liquidfish current https://liquid.fish/current en-US daily 1 Oklahoma City's Design Community https://liquid.fish/current/oklahoma-citys-design-community Mon, 10 Dec 18 15:25:23 -0600 I’ll be the first to admit it. I haven’t always been the best in supporting the design community in Oklahoma City. My participation comes in waves but I’m here to say that I’m back. In such a small city, each and every designer plays an important role in supporting our fellow designers and developers in town. As creatives, it’s also important for us to continue growing, learning, networking and spreading education of our profession around the city.

If you’re looking to be get involved, here are a few ideas:

 

AIGA OK

If you’re looking for design specific organization, they have want you need: bi-monthly speaker events and monthly meetups. They’ve been responsible for bringing some prominent designers to the city: Aaron Draplin, Debbie Millman, Jay Schuster, House Industries, Ty Wilkins, Hoodzpah to name a few.

oklahoma.aiga.org

 

OKC Ad Club

The Addys are a staple in Oklahoma City design awards. But they do more than just hand out hardware. They put on monthly lunches with speakers that range from social media to copywriting.

okcadclub.com/

 

DSN/DEV

Although their events has died down as of lately, they have established a great online community. Whether you’re looking for jobs, advice, or casual conversation from other creatives, there’s a channel for you.

dsndevokc.com/join-our-slack

 

Local Inspiration

Some great work getting out there, check it out.

dribbble.com/places/oklahoma-city

 

Design Lunches

Lunch meetups around town for designers to talk shop or vent about clients. Actually, I haven’t seen one put on in a while. Anyone out there know? Hit me up, let’s start it up again.

twitter.com/DesignLunchOKC

 

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The Holidays in OKC https://liquid.fish/current/the-holidays-in-okc Fri, 16 Nov 18 09:30:09 -0600 With the holidays right around the corner and the cold weather upon us, the desire to get out and about is only going to shrink. If you are like me, the cold winter months with little sun can make me feel down. I try to make an assertive effort to combat those feelings by staying active and engaged with what is happening in my city and enjoy the many things going on.

If you are new to Oklahoma City or don’t travel downtown much, you might be surprised on the number of events and activities going on in the metro area. I am lucky to work and live near downtown, so I have been able to enjoy what it has to offer, and I wanted share some of the tips and tricks I have learned from attending a few of these events.

Devon Ice Rink

The ice rink opens on November 9th and runs through January 27th. If you plan on going with the family during the holiday season, make sure you know the holiday hours. Also, remember to take a pair of tall, warm socks!

Find out more about the Devon Ice Rink

Holiday Pop Up Shops in Midtown

The shops open the day after Thanksgiving and go through December 23rd, and a new set of local merchants are featured each week! This is a perfect solution for those who hate shopping at the mall, which can be especially stressful during the holiday season.

Read more about the Holiday Pop Up Shops in Midtown

Free Holiday Water Taxi Rides

The Bricktown canal is a spectacle filled with Christmas lights and is definitely worth checking out. It is a great (and free) event for a family night out or date night, but be sure to get in line early because it can be a long wait.

Find out more about the Bricktown Canal Holiday Water Taxi Rides

Opening Night

For those who don’t know what to do on New Year’s Eve, this is a great solution for the entire family or that special someone. Skip the line by pre-purchasing your wristband at participating 7-Eleven stores, MidFirst Bank locations, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and Plenty Mercantile.

Learn more about Opening Night

Now that you have learned a bit about the events going on in Oklahoma City during the holiday season, I challenge you to get out of the house, stop worrying about the holidays and enjoy yourself!

Find the full list of things to do in Oklahoma City around the holidays

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Mobile Apps: Native vs Hybrid https://liquid.fish/current/mobile-apps-native-vs-hybrid Fri, 26 Oct 18 10:39:47 -0500 There are lots of decisions to make when deciding to build a mobile app, and one of the first decisions you’ll make is deciding which technology to use. In this post, we’ll explain the differences between Native and Hybrid mobile apps and help you decide which approach is best for your product and preferences.

First, let’s examine what the terms “Native” and “Hybrid” mean.

Native Application: an application written for a specific operating system in its native language.  For iOS, you would build a mobile app using Swift or Objective-C, and for Android, Java or Kotlin. Developing natively means that if you want your app on both iOS & Android, you’ll be building and maintaining two separate apps.

