How we spent our year

Well, what a year it’s been here at fffunction. Join us on a journey through time and space – starting a year ago back in October of 2012. Hope you enjoy the ride.

October 2012

October saw Adam, Ben and Pete flying out to the third Brooklyn Beta. Highlights included Seth Godin, Aaron Draplin, fr00tball and Brooklyn Lager.

On the work front we launched a site for the town of Yountville. This was a project we worked on with the team at Squarespace, which saw us working with their new system for the first time (it was still in beta at this point).

As part of our ‘do good work for good people’ motto, we started designing and building a project for Kernow Young Carers. We’re proud to have contributed to this great cause.

Welcome to Brooklyn Beta.

Yountville orignal design comp

Design for Yountville with Squarespace.

November 2012

November means one thing. Build conference. Ben and Pete went over to Belfast to check out axe building, home-brewing and of course, web design (nearly forgot that one).

Meanwhile, Adam headed to Handheld conference to hold things in his hand.

On the work front we worked on the design and build of Access aCloud for The Access Group’s new cloud based offering. We also began booking in plenty of new projects this month for the likes of the Viral Ad Network and Roland UK.

Access aCloud

Final comp for the Access aCloud Solutions page.

“Working with fffunction was a great experience. I’ve been building sites for years but learnt something new at every stage of the project.”

— Paul Ashton, Access Web Manager

December 2012

In the words of Noddy Holder. It’s Christ-mas. We’ve been good boys this year, and because of that Santa brought us a trip to Leiden and back to Inspire Conference.

Because it was Christmas, we decided to stage our own version of planes, trains and automobiles (minus the planes and automobiles) and caught the Eurostar over.

Work started this month on Viral Ad Network and Roland respectively. Two rather large projects that we were itching to get our teeth into.

When summing up December in two words I think we’d plump for Busy and Boozy!

'The future is still under construction': quote on the wall in the Roland office from Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder Roland Corporation
Stairs in the Roland office

‘Shit that is Winning’ became something of a catchphrase in Leiden.

Viral Ad Network design comp

Design for the Viral Ad Network dashboard.

“We had already started to adopt an end-user led approach to our marketing but fffunction have taken this forward ten-fold with a truly user centric design aimed at optimising the customer journey.”

— Helen Whitten, Marketing Director Roland UK

January 2013

January. What can we really say about January? We had a few projects lined up from 2012 that didn’t get off the ground, and I think it’s fair to say we had something of an internal lull.

So we went and did a bit of tree shaking and some self-promotion, chasing down leads and putting in the leg work in order to secure some more projects for the coming year.

We also went to New Adventures conference in Nottingham. As it transpires, that was one of the best moves we could have made…

We seem to have avoided most cameras at NA Conf. This is the only shot of any of us during the three days. We were there, honest.

  • Globe
  • Mountain and flag
  • Mountain routes
  • Tools
  • Man on mountain
  • Many mountains, new heights

Abandoned designs for version two

February 2013

As January was generally a slow month, it’s fair to say we were very trepidatious about what February would bring.

Fortunately, a combination of some good networking at New Adventures conference and some collaboration with the excellent people at CX Partners kept us out of trouble.

A conversation between Pete, Russell and the boys from Mixture at New Adventures convinced us to release Sassaparilla to the world.

We had been using it internally for sometime, but were always nervous of releasing it into the wild. We’re very glad we did.

Sassaparilla original design comp

The original photoshop design for Sassaparilla that we whipped up using some of the elements we’d been working on for the fffunction re–design.

March 2013

March saw us working primarily on our projects with Viral Ad Network and Roland UK. We also started some work for Seamless Docs across the pond, helping them to work on making their current offering more responsive and flexible across multiple devices.

We had the opportunity to write an article about Sassaparilla for .net magazine.

Adam, Russell and Ben headed to Digpen in Cornwall, whilst Pete began making a media stand design for the nice folks at ThankQ. In other news, Pete turned 31. We bought him an AeroPress. He’s very protective of it.

We were lucky to write about Sassaparilla for .net magazine.

Seamless Documents eSign design

Design comp of the Seamless Docs eSign page.

“fffunction created ‘We’ve taken thankQ to our hearts’, and being extremely impressed by the quality of their delivery from conception to creation I can declare that I have taken fffunction to my heart!”

— Vasileios Kospanos, NFP Marketing Executive

April 2013

April saw Ben and Adam head to the coat-less city (and home of Brian Johnson, Jimmy Nail and Byker Grove) of Newcastle for Industry Conference. New skills were acquired, brews consumed, but most importantly, our first member of staff was coerced into joining our ranks later in the year.

We kicked off a few projects with workshops this month and welcomed the chaps from IMSL and HybridCluster to our Bristol office. Turns out our clients love coffee, leaving Pete’s private reserve looking decidedly worse for wear. Soon after, we launched full steam ahead into the Brand and user experience for the Hybrid chaps.

IMSL UX paper on desk
HybridCluster sketches and logo

A lot of clients = a lot of coffee. Our reserves were running pretty low this month.

