We craft websites and applications that aspire to reachthe highest pinnacles of privacy, security, and performance.
You’ve spent years honing your craft. You’ve put in countless hours of effort to make things that express something vital about yourself, to impart something of value to a willing audience—to make your mark on the world. As creative people, we applaud your passion and your dedication to your art, and we want to help you strengthen that connection with your special tribe. Whether you create content for online distribution, build artifacts and objects to be held and used, or make art to be appreciated and enjoyed, let us help you get your message out there and ensure you are compensated in the manner you deserve as a professional creator.
Whether you’re a new founder with a company of one or a seasoned entrepreneur with a team in place, you have a vision just waiting to manifest. We can help you with that. We understand startups are a wild and often improvised ride with a million factors to consider at every turn. We’ve worked on startup projects ourselves and have had our own projects in the pipeline at various times. If you are trying to build a solid MVP that will impress the right people at the right times, or perhaps you put something out already and need to pivot fast in order to gain new traction and interest from investors or the outside public, you need a design & development partner that will give you that special edge. Let’s talk about needs to be done and get the ball rolling.
From places of worship to art galleries (and sometimes both!), we’ve had the distinct privilege of working alongside a variety of non-profit organizations that benefit their local communities. We know how tough it is to manage volunteers and expectations, cash flow and charters. The list of needs can be never ending and the list of ideas always outstripping available resources. We strive to be a source of relief and not just another to-do item on the agenda. No matter what your project is or what your cause may be, we’ll be an asset you can rely on to get the job done and help your team feel empowered to make a difference.
At its heart, education is about effectively communicating truth and insight to students in a way that’s meaningful to their lives. We know how exciting yet challenging it is to provide impactful educational experiences in this age of distraction and information overload. Our role in education is to help reduce the friction between the purveyors of educational resources and the students who wish to access those resources. Whether it’s to facilitate student registration and online communication between classes, build platforms for planning and facilitating digital classrooms, or design systems that help streamline internal operations and communications for instructors and administrators, you can rely on us to maximize your effectiveness and unique advantage within the educational landscape.
Challenges abound in the media business, but more and more publications are finding success in rolling out better tools to engage directly with a dedicated audience base and maximize monetization opportunities via subscriptions, key sponsorships, topical events, and specialized paid content offerings. Newsrooms are also experimenting with better tooling around the editorial and publishing process. It's time to move past cumbersome legacy systems on the one hand, and simplistic blogging tools on the other, and embrace modern systems that are designed from the ground-up to serve authors, editors, and readers throughout the entire workflow. Let us help you scope out and implement a publishing platform that is performant, future-ready, highly functional, and able to entice audiences to spend more time on your platform and not Big Social.
The craft and science of creating websites is in our DNA. We’ve been at this a long time, growing alongside the web for over 20 years. We care about the web. We care about keeping it open and free. We care about good design, about saying no to a thousand various things so we can say yes to what’s essential. We care about the little details: typography, color scheme, readability, a clean layout and responsive design across all devices. (Honestly, we can get a little nerdy about this stuff!) We care about technological sustainability, about respecting users enough to protect their privacy and keep their data secure.
What will you publish on the web? Let’s work on this together.
So what’s Jekyll? Jekyll is the world’s most popular static site generator. The “static” part refers to the fact that, unlike traditional content systems over the past two decades which require a database and a server to deliver content to website visitors in real-time, a static generator builds an entire website in one go whenever a site owner or editor updates the content and deploys those completed files to a CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDNs are the same top-of-the-line technology that Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and many other big companies use to distribute content quickly and securely to customers around the world.
Jekyll was originally created by GitHub to power open-source documentation projects. Now it comprises an essential part of our website publishing infrastructure. It’s what makes pages blazing fast to load and how we guard against hackers trying to bring down vulnerable WordPress installations. It’s how we ensure every single change to the content or design is tracked in a version-controlled repository. More than just a mad scientist, Jekyll represents the future of web publishing.
Despite the rise of a diverse ecosystem of agile web programming frameworks over the past decade, Ruby on Rails continues to be a favored platform for developers—like us—who value simplicity, productivity, and programmer happiness. Even at this mature stage, Rails still feels like a secret weapon…every time we power up a new web application with just a few commands, it’s magical. We have years of experience utilizing a wide range of Ruby gems and employing Rails tricks-of-the-trade to jumpstart development of prototypes, programs, platforms, and editing systems.
We also regularly provide support to legacy projects. If you have a preexisting codebase, we’ll perform a full code audit to identify places that need upgrading, old cruft that can be safely removed, and potential security risks and performance issues that need to be patched. Still have a project in Rails 3? Want to upgrade it to Rails 5? No worries, we can do that for you.
Experience has shown us that the impact of websites and online applications is greatly determined by the quality of the communications being presented. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a few choice words are surprisingly powerful. We give a lot of thought and attention to what is being said to readers, users, and admins. When visual design + typography + copywriting all come together in artful symmetry, genius is born.
One of our favorite techniques for producing new website content is we’ll conduct a comprehensive, journalist-style interview with a new client, and then we take that interview and extract the most salient points for use in marketing copy and thematic structure throughout the website. Besides the utility of this exercise, it can be a whole lot of fun—and if you’ve ever dreamed of being on someone’s podcast, this is a good warmup experience!
Proper deployment of websites and applications is a crucial aspect of any project. We enjoy spinning up new application and database servers on DigitalOcean (our preferred provider for software in the cloud). We also have a great deal of experience with Heroku, a popular PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service). For websites, we deploy all our Jekyll-based projects using Netlify, a next-generation hosting solution that provides a best-of-breed workflow for fast, secure publishing and propagation on a CDN (Content Delivery Network). Technology that used to be reserved for Netflix or Amazon is now available to every site owner.
Websites and applications are more than just isolated buckets of code and assets. They exist within the wider internet ecosystem of services. We’ve become adept at connecting databases with search engines, shopping carts with payment systems, landing pages with subscription forms, snarfblats with dinglehoppers. We try to find the right balance between in-house solutions and third-party add-ons. And in all of this, we do our best to mitigate cost concerns and potential security risks. If you need a trusted partner who understands the difference between a webfinger and a webhook, you’ve come to the right place.
The Ruby programming language recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The primary goal of its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, is to maximize programmer happiness. It’s safe to say he succeeded. We’re thrilled to be using Ruby as the basis for all of our projects. It continues to be the fastest and most delightful way to prototype and publish web software and content sites in our industry today.
One of our core values is Respect the User. In the year 2018, as the web has matured as a platform for delivering content and software, we find ourselves concerned that good UX (User Experience) design principles and basic moral precepts are not always influencing the way websites and applications get delivered.
This is why we decided to launch INTERSECT. We wish to lend our voice to the growing chorus of web enthusiasts who champion the principles of open source software, user-focused security and privacy, and standards-based protocols. We also enjoy writing about how we use Ruby, Rails, and Jekyll to build great products for our clients and how to become more proficient in using these technologies.