Happy Birthday, dojo4!

by Justin Crawford

As of today, dojo4 is 2 years old! But instead of a having a special day with cake and hats, we just did what we always do: Launched something. In this case, it's a new dojo4 website running on new technology , with new branding and new content. Happy birthday, dojo4!

What we set out to do

We wanted a website that would explain, in a glance, who dojo4 is, what we do, and how you can reach us. We wanted it to demonstrate our technical skills, our design mastery, and our personality. We wanted to practice lean design and development methods. And we wanted it to be a living project something that we can hack on, tinker with, and improve over time.



We worked with Jay at AngryBovine to identify the characteristics of dojo4 that we want to emphasize. Jay helped us understand how our brand could inform our business not just our messaging. Then, using data gathered with Jay, dojo4 worked together in-house to refine our core message and explain it powerfully. This site tells that story in words, but also in style and practice. At dojo4, we always move toward the practical implementation of new ideas  and we're having a good time along the way.


I'm an unabashed fan of the ExpressionEngine CMS. It's very powerful, and I like to think I'm a real EE badass. I built dozens of sites in EE, including the previous dojo4.com site. But I left that all behind for this site. At dojo4, we've chosen to write most of our code in Ruby, often in Rails, because the language and framework delight us and our customers. EE is, unfortunately, not written in Ruby. So, we built this site on RefineryCMS, a flexible, young Rails CMS. Now our entire shop can hack on it. We'll have more to say about RefineryCMS in another post!


Engineering is the practice of making things possible and practical. Design is the practice of making them wonderful and beautiful. Balancing these competing priorities can be difficult, to say the least. Plenty of firms simply avoid the problem by focusing on one or the other.  But we think the most inspiring, transformative products and services are both practical and wonderful. That requires a collaboration between design experts and technology experts, and this site is an example of it. Try it on a small screen. Try it on a big screen. It looks nice on both, and only because we worked together, balanced our efforts, and created space for beauty and possibility to coexist.


We ported a number of our favorite blog posts to the new site  you'll find them conveniently located in the blog. But we also added a clients section where we'll talk about some of our projects and explain our capabilities in more depth. To date, we've built case studies for Boxcar Coffee Roasters (if you haven't been down there, you're missing out), Snugg Home, and lokalite. There will be more!

We're loving this new site. It appeals tothe great aspiration we share with our customers: To imagine great things, and make them real. We hope you enjoy it, too.