RadLabs - August 2022

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Welcome to RadLabs

Welcome to RadLabs, where our team of experts delve a little deeper into areas of the industry they’re keen to learn more about!

We dedicate every Friday afternoon to self-learning, giving everyone on the team a chance to pick a subject they want to explore further. This subject can be anything of their choosing and can be part of a solo project or a collaborative process across team members.

Once a month, we all get together for our RadLabs workshop to share what we looked at, why it interested us and what we learned. This month we kicked off our first RadLabs workshop looking at everything from TikTok Ads Manager, to Asana ticket structure, to automated testing with Cypress.

Check out a snapshot of what was covered on the day from the team below:

Molly Sheridan, Digital Producer, Steffi Cousins, Digital Production Assistant and Michael Wood, Digital Project Manager:

Molly’s first sprint for RadLabs focused on Asana, a platform that organises the team workflows so the team knows what they’re doing, why it’s important and what needs to get done. “My aim was to bring in a template which the team can reference when generating project tickets so that all the key information is captured with no back and forth required - saving client time and getting things done more efficiently!”

Steffi decided to explore automated testing with Crypress, a tool which aims to make testing applications for developers much easier. “Cypress automates testing which speeds up the process and allows for more tests to be completed more regularly, alongside manual testing. Progress has been slow but steady, but we now have 3 sites set up with automated tests running regularly. This will help us discover issues or bugs swiftly, giving us more time to focus on other client work.”

Our Digital Product Manager, and keen golf lover, Michael, dedicated his time to looking at how he could create a new golf brand. “I wanted to do some market research, looking at ways to set up and operate a golf brand that could attract younger people to the game. I researched supplier issues and product sourcing as well as design resources. Not only does this give me a chance to focus on one of my passions, but it also gives me an insight into issues clients face and experience with their own businesses. It’s all in its infancy - but stay tuned.”

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Louise Goodwin and Connor Murphy, Front End Developers, and Finlay Matheson, Creative Front-End Developer:

For her RadLabs Louise looked at Laravel, an open source platform that is intended for the creation of web applications. “Laravel helps developers create PHP web applications by replacing complex code with wonderfully written common tasks and endless open-source resources where any user can inspect, modify and enhance code. This speeds up the whole process and will save valuable time.”

Meanwhile Connor explored Next JS/ JAMstack which is “a modern approach to building sites, and will allow our developers to build and manage web templates easier. Overall, it’s just a better, cleaner way to manage the frontend application, could reduce costs, improve performance and keep our tech stack relevant.”

Finlay spent his Fridays exploring Three.js JavaScript library, which is primarily used for the creation of 3D graphics and animation in a web browser. “It’s been something I’ve wanted to look at for a while now, as it allows me to combine my existing knowledge of Blender, a 3D computer graphics tool, and my role as web developer/designer. Due to the high complexity of the underlying technologies that Three.js uses, the existing model library can provide many use cases for all kinds of websites - from creating immersive 3D journeys to unique ecommerce experiences for clients and their potential customers.”

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Christina Lyropoulou, Digital Marketing Manager, Rebecca Fry, Senior Search Marketing Specialist, and Gordon Young, Social Media Manager:

Christina focused her first RadLabs on GA4, an update to Google Analytics which allows users to track onsite web data. “GA4 is the next big thing in Google Analytics, and so we have started preparing ourselves for this to make sure we and all our clients are ready for the switchover that is going to happen next summer. The set up of GA4 is different, so I took some time to explore it and find out what the differences and new features are. GA4 is still in Beta, but the key sections are already published by Google in the new GA4 interface, so we can get a good understanding of them and start to move all our clients over to the updated platform.”

Meanwhile Rebecca wanted to delve a little deeper into Google Shopping Ads, explaining, “With updates being released often, Google Ads is an ever-evolving platform. Most recently, Google announced it will be mixing shopping ads with organic product listings in search results pages. The ads will also be displayed in one larger, swipeable visual feed. Getting a better understanding of these types of ads could certainly be beneficial for some of our e-commerce clients, allowing them to reach users in new ways.”

Our Social Media Manager Gordon decided to learn more about how the TikTok Ads platform works: “As TikTok continues to grow massively in popularity across different demographics, it offers a great opportunity for our clients to advertise to audiences in a new engaging video format. I wanted to learn more about audience targeting, setting up creative and how to create ads that truly resonate with TikTok audiences so, when needed, we can build effective advertising strategies for relevant clients on the platform.

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Calum Milligan, Head of Design:

Our head of design, Calum, used his Friday afternoons to explore the platform Figma, a digital design platform. “Unlike other tools like Photoshop, Figma allows web pages to be built with custom configurable modules, meaning greater design consistency. Overall, I’m excited by the new functionality offered by the platform, allowing the creation of prototypes that are closer to ‘the real thing’ to be shared with the client, alongside a better feedback and testing process.”

Stay tuned for our upcoming RadLabs sprint 2 when our team will dive a little deeper into their chosen topics or explore new areas of the industry altogether!

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