Winter Wondergift – Facebook Page

November 26th, 2012

Leverage Facebook Pages/Apps to create a unique way to engage your social community

Facebook’s custom pages allow for a some fun flexibility leveraging iframe technology and custom API’s for incentivised engagement. There’s a technique called “Reveal Page” or “Reveal Tabs“. This technique requires that a user like the page prior to gaining full access to the app.

I went the PHP route for Facebook’s API through a BlueHost.com hosting account and CheapSSLs for the SSL. As of october 2012 facebook is requiring all linked in content to have an SSL certificate. Both of these offered inexpensive solutions and were relatively easy to setup. It did require contacting both of their support but with live online chat it took only a matter of minutes to configure the ssl.

As a facebook developer (register for free) you can access their libraries and sample codes including the facebook library. Once I had the hosting setup I created a php page which checks to see if the user has liked NextStepU’s facebook page. If they do display the page content if not display the splash page.

I used a simple AJAX registration form so that the page doesn’t have to reload or do a redirect.

The most fun aspect of the project was the illustration and leveraging fancy javascript for snow.

At NextStepU, we started with a super simple sketch while brainstorming. We mapped out the content we wanted to use then did some quick doodling which got us onto the idea of using some ice burgs, penguins and an adorable narwhal. We added some fun little stylistic flairs and just had fun.

It’s not very often that you get to use fancy javascript code like snow falling. Seldom are flashy javascript techniques appropriate, so it was nice to use some fun snow falling for a change.

See The Facebook Page

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BuyDelay

November 10th, 2012

I created a web application that would help users develop wiser purchasing habits.

The idea was simple, Allow users to add items that they want to buy and set a delay date which will give them more time to think through the purchase. The additional time will help reduce impulsive purchases by challenging the user to wait until the end of the delay period before making a purchase.

BuyDelay on iPhones

Mobile Power

Sometimes walking out of the store is half the battle. With the mobile flexibility of the app we’ve made it super easy for users to access BuyDelay.com on the fly with their smart phones. They can enter a price, set the delay time, and even add a url to that item if it’s listed on a website.

The main focus of stores and advertisers is to convince you to buy their product. They use all kinds of methods and tactics to convince users that purchasing the item is the best option. And as a consumer giving yourself time to step back and think through a purchases drastically decreases the potency of their advertising efforts.

After an item goes through it’s delay period the user has the option to Buy, Pass or Delay again.

Buy

Some items are necessary to purchase and after carefully thinking through the pros and cons the user can decide to buy the item. Once the the user decides to buy the delayed item it moves over to their savings section under purchases.

Pass

Some items at first seem like a great idea or appear to be necessary but after careful thinking through the purchases or sometimes simply walking out of the store reveals that the users money may be more useful spent elsewhere. Also, in the time it takes for an item to be delayed other more important or unexpected expenses can arise that would otherwise be unaffordable had the user spent that money.

Delay

And for users who find themselves still unsure if they should purchase and item at the end of the delay period can put the item back into buy delay and give themselves a little more time to think it through.

In the savings section of the application there are two columns. In the Savings column all the items along with their prices the user decided to Pass on are listed and totaled. To the right is the Purchases column with items the user ended up buying.

View BuyDelay

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Sparrows Feather

April 13th, 2012

Incredibly Beautiful Handmade Headbands

Sparrows Feather was a creative and fun project to brand the Sparrows Feather headband. We decided to use Moo.com for their ability to print out multiple color versions of their mini cards all in one run.

The mini business cards were designed to serve two purposes. One of the uses was the traditional business card exchange and the other use was as tags on the custom headbands.

We also branded the Etsy.com page with custom banners and a profile icon.

Visit Sparrows Feather

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The Fathers House

April 10th, 2012

For such a modern technologic church they needed an equally modern and flexible website.

The Father’s House is in the top 30 largest churches in all of New York. Avereging over 3000 per services and this year their conjoined Easter services at the Blue Cross Arena marked their largest services yet at over 14,000 attendees. The Father’s House is a leader in more ways than just size. They’ve integrated advanced technologies such as live church streaming, member networking, and native IOS and Android app integration.

