Jan 20, 2011 Legacy

Meet digital-telepathy & Get Beta Access!

From web applications to web design, CEO Chuck Longanecker and the digital-telepathy team are here to help provide a better web experience.  With clients like Tim Ferris, Hard Rock Hotels and ultimately every Internet user, (mt) wanted to give you a proper introduction to Chuck, a long time (mt) client and friend from down south (San Diego). Get to know dt a little better and hear about the evolution of the company, some current projects and Chuck’s thoughts on the future of the Web.

How did you get into the design and development world?
I worked at Andersen and several startups at the beginning of my career. I wrote research docs on emerging web technologies like Flash, but I never knew if my work was implemented or effective. I am convinced that they just shredded it once I delivered it. So I decided to build a business around designing websites. I figured that my work could be seen and used by anyone in the world and I could get direct feedback on how to create constant improvement. Long live the Internets!

Talk about the formation and evolution of digital-telepathy as a competitive creative shop.
We started as a multi-media shop in 2001, focusing in Flash. We grew and evolved to a digital marketing agency offering every service under the sun. We realized that if we wanted to become a great company, we had to focus on one service. We always had design coursing through our veins and life, to us, is about great experiences. Thus, we focused solely on user experience design.

Why did dt start developing products?  How did Slide Deck come about?
I am an entrepreneur and a web person. Not an agency guy. Last year, I made the decision to build a products division for dt and relieve my mind of idea overload.

We stumbled into SlideDeck when we came up with a new web format to explain how our services worked. We wanted to walk visitors through the process so it made more sense than the standard information overload of paragraphs of text, bullet points or images. We figured if we gave them bite-sized slides of information and had them tacitly interact with the story from beginning to end, they would get the concept on another level.

We started to share this story with clients and other web designers and were overwhelmed with requests. So we decided to build the software for web designers so we could collectively make the web a bit easier to use.

The original SlideDeck is still up on our services page. Here’s the full story of SlideDeck.

How’s Hello Bar doing?  What’s your goal with Hello Bar?
Hello Bar is doing great. We have been taking our time in the beta stage to make sure the performance is bulletproof.

As web users, we ignore a lot of information on websites and there isn’t a standard location or format for presenting your most important message. So the Hello Bar provides an unobtrusive, yet highly visible way to present a powerful message to your users and encourage click action. Our beta users have found the results incredibly effective.

What dev tools do you guys rely on most heavily?
Well, we’ve been all over with this one in the past, developing with Ruby on Rails and even experimenting with dJango and Python, but lately we’ve been focusing on PHP based solutions utilizing frameworks such as CakePHP and more recently, pushing the capabilities of WordPress. We’re really excited about the changes that Automattic has been making with WordPress and evolving it beyond a simple blogging platform into a flexible tool for managing content and even serving as a web application framework.

When developing products or web sites, how do you keep your deliverable efficient to minimize server load?  Do you consider Server load and bandwidth when creating a new project?
Server load is always a consideration, especially when talking about Software as a Service products like Hello Bar. We take advantage of multiple types of server bandwidth saving techniques to create a fast, reliable service. We utilize such services as a CDN for “static data” content serving. We also take advantage of server-level caching techniques with services such as PHP’s APC object caching and Memcached, as well as implementing our own disk caching techniques for common queries and data to keep the load off of the database. Per page and per template optimizing of necessary asset loading coupled with browser-level caching headers also helps with quick page delivery to visitors. There is no one magic bullet to solve bandwidth constraints, so multiple tools must be put in place to keep things running smoothly.

What is the future of the web?
Web 3.0 of course! … JK.

I think we will visit less websites and instead they will come to us based on our preferences and habits online. We are starting to see this with your Facebook and Twitter stream, but firing off links to other sites and ricocheting all over the place is a pretty crappy interaction. I like apps like FlipBook that bring more depth to the information in these streams and keep a consistent experience throughout.

What is the future of design?
ABD – Always be Designing. Smart web companies are starting to realize that their design is never done. It should always be evolving and adapting to it’s users. It needs to look good and feel good, but it also has to convert and perform. Very few designers can accomplish both.

San Diego isn’t necessarily the mecca of tech.  How do you get things done in the land of surf and sun??
It’s not easy. We work our asses off every day, but we also respect work-life balance. Our office isn’t a Red Bull powered all-nighter vibe.  We try to work with people that inspire us like Tim Ferriss (our most recent big project), Hiten Shah, Eric Ries, Chip Conley…etc.

I also spend a large amount of time in San Francisco…the mecca.

Exclusive Beta Access!
200 beta keys have been set up for Hello Bar with the term: “mediatemple”  Once you sign up, simply enter the key for access.  After the code has been used 200 times, it will be deactivated. Sign up while you can!

Thank you Chuck!

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