Studio Snapshot

Our Festive Gift Creation

This December, we channelled our creative energy into crafting a unique Christmas gift for our clients to make their own mulled wine, whilst communicating what is so special about the Fanatic team. The gift featured test tubes, each representing the distinctive elements of our three teams. From the Design Team, the ‘Creative Craft Components’ included cinnamon sticks and star anise; the Development Team contributed ‘Core Development Spice’ with dried cranberries, lemon, and orange zests; and the Digital Marketing Team’s ‘Digital Booster’ added a special spice mix. It was our way of sharing a piece of our creative spirit, and our clients absolutely loved the gesture!

Celebrating in True Fanatic Style

Our annual Christmas party was the perfect wrap-up to the year. It began in the Fanatic Studio with a pop of champagne, setting the tone for an afternoon filled with fun and games. Will, our Director, stole the show in his inflatable turkey costume, and our annual take on Secret Santa – the “Snatching Game” – was a hit, with Jack scooping up the most prizes. We laughed and competed in everything from the Sock Game to chess, beer pong, and even Reindeer Hoop a Loop.

We continued our celebrations with a lovely Christmas dinner at the Cosy Club and ended the night with a pub crawl through Bristol’s lively city centre.

What's new in the Design team?

Exploring Ethics in Design: The Dark Patterns Discussion

In the Design team last month, Thomas shared an enlightening presentation on ‘Dark Patterns’, a term that refers to the crafty side of user interface design where the goal is to subtly mislead users into actions they might not have intended. It’s a tricky balance between design and deception, and Thomas’s presentation brilliantly opened up a lively discussion about this.

The focus wasn’t just on understanding these practices but on a more significant, ethical consideration – how do we, as a team dedicated to creativity and client success, ensure that we’re guiding users without misleading them? This dive into the ethics of design has stirred up a vital conversation among us: Where does the line between persuasion and manipulation lie? It’s about finding that sweet spot where our clients’ needs and user advocacy meet, navigating this landscape with integrity and without over-caution.

See what the Development team have been up to

The Inner Temple Microsite Project

Our Development team has been busy with a project that’s both historic and innovative. Our client, The Inner Temple, is a prestigious global membership association for the legal profession, with roots stretching back to the 14th century. They boast a membership of over 12,000, including judges, barristers, and legal students.

The challenge we faced was to bring centuries of tradition into the digital age. The Inner Temple publishes an annual yearbook, a treasure trove of new member listings, a directory of current members, and articles of significant interest. Traditionally printed, these yearbooks are going digital – a move that’s not only cost-effective but also makes the content easily searchable and accessible.

However, digitising centuries of legacy was no small feat. It required our designers and developers to collaborate closely, brainstorming over several sessions to devise a system that leverages WordPress’ built in features for this ambitious goal. The result? A beautifully crafted minisite that’s easy for the public to navigate and for editors to update. With its clean, minimal design, the site lets the articles shine, while tasteful imagery and colour schemes entice readers to browse the rich library of information that The Inner Temple Yearbook offers. It’s a perfect blend of preserving history and embracing modern technology.

Say Hi to James, Our New Developer!

How have you found life at Fanatic so far?

Really great! Everyone has been super welcoming and I’ve been able to hit the ground running, so for me this is the perfect start that I would have wanted.

What were you doing before Fanatic and what made you get into Development?

I started web development immediately after leaving school as I wanted to start working as soon as I left education and web development and general tech were subjects I was already interested in so it felt right from the start.

What made you choose Fanatic?

The first impressions I had during the interview process from my colleagues were enough to convince me to join, while I also knew how my collective experience would suit Fanatic so it seemed a no brainer for me.

What have you enjoyed most so far?

I’ve really enjoyed just being able to slot into the team and get a good understanding of the client base. I also thought the annual Christmas “Snatching Game” would be pretty crazy, but after witnessing for myself, I’m totally on board.

What are you looking forward to learning more about?

I am very keen to get my first project off the ground as I would like to see from a first hand perspective how the rest of the teams work together across projects.

What’s an interesting fact about you?

I started travelling the world from a very young age I visited 3 continents before I was 10. I’m not jet setting as much these days, but the itch is still there.

The latest news from the Digital Marketing team

Stepping Up Our SEO Game with Rank Math

In the Digital Marketing corner of our Studio, there’s always a buzz about the latest tools and tricks, and this month has been no different. We’re in the process of gradually introducing a powerful new tool to our arsenal: Rank Math, a rising star in the WordPress plugin universe. We’re rolling it out across our client projects, ensuring a smooth transition for everyone.

The decision to switch from Yoast SEO to Rank Math wasn’t taken lightly. It was Rank Math’s impressive array of features and flexibility that tipped the scales – think of it as the Swiss Army knife of SEO plugins. With advanced schema markups and GA4 integrations, along with a keyword rank tracker and extensive global SEO options, we’re more than a little excited about this upgrade.

What’s particularly game-changing for us is the advanced schema markup capabilities of Rank Math. This feature streamlines our processes significantly, reducing our reliance on the Development team for SEO configurations. This shift not only makes our workflow more efficient but also allows us to focus on delivering even more impactful SEO strategies for our clients. So, keep an eye on this space – we’re just starting to explore the full potential of Rank Math and bring its benefits to our projects!

We've been listening to…

Our Top Songs of 2023

There’s always music playing in the background in our Studio. In fact, some of us can’t even work without it! Our playlist is as varied as our projects, ranging from upbeat pop anthems to indie rock classics, mirroring the eclectic mix of personalities in our team.

Curious to know what keeps our creative juices flowing? Check out our Spotify playlist of the top songs played in 2023.