Comments on Erskine Design Redesign

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  1. Great read. Really love reading the process of others. Makes it much more worthwhile to hear the story behind the story.

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  2. Great article ! I know you from the Agile Record website for the upcoming Expression Engine 2 and I love your style and the clean & great job you’re doing.

    I think I’m going to suggest this physical project area thing to my boss, it’s such a great idea !

    I also saw that you had nice relationships for the “key people” blocks on your website and I understand now why it was useless to crawl the web to find this plugin. You’ve been developping yours :) Is there a way I could get my hands on it ?

    Anyway, keep it up, Erskine rocks !

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  3. Great article.

    The Erskine Design introduction statement reads, “*Erskine Design* passionately *build* accessible, dynamic and stylish websites without cutting corners.”

    That’s an interesting collective noun. I expected to see _builds_, the singular form, rather than _build_. But, given the right context and goal, it may be desirable.

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  4. Thanks a lot for your very fast answer ! Too bad Playa can’t do such a thing, maybe in the 3rd version :) I’ll take a deeper look at FieldFrame and LG Data Matrix waiting for your post on Erskine Labs.

    Thanks again !

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  5. Wild guess: That Ewan McGregor thing refers to his saying “Hello there!” in _Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith_. Am I right?

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  6. @Simon: In that case, here’s hoping we’ll get to see “Hello there!” in your _next_ redesign! ;)

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  7. Thanks for this timely article. We’re in the process of redesigning our own website, and if there’s one thing to take from this (as the PM) it’s to run it like any other client project.

    Oh, and the concensus here is build not builds, in the same way that Amazon sell books, rather than sells books, but this could be a US/UK thing.

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  8. It’s funny to see how this article about redesigning websites differs from Lea Alcantara’s. That means there is no always-fitting solution—you can treat your redesign in the same way as you treat projects for clients, like this article describes. Another possibility—presented by Lea Alcantara—is to set one’s own personality as the initial point. But in both cases there is the same intent: to create something exceptional.

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  9. I thought “Hello” followed by a brief summary of the website was simply a mandatory addition to all newly made websites these days? =)

    “We design and build” is a statement about each individual group member. “Erskin Design passionately build accessible…” is a statement about the collective entity, and thus should have an “s”.

    Erskine Design members build websites, Erskine Design as a collective builds websites.

    If you think of “Hells Angels” instead of “Erskine Design”, it would be “Hells Angels builds websites” when referring to the group. However, if we’re referring to individual members of Hells Angels, we would say “Hells Angels build websites that are generally about motorcycles”. Right?

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  10. I absolutely love that you labored over the content so considerably. The design and verbiage are so intrinsically linked. It would be insulting to assume (as so many do) that we should spend infinitely more time on the design, than the content. Obviously the design takes more technical time to implement. But getting the words “just right” can be a laborious process as well!

    Cheers.

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  11. Hi, Simon,

    I was the one who made the “Amehrkun” crack, so I wanted to clarify that I think the people telling you to add an _s_ to _build_ are wrong to do so. (And not just because they wish to impose US grammatical “rules” on you.)

    I love the English English treatment of singular nouns that represent plural concepts—especially when it comes to organizations. Using a plural verb with a singular name more effectively conveys the idea that an organization isn’t some monolith, but instead a reflection of the many individuals that allow/cause it to exist. As far as I can tell, this usage is especially appropriate in the case of Erskine Design.

    “Erskine build” and the like are a noun-verb combination that make(s) me wish it felt more natural to me (and to my fellow US English-speakers).

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  12. Great article!

    Re: the _build versus builds_ issue: _build_ seems much more natural to me (I’m in the UK, by the way). Anyway, who cares, really??!! The trouble with discussions online is that they always descend into ridiculous triviality.

    Oh, and thanks for clearing up the Ewan McGregor thing: when I first read it I took it to mean that you _literally_ discussed the issue with Ewan McGregor (as the saying goes: if I had a brain, I’d be dangerous!).

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  13. @Jordan: I absolutely agree. That, and tones can be hard to read. :)

    @Simon: It was a great article that I enjoyed reading, especially as I am currently working on the next version of my personal site. I am too pleased that you can explain and justify your usage of “Hello”, etc. and hope that my attempted pleasantry was not taken the wrong way.

    I hadn’t realized the scale of this build/builds debate and certainly only intended to help, rather than further frustrate you!

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  14. This is a fantastic article - I love that it nails home the fact that it’s something you labored for that you could be really proud of.

    Just out of curiousity - how did the name, “Erskine”, come about?

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  15. And when it is British English versus American English it is doubly so.

    Thanks for the great article. We have gone through a few site revisions here and it is hard to get a rediegn in as a project. THe new site looks great!

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  16. Love the approach you took from the beginning. I know how hard it can be when you design and develop something for “yourself”.
    Great read nevertheless.
    May I suggest you create a Mac version of your Project sheet. Maybe just a pdf version or something.
    Cheers.

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  17. Sorry to raise the build/builds issue again. For me, “build” clashes, but for others it clearly doesn’t. The problem is that the name Erskine Design will conjure different images for different readers. Some will picture a single entity, others a group of people. Thus you can’t win, whichever way you go.

    In this circumstance, I always prefer to rephrase. For what it’s worth, here’s my take:

    “At Erskine Design, we passionately build accessible, dynamic and stylish websites without cutting corners.”

    It’s not perfect, but clears the confusion.

    It’s worth noting that the name Erskine is sometimes used as a singular and sometimes as a plural noun across the site, as in:

    “making Erskine a unique partner”
    “Erskine look to protect the investment you make”

    Sorry for ths pedantry. I should also say thanks for an informative, open-hearted and engaging article!

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  18. I’m glad the suggestion was useful!

    Albeit with some trepidation, I feel I should point out that the background image on your About page also presents the same issue.

    Good luck with all your wonderful web design work. I realize this is really a side issue!

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  19. I really enjoyed reading that in treating your organization like a client, you focused on the content first. “With the content written, projects chosen, and approaches solidified, we began to sketch, wireframe, and prototype.” Yes, yes, yes! It’s such a simple thing, to consider what one should say before figuring out how to package that communication, but all too often clients ask us to redesign without first addressing _what_ they’re designing and communicating—and many agencies happily comply.

    Kudos for forcing Erskine to be a role model of the kind of process and behavior you promote with your clients.

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  20. I love the idea of developing a questionnaire for prospects to complete before they ever contact you. It’s a great way to get them thinking about their site in terms of your work, and I’m sure it leads to better conversations from the start.

    I work for a small agency, and we’ve been trying to implement something like this for a while. But our account managers always argue that visitors won’t fill out long web forms, much less a 5 page word doc.

    Do you have any insight on how many people take the time to complete your worksheet? Or value judgments on the quality of the responses you’ve received so far?

    Thanks for a great article!

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  21. Sorry, commenting is closed on this article.