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Archive for the Web Design & Development Category

Welcoming 2014

The lack of updates in this blog throughout the 2013 confirms: we’ve been incredibly busy. While we continue designing and developing corporate database driven websites – and remaining loyal to our old clients – we’ve been shifting our focus towards web and mobile application development with emphasis on PHP/MySQL, jQuery, HTML5 and other mobile application frameworks.

Most part of the year 2013, we have worked exclusively for a client in Dallas developing web and mobile applications with social networking and content publishing features. Due to the ongoing nature of the work, we cannot reference this work on our site but would be pleased to walk through some of the features should your company be interested in considering us for custom web and mobile application development work.

In November 2013 we signed up a full time software engineer to our team, Pyry Kuusi, who works from Helsinki, Finland as an exclusive team member of Interaria. As many of you know, we are a family based company with James Shields in web development and project management, his Finnish wife Meri Kuusi-Shields in user experience design and brand positioning, and now Meri’s brother and James’ brother-in-law Pyry in a full time position for software & web application development.

Over the years, we have realized that our clients care about one-on-one agile approach to project development which means ability to comprehend complex business models and organize them in a make-sense manner, willingness to embrace the organic process of new ideas and the ability to shift the direction for development when needed. For us, working with a small core team has meant this: ability to be flexible and less bureaucratic, all while holding a higher quality control with each deliverable.

The year 2014 will mark our 10 years in business, all with the same team. We are quite excited about the web and mobile application development for multi-platform media where users have more power to customize their content and interaction experiences and choose their device for user interaction. The concept of ‘interactivity’ will carry more meanings and make us more demands as we continue our years.

Mobile Site Optimization

Often, a client may already have a desktop site which they are now looking to optimize for mobile device surfing. To begin the process, we need to define the scale for the mobile site: Will the mobile site provide the same or similar content as offered on the web? Or will the mobile site offer just a summarized content with links to the desktop site for more information?

While smaller scale mobile sites may be faster to develop, there is now a clear sift towards approaching mobile users with a similar respect and seriousness as the desktop users. This means that the mobile platform offers similar scale of the content as the desktop versions, with proper content development and optimizations for mobile viewing.

Today, mobile sites are no longer secondary optional versions of the desktop site but independently relevant and important media catering the growing user base that visits web and uses apps with their smartphones.

When developing properly optimized mobile sites several decisions has to be made regarding messaging, content and codes:

Creating a Redirect Strategy

Many visitors access websites through Google Search. If the link Google places in its search results leads to a url of a desktop version of the site, it is important that the page owner has a strategy in place with regards to how to handle a visitor on a smartphone. A good practice is to redirect the visitor to a relevant page on the mobile site rather than to take the visitor to a mobile site’s landing page. Furthermore, dynamically created pages and content should also be formatted for mobile viewing. The larger the desktop site is, the more work it takes to create an effective redirection strategy. Consider delivering all relevant content on a mobile site making sure that all links stay within the mobile site.

Unifying Content Management Systems

Especially when developing a large scale site it can be cumbersome to manage two versions of the site, the desktop site version and the mobile site version. Content updates such as adding text or images would take a double amount work in case these sites would utilize two separate, disconnected content management systems or no content management systems at all. A content that streams from one centralized content management system saves time and minimizes errors. An experienced content management system developer can create a custom CMS solution with specified features for a desktop site and specified features for a mobile site, while maintaining most of the content under one umbrella.

Providing Mobile Optimized Media Content

Flash videos, games and animations don’t play on Apple’s iOS devices and require a strategy how this type of content will be handled on mobile devices. Rather than displaying a message of not viewable content for the user’s device, it is better to offer alternative content making sure the mobile site doesn’t appear broken or come across as a secondary version.

Considering a Responsive Design

Instead of building a separate mobile web site, a client may consider a combination site designed and coded responsibly according to responsive design principles. Mobile applications developed with HTML5 utilizing responsive user interface design focus on adjusting the presentation of web media content for mobile device use. A strong well planned out CSS rules and coding is the key for successfully implementing the responsive design method. According to set CSS rules, the display of the applications’s content layout and components may be programmed to auto-reformat for display mobile differently than on tablet or desktop. An example of responsive web design would be for a layout that displays four columns of content in a ‘landscape’ view on tablet devises, but when in ‘portrait’ view, would auto-shift to show only two columns of content instead of 4. Further, then when the same content is viewed on a mobile devices, the content would shift to slim down further to show only one column of content. Responsive UI Design is not a mobile web application framework but rather a method for allowing well planned and coded HTML5 content to display differently on desktop, table and mobile.

Bottom Line: A properly optimized mobile site takes a user to a correct relevant page when accessing site through a search engine result link, indexes well on search engines, displays content in a mobile friendly manner, and has a fluent flow for interactivity.

Custom Web Application Development for Dupree Dance

Dupree Dance conducts high caliber dance conventions and competitions in cities throughout the United States.

Interaria is excited to announce the launch of an extensive web application driven website for Dupree Dance,, that features an online registration and check-out process for dance studios and dancers attending Dupree Dance’s dance conventions. Prior the new website, Dupree Dance had relied on paper based registration process that due to extensive data collection and variables required a lot of management and processing time. The new database driven online registration system, designed and developed by the Interaria web development team, provides a system for the Dupree Dance administrators to keep track of all data and run custom reports – ultimately making processing times faster.

The site features several custom web applications such as studio profile account creation, dance routines listings, loyalty program discount calculations, special teacher offers processing, total fees processing, and My Account functionalities.

The website’s database and web applications were coded with PHP/MySQL by Interaria’s web developers. The step-by-step registration process utilizes AJAX technology. The site’s identity and graphics were custom designed by the Interaria team. For more information about our web design and web application development services, please call 214-909-3900.