Hybrid Application: an application built to run on two or more operating systems.  These are usually built using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript, but the main idea is that the same app will run on both iOS & Android.

So which is better?  There isn’t an easy answer, and it’s probably no surprise that deciding which to use depends on what your goals and budget are.

Let’s look at some specific issues and compare the two.

Native

Pros

  • Faster & more responsive. Animations and transitions come in at a buttery smooth 60 frames-per-second.

  • Native access to all of a mobile device’s capabilities and immediate access to new features.

  • Better user interface. Android and iOS users are used to seeing buttons, switches, lists, navigation, etc looking a certain way on their OS of choice. The practical effect here is that your app will feel familiar to users, and learning how to use it will come more naturally. This leads to a...

  • Better user experience. This is what keeps a user coming back to your product.

Cons

  • Additional skills required. You’ll need developers skilled in two separate native languages.

  • More expensive. After all, you’re developing and rolling out features twice every time.

Hybrid

Pros

  • Faster development time, which means...

  • Less expensive. You’ll develop your app in around half the time which means you’re paying less and you have a faster rollout.

  • Fewer skills required. Hybrid platforms such as Cordova require the same skills as a front-end web designer.

Cons

  • Works and feels like a web page does on mobile, i.e. clunky & unresponsive.  

  • The HTML, CSS & Javascript need to work and look perfect on ALL native browsers for Android. Each different Android manufacturer has their own built-in default browser (Sony, Samsung, LG, etc), and every browser has their quirks and needs attention to get CSS to look right.  

  • Users may not be able to articulate it, but they can tell when an app isn't native. It feels janky, and scrolling and taps aren't as responsive, and the user will “feel” that something is not quite right.

So which is better? There’s no easy answer. It depends on your goals and budget. Consider these aspects of your app when you’re making your decision.

UI/UX - How important are these to you and your users?  If you answered “Very”, go Native and don’t look back.

Cost - Developing an app on a budget? Consider a Hybrid solution.

Performance - Native apps will run faster and use fewer resources than their Hybrid counterparts. Decide if this is important to the success of your app.

Development Time - If you need to get an app out sooner rather than later, then add another point for Hybrid.  

At the end of the day, the decision should be based on a practical assessment of your needs.   liquidfish specializes in custom software and custom design, so if you’re looking for a motivated team to help craft your mobile app, contact us!

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The Principles of Motion https://liquid.fish/current/the-principles-of-motion Thu, 11 Oct 18 17:06:27 -0500 As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and if that’s true, how much more can be communicated through something in motion?

Motion is an essential part of life. It enables us to grow, to develop, and to express ourselves in unique and individual ways. You can tell a lot about a person by how they communicate through their movements. For example, body language and facial expressions can have a host of meanings to an observer and communicate a vast amount of information in seconds. What’s amazing is that we live in a time where we can replicate this kind of expression through technology, and more specifically, digital platforms.

As a designer here at liquidfish I get to work on some pretty amazing projects like websites and mobile applications, and one of my favorite tools to use in our process is a program called Principle. With Principle, I can take the designs I’ve created in a static environment and bring them to life in an interactive environment with animated interactions and movements.

Telling the Story

Why is this important you might ask? Well, the purpose isn’t just making something look more lively — though it is a lot of fun. Through movement we can go a step further in crafting the story behind a brand.

This enables us to find creative ways to bring our client’s personality to the foreground of the design. When the interactions and movements are executed well, just like our comparison on the old adage, we’re able to say even more about a product, service, company or individual through movement than we would have with just static visuals alone.

Communicating Functionality

Another important aspect for using a tool like Principle is that it allows us to explore functionality in a more meaningful and productive way. For example, when we’re determining the relationship of landing pages to secondary page content, or how a menu will function on mobile as opposed to the desktop, we can prototype these movements and interactions before we ever type a line of code. This means catching issues early and creating better solutions before investing the heavy lifting required during development and programming stages. It also means happier developers!

Making Lasting Impressions

With all of the planning and strategizing that goes into our projects, our ultimate goal is to create an experience that people will enjoy and want to revisit again and again. Whether that be through an eye opening website introduction or the subtle movement of an icon to let you know you’ve successfully interacted with the page content, motion is a tool I look forward to exploring further to bring more value to our clients and enhance the effectiveness of our work.

