Sunday, August 21, 2011

Zurb pulls its annual all-nighter for Rebekah Children’s Services

Dmitry Dragilev

This article is part of a series of posts about DEMO alumni and news of their progress. Zurb launched at DEMO in Spring 2010. Check out more at DEMO.

Yesterday, interaction design firