Mailbox Beta for Mac OSX

I always have a bit of a soft spot for new software and apps. I love trying out new apps, especially at beta stage when they’re all new and shinny and slightly broken! I’m also always on the hunt to find an app that makes email less painful. At kc web design Kent we use Postbox for our email – it’s full of features, works great with multiple accounts and is easy to use but, it still looks like a traditional email client.

Email needs to change

Email has been around for a long time and in that time it hasn’t really changed much. You get an email, deal with it or delete it or file it. For most of us this has been enough but we get so many emails these days it’s become harder to manage and we seem to be constantly replying to and reading emails every few minutes. A few apps have come along to try and change the way we deal with email and Mailbox for iOS was one of the more successful ones. The iOS app is lovely and the way it works on the iPhone with the swipes is very nice. Earlier this year Mailbox said it was working on a Mac desktop version and a few weeks ago I got sent a beta coin (check out the very cool way you have to drag and drop the coin on to the can to start the beta app!).

Mailbox on the Mac looks as lovely as it does on iOS, it’s very minimal with nothing getting in the way of reading and archiving emails. It doesn’t seem to deal with multiple accounts very well at this stage but hopefully that will be resolved and it only works with iCloud or Gmail accounts. The interface is very simple and clear and the way it deals with emails is the same as the iOS version with options to  archive emails to a date or a list. These options also work with mouse or trackpad gestures so a simple swipe left or right on a magic mouse will evoke the archive menus which is a very quick and satisfying way to quickly deal with emails.

All in all I really like the feel of Mailbox. I have lots of email accounts so I need a good way to manage all of those from one place so we’ll have to see how the Mailbox team improve that side of the app. I think the big thing for me is that the app still feels like just a way to archive emails into different folders which is something I do in Postbox anyway. Admittedly Mailbox does do this very, very well though. I still think there’s a better way to deal with emails, something that treats them more like conversations or groups of conversations and not just single messages to be moved around. Maybe there’s another email app out there….

William Cowley Parchment & Vellum

kc web design Kent and William Cowley have been working hard over the last few months to launch a brand new website for the 140 year old parchment and vellum maker. When Adrian from William Cowley first came to see me at kc web design Kent I was instantly drawn to this project. William Cowley are one of only 3 companies in the world that still make Vellum (a type of parchment made from animal skins – all ethically sourced of course) and it’s a company that’s been around for 140 years. They still make Vellum in the same way they did 140 years ago and the methods used are top secret. William Cowley have a fantastic heritage and have contributed parchment and vellum to some amazing projects and uses such as Royal wedding certificates and Bibles on display in Museums.

The quality of the parchments and the tactile nature (honestly, Vellum is unbreakable, you just can’t rip the stuff!) of what they do is fascinating and kc web design kent wanted to try and get across this feeling of a beautiful physical product on the website design. Working very closely with William Cowley, kc web design kent designed and built a WordPress based website design that was unique, showed the heritage of a 140 year old business as well as the skill and craftsmanship involved, while making the website still feel modern. Easy!

…I must back up the phone message, I’ve just left you, to say that I’m delighted with the finished result. Many thanks for all your efforts (and patience!) to get everything right, it’s much appreciated.


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Hydrant & UK Vets Online

kc web design Kent are delighted to be working with the talented developers at Hydrant on lots of new exciting website design projects including this user interface redesign for UK Vets Online. Working with Hydrant as a UI consultant and designer we took over the UI/UX design for UK Vets Online, the UK’s largest online network for Vet practices. The UI and general website design needed an update and key features completely redesigning.

kc web design Kent spent many hours sketching and wireframing specific areas of the site together with the developers at Hydrant to create the perfect interface for Vets to administer their websites and content and improve the whole UKVOL experience. kc web design Kent designed and built a new interactive dashboard area with interchangeable widgets and ways for the user to access all areas of the website. Key sections, such as the free content area, were completely redesigned to improve user flow and interaction. The importance of good UI design was especially relevant to this section as the previous version of the free content area was hidden, illogical and very difficult to use to the point where it was the least used feature in the system but probably one of the most useful to Vets and to MSD. The key goals for this redesign were to make the free content area easy to use for first time users yet still advanced enough for users that knew the system. kc web design kent sketched and wireframed mockups for user testing and designed a system that was iTunes like in feel, was easy to use and only relied on a few key pages and was very visual to aid new users.

