Can a Website Be Art for Art’s Sake?

Our senior designer, Caroline, tackles a question sparked by a debate among our design team.

The design team at FortyFour takes inspiration seriously. We spend significant time crawling Awwwards, Dribbble, Behance, Httpster, CollectUi, and Bestfolios, to name a few. We discuss inspirational art, type, and UI projects in our creative team weekly meetings. We share drool-worthy interactions and color palettes via slack. All of this preparation makes it easier to kick off new projects and bring fresh ideas to new pitches.

Recently, this practice sparked a heated debate across the team.

I found a particularly interesting site that I showed to my deskmate, Liz. The website in question had truly strange interactions, an initially imperceptible purpose, and an impossible layout on mobile. After several minutes of digging, we discovered it was site for designer shoes. Liz suggested we pull up another site, this time for a restaurant. The throwback styling of the site immediately conjured up memories of customizing my first MySpace layout. It had letters tracing the cursor, overlapping tickers, and a color palette that made your eyes vibrate.

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Written by on October 31st, 2018 in Design

A Look at the Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist Exam

Our technical intern, Sally Park, breaks down the exam itself and what it means for developers.

Magento

With many of our developers at FortyFour specialized in Magento, we end up spending a lot of time talking about the platform. While many in the digital service industry are familiar with Magento, not everyone knows what it means to be a Magento 2 Solution Specialist. Becoming a specialist requires an exam, and we’re here to walk you through exactly what that exam entails.

What is it?

According to the Magento website, “a Magento 2 Solution Specialist is an expert user of the Magento 2 e-commerce platform. Drawing on a deep background in business and e-commerce, the Magento 2 Solution Specialist can efficiently align business objectives with Magento 2 functionality, optimize use of native features, and avoid unnecessary customization. Whether as a merchant, a manager, a consultant, or an analyst, the Magento 2 Solution Specialist knows how to make the best use of Magento 2 features and functionality.”

As a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist, a developer should not only have knowledge of Magento basics, but also be able to apply what they know in the best possible way to help the client. The exam serves as confirmation that he or she is able to do so, while still aligning with Magento’s core development principles.

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Written by on October 10th, 2018 in Work

On the Various Roles Our Business Analysts Play at FortyFour

Our Business Analysis team, Karla Fleming and Brian Zirbes, walk us through the various roles a BA plays here and what they add to every project.

Business Analyst

A “business analyst” is a difficult role to define. Even the name itself is a bit of a conundrum. In the e-commerce industry, most roles come with a self-explanatory “verb” + “er” style title.

If you develop, you’re a developer. If you design, you’re a designer. If you manage projects, you’re a project manager. So when it comes to a “business analyst,” what’s in a name? It’s a bit murky.

Adding to the confusion, a BA’s role can vary from company to company, even within the field of e-commerce development.

So what do we actually do? Decoding the job from the title isn’t as simple as removing a suffix, but it’s not such a bad thing. In short, we take in business and product requirements and help build out the technical specifications needed to deliver the product.

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Written by on October 2nd, 2018 in Work

What’s Up with All Those Calls from “Google Representatives” Everyone Keeps Getting?

Our Marketing Manager, Pierce Wilford, walks us through where these calls come from and why they matter, or why they don't.

google ads

If you have ever managed a Google AdWords account, you are likely well aware of a problem that, until recently, we had chalked up as Google just trying to make a few extra bucks: the constant phone calls and emails from Google representatives looking to optimize our underperforming AdWords accounts.

Beyond the nuisance of multiple calls and emails per day, they go as far as reaching out to our clients and frightening them with statements about how their account is underperforming and that Google offers this free, short-term service to optimize their account for better results. The client begins to question all the work we’ve done for them and assume our inadequacy and carelessness. Why would they pay us for our services when they can get even better results directly from Google for free? The situation must be drastic for Google to contact them directly, right?

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Written by on September 13th, 2018 in News, Work