Ethan has been amazing to work with. Great ideas, fast implementation and awesome support!  Will definitely continue the relationship with EH Design into the future. - Jonathan Malave

We wanted to build a site that would properly delivery their content across multiple devices from desktops and tablets to mobile smart phones. We utilized CSS3 Media-Query techniques to serve up their content in accessible ways.

We chose to build the site on the WordPress CMS system to take advantage of their native custom post type architecture and build an advanced custom admin panel which allows them to manage the more advanced functionality of the site. WordPress provides an incredibly advanced and powerful solution to back churches, ministries, and businesses of all sizes.

We integrated the Amazon S3 hosting to lighten the load on the local server. The Amazon S3 hosting serves up the heavy items like videos, audio, and images. This helps decrease the load time and get content to their users on a faster and more consistent rate.

Take a look at the website or look through the gallery below.

View The Fathers House Website

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Post Tiles

April 10th, 2012

Reimagining How The World Displays Posts.

Post tiles is a WordPress plugin designed to display posts in a tiled format. The current version allows WordPress users to select which categories and posts to display. It also allows admins to control the number of slides,  category color, and whether to utilize some fancy jQuery animation affects.

I’m a huge fan of WordPress and I’ve been involved in the WordPress community for years. I’m glad to finally have a chance to give back to the community by sharing my WordPress plugin Post Tiles.

Start using the Post Tiles plugin today. It’s free.

Download Post Tiles

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And Finished

April 10th, 2012

Collaborative To-Do Lists Made Easy

I’ve been collaborating with people on projects of all sizes and struggled to find a great solution. We realized there was a need for a super simple and streamlined way to share to-dos with multiple groups of people. We created And Finished specifically to just that. And it’s free!

Clean, minimal design. Does what it’s supposed to and does it well. – Bill Wood

We started out by prioritizing the most essential and basic features needed to make a solid collaboration tool. Too often,  many web applications creators want to pack it full of bells and whistles.

At the core of our application we decided to revolve to-dos and users around categories. With multiple categories and connections, users can isolate tasks and to-dos to just the users involved in that category.

After launching, we had a solid to-do application flexible enough to work for a myriad of users, but simple enough not to confuse my mother.

Start Using And Finished

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Paul Brown Hawaii

April 10th, 2012

Paul Brown Hawaii is renowned for developing a line of products and spas across Hawaii. He is dedicated to utilizing Hawaii’s most nourishing tropical plants, extracts, and sea essences that contain countless beneficial healing and beautifying properties.

His line of hair and spa supplies are distributed around the world and his multi-location spas in Hawaii have become a staple icon in Hawaii’s culture.

We decided to focus on developing a site that embodied Paul Brown Hawaii’s dedication to using natural elements by designing a fresh feeling site.

View Paul Brown Hawaii’s Website

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Fresh Aloha Direct

April 10th, 2012

Freshness never felt so… Fresh.

Fresh Aloha Direct is the new creation of Aloun Farms in Hawaii. They wanted to create an environmentally friendly model for getting fresh produce directly to the doors of their customers by reducing the amount of energy and resources used in storing foods in super markets. Their solution was does that by removing the middle man.

This allows Aloun Farms to have a much closer relationship to their customers across the island. It’s a modern farm stand feel that uses the technology today.

We’re creating a greener solution for all of Hawaii. We reduce the amount of wasted produce from supermarkets by having a more direct production cycle.

Our goal was to power their process with a great site that allows users to login and set up food subscriptions, purchase one time boxes, and for local development communities to offer their residents a healthy and fresh solution. We built and designed a custom web cart solution with built-in promotions, coupons, and recurring purchases.

We wanted a site that would properly convey their dedication to fresh produce and excellent customer experiences. What we created was Fresh Aloha Direct.

View Fresh Aloha Direct

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D.R.I.V.E.

March 10th, 2012

Diversity, Responsibility, Inclusion, Vision, and Experiential-learning

The D.R.I.V.E. program provides a unique service for both school age and adult students with intellectual disabilities on a college campus.

The program is jointly administered by the Penn Yan Central School District, ARC of Yates, and located on the Keuka College campus.

We wanted to build a dynamic WordPress website that the D.R.I.V.E. Program would be able to maintain and manage with their students. We integrated events, galleries, custom logins and more so that the D.R.I.V.E. community could stay in touch with everything happening on and off campus.

Visit The D.R.I.V.E. Program

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