New Winds For Cross-Device Compatible Interactivity

Mobile and tablet devices not supporting the Flash player plugin have contributed to the overall decline of development of interactive web animations during the past few years.

Up until very recently, Web designers and developers have had very limited options to create cross-device compatible interactivity, typically relying on AJAX based components. Today we are closing the gap as new emerging technology and web programs are opening doors for new types of ‘Flash free’ interactive ‘animations’.

Adobe has brought in two new software products to the market, Adobe Edge, and CreateJS Toolkit built for Adobe Flash Pro CS6, that both offer promising steps towards more quickly produced code based HTML5 interactivity. Google has also developed a program called Google Swiffy which will convert Flash animations to HTML5.

Adobe Edge, currently in beta/preview mode, uses CSS to draw objects, javascript to animate objects, and HTML div’s to place these objects on the page. This is an intriguing solution for making web pages more interactive but is visually somewhat limited due to CSS code not being able to render complex vector drawings such as hexagons.

Complex vector graphic animations can be created using Flash Pro CS6 which can then be exported as web friendly SVG’s (scalable vector graphics), and animated on HTML5 canvas using either the new built-in CreateJS Toolkit or by using the Google .swf to HTML5 conversion tool Swiffy.

Adobe’s CreateJS Toolkit allows a developer to export Flash animations to HTML5 format so where one can then program the further interactivity of the vector graphics with javascript. Google Swiffy on the other hand allows the developer to program the interactivity of scalable vector graphics in Flash, and then converts the rendered .swf file to HTML5.

With the new interactive tools available, there are now ways for web designers and web developers to increase cross-device compatible interactive creativity both economically and efficiently. A designer/developer can now put together an interactive experience where the exported code renders on all modern browsers and devices without the use of the Flash Player Plugin.

Contact Interaria at 214-909-3900 to discuss your company’s cross-platform compatible HTML5 animation needs.

New Website Launch: DQ Estimating

DQ Estimating is an Austin, Texas based development company of a professional estimating software system DQ2000.

Interaria’s web design and development team created a custom web identity design, layout and code for DQ Estimating. Our full solution includes a PHP/MYSQL content management system that allows fast and convenient web updates by the DQ Estimating staff. The website is at

New Website Launch: Frontier Waterproofing Inc

Interaria has just completed a web design and development project for North Texas based Frontier Waterproofing Inc, a historical masonry restoration company.

Our team created a custom design and code for the website, and developed a PHP/MySQL based content management system that allows the client to update the website’s image and text content. Our portfolio web application code allows the client to upload new projects to the Projects section of the website, and categorize them accordingly by the service type. The website is at

Agile Project Development Approach for Web Application Development

If your company is looking to create a large web application or a dynamic website with several web application systems, you may have tens of pages of project specs and lots of ideas that as an end result need to be turned into a functioning database schema with elegant user interfaces.

Some features for the new web application are regarded crucial while some other features may not be a top priority or may require more thinking and clarification as the project planning moves forward. In many cases, it is almost impossible to state with a certainty all required features for the web application as new ideas emerge during the project’s development, new feedback becomes available from focus group discussions, and certain features start feeling unnecessary while some become further emphasized. How long does it take time to develop a web application? What is the cost?

An agile project development approach doesn’t intend to tie the client to a strict contract with a strict timeframe and a strict final number but instead acknowledges that web application development may be a fluid and rather organic process ideally carried through as interactive teamwork in close communication with the client. The web based software applications that are developed in an agile framework allow revising development goals in monthly cycles during the project according to the direction and feedback from the client. Goals for each development cycle will be stated and discussed monthly before any new work begins.

The key features of Interaria’s agile project development approach are:

  • The client may revise the development plan during the project.
  • The client may revise any existing work and may decide new priorities.
  • The client may decrease workload at any time and consequently pay for less development time.
  • The client is not tied with the contract to have certain features developed but has the control to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ on the go.

To discuss your company’s web application needs and what type development approach would work best for your company, please set up a consultation time by calling 214-909-3900.

Scalability Design Maximizes Website’s Long-Term Usability

Website scalability web design in Dallas

Your website may have very different content and structure needs 12 months from now.  Scalability design creates elegant solutions for new page, content, data and growth.

The website scalability design process approaches a website as a dynamic platform that accommodates and adjusts to new brand messaging, new content and revised navigation structures. While some decisions may need to made in the context of the website’s layout style, page layout styles, and integration of identity elements, the website’s content – and the navigation that controls it – at least in most parts should be regarded as fluid as possible.

Core to scalability design is a strong commitment to functionalism: the design’s positive attributes and identity should not pose significant compromises to the website’s usability, content growth, content reduction, and changes in the navigation structure.

Website Scalability Design increases the website’s usability by planning out…
  • design and code for new pages so that they can be seamlessly created and integrated to the site’s navigation structure
  • design and code for sub-menu designs that can be expanded without breaking any existing design or page layout
  • content structure design that can be expanded without breaking any existing design or page layout
  • design and code for AJAX animations that allow content increase and content deduction
  • design and code for online store management that allows catalog growth, new product categories, and cross-referencing new products
  • design and code for member activity management that takes into account a growing member base on the site and how an increased interaction displays and functions on the site
  • CMS code that allows managing new content types
  • CMS usability and user-flow design that functions optimally even if the amount go content and pages to be managed grows significantly
  • documenting any restrictions in content growth, such as number of allowed characters in dynamic form fields
Your website may have very different content and structure needs 12 months from now.  Scalability planning and testing make sure that each website and web application can elegantly handle an increased number of web pages, increased text and digital content and increased data input by a growing number of site’s users.
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