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OK, hear me out... https://liquid.fish/current/ok-hear-me-out Fri, 07 Sep 18 12:21:20 -0500 Hi, my name is Ben. I am new to liquidfish, and this is my first blog post. I am a former athlete, a current designer, and I have something I want to confess:

 

..I think I am a WNBA convert. This was my first season giving it a legitimate shot and I’m sold. 

 

In fact, I can argue that it is a better product than men’s NCAA basketball. I think men’s college ball is boring. The shot clock is too long. There are too many time outs. The coaches have too much control over the tempo as they stifle the individual expression that makes the game fun. Not to mention the players aren’t good enough to hold my attention. 

 

The WNBA is none of these things. 

 

I came to this conclusion during the 2018 Women’s NCAA tournament. For the second year in a row, I watched nail-biters in the Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship rounds. Two straight years where the excitement, parody and randomness of the women’s game trumped the men’s. There was nothing on the men’s side that came close to the clutch shooting of Arike Oqunbowale and the performance of Notre Dame. The footage of the announcers calling the final moments went viral. Even Kobe Bryant was live tweeting the game. I am also a sucker for watching juggernauts nose-dive on national TV with all the marbles on the line, and Geno Auriemma’s UCONN Huskies were barely scraping to keep their unbeaten record alive against the onslaught of the Fighting Irish. I knew I was watching a moment. 

So when it finished, I thought to myself; “these players gotta be going somewhere.. The WNBA should be full of Arike’s, right?” And instead of dreading a long offseason between the end of the NBA FINALS and the NFL preseason, I came to the conclusion that I would fill that gap by actively watching the WNBA. 

 

Taking a newfound interest in the League has its pros and cons, but before I go there, I must touch on something that helped me to watch “women’s basketball”. I had to strip away any and all expectations of what I thought professional basketball should look like. A lot of people are spoiled by the NBA, and I had to wrap my brain around the idea of a man standing 6’8”/6’10” and covering ground like a gazelle being extremely bizarre and rare. When I put that aside, I was able to see the WNBA for what it is.. GOOD basketball. If you watch enough WNBA, you can begin to see NBA doppelgängers in it’s individual players. You can also appreciate the ferocity some women have on the glass. You start to notice the speed they have in the open court, or with their first step from a triple threat position. If you catch enough games, you’ll know that they the average WNBA player probably shoots as well —if not better— than their male counterparts. Cons? You can’t find it on TV anywhere. Chances are, cornhole or spikeball gets more airtime on ESPN on a Saturday afternoon than a marque WNBA matchup on NBA TV (requires a paid subscription I don’t have) or on Lifetime (who watches Lifetime?). 

 

As I write this, I am thinking about the two game 5’s (game 7 equivalent in the NBA) that I watched last night to decide the teams who will play in the WNBA FINALS. One of which had their star player return from a hyperextended knee in a game 2 loss return to carry her team to a first ever FINALS birth in franchise history in a slugfest, and the other who had the oldest player in the league (37) summon a rain dance to bury their opponent in a barrage of threes in the 4th quarter. All after breaking her nose in game 4. If this were men’s basketball, it would have been front and center of Sportscenter for a 48-hour news period. 

 

The cool thing about all this is that I have very talented co-workers who have been working on a newly completed website for A’ja Wilson, the first overall pick and WNBA Rookie Of The Year for the Las Vegas Aces. I remember A’ja from the first of the two aforementioned NCAA tournaments I watched. She ran through the competition on the way to the ‘ship, and here I was on day one of the job, watching my colleagues working on one of the most dope websites I’ve probably ever seen on her behalf (seriously, go check it out ajawilson22.com). Ironically, as I’m finding the league on a personal level, Liquidfish brought me even closer to it on a professional one as well. 

 

I haven’t been shy about my newfound interests in the circles that I run in. My friends attribute my new fascination to me being a new father of 15-month-old identical twin daughters. To that I say that they are both right and wrong. I did want to take up something new to occupy the layover in sports over the summer.  But, I also wanted to be entrenched into something my babies can one day look up to. I figure that if I start now, then by the time they can understand and participate in sports, they can see people like them participating in something of value, because daddy values it too. 

