We got asked by .net magazine (yes folks that’s a real, physical media, tree pulp format mag) to take part in their makeover feature and bagged a double-page spread, reworking the ash.org.uk website for the lobbying body ASH which like some of the elder statesmen of Kyan, is celebrating 40 years in existence.
Ollie K set to work and put a cracking mockup together. To check it out, go old skool and buy the mag or download the iPad ver for your digital pleasure.
After a hard week pushing pixels, bunking off early on a Friday always feels good. Especially when you’re heading off to spend the weekend in a log cabin in Wales, exploring the valleys by foot and by bike.
Last Friday, 6 members of the team +1 ex-member, downed tools early, loaded up cars with supplies and bikes and hit the M4. A few bottles of badger beer later, the Severn Bridge had been crossed and we had arrived in the Land of the Dragon.
What’s better than a new iPad 2? An iPad cake made of fudge of course.
Happy Birthday to Lee here at Kyan! No prizes for guessing his age.
Now that election fever is over, it’s time to prepare for the football madness that’s about to hit the country.
With our friends at Wildfire PR, we launched a fun and football-mad site on Friday. Re-create a classic footie cup moment with your iPhone or Flip, upload it and you could win a spankin’ large telly, Humax Digibox and some beer vouchers to help get everyone in the mood.
Congratulations to Louise@Shoobs for being shortlisted for the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Awards. A lot of blood and sweat (and almost tears) went into getting Shoobs live, all driven forward by the unflappable Louise.
Recently an admirer from afar, Morocco in fact, got in touch for an interview to publish on their website cssbit.com. We thought it was worth posting the interview here in full english.
Incidently if you have a question you’d like us to answer feel free to get in touch at email@example.com.
Quantum Cooling provide a range of equipment and services for the drinks dispense, refrigeration and air conditioning industries. They needed an appealing new site to explain their range of products/services to potential customers. Penguins would be a bonus!
We’ve built Quantum a bespoke content management system (CMS) to allow them to keep the site content fresh and relevant without them having to come back to us to make updates on their behalf. Whether it’s managing their product portfolio, writing news posts or adding happy stories about their clients, they can do it themsleves without the need for any web programming skills — it’s a cinch!
The new site is clearly laid out with a simple navigation system, a heavy dose of white space and allows Quantum’s unique service philosophy to shine through. Oh yes, and did I mention it’s got penguins?
I stumbled across a really interesting idea at Dear Jane Sample, for anyone interested in marketing and the power of brand; documenting your daily interaction with brands via a timeline.
I was so intrigued I decided to give it a go. You can see the results below. I stuck with the brands that were bubbling at the fore-front of my consciousness so it’s not a completely inclusive list and my online life has been kept stripped down. However an interesting exercise!
A new site has appeared on the wonderful inter-tubes, brought to us by a web design firm in Minnesota – Rocket 55 – that looks remarkably similar to ours. As designers we all stand on the shoulders of giants, borrowing ideas and concepts, using the same typefaces, colour palettes and some may say that nothing is truly original but there is a line that can be crossed where an idea is no longer reworked but just plain stolen.
I’m pretty sure that this is one of those cases. Without knowing the full facts of the story, the company may not be entirely to blame. They may have sub-contracted the design work to a third party and be completetly unaware of the blatant rip off, but ultimately they are responsible and this doesn’t go un-recognised amongst the community.
What do you think? Genuine synchronicity or steal?
ps. Thanks to everyone who made us aware of this!
The vindaloo has a special place in the hearts, bellies and minds of us Brits even though it’s origins lie much further afield. It’s historical basis comes to us originally from the Portugese, who fuelled their empire building with casks filled with pork and preserved in vinegar and garlic. “vinha d’alhos” is portugese for garlic wine and has no link to the hindi aloo (potato) that often (mistakenly) gets added.
The Portugese hit Goa’s shores in the early 16th century and it was then that the local indian population added their spices into the mix. The deep redolent flavours of the dish that comes with the fenugreek, cloves and garlic, set-off against the sourness of tamarind pulp & vinegar, enhanced with a knock-out hit of chilli makes it a favourite dish of mine. It is not the machismo of the heat that makes it so special but the mixing of two different continents approach to cuisine – an original culinery mashup that still works four centuries later that makes it a cultural and gastronomic heavyweight.
Vindaloo is more than a dish. Vindaloo is more than macho posturing after the pub. Vindaloo is more than a football chant. Vindaloo is the poster boy of multi-culturalism, it is what it is to be British today, with roots in imperialism & empire, a history of assimilation and adaption, a melting pot of ingredients and techniques.
