Job Opportunity: Website Developer

Now Hiring: Website Developer

Island is looking for a web developer to join our team. If you’re a self-starter with experience in both front-end and back-end website development, then you’re the perfect fit for this position. We offer a creative work environment, flexible hours, and a job you’ll never want to leave.

Andrew Scott   |   June 20, 2017

Website Launch: Sask Drinks

It’s not every day that a hobby we share in the office comes knocking at our door* with an idea for a cool website project, so we were super excited about this one from the get go!
*metaphorically knocking at our door, there wasn’t like a 9mile growler knocking at our door, although I have had an eerily similar dream.

Sask Drinks was created to help those interested learn a bit more about Saskatchewan’s growing craft alcohol industry through an online interactive map that showcases many of our province’s finest beer, wine, and spirits (of the roughly 20 makers initially featured, we’ve tried 14 so far ourselves). Everything is organized geographically so sit down at the table, find your favourite new spot, and don’t forget to click around to find out a bit more about everyone who helped make the map a reality (psssst….click on the matches).

We really hope you all enjoy Sask Drinks as much as we did creating it.

SaskDrinks.com

Cody Schumacher   |   July 12, 2017

Website Featured in Saskatoon Express

Last month we launched our Season of Giving winner’s website. We’re pumped to see that Naomi, and her website This Is My Self, are front page news! Read the article below, check out the website at thisismyself.ca, and be sure to share her stories of self-love.

Andrew Scott   |   July 6, 2017

Island Wins Website Design Award

This past weekend Island was lucky enough to be recognized with an Elevator Merit Award in the category of Website Design.

Andrew Scott   |   June 22, 2017

April Chicken has Some Good Advice

We’re loving this month’s art work from the Applied Arts calendar. Not only that, he provides some good advice too.

“If you dig a hole and it’s in the wrong place, digging it deeper isn’t going to help”

Andrew Scott   |   April 4, 2017

Spec Work

We don’t always get asked to do Spec Work, but when we do it reminds of us this video from a few years ago.

 

In nearly every case we’ve experienced, it is never the client’s intent to receive free work, they are simply not aware of what they are requesting. There is just something about design that makes people think we can just whip it together, and they can pick their favourite. Maybe it’s because good design is typically made to look simple and effortless. However good design requires strategy, and consultation with the client and target audience, and also relies on years of education and experience.

The Graphic Designers of Canada put it best on their blog post What is Speculative Work?

“There must be collaboration between the client and the designer, for design to be an effective business asset.”

We don’t do spec work because it leads to subpar results. It also has a negative impact on the design industry as a whole, leading to work being undervalued, and promoting unethical practices. If you want to learn more, check out nospec.com or watch the video below.

Andrew Scott   |   March 21, 2017

Website for Bloom NICU Fundraiser

We were approached to design a website for Bloom, an annual event dedicated to raising funds for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This will be the sixth year the event has been put on by Amy Novakovski and Tina Searcy, two mom’s with a special place in their heart for the NICU. In previous years they relied on a Wix website, but felt it was time for their online presence to match the elegance of their event.

We’re happy to sponsor a website that not only promotes Bloom’s annual “Evening of Love” dinner, but also provides a place for other parents to share their gratitude. Bloom has raised over $142,000 for the NICU in Saskatoon, and we feel very fortunate to be able to contribute to such a great cause in our own way.

“The website is amazing!! Thank you so very much for Island’s hard work on it and for taking our vision and turning it into something so magnificent!”

-Amy Novakovski, Founder/Event Director

You can view the website at bloomnicu.com, and buy tickets through Picatic.

Andrew Scott   |   March 9, 2017

Season of Giving Website Winner

This past December Island ran a contest to give a deserving company or individual in Saskatoon a new website. It was our way to give back to the community, the best way we knew how. We are super excited with the winner we chose: Naomi Zurevinski.

Naomi has been working on a project called “This is My Self”, which is dedicated to sharing stories of self-love and to inspire people to embrace who they truly are. The project was born out of her own desire to create a space where she would be able to share her story, and the stories of others, while promoting better self-confidence, self-respect, and self-love for everyone.


For me, choosing Naomi as the winner was a no-brainer. As a father of a nine year-old girl, I already see the importance of self-love and confidence. I know her best defense against bullies, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, or anyone else who tries to put her down is to be proud of herself for who she is. If there is anything I can do to help promote the message of self-love and recognizing every individual as special, then I feel I owe it to her to do that.

Naomi’s hope for the project is that it can be “…an outlet for people to share their struggles, and how they learned to accept themselves as they are”. Island is thrilled to have the opportunity to design a website that will have a profound impact on so many people. It seems like a dauntless endeavor, but working with Naomi, we’re hoping to deliver amazing results. We officially kicked off the project last week and can’t wait to share the progress as the This Is My Self website begins to take shape!

Andrew Scott   |   January 19, 2017

Our New Year’s Resolutions

1. Drop the bad habits

We all have them. When you’ve been building websites, or doing anything for a number of years, you’re bound to pick up some bad habits. The first step in dropping a bad habit is to identify it. That’s why we’re always doing code reviews, and reviewing each others work on a regular basis. We also have a formal review session every week, and after the launch of each website. These “retrospectives” focus around one question: what can we do better?

2. Shed some weight

Every website we build, we want to be as lightweight as possible. This keeps webpages loading fast so your users don’t get frustrated and move on to the next site. We accomplish this by minifying our code, and optimizing images based on your user’s screen size. In addition to this, we’ll continue to follow our “less is more” approach, keeping our designs light with white space, and organizing sitemaps in a simplified manner.

3. Learn something new

One of our core values is humility, which means we are never done learning. In 2017 we’re setting aside specific time for self-improvement. This means we’re taking online classes through websites like Skillshare and Treehouse. We’ll also be bringing back our knowledge sharing sessions called “Island Talks”. This is an opportunity for any of our staff to present to the team about anything related to websites, design, marketing, or anything else relevant to our work. Keep an eye out as we’ll post them to our website as they happen.

4. Sleep more

For the past couple of months we’ve been working with Sleepwell Consulting, providing them with a redesigned website and new branding. We’re fortunate enough to learn from every client we work with, and the value of quality sleep was a lesson I for one needed to learn. The tradeoff in productivity, quality, and efficiency during daytime hours far outweighs any work done after the fifth cup of coffee late at night.

Andrew Scott   |   January 4, 2017

A Website Designer’s Advent Calendar

uxmas-website

It’s December 1st, otherwise known as Advent Calendar day. Check out this website we stumbled across that delivers UX designers a digital treat each day.

UXmas.com

Andrew Scott   |   December 1, 2016