All Posts in Design

May 16, 2013 - No Comments!

Data by Design: May Table Talks

For years the term "Big Data" has buzzed on the lips of CEOs and executives and bounced off board room walls. Companies understand the opportunity their data represents to customize products and services to their customers, streamline operational efficiency, and unearth market insights that provide a competitive advantage. But knowing how best to apply data is one thing—telling a story through data in a way that illuminates is an art unto itself.

CNN Money recently published an insightful piece on this subject. Author Olof Schybergson says, "It's about turning information into meaningful insights people can use, giving data a human shape and a connection with the messy real world that we live in... Designers have it ingrained to focus on simplicity and bring a singular focus to delighting the end user—regardless of whether they are a business user or consumer. Designers know how to take complex or disparate information and make it tangible, understandable, and importantly, more human."

We'll be tackling this with the experts for our May Table Talks: Data by Design. Joining us for lunch on Thursday, May 23 will be Datascope Analytics partner Aaron Wolf, designer Sharlene King, DataMade founder Derek Eder, Chicago Data Visualization Meetup organizer Josh Doyle, and Table XI COO Mark Rickmeier, each of whom will treat us to a PechaKucha-style presentation on the topic.

Follow along at #tabletalks, and make sure to check out past Table Talks at Table XI's PechaKucha channel.

If you're interested in joining Table Talks as a guest just request an invitation through our website here.

May Table Talks: Data by Design

May 8, 2013 - 2 comments

Adobe Killing Creative Suite: Better or Bogus?

It's official: Adobe is migrating everybody to their Creative Cloud (along with a monthly subscription) and won't be releasing a Creative Suite 7. Heidi Voltmer, Adobe's director of product marketing, gave Co.DESIGN the "5 Reasons We Killed the Creative Suite." I can't say I fully believe them.

I think the subscription model is just the direction software is headed, but many of the arguments Adobe makes seem a bit suspect. Overall, I imagine this is more of a way to generate revenue from their customers, rather than increase value for them. I hope I'm proven wrong, but there's nothing in Adobe's recent track record that compels me to feel otherwise. To wit:

  • I've never used an Adobe AIR app where I enjoyed the experience. Moving something like Photoshop over to a cloud experience sounds even scarier in terms of using it.
  • Many updates with Creative Suite were geared more toward bug fixes than feature updates. Maybe a more timely update cycle will help alleviate this, but I question why I even bother updating Flash on my machine.
  • Ever since Flash began losing its dominance, it feels like Adobe has been doing a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" approach. I can't even follow the products they offer, let alone why I should use them—witness: Adobe Flex, Air, Muse, Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst, Edge...
  • I don't think it's a good idea to potentially lock designers/devs into a proprietary system that spits out suspect code; you're better off learning it yourself.
  •  You're still installing and using the products offline and checking in every so often—with the added "benefit" of updates (piracy prevention)—so it isn't clear to me how the cloud will be better.
  • If there were a way I could abandon some Adobe products then I would (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), but there aren't many viable alternatives.
  • OMG Adobe still makes Director!

What do you think about Adobe's new direction and their rationale behind it? Buy it? Don't buy it? I'd love to hear your take in the comments.

July 23, 2012 - No Comments!

Better, Stronger, Faster: The New TableXI.com

It’s here! We’ve unveiled our new website, and the result is a friendlier, prettier face for Table XI (that also stays true to our nerd roots).

One of the things we’re most excited about is our new Testimonials page, which features videos from some of our clients. We know that we’d be nothing without our clients, and we’re thrilled that so many of them were ready to talk about their TXI experiences on film. Additionally, since we’re problem solvers at heart with a mission to use technology to make people’s lives easier, we introduced a Problems We Solve section. This page outlines some common issues our clients have faced and links to case studies that illustrate how we dealt with them.