The new UKVOL website design is working very well and the improvements kc web design kent have made have had a big impact on the usage of important features. This is an ongoing project for kc web design Kent and Hydrant and there’ll be more to come on UKVOL over the next 12 months.

Deltr web app

Deltr – our brand new web app – will be released later this year. We’re about to enter beta testing with live users and the final push to finish the last few major features is under way.

Deltr is a new blogging platform design for users with little or no experience in creating websites. Its main focus is on writing content and the user will be able to create websites, write content and earn money from doing it.

We’ve been working very hard on the brand and user interface to make it simple and intuitive to use and easy to understand. We’ve had some fantastic feedback so far and can’t wait until its fully launched. If you would like to sign up as a beta tester or would like to be notified when it launches head over to the website and leave us your details.

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Excel World website design

We’ve recently launched a brand new website design for Excel World, a leading provider of training, consultancy and business improvement courses in the UK.

Nearly a year in the making, the Excel World website went through many design changes but the end result has been a great success.

Many thanks for your patience and hard work in putting this all together – let’s hope our customers like it as much as we do!

The main focus of the re-design was on the display of the content. There is a huge amount of course content on the website that needed to be easy to find, easy to read and easy for new customers to quickly get the info they needed on finding which course was right for them. The overall look and feel was kept clean with a large are for the main content. A specially designed hang-down menu system was built to allow easy access to other pages but without compromising on screen space and additional quick-nav elements giving easy access to courses from all pages.

Course content was designed to be easy to read and scan quickly while still maintaining all the information a customer would need. Print style sheets were used extensively so that printing course material from any page would result in a nicely formatted A4 representation of the course info. A fully interactive course calendar was created to allow the user to quickly find a course date and book.

If you have a similar web design project then please get in touch with kc we design, Kent to see how we can make your project a success.

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Maypole Marquees

Maypole Marquee Ltd specialise in wedding marquee hire and are a local company situated just down the road from Pear Tree Studios. Its always nice to work with local companies and Kristian and Clare have been fantastic – even helping us out with some electrical work at the studios!

The marquee hire industry in this part of the country is pretty fierce so we needed to produce a website that would be slick and polished and show the quality of Maypoles business while allowing them to quickly and easily add new images to the gallery after each event. Since launch they’ve had more leads from the website than they can cope with and have had a fantastic summer.

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UKL Online 2009

The latest upgrade of the UKL website has again been a huge success. We’ve completely re-styled the look and feel and added lots of new features including a new ordering matrix for easy bulk purchasing.

Better integration with the warehousing system has meant improved live stock levels and a more complete order history as well as streamlined ordering processes, with much more planned for this in the coming year.

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The Genesis of Genesis

Genesis Forwarding Services is an international, independent freight forwarder founded in the UK in 1986. Genesis has operations throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and the USA supported by a network of carefully selected partners globally which meant the website had to work for many languages and cultures but be easily administered by the UK headquarters. The focus was functionality and ease of use while projecting the forward looking, forward thinking ethos of the company.

Visitors can go to the shipping aids section to work out their volumetric weight, view transit times, shipping schedules, they can view real time world clocks, request a quotation or access country profiles. Everything on the website is directed at the customer and their business needs.

The website is now live but will be launched to the press and a wider public audience in the next few weeks.

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Simplisys needed a small CMS powered website that was easy to update and keep fresh while providing a solid foundation to build on. Content was key to the site as each product and service had many pages of vital information. Our own in-house CMS system was used to keep costs down and give Simplisys the flexibility they have been used to with their other internal CRM systems.

Specialising in Service Delivery, Simplisys offers fully featured, easy to use, helpdesk, service desk and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.

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