 

Hopefully by then, more people will catch the bug. And the WNBA would be worth more as a league, and to society. I want to see these women excel and I want them to get paid handsomely for it. I want their exposure to be far and wide because it is important for young girls to see themselves on TV and to associate that imagery with excellence. I aim to convert more believers. And if you like good hoops, then you’ll come to realize what’s been hiding in plain sight all this time. Basketball is basketball!

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Instafamous - 5 Tips to Grow Your Instagram Following https://liquid.fish/current/instafamous-5-tips-to-grow-your-instagram-following Thu, 07 Jun 18 16:04:36 -0500 I started a personal project where I create a new logo every day to post on my artist Instagram account. Since I started sharing my work, I have learned what works and what doesn't when it comes to increasing an account following. These are 5 tips that can be useful to grow your Instagram following.

 

1. Consistency is Key

Instagram is a highly competitive environment where thousands of new posts are made each day. Posting consistently increases your chances of getting noticed by potential followers because the more posts you have out there, the more chances you get for profile visits.

While posting consistently is important, you have to make sure each post has value and can stand out from the rest in some way. Yet each new post must also fit well into your profile feed. Good posts invite users to explore a profile in more detail, and that is where the decision to follow or not is made. It’s important to have a consistent theme so that your followers, and potential followers, will know what kind of content to expect from you. 

 

2. Improve Your Hashtag Game

Hashtags are more important on Instagram than on any other social network. If it weren't for hashtags, a profile would be virtually undiscoverable. Providing relevant content and posting consistently is not enough if your posts don’t get to the eyes of the right people. While using hashtags like #picoftheday can get you many instant likes and follows, your posts will probably only be findable in the hashtag feed for a few minutes before they get lost in a pile of new posts. 

Using hashtags relevant to your content ensures that the right people will see your content. Try to find hashtags that have been used around 10,000 - 80,000 times. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post or comment. I like to add my hashtags in the comment section to keep my captions clean. It’s also a good idea to keep a couple lists on hand of quality hashtags to use with each post. Adding a location to your posts also creates better results. 

It is important to mention that “curators,” a new category of Instagram profiles, have become increasingly popular. These are accounts that do not create any content, but simply have you use their hashtag in your posts. They then repost or share the best posts under their hashtag. This is a great way to get your profile noticed and to start building your following.

 

3. Study Your Audience & Analytics

There isn't an absolute best time to post on Instagram for everyone, this is why it’s important to use the analytics tool to your advantage. Monitoring your posts helps you to be more efficient. After I started posting regularly, I found out that I get the best results when I post around midnight, which is apparently when most of my audience checks Instagram. Seeing how your posts perform is an important tool to understanding what will do the best in the future.

 

4. Build Community & Stay Connected

Having great content can sometimes be irrelevant if you don't build a community and connect with others. I started by commenting on posts I thought were great and followed profiles that I liked. Doing simple things like replying to comments or answering private messages creates an online presence for you that your followers can interact with. I have found that Stories are a great way to share and stay connected. They have recently become even better with the inclusion of polls and slider bars, as well as the ability to include hashtags in your story. This allows people who may not be following you, but who are following those hashtags to be able to see your story. 

Your content is what makes people follow you, but the way you behave online and interact with your followers is what makes them stay. 

 

5. Stay Up to Date with Features & Trends

Instagram is constantly changing and adding new features. For example, hashtags used to rule Instagram, but I have recently seen stories being used with greater success now that you can highlight them in your profile. 
Staying aware of these changes and using them to your advantage helps you stay on top of your game. 

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The Evolution of Process https://liquid.fish/current/the-evolution-of-process Thu, 24 May 18 09:36:17 -0500 I’ve been at liquidfish for over three years now, and a lot has changed within the company, including our process for approaching projects. When I first started, a process was in place, but I noticed an immediate need to document and formalize it.

I am a visual learner, so developing something tangible that we would be able to reference when needed was important. The process would inherently include aspects from each department, so we worked as team to put together a four-step process: Discovery, Content, Design and Development. It was a great first step toward a streamlined process and served us well for a while.

After about a year, we recognized that we needed to expand on our process to help alleviate issues and further support our clients. So at that time, it went from a four-step process to a six-step process. We added in time for Site Mapping and Quality Assurance/Testing: two areas I can’t imagine doing a project without.