May 2013

May. Oh May. What a month. We made it through to the final three nominees for best new agency at the .net awards, so we spent a lovely sunny afternoon in London with our fellow web folk.

We went full steam on the re-branding, website re-design and launch of HybridCluster, that went from conception to completion in a matter of weeks, ready for their re-launch in Austin, Texas at HostingCon the following month.

This month saw us donning our education caps and running a prototyping workshop for the guys at Healthspan, running them through tools such as Mixture and Foundation. Work began on a brand direction, design and build for Spring and starting a new design for the Global Trees Campaign.

Did we mention we were .net award finalists? We did. Ok, just checking…

The Global Trees Campaign help save tree species like the incredible Grandidier’s Baobab.

HybridCluster website

Design for the Hybrid Cluster website.

“fffunction have turned our brand around from “good enough” to “best of breed” with a clean, professional and creative new style.”

— Luke Marsden, CEO Hybrid Cluster

June 2013

June seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye this year. The Cornwall office moved from Jubilee Wharf to bigger and better premises at the Tremough Innovation Centre.

We welcomed Dan Goodwin on board this month, making him the fifth fffunction member. We were also delighted that he brews his own beer. That’ll come in handy.

This month consisted of quite a few workshops, with IMSL, GreenZone Sports and Roland all visiting our offices. This meant a lot of Pret A Manger luncheons. Happy days.

Lastly, we were pleased to announced the work we did on Spring went live in the Wild.

Dan joins the Cornwall team as a UX Developer. He also makes beer!

User journey diagram for Roland UK.

Spring responsive designs

Design for the Spring homepage and modular mobile comp.

“fffunction have been a real asset to the development of our site and the research project that underpins it. Their ability to grasp the objectives quickly and translate that into a web product that would help us achieve our aims has been fantastic.”

— Jane Abraham, Healthy Workplace Advisor

July 2013

July saw us only attending one conference in total by spending the day at UX Bristol. That said, we did all go, so that counts as filling our quota we think.

Jake Giltsoff joined us full time on a successful transfer from the University of Reading. We’d had him on loan for sometime anyway. All in all it was a rock–solid piece of transfer deadline day business. We think Mr. Redknapp would approve.

This month saw a relentless pace of work, with projects for The Centre, Build 2013, GreenZone Sports, Roland, Mixture and IMSL all crossing paths. We were also mixing up a storm with Mixture and turning our hand to dynamic image generation using different sets of open source data.

We’d also been working hard on several brands. Pete even got his PANTONE book out. You know it must have been serious.

Mixture design screenshot
Roland prototype

Prototyping the Roland UK website.

GreenZone sports brand presentation on office walls

Jake joins us in the Bristol office as a fffunction designer & (in his words) becomes a ‘real person’.

“The front-end agency of the moment – an unstoppable force of vision and creativity. Working with fffunction has been super easy and very rewarding, simply a great team with a fantastic attitude.”

— Neil Kinnish & Pete Nelson, Mixture

August 2013

In August we started some new work for Go.Show.Do and Open ZFS. The work we’d done on the Mixture website went live, and we all had a Pow Wow down in sunny Kernow.

Work on GreenZone Sports continued, with Russell and Dan taking to the course to work on the first iteration of the prototype, and we all put our collective energies together to push our work on ECEHH close to completion.

Our work on the final ever Build website went live. It's a conference all of us at fffunction are sad to see go, but this year’s event looks set to be fantastic.

Oh, and we finally got our sign up in the Bristol office.

Our sign going up. We’ve only been here 11 months…

Russell out taking shots for the prototype of GreenZone Sports.

Go Show Do initial sketches
Go Show Do logo
ZFS logo concepts

September 2013

In September we launched work for The European Centre for Environment and Human Health and an email campaign for Mixture. Two great projects doing good things.

Earlier in the month Russell and Dan headed down to the lovely Brighton for dConstruct.

Work kicked off on a re–design and build of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme website; a design Pete had undertaken as a freelancer back in 2009. We’re really looking forward to giving it a new lease of life.

Lastly, Jake designed a new poster and some t-shirts. If you’re around for Brooklyn Beta we’ll be bringing some men’s and women’s t-shirts, so you might just be able to get your hands on one (if not we will be selling some of them soon).

Baby Gorilla in Rwanda. Pete took this picture when he went to visit the IGCP in 2009.

The Centre Resources page and mobile homepage

The Centre Resources page and mobile homepage.

“Throw your preconceptions of web design and development out of the window; fffunction do it different and they do it better. Working with the team has been a fantastic experience for us, with user interviews, creative discussions, beautiful designs and a seamless build contributing to a project being delivered on time, on budget and exceeding all expectations. fffunction didn’t just pay lip service to the user-centred approach, they lived and breathed it to ensure our site would allow users to quickly find what they want – and enjoy the journey.”

— Alex Smalley, Communications Manager ECEHH

Here’s to the next twelve months


That’s the end of this journey, for now. It’s been a great year, doing good work with good people.

If you’d like to work with us, say hello