• The challenges of running a business

    Thought this cartoon on Digital Synopsis sums up the biggest problem we face as an agency.

    Design and brand agency

    Saying no to a client can often feel like a crime, but saying yes and failing is actually worse.

    We try hard to work closely with clients to avoid this, either by helping them plan potential work loads in advanced or through genuinely understanding the deadline and negotiating. Not all deadlines will result in Armageddon.

    All that said, we are instinctively helpful people at Crush so will always want to, and try to help all clients at all time.

  • We are recruiting – PHP and WordPress Developers

    Our staff retention at Crush Design has been excellent, especially if you compare it to the Agency sector average.

    However, after five years one of our developers believes (quite incorrectly) that the grass may be greener elsewhere.

    This tragedy happened shortly after we had already made the decision to expand the developer team with another junior. So now I have two position to fill!

    • a senior and a junior developer
    • would consider two middle weights

    There is no mad rush as the development work schedule is manageable, plus getting the right people is vital as we want them to stay for five years at the very least!

    So who is right for us, and who are we right for?

    • PHP is the language of choice. Lots of knowledge and experience for the senior, some experience but evidence of enthusiasm and eagerness more important for the junior role
    • Full’ish stack for the seniors, though more emphasis on front end skills
    • Front End more important for juniors to start
    • Knowledge of WordPress and Laravel would be good (Magento knowledge would be awesome but not a requirement)
    • Friendly, because the team you are joining is and we want a positive working environment
    • Hard working, because we are a popular agency with more opportunies than we can manage
    • But not just fast work as pixel perfect quality is important

    In terms of the work we do, it is varied both in terms of the clients we work for and the projects we get.

    Never a dull moment!

    If you are interested please get in touch, we would love to hear from you:

    More information on the job role: Developer Jobs

    Agencies – Aiming not to use an agency, though chances are you have already contacted me as I ran an advert on Indeed and Linked In. If you want to chance you arm send anonymised CV of local and relevant candidates with your required commission rate. All other contact will be ignored / avoided. Sorry.

  • New Premium Website

    How do you make something feel exclusive and premium quality.

    That was the challenge set by one of our clients, Pagefield Global Counsel who are an amazing company.

    We love them, but the website brief was not so lovely as we couldn’t really say what they do or who they do it for.

    All we can say is that they want the world’s most powerful and wealthiest people to get just how special they are at a glance.

    Fortunately we have some amazing designers who absolutely relish a challenge and developers who can do cool stuff.

    Also the client was comfortable investing in the work it takes to deliver quality.

    Any, that is enough chat, here is the website:

  • Should you pay for testing on your new website?

    This is an issue that has been challenging me for some time, so I thought I would put my thoughts down on our blog.

    Here is the issues in a nutshell.

    1. A basic website is easy to build
    2. A website that works on all devices, on all browsers, at all resolutions and maintains integrity after software updates is pretty much impossible
    3. A website that has coherent navigation and content, requires both client and agency to plan and test ideas
    4. A website that guarantees a good customer experience (UX) requires external user acceptance testing and an ongoing ‘test and improve’ approach
    5. Clients expect all the above, but only want to pay for the first


    To put this into perspective, I recently quoted for (and won) a website build for a savvy client that did understand the need for thorough testing. The actual build of the website only amounted to 30% of the overall cost, with testing being the largest at 40% of the budget, design 20% and the remaining 10% for general works.

    To me, this is the right ratio.

    However, at the lower end of the pricing spectrum clients will inevitably sacrifice the testing for a better website, and we often end up on a 80% build to 10% testing ratio on budget. This is where the problems reside. Who pays if the website is buggy on certain devices, or if the UX is a little disjointed?

    This also explain why website quotes can vary so much, from the lower quotes (on a build and walk away basis), to those that want to quote on the higher side, like Crush, as they do include a sensible amount of budget to make sure there are far fewer issues over the 3-6 years that the website will be in existence.

    There is no immediate solution, but I urge anyone charged with commissioning a new website to ask about testing in their tenders, as currently so few do.

    Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

    website testing budget conundrum

  • Deal Making – busy times for Crush!

    I have nagged our clients to post updates on their website fortnightly at the very least, to present an up-to-date image to the world, be seen as thought leaders and to pursue good SEO rankings. Yet here I am writing a blog article one month after the last. A definite case of “do as I say, not as I do!”

    It has been another stupendous start to the year, and I am somewhat perturbed by just how April it has become recently. March was merely a passing thought as we won work and delivered work at a dizzying rate;

    • A self serve portal for a Utility company that has over 100,000 customers
    • A streaming media campaign microsite that is fronted by non-other than Jeff Goldblum
    • We are on the brink on delivering a GDPR compliant data collection and management module
    • Launched
    • Launched
    • Launched 3 other websites I can’t mention
    • Delivered outsourced marketing support for 5 decent sized companies
    • Designed and delivered a major annual report
    • And won three great new clients (which I won’t name yet as we haven’t proved ourselves yet!)
    • And some more design stuff that I don’t know a great deal about (its digital that gets me up in the morning!)

    All in all, a damn good Q1.

    The challenge in the next quarter is going to be the need to recruit some more people, initially developers, so if you know anyone please put us in touch.

    Photo by on Unsplash

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