Fast forward two more years and we have now developed our process even further to include eight steps. Yes, I know eight may seem like a lot, but it has allowed liquidfish to excel in our craft in many ways. We are paying attention to the small details and creating internal and external flow of communication better than we ever have before. When we all adhere to the process, we can keep each other accountable every step of the way, which in turn gives our clients a better end-product. 

Of course there are situations that arise and things that have to change, but when they do, liquidfish is able to be nimble and flexible, paying attention to the client’s needs while still using our streamlined process as a guide to help us stay on track. We not only want to customize your website and digital marketing needs, we also want your entire experience with us to be custom and unique. 

For those who want to learn about or review our process in depth, please feel free to call or email us. We will be happy to share our experiences and how we approach our work. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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Magic: The... Programming? https://liquid.fish/current/magic-the-programming Wed, 25 Apr 18 14:35:08 -0500 “Magic: the Gathering” is a very popular game, boasted as the most played trading card game in the world. You might be thinking to yourself: “Hey, isn’t this supposed to be about developmental practices?” I’m glad you asked, voice in my head. 

“Magic: the Gathering” is a trading card game in which players will purchase packs of cards, build decks, and play them against one another. Each player starts with 20 life, and the goal of the game is to bring the opponent down to 0 life. The way each deck does this is different, but most of the time, it involves some form of attacking with creatures to deal damage to the opposing player. Once one player has been reduced to 0 life, the other player is declared the winner.

This may not sound anything like development, but the proof is in the pudding, er, programming. The similarities come not in the end result, but in the journey itself. The five colors of mana, or sources, Magic has to pull from are: White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green. Likewise, there are multiple languages that can be used in programming: Javascript, PHP, C#, Ruby, SQL. Also, each color has elements that are similar to each other: creatures, sorceries, enchantments, etc, similar to how each language has data types, syntax, and native functions. The key to being any good at either thing is to learn what to build with and why. What’s the most efficient way to bring my opponent to 0 life? How can I most effectively build a splash page? 

Further similarities begin to reveal themselves as you delve deeper. Archetypes in “Magic: the Gathering” can be compared to how each language has a specific purpose. The most common archetypes of Magic are: Aggro, or aggressive play styles that involve playing lots of small creatures and attacking with them; Control, defensive play styles that focus on keeping the opponent from getting too far ahead until they can win; and Combo, unique play styles that revolve around playing a few specific cards to do something that no other deck can beat. 

Similarly, front-end development focuses on user experience and interface design, like what needs to stands out and what looks best. Back-end Development focuses on data and page manipulation. You would never use PHP or RUBY to run a client-side function, any more than you would use client-side javascript to access data from the database. 

The parallels don’t end there, but this blog does. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look at how the magic of development can be related to the magic of, well, Magic. That’s all we have today, so untap, upkeep, draw, Fireball you for 20, game

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March Madness https://liquid.fish/current/march-madness Thu, 29 Mar 18 13:33:46 -0500 Ahh March… flowers blooming, grass greening, air warming, people pretending to know about college basketball (Cody), people losing money on college basketball (Cody). 

Basketball is indeed on the forefront of everyone’s minds right now due to March Madness (I’m a Loyola Chicago alum and we’re in the Final Four – GO RAMBLERS!!!), so it seemed to us that the only appropriate thing to write about is how basketball is similar to our lives here at liquidfish. You may not think there are many parallels to the high energy, fast-paced, highly skilled sport and web design/digital marketing, but you’d be wrong. 

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEE!

1. Communication is Key.

A basketball game where the teammates don’t communicate with one another would be chaos. Try passing a ball to a person who doesn’t know it’s coming – it probably won’t be caught. 

Communication is important for so many reasons. Not only does it give you a chance to know what your teammates are planning on doing, but it also allows for input from others on those plans. The point guard might think it’s a good idea for them to take it all the way in for a layup every time. But if the rest of the team hears that idea, the team may chime in with a “hey, maybe you could pass it instead.” 

At liquidfish, this kind of input from the rest of the team is absolutely invaluable. Collaboration is one of our core values, and we live by it. At pretty much any point during the day you can find people in each others offices, talking through ideas and working out problems. It is this kind of communication, collaboration, and sharing of ideas that makes us sure we are providing our clients with the best ideas and solutions. 

