Responsive Design

We create sites for universities and mission driven orgs, but we still love to get in on the ground floor with exploratory ventures. It’s in this spirit that we’re excited to announce our work with a University of California at Berkeley (UCB)-related civic software project called AppCivist, which leverages expertise from senior design, UX and development team members Rob Loach and Thiago de Mello Bueno. The new app seeks to help citizens dig into local issues that affect them, and then propose and collaborate on solutions.

UX Conference Round-up

Crispin Bailey

Every year I try to attend as many industry conferences as possible, but over the years I’ve become more selective about which ones I go to. I find them to be incredibly valuable and insightful, but they also cost money and take time, so I grade them pretty hard. This year I had the pleasure of attending several UX-focused conferences. Each was great in different ways, and I came away leaving inspired each time, and wanting to share some of the lessons I learned, so I wrote this blog post.

Mother Jones is a politically progressive American magazine reporting on politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. The magazine tapped Kalamuna to increase their social media presence by adopting the new Facebook Instant Articles standard, which delivers incredibly fast and immersive reading experiences for people on Facebook, making mobile browsing quick and easy. In fact, Facebook Instant Articles:

This year we were happy to have six team members offering sessions at the Bay Area Drupal Camp in Berkeley, California. From topics ranging from the business of running an agency to actually making the Internet, we had a ton to share. Click to see videos of all of our sessions.
“Jimmy’s mom lets him have full-width background images. You’re THE WORST.”

Sometimes Drupal feels like an overbearing mother who won’t let us out of the house wearing ripped jeans and that fake nose ring. Just like every well-meaning parent, Drupal does a good job of managing our content, but when it comes to doing what the cool kids are doing it can sometimes be a struggle. Such is the case when we want to use full-width background images. In this article, I show you how to create them in Drupal— and empower users to manage them— so you can join the nose-ringed rebels.

Kalatheme to the Rescue!

Katy Pool

The Mountain Resource Group approached Kalamuna with a broken and hacked Drupal 5 website in desperate need of repair. After assessing the site, we decided to rebuild it in Drupal 7. Within two weeks and without a design budget, we used Kalatheme + Wrapbootstrap to make a great looking, responsive website.

In two short weeks, we went from this:

To this:

For immediate release
April 1, 2014
kalamuna.com

Kalamuna unveils bold, unparalleled new design

After years of internal re-branding exercises, Kalamuna has finally come to a consensus of how best to visually express itself to potential clients and employees.

“We wanted something really modern and sophisticated, yet wanted to shy away from the bland, stale presentation of everyone else out there. That’s why we went this direction,” said co-founder Mike Pirog.

The daunting project took hundreds of man hours of consultation to actualize.

Power to the People

Mike Pirog

As Drupal continues to become more complex and hyperspecialization produces significant gains in efficiency we need to ask ourselves: are we leaving people behind?

While it's true remarkable technologies like Vagrant, SASS/COMPASS, Drush, et al. have enabled professional services companies and experienced freelancers to provide higher quality goods at lower prices, it's equally true that in doing so we've erected even more daunting barriers to the newcomers and novices that are Drupal's current lifeblood and, ultimately, its future.

Lookin' good in the neighborbood

Mike Pirog

This is a tale of empowerment. I promise. But first...

Am I the only one that is perpetually frustrated by the tradeoff between functionality and beauty that seems ubiquitous in the Drupal.org hellscape? Why is it that modules so often rife with visual promise and loud verbage end up being naught but vaporware? Why is it that the most powerful and useful tools lack any meaningful documentation and/or look like someone threw up all over themselves?

My last post focused on the Information Architecture phase and our method for establishing the client goals, website metaphor and site elements through investigation and science(!!!).  It is with this information that we will construct the website wireframes for the client's review.  If you are unfamiliar with wireframes, they can be generally described as stripped-down "sketches" of what the site will look like before beginning the more formal design and development phases.

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