

Logos of the clients appearing in the blog

As usual, we’ve kept ourselves nice and busy. To get an idea of what projects we’ve been working on, which clients we’ve been working with, and what blogs we’ve released (in case you missed them), read on!

We’re hiring!

Most excitingly this quarter, we have started recruiting for three positions: an experienced PHP & JavaScript developer with a focus on WordPress, an applied mathematician, and an applied cognitive scientist. At the time of publication, all of these positions are still open for applications. We’ve loved hearing from all of the candidates and look forward to welcoming three exciting new members to our team.

New customer portal for the British Ecological Society

This quarter we’ve been working with Bluelight CRM on a new customer portal for the British Ecological Society. Even though we were employed independently by BES, we’ve worked very closely with them on this project and have really enjoyed the collaboration. The platform we’ve created gives BES the flexibility to respond more quickly to changes to their customer portal in future and allows for future development of their member platform.

New booking processes for PR Academy

Towards the end of June, we developed and launched new booking processes for PR Academy. These allow for easier lead generation and a slicker enrolment process. Our work has had a really positive impact for them and it even got a special mention from Ann Pilkington, their director:

“We have had an amazing enrolment this autumn – really good numbers and the website has held up really well and I think a lot of the boost in numbers is definitely down to all the work we have done on the website and integration with Active Campaign etc. Thank you!”

Introducing new content architecture for Rickshaw Travel

Times have not been easy for our long standing client, travel company Rickshaw Travel. It might seem like strange timing to be creating a completely new content architecture for them right now, but this project should place Rickshaw in a very strong SEO position when travel picks back up. We also got to work with Sarah on this project as she did some UX reworking.

We hope things turn around for Rickshaw and our other travel based client, Projects Abroad, soon and wish them all the best in the meantime.

Updated BOOM! Credit Union’s application form

We’ve made significant updates to Boom! Credit Union’s application form to improve usability across different devices. A key feature of this has been making the form dynamic so it only asks the necessary questions when you complete it. We have also updated the underwriting components to reflect Boom!’s latest best practices and added additional reporting to the admin console.

Labs projects

As always, we love taking the time to work on our own projects, individually or in small teams. You can read more about what our Labs projects entail on our dedicated site. Below, we’ve highlighted the ones we’ve worked on during this quarter:

Timestamper VScode Extension – This is a simple extension aimed at developers, built by David H. It allows you to insert a current UNIX timestamp anywhere in VSCode. It’s particularly useful for us as we often need to update the timestamps in ACF (a WordPress plugin) JSON files and it saves us the trouble of finding the current timestamp online. It’s currently got nearly 400 downloads so hopefully other developers are finding it useful too. Available for download in the Visual Studio Marketplace.

Treasure Dash – A turn-based game in which the first player to dig up the treasure wins, also developed by David H.

ProGBarZ – Create task lists with associated progress bars, developed by Cristiano. Available on GitHub.

Recent blogs and presentations

We’ve also been keeping ourselves busy with lots of blogs posted. In case you missed them on our Facebook, Twitter, or website, here are some of our recent releases:

The benefits of BDD and E2E testing with Cypress – During lockdown, Sam presented the benefits of Behaviour-Driven-Development and End-to-End testing using Cypress. We published the presentation as a YouTube video in August so the rest of the world can learn along with us.

Effective testingBradley covered all aspects of software testing in this presentation, focusing on unexpected inputs, security, developer falsehoods, browser support, and accessibility. The recording of the presentation can be found at the link above.

How to migrate your website to WordPress – Bradley wrote a great guide on how best to move your website from another CMS to WordPress and help you make the most of your new website.

What are the WCAG? – Bradley wrote another guide, but this time about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Give it a read if you are involved in the production, maintenance, or development of websites, but aren’t sure how they might affect your website.

For the moment, that’s all we’ve got. We hope you enjoyed this little update, and we’ll be back with another one early in 2021!