Building our new agency

You may have noticed that The Rye Agency has been quiet recently. Unfortunately the company closed in 2016 after 18 years and made the team redundant. But some of the team has formed a new agency and have purchased some of the assets and the goodwill from The Rye Agency. Onwards to 2017.

Before we go into details about us: We’re highly in demand and need new blood to help us do the best work possible. Join us.

Mutual is a web design agency formed by Emma Browne and Andrew Fairlie, who worked together at The Rye Agency for five years before its closure.

Mutual is based in Hastings, UK. We specialise in designing outstanding user experiences, and implementing them with smart and efficient Craft CMS builds.

Andrew and Emma working on discovery

All of our work begins with discovery. We conduct thorough research into the company, their competitors, their industry, and their audience.

This includes the kind of discovery process other agencies might run: SEO research, content audits, user testing, and so on — plus our original secret spices.

We aim to integrate into our client’s organisation rather than just being an external party. We learnt a long time ago that guesswork and hunches is a pretty miserable way of building websites, and a pretty consistent way to fail.

Our internal culture is what we call ‘campfire collaboration’. We have traditional desks in the office, but spend most of the day sitting together on sofas collaborating on every part of the project. A designer is helping the developer build a website, and the project manager is populating content as they go. The culture of putting headphones on and looking at a big screen has its time and place, but we hate that it’s often the default way of working.

We work really closely with our clients (who span multi-national charities, to local shops) and invite them to join us around ‘the campfire’ (sorry about this metaphor) too. We collaborate with them in person, on Slack, on Basecamp, and through daily catchup Skype calls.

But for us the big thing is providing after-launch support. We call it Web Care. We actively work with all but one or two of our clients on an on-going basis: helping them with strategy, improving design, developing new features, and carrying out maintenance on the site each month.

It’s all part of a website’s five-year-plan. That’s not a written roadmap of changes to do over the next five-years, but rather a mindset so that we avoid making mistakes that could artificially shorten the length of time the site is effective — and to make sure that the website will continue working well for many years to come.

That might mean being especially dubious about this year’s trend, looking ahead for future form-factors, where CMS and other software we use is going, and looking at industry forecasts so that our clients are at the frontline of positive change.

From a technology perspective, we’ve spent the last few years becoming experts in Craft CMS and ExpressionEngine, and this is going to continue to be our focus.

We’ll be continuing to release free add-ons, post blog-posts, and host events. We’re also going to be revamping and open-sourcing the ever popular Craft CMS user guide soon.

We’d like to thank David Roder who ran The Rye Agency (named Red Carrot before that) for 18 years and gave us the opportunity to come together as a team and make amazing work together. We’ve parted company but remain friends, and we wish him the best of luck in what he’s working on next. Spoiler: it involves beer.

Join Our Team!

We’re looking for a new front-end developer to join us our Hastings office. Details and an applications can be found here.

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