2. Know the Play.

It’s essential that you have at least a couple plays ready to go for a basketball game, and that the whole team knows them inside and out before you start. If there was no playbook, nobody would know what to do. There would be too many options, and one of two things would likely happen: a) Everyone would try to to do everything. Or b) Everyone would just stand there. Either way, it would be a mess. 

At liquidfish, we have our own version of a playbook. We’ve established a framework to help guide our internal processes for projects, from start to finish. Each teammate knows who’s doing the tip-off, who to pass it to from there, when to take the ball and dribble on their own, and when to finally shoot. Those may not be the actual terms we use for the different steps in our process (although now I’m thinking we should change them), but you get the idea. We have a plan for each step of the project, and sticking to that plan (maybe with some improv here and there when necessary) helps us stay on track so we can come out the other side with a W. 

3. There’s No “i” in Team.

The age-old saying still applies here – you have to work together to be successful. As mentioned in the last point, every person on a team trying to do it all is not ideal, they’d be stepping on each others’ toes and exhausting themselves for nothing. 

In basketball and marketing, every player has their own position in which they are experts, and each position is vital to the overall success of the team. Maybe you’re great at graphic design, but you’re not so hot at communicating with clients. That’s okay, let your outgoing teammate talk to those clients for you. Don’t waste your time and energy on something another person can do better. You have to trust your teammates to use their talents to do their part. Then all you have to do is worry about your own job, and everything runs smoothly. 

4. You Gotta Put in the Work.

Champions aren’t made overnight. And neither are websites or campaigns.

Even though the final product may come out looking like it was effortless, you know that wasn’t the case. Not just anyone can produce the quality of work we do here at liquidfish, and it’s no walk in the park. It’s the above and beyond work we put in each day – the late nights at the office, the lunches spent at desks, the big ideas we take to fruition – that makes us and our work stand out in the end. 

5. It’s All About the Follow Through.

Keep a floppy wrist and your fingers pointed at the hoop after the ball has left your hands. Wait, no, that’s just basketball. 

The follow through is just as important at liquidfish as it is in basketball. Keeping in contact with clients and making sure they are happy after the site has launched or the social media campaign has ended, is so important. Of course, we want to make sure the site stays working and that they are continually happy with our services. Beyond that, we want to stay on high alert for things that can be even better. 

Staying in contact with clients is also a great way to grow both your personal and business networks, you never know when you might need some of their services too!

6. Stay hydrated.

Hydrate or die.

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Black Walnut OKC | Branding and Naming Project https://liquid.fish/current/black-walnut-okc-branding-and-naming-project Thu, 15 Mar 18 10:02:44 -0500 Local restauranteur and chef Andrew Black presented the liquidfish team with the unique challenge of branding a triplicate of restaurants in the heart of Deep Deuce, an up-and-coming district in downtown Oklahoma City. While two of the three restaurants already had names, the real challenge came in creating a name for the third space to match his culinary vision and also capture elements of the area's history and location.

Creative Director Christopher Lee lead his three-man design team through a series of meetings and critiques starting, with most importantly, research. According to chef Andrew, the history of the restaurant space itself is rather intriguing. Previously a residential property where two homes once stood, the now-torn-down houses were repurposed to comprise the restaurant's home-like façade. The menu would be designed to match the oh-so-homie vibe inspired by tastes from chef Andrew's global culinary experiences. After a few days of research and sketching, the designers came together to review and discuss alongside liquidfish copywriter and digital strategist, Christina Lindsey. 

"No one person actually hit the nail on the head singlehandedly, but once we took time to collaborate and bring our individual interpretations and perspectives together, things just sort of fell into place and the name and brand took shape," said Lindsey. 

Located at the corner of NE 2nd Street and Walnut Avenue, the middleman to this trio of taste would become Black Walnut. 

"Sometimes the most obvious solutions are the best," said Lee. 

Partly named for the owner himself and partly by its streetside designation, this simple and straightforward solution was a winner in the eyes of the client.

The nameless space now had a name and was in need of a brand. With each designer bringing their individual styles to the table, the design team met a week or so later to review and make decisions about the branding. New to the liquidfish team, but a veteran in my field, I crafted what chef Andrew would later choose as the final logo for Black Walnut. The logo is a culmination of all of the information gathered throughout the process, and then some. Knowledge is key. The final design was exactly what I wanted it to be; abstract in nature yet clean and crisp.

