You can tell work is busy when you bag an Interactive Media Award, and don’t get ‘round to mentioning it to anyone for a month.
Which is a roundabout way of announcing that Labgruppen.com — a site we designed, built, and continue to maintain — has received an “Outstanding Achievement” IMA.
It’s not our first IMA, but in many ways I’m more chuffed with it than the “Best in Class” award we got for IconicInteriors.com, at the end of last year.
For a start, Iconic was only a few months old when it received the award, whereas the Lab.gruppen site had been live for nearly a year by the time the IMA judges paid a visit.
As anyone who has developed a large content-managed website knows, a lot can go wrong in a year — especially on a site with thousands of members, and multiple administrators. The fact that Labgruppen.com still scored 98% in the cross-browser compatibility category is a testament both to the ExpressionEngine CMS, and the content authors at Lab.gruppen.
The other reason for being particularly pleased with this award is that Lab.gruppen is pretty much the perfect client.
We work with them week-in, week-out to incrementally improve their sites, ironing out niggling problems, and responding to user feedback. The to-do list is never-ending, but that’s OK; it means we’re learning, evolving, and improving, based on actual usage. That’s pretty exciting, and very uncommon.
An ongoing approach is the best (probably only) way to build a rich, usable site, with an enthusiastic user-base, and it’s a genuine pleasure to be involved with a client who understands this.
The other side-effect of this ongoing commitment is that you become strangely attached to the site in question.
Labgruppen.com certainly isn’t perfect, and I could rattle off a list of at least half-a-dozen things that bug me about it, or that I would do differently with the benefit of hindsight. It works well, though — very well in fact — and my fingerprints are all over every graphic, and every line of code.
Despite the fact that customer feedback and site stats had long-ago shown Labgruppen.com to be a success, it’s still nice to have it confirmed by a group of people with no involvement — or indeed interest — in the site.
Call me shallow and needy, but a bit of validation is nice once in a while.