3 min read

Toms’ 2015 Year Review

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Updated on 15 Mar 2024

And so another year is over! It really is crazy to think where the past 12 months have gone. It feels like only yesterday I was reflecting on 2014, and now I’ve got another to look back at! This is my fourth year working at Shape and I am already looking forward to starting my fifth. Across this year, I have worked on a number of projects that I am delighted to talk about. Also we have really tried pushing people to keep their sites current and up-to-date by converting static desktop sites into fully responsive, cross-device friendly projects.


Firstly, A project I am very proud of from 2015 is the website showcasing Minix and their Next Generation Computers. With this project, I had free reigns on both design and development and so I wanted to create something that showcased the fantastic functionality of these products that was also as beautiful and minimal as the products themselves too. As I designed this site, I knew exactly how I wanted everything to function. This allowed me to utilise a few custom features including some subtle SVGs animations created using Raphael, a custom map to show and filter the suppliers, distributors and resellers per continent around the world and also utilising flex box within CSS quite a lot to create a both horizontally and vertically flexible layout which was dependant on both the content and device type.

One way of enabling more users to learn about these state-of-the-art products is implementing a multi-language content management system. This is by far the best way of including translation features into a site when compared to auto-translate tools provided by Google and others. Being able to add multi-language content yourself gives a much more accurate translation over the auto-translation tools.

Rachel Bates

One of the highlights of this year for me was having the privilege to work on the Rachel Bates Interiors eCommerce site. I can remember when Andy first told us about this project and remember just how excited we were to start working on this project. My role in this project consisted of both front-end and back-end development, big responsibilities! There was a number skills I picked up working on this project including implementing a completely bespoke delivery option system which calculated a price for worldwide delivery zones based on a total order weight threshold, creating a user-friendly filtering system based which allowed for individual brand pages, to give a bespoke and personal touch per brand.

Responsive Sites

With the big switch on Google SEO recognising responsive design and functionality, this became a big part of this year - converting a number of live sites into fully responsive, mobile and tablet friendly websites. This was a great opportunity for us to give some of our older sites a fresher aesthetic. We believe that a websites design can usually stay up-to-date for about 3-4 years, and making a site responsive can give a site a completely new feel. As a general rule these days, websites are not bound to a 960px grid, and flex depending on the browsers width. This alone gives content more breathing space and can really transform a design.

To name a few of our old favourites we have converted: Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe,The Hungry Gecko and Questro International. Go check them out with their new, flexible loveliness!

If you think this is something your site is currently lacking, and are looking to bring your current site up-to-date and compatible across multiple devices, get in touch with us.

The Lads

I would finally like to say that - hands down, my favourite thing about working here is the people that surround me. We are such a close cohort of people in the studio and I love that we are. We know when to work hard and when to laugh hard, and the banter doesn’t stop in the studio. From me, Mike and Jay going out on our two-wheelers up ‘Matchmoor’, to the nights out spending 8 hours in Hula and chucking drinks over Andy (sorry not sorry!). I am truly grateful for being surrounded by a bunch of mates every day doing stuff I love.

So that’s me done waffling on about this year. Safe to say, it has been another corker of a year and I cannot wait to get cracking on the new one!

But first things first, let's all enjoy the Christmas festivities!!

I've been at Shape for around 8 years now. I bagged a couple of weeks of work experience at the end of my first year at Salford Uni and from then on, well what can I say, they couldn't get enough of me.