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Category Archive: Web Technology

What’s So Cool About Responsive Design?

Posted by    |   October 17th, 2013   |   No responses

responsive-design-website-liquormartAt Insight, we’re all about flexibility. Whether it’s practicing yoga at lunch or taking a day off from business to ride the Courage Classic, we believe that life is more enjoyable when you allow yourself to stretch to fit in the things that you think are important. And we take that same approach to web design, where we’ve been incorporating responsive design to keep sites looking snazzy as well as flexible. We ask a lot of websites nowadays. We want them to look good on a 60” TV monitor as well as a smartphone. But we all know that these displays are sized at opposite ends of the spectrum, and we interact with them differently. Responsive design is here to fix that. But first, a short flashback. When phones that could access and display the internet first came along, they brought with them a range of problems for people with websites. You probably still notice when you go to a site that isn’t mobile friendly. Your phone only provides a small window into the site, you have to scroll all the way to the right and to the left, up and down, to view an entire page, and you’re constantly zooming in and out to read content and click on links. It ain’t pretty, and it ain’t fun. The original solution to these problems was to create a mobile site, essentially a separate website at a separate URL, that could only be accessed by mobile devices. For a while, this was a great option for people who knew that a fair amount of their traffic would come from cell phones. But then new phones with new screen sizes came along. And then tablets with a wide range of screen sizes were put on the market. And after a while, it got hard to keep up with all the different ways that someone could access your website. And then responsive design was invented. Based on a fluid grid system, which restacks elements depending on the width of the screen it’s viewed on, responsive design allows a website to gracefully rearrange itself depending on the device its audience is using. So a bold, broad menu on a work desktop becomes a compact dropdown on a phone. A product list, which would normally have 4 products in each row, rearranges so that three show up on your iPad, two on your phone when it’s held in landscape mode, and just one when you hold your phone upright. In other words, your website becomes flexible. Like, doing the splits flexible. We’ve been using responsive design quite a bit recently (see Given Goods, ThirtySevenFive, and LiquorMart for some of our favorites), and it’s caused us to rethink our designs. We’re pretty excited with the results. Check out some of our recent responsive site launches and drag the browser window to larger and smaller sizes to see how flexible the web can be.
View Full Post wins Award!

Posted by    |   September 26th, 2012   |   No responses

Kudos to our friends at for being a Silver Winner in the 7th Annual W3 Awards. The awards, judged and sanctioned by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, honor outstanding work for web and mobile. Insight Designs started working with ThisLife founders Matt and Andrea Johnson in February 2010 to create their cloud-based service that organizes and archives users' photos and videos. Insight partner Nico Toutenhoofd led a crew of Insight programmers to develop ThisLife's API cloud infrastructure, including everything from video processing and face recognition to social media integration and automatic duplicate photo detection. The API supports an HTML5 browser client, a Flash browser client, a native iPhone app, a Mac desktop app and a Windows desktop app. If you're looking for the best home for all of your photos and videos, ThisLife is it.  It's currently in beta and is an invitation-only service, but you can simply request an invite to see what all the buzz is about. Also, check out this glowing piece from the Wall Street Journal - "A Hangout for All Your Social-Network Photos".
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Land, Farms and Ranches, oh my!

Posted by    |   February 28th, 2011   |   No responses

Often when we build a database-driven site for a client, there are hundreds of items in the database - sometimes thousands or even tens of thousands. But a lovely site that we launched earlier this month takes the cake., which Insight Designs designed and developed for Steamboat Springs-based Land Farm & Ranch, Inc. already has more than 60,000 properties listed for sale on its website. The site, which bills itself as the largest land and rural property website in the U.S., features land, waterfront property, farms, ranches and luxury estates from around the world. Realtors and property owners can list their properties for a monthly fee - and get 3 months free for a limited time. The site also offers the latest in real estate news, a blog, free buyer updates and more. If you're looking to buy or sell property, you won't want to miss this site:
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From barren asphalt lots to vibrant schoolyards

Posted by    |   February 4th, 2011   |   No responses

In our 12 years of creating websites, we at Insight Designs have loved working with non-profits. It's humbling to see how so many organizations are doing amazing things - big and small - to impact our world in wonderful ways. Over the past nine months, we've had the pleasure of working with the Boston Schoolyard Initiative (BSI), a non-profit that since 1995 has reclaimed more than 130 acres of barren asphalt and converted them into 78 vibrant schoolyards throughout the city of Boston. These schoolyards provide more room for kids to play safely outside, but they also allow teachers space to try new creative approaches to outdoor learning. You can find out more about BSI on their new website -, which we designed and developed for them. Carlos Real and Keith Harper created the visual design. Ellie Childs did the design implementation and site production. Evan Kuo programmed the custom content management tools, including the project portfolio, photo gallery, news features, and more. Mike Kohn handled QA and training. And yours truly did site architecture and project management. Definitely a great team effort.
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Yoga and music anyone?

Posted by    |   January 27th, 2011   |   No responses

This week, the Insight Designs team launched our first dual CMS site. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about - that means we created a website that uses two different open-source content management systems. This isn't something we typically do, but for this client - Hanuman Festival -  it made the most sense. Why two different systems? Because one of them - WordPress - is the best, easiest-to-use, lowest cost, most flexible solution for content-rich sites, where the client will be adding and updating photos, videos and text; and the other - Magento - is the best, easiest-to-use, lowest cost, most flexible solution for e-commerce sites. And the Hanuman Festival site has lots of cool content in a variety of formats AND it sells tickets (and will sell merchandise later this spring). The client gets the best of both worlds. The only drawback is that they have to learn to use two different content management systems. But both administrative interfaces are quite intuitive and Mike Kohn, Insight's tester and trainer extraordinaire, did a great job training Yoshi and his crew from Hanuman. Enough about the boring technology behind it. I'm sure you're more interested in hearing more about the Hanuman Festival - a community-oriented yoga and music festival featuring world-class yoga instructors, mind-blowing music, inspirational experiences and more. Tickets for the four-day event that will take place in Boulder June 16-19 are on sale, and they're sure to go fast. The site just launched, and it already has 390 Facebook fans! Learn more at
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