One of our most exciting projects so far with RKCR/Y&R, a renowned global design and advertising agency, that gave us valuable insight into how an agency works and what it expects from its technical partners was a 2-page microsite.
Lemberg produced the code behind the microsite’s fantastic design. Below are some of our impressions from an inspiring project with one of the top-rated global creative agencies.
1. The participants involved in the project, or more accurately put, a campaign, were quite diverse:
- the client, who the microsite was produced for
- RKCR/Y&R, the creative agency that hired us
- Lemberg Solutions, the digital production agency (us)
- a media agency that managed the campaign the microsite was created for
- the company that supplies the client with user behaviour tracking code
- the company that arranges penetration testing for the design agency
- the server /hosting solution provider for the design agency
The cool part was that the many parties involved in this campaign were all doing what they are best at, they were all chosen for the exceptional level of service they provide.
On the downside, you can imagine that it must not always have been easy to coordinate the process between all the project participants.
2. It pays to be responsive - we were able to produce estimates/proposal and have telephone discussion within a day. Effective communication is key when you need to sync all project participants and deliver the project with ongoing design changes while meeting a strict timeline.
3. Tight schedule. A little over 1 month was given for design, development and testing. It might seem like more than enough for a 2-pager, if it weren’t for point 5.
4. Design iterations. The design we had in the beginning of production was frequently amended. These were small things like a different background hue, a slight change in one of the images, copious text amends. The little things that add to the website appearance, but also add work on the coding side.
5. Browser support. Due to all the buzz with HTML5, all clients want it. However, not everyone is open to comply with the 80/20 browser support rule and expect HTML5 to work in browsers that are now considered obsolete.
The client was testing the website in IE8, on Windows XP, as that’s what their office PCs run on. However, IE8 does not support many of the state of the art scripts HTML5 is using, there’s only so much we can do.
6. Early release. The Microsite was deployed to a live server before the official launch date for database and penetration testing reasons. The official campaign start was Jan 2, but the media agency launched the banner a tad too early, on Dec30.
Users started submitting their data and storming the server before final database tests were conducted. This has proven to us once again that all sorts of things happen, and you have to be always on the lookout and alert.
7. Database backups. This is a golden rule, the first commandment of web developers and the like. In the end of campaign, the server support company closed the website, which removed all data from the database. It was later necessary to download a very important piece of something from the Microsite’s database. Turned out those daily database backups did us justice.
8. Spam protection. Many user submissions were expected, there was a good chance some of these would be spam. Users hate parsing and entering Re-Catcha, so it was decided to use Akismet to filter out junk from the database.
9. Be ready for high load. The microsite was hosted on Amazon Cloud, and everything went smooth even in peak traffic hours with thousands of users per hour.
All in all, every once in a while we start working on projects that are super exciting and mega challenging at the same time. I dare say this was one of such projects. Like an exciting adventure, many things happen unexpectedly, but when you have experience, you should be able to predict and be ready for them. We definitely look forward to see more of such projects coming our way.