A brand new Who We Are section shows off our talented crew, photo galleries of our amazing retreats, lunches, and toys, and important company facts like our standing count of office helicopters. We also revamped our newsletter to be more integrated with our blog, which got quite the facelift itself. Now readers can skim through article previews and easily access the content that interests them most. (If you’re not getting our newsletters yet, be sure to sign up!)

Special thanks to senior designer Daniel Strabley and everyone else who spent long hours bringing this together. We’re always looking for feedback or new testimonials, so leave a comment and let us know what you think!

February 6, 2012 - No Comments!

Foxycart Checks Out

Sometimes when a client comes to us with a new project or problem, we have to build software from scratch, but other times there’s a ready-made solution already in the marketplace. Part of our job is figuring out when to build and when to buy: Developing software to support a third party application to fit a client’s needs can save a heap of time and money.

For our recent renovations of Old Town Oil’s and Strange Cargo’s online stores, we found an innovative platform in Foxycart, a hosted shopping cart application. The headaches of many e-commerce solutions include storing and processing all the shopping cart data, like sensitive order, password, and credit card information, as well as staying current with regulated compliance processes. Foxycart handles all of this backend work, but is still compatible with highly customized user interfaces on the front end, like Old Town Oil's oil and vinegar pages, which contain detailed tasting notes and suggested pairings.

For services that Foxycart does not provide, such as certain order fulfillment processes like creating shipping labels and emailing customers about shipments, we developed our own software called Foxcage to work in conjunction with Foxycart. This combined solution of using both third party and custom developed software gives our clients exactly what they need.

Want to talk more about your e-commerce site? Drop us a line.

July 6, 2009 - 7 comments

reCaptcha reTheme – UPDATED

Jan, 25th 2013 Update: Thanks for everyone who enjoyed this post - please take note that the zip file is back online - also please take note that this post was written 4 years ago and may not reflect the current state of reCaptcha.

UPDATE - Hi Everybody, thanks for the great feedback on this post. It seems that the supplied CSS was lacking support to force the display of your newly created icons, this should now be fixed and is available for download.

Please feel free to post any comments and question you may have.

ORIGINAL POST

recaptch1

If you need highly effictive spam protection and want to help digitze old books and manuscripts, reCaptcha is great, there is no better choice. If you are looking for a tool that allows you to configure it to match your website... thats a different story. Currently reCaptcha only offers 4 themes (red, blackglass, clean and white) which is better than nothing but can be an eyesore if none of these themes fits your site.  So to counteract this limitation we have compiled all the resources you need to create a custom reCaptcha for your website.

Read more

March 3, 2009 - No Comments!

Another Addition to Our Team

Daniel Strabley: our newest hire

Every day we seem to read about some big company slashing jobs by the thousands.  For many, times are extraordinarily tough, but at Table XI, things seem to be holding steady.  We believe the future is bright — especially for small business — and have continued to invest and grow.

To that end, we’ve actually added another capable staffer to our team since our last communique. We are excited to announce the addition of Daniel Strabley to our team of 12.  While it’s only been a few months, it’s hard to remember what life was like before he joined us!

Daniel comes to us from closerlook, a design studio focused on the pharmaceutical industry, and represents the first full-time graphics designer that Table XI has ever employed.  For the first 6+ years of our existence, we worked closely with a number of freelancers, but never felt we had sufficient work to warrant a full-time designer.  Boy were we wrong…

Since mid-November, Daniel has dramatically improved the way we work by improving our design process, and by bringing his sizable HTML implementation skills to our clients’ projects.  His presence means our engineers can spend their time focused on functionality without having to sweat the vagaries of the dreaded Internet Explorer 6 bugs (Microsoft browsers are notoriously non-compliant with Internet standards.  For more info, check out this post from a previous newsletter).

Daniel has also been hugely helpful to our sales and marketing efforts.  He has helped us augment our materials with pictures that replace a thousand words, created proposal and presentation templates, and begun the process of organizing all of the graphic material we use.  Best yet, we’re quite sure we’ll find even more uses for his numerous talents as we further understand his capabilities.