Brick Factory Announces Production Release of Stacks

The Brick Factory is happy to announce the first 1.0 production release of our Stacks Drupal 8 module. Stacks makes it possible to develop re-usable components such as slide shows, galleries, banners, and much more in your Drupal projects.  You can check out a good overview of Stacks here and in the video below. The 1.0 release includes a number of improvements:
  • Only re-usable widgets now need to have a title provided
  • Stacks used to only allow the field to be added to a node; it now is available to any field-able entity
  • Repeatable image fields no longer only show the first image. All images now display correctly
  • When nodes containing widgets are deleted, the associated widget entities and instances are now deleted as well
Check out Stacks and let us know what you think.

If it Ain’t Broke, Still Fix it – Understanding the Value of User Feedback

Imagine you’re a highlighter manufacturer. You come into work, and see that everything is working perfectly: the shades are fluorescent, the ink does not smudge, and the marker does not dry out. Then, your manager arrives and says, “let’s mix it up here, and add a clear window to the tip so users can see what they’re highlighting.” You might be alarmed. “Why would we change what already works?” You can thank usability.

Like a masked superhero, usability is a behind-the-scenes process that yields visible results. But what is it? Usability means “…making products and systems easier to use, and matching them more closely to user needs and requirements.”1 In other words, usability is a way that you can improve your product or website simply by listening to user feedback. Usability and websites go hand in hand. So why should you care about it?

It’s Not Too Late: Make the Most of Giving Tuesday

It’s beginning to look a lot like…the holiday giving season.
And the season’s official kickoff, Giving Tuesday, is just one week away. If you work at a nonprofit, you’re probably already familiar with this global day of giving. But, do you know just how big a deal it is? So, how do you get in on the action and make the most of Giving Tuesday? Many nonprofits start planning in the early fall. But if you’re getting a late start, don’t worry. There are still things you can do to maximize your impact.  

1. Donations should feel real

What are people donating to? Your organization?
Okay… But where is their money going? And how does their
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Effective Beats Fancy

Late last year, we were approached by a nonprofit who had completed a website redesign project with a well respected design firm. After the new site was live for a few months, it was obvious to the non-profit that it wasn’t working. Stakeholders didn’t like it, visitors were complaining, and the site was underperforming based on all the key metrics they tracked. The nonprofit asked us to audit the site to figure out what was wrong. We performed a quantitative analysis of usage statistics and patterns, and had our design and strategy teams complete a qualitative review of the site.

What was wrong with the site?

At first glance, the redesigned site seemed like it should work. It was beautiful. It featured stunning photography and a slick user interface that took advantage of the latest front-end development trends. But as we looked at the data and spent time using the
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How to build a great online donation system using Stripe

As a web development firm that works with non-profits, we frequently help our clients implement online donation systems. There are a ton of great platforms that non-profits can use to power their online giving. However we have increasingly found ourselves recommending Stripe. Stripe isn’t used strictly for online giving. It is a full-featured ecommerce platform that can be used by any organization that wants to accept payments online. There are a number of reasons we love Stripe as a donation platform:
  • It is cost effective. Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction with no other fees. Most donation platforms either charge monthly fees on top of credit card transaction fees or take a significantly higher percentage of donations. By using Stripe non-profits keep more of the money they raise online.
  • It has great tools for developers. Stripe has a variety of tools (Stripe JS, Elements, and
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Free Webinar: Design Systems, Not Pages

We will be hosting a free webinar at 2:00 pm on Thursday, October 19th.  The webinar will use our recent redesign of the African Parks website as an example of system-based website design.  We’d love to have you so please register today.
Design Systems, Not Pages: Redesigning the African Parks Website Using Reusable Widgets For most of the web’s short lifetime, the primary way to design a website has been to create wireframes and comps of a site’s key pages. This page-based approach is clearly broken. The proliferation of smartphones and the increasing complexity of the interfaces we create make page-based design extremely time-consuming. A relatively simple site can require 25+ page comps. The last few years have seen designers move to a process that is more in tune with the way websites are actually built and function. They design overall styles and repeating elements that make up
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Thinking in Widgets: A Better Page Building Experience in Drupal

A few years ago we realized the old strategy of designing websites page by page was dying a slow and painful death. Increased complexity and more complicated requirements were increasingly rendering the approach useless and inefficient. Since then, we’ve been revamping our entire website planning and build process to keep up with the more complex, modern day needs of our clients. Central to our new approach has been the development of our Drupal module Stacks. Stacks uses a “widget”-based system to allow content creators to quickly build complex pages without the need for a developer. But what is a widget? Why are they better? Before we dive in, if you’re not familiar with Stacks or would like to learn more, check out the following posts:

What is a Widget?

At the
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