Many people use the start of the new year as an opportunity to reflect and recalibrate. We are going through this process ourselves at the Brick Factory.
As a way of holding ourselves accountable and providing a peek as to where we think digital is going, we decided to share publicly some of our goals for the new year.
(1) Master mobile.
With the rise of the smartphone and the iPad, it is sort of a given that the way people surf for information online is undergoing a sea change. It is estimated that by 2014 more people will access the Internet via mobile phones than via desktop computers. For most people, this is just interesting trivia. For us, this trend will fundamentally change the work we produce and make us obsolete if we’re not careful.
In 2011, we built a number of mobile sites, improved our application development capabilities and experimented with responsive design. But we didn’t do enough. In 2012, we need to further develop our mobile capabilities and integrate mobile into everything we do.
(2) Embrace HTML5.
At this time last year, HTML5 was something that was still on the horizon. A lot has changed in the last year. Browser support for HTML5 has increased dramatically. The lack of support for Flash on the iPad/iPhone has sped up the transition to HTML5. Flash killed mobile support, effectively conceding defeat to HTML5.
A recent study found that 34 of the 100 most popular websites in the world use HTML5. Interestingly, the seven most popular sites on the web (Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, Baidu, Wikipedia and Blogspot) all use HTML5. When goliaths like these embrace a technology, it is time to jump on the bandwagon. The time for HTML5 is now.
We have strong HTML5 capabilities already, as evidenced by our HTML5 Christmas card. But we need to get better. We need to start taking advantage of all of HTML5’s features to deliver higher quality work for our clients.
(3) Always think strategically.
It is no secret that a lot of digital agencies sell tactics masquerading as strategy. It isn’t hard to do.
We have always prided ourselves on focusing on substance, and developing digital strategies that have an actual impact on our client’s bottom line.
Despite our best intentions, too often last year we got so caught up in the process of creating that we lost site of the why. We let ourselves become a hamster on a wheel, and in some cases the work suffered as a result.
In 2012 we will strive to bring our best thinking to every situation. We need to make sure to always ask why.
(4) Sweat the details.
The difference between a good website and a great one is in the details. How a form works. How a site renders on an iPad. The typography. The rollover styles. Steve Jobs summed it up pretty well:
“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
We didn’t handle the details as well as we should have in 2011. In 2012, we will strive to always use a beautiful piece of wood on the back.