The abstract walnut features one line down the center encompassed by two additional lines that create the walnut-like shape. At first glance, it's just a walnut, but once you dive further into the story and representation, it becomes so much more. The central vertical line represents Black Walnut's physical place in the center of this culinary trio, as well as its future as a place of intersection within in the community, where different groups come together over great food and drinks. 

"A storyteller in his own way, Chef Andrew was thrilled with the end result, and so were we," says Lee.

The branding didn't just result in another happy liquidfish client, it also took home a Gold award at this year's Oklahoma ADDY Awards.

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Making Waves at the ADDYs 2018 https://liquid.fish/current/making-waves-at-the-addys-2018 Wed, 28 Feb 18 16:45:36 -0600 The 2018 ADDYs were a success! liquidfish was proud to attend this event, as we are every year, and love seeing that creativity is thriving in our state. True to our company's culture, we enjoy the opportunity to spend an evening together as a team and socialize with others in our field.

While we’re not award seekers, we are very proud our work and appreciate being recognized for our creativity and innovation alongside others in our industry. Below are our award winners; we hope you take a minute or two to learn a bit more about what we do and why we love to do it. We can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring!

GOLD AWARDS

Titan II Energy | Interface and Navigation

Black Walnut | Logo Design

Bryson DeChambeau's Birdie Challenge | Social Media Campaign


SILVER AWARDS

Mooch | Logo Design

FLINT Events on the Patio | Social Media Campaign


BRONZE AWARDS

Oklahoma State Chamber | User Experience

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Now Loading: Your SEO Rankings https://liquid.fish/current/now-loading-your-seo-rankings Wed, 07 Feb 18 14:44:04 -0600 We recently encountered an issue with Google AdWords being rejected on an existing site. After A LOT of digging and troubleshooting, we found that speed was the issue. The site was loading at an average of 12.5 seconds, with Uptrends, and Google PageSpeed Insights ranked it at an abysmal 20/42 mobile/desktop optimization rating. We knew what we had to do, but in the process, I thought it would be awesome to get some statistics along the way:

Style sheets and JavaScript Minification

Definition: The process of removing all unnecessary characters from source code without changing its functionality (Formatting, Whitespaces, etc.)

The first step was to make sure all files were minified and any unnecessary references were removed or relocated. Smaller, minified files result in faster response times and a better UX. After a few tweaks my speed tests were the following:

Uptrends.com
Base Test: 12.5s
After Minification: 12.2s

PageSpeed Insights
Base Test: 20/42
After Minification: 31/55

Not a bad improvement…

Image compression

Definition: Type of data compression applied to digital images, to reduce their cost for storage or transmission.

Sliders are the enemy. Your typical slider has about 4-6 slides and probably has a CSS and JavaScript library. This really cool feature on almost EVERY SITE can introduce a host of problems. Each one of our images was about 290 KB. After using some of my mad Photoshop skills, I was able to get each of the files down to about 70 KB with almost no noticeable difference in image quality. 

Uptrends.com
Base Test: 12.5s
After Minification: 12.2s
After Compression: 11.5s

PageSpeed Insights
Base Test: 20/42
After Minification: 31/55
After Compression: 36/58

Still not very fast…

Lazy loading

Definition: The process of not instantiating an object until the point of request

I could’ve focused more on the front end, but I knew we weren’t proceeding by leaps and bounds. My personal philosophy is to have an interesting landing page that doesn’t do much except take you to other pages that do the work. The homepage of this site required numerous database queries and a lot of other logic. The only thing I could think to do was incorporate some lazy loading (think about Pinterest or Facebook not loading new posts/images until you scroll to the bottom). The results were astounding:

Uptrends.com
Base Test: 12.5s
After Minification: 12.2s
After Compression: 11.5s
Lazy Loading: 0.9s

PageSpeed Insights
Base Test: 20/42
After Minification: 31/55
After Compression: 36/58
Lazy Loading: 80/72

The takeaway: Incorporating one or two of these things in your site may help, but to get the best results, we need to focus on all or even more. Google announced that mobile page speeds are now a ranking factor for mobile searches so page responsiveness is more important than ever.

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