This post documents my investigations into the ultimate vindaloo recipe. This is v0.1 in that journey.
â€¢ Red onions x 4
â€¢ Garlic (4 cloves)
â€¢ Ginger (5cm piece)
â€¢ Kashmiri chillis x 3
â€¢ Turmeric (2 tsp)
â€¢ Cardamon (8 pods)
â€¢ Cumin seeds ground (1 tsp)
â€¢ Coriander seeds ground (1 tsp)
â€¢ Mustard seeds (2 tsp)
â€¢ Cloves (8 cloves)
â€¢ Black peppercorns ground (1 tsp)
â€¢ Fenugreek (1 tsp)
â€¢ Red wine vinegar (half a cup)
â€¢ Tom puree (big squirt)
â€¢ Soft brown sugar (2 tsp)
â€¢ Red onion x 1
â€¢ Chicken breasts x 8
â€¢ Vegetable oil
â€¢ Coriander bunch
â€¢ Cup of water
I threw the red onions in the oven with their skins on and roasted for about an hour. Peeled off the rough outer layers and put in a blender with all the other sauce ingredients and blended to a chunky gravy consistency.
Chopped the chicken and spooned over a couple of spoons of the sauce and mix and left to marinate in the fridge overnight.
Finely chopped the red onion and softly fried in a large frying pan with the vegetable oil, added the chicken and cooked until sealed. Added the rest of the sauce and slow cooked with the lid on for an hour.
The verdict: Good, although I think the ginger overplayed its hand and it was a little too sweet. Perhaps needed some more garlic. The heat level was spot on, hot without any
discomfort. I couldn’t find any tamarind in time so missed out on some of the sourness and this probably added to the sweetness.
Next time to use tamarind and find some ghee to replace the vegetable oil.
We decided to have a little fun now that summer is over, combining some design yumminess and behavioural goodness.
See if you are up to the challenge! Can you find the indomitable and mighty web geek PROFESSOR WAKE on our website. He’s hiding there somewhere…
A little clue: quae deorsum sunt quaerite
Google Analytics rocks! I could spend hours/days/weeks sniffing about the statistical minutiae that Google Analytics serves up. Three users from X visited my site last week and each spent Y minutes on landingpage Z having been referred there by using the search term Z – amazing but probably not that useful.
If there is one metric you should look at, check out the bounce rate, the ‘I came, I puked, I left’ metric as so lucidly explained by Avinash Kaushik – check out the video presentation.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one to suffer from a condition that appears to be affecting my general perception of reality; a condition akin to one of the super-mutants in ‘Heroes’ slowly becoming aware of their latent powers.
Increasingly spending up to 12 hours a day interacting with software over a 20 year period is finally coming to a head as my virtual capabilities begin to bleed through to that other ‘hinterland’ of reality – meatspace (or as any flesh-jock may short-sightedly call it, the real world’).
This brave new world beckons and I’m ready to jump in.
I guess it started out with the familiar pattern of applying the celebrated shortcut CNTRL-Z (undo). Whilst working in Photoshop, I would try something out, not like it, undo and try again, repeating this pattern until I was satisfied. This would often mean hundreds of ‘undoes’ an hour, thousands over a week and millions over a number of years. This alchemical ability to ‘juggle the forms of everyday life’ with no consequence has begun to bleed through to the ‘real world’. I drop a pen, a synaptic neuron fires a CNTRL-Z event and my pen is expected to instantaneously appear back in my hand. A rosy apple in the fruit bowl shines attractively and a CNTRL-X event is fired. My car keys have moved from where I carefully placed them this morning, a search event activates.
‘Static’ objects glint, offering hidden interfaces and occult geometries of interaction. My dirty dinner plate almost reveals the ‘re-format’ button and the page corners of my magazine quiver in anticipation of auto-curl. A true convergence is happening and I can’t wait.
A challenge was made, a date set and geeks rallied.
Lifting the trophy aloft, it was remarked at how similar it looked to a bowling pin; fortunately not one of the dazed’n’confused staff had reported any missing. Two close games, the second only won by 7 points left Kyan the winner on this occassion. Special mention should go to Steven ‘Rocketman’ Thompson whose genuine loathing for bowling pins meant that not only did he get the top score but also managed to upset the ‘magic’ bowling robot so much that a ‘tek’ was required to fix our lane.
Paul taking out his own ankle with a ball
Laurent coming second last
Phil wondering how may pins in ten-pin bowling
Stevie T’s top speed of 24mph
Thanks to all at Computer Strategies, especially Tony for organising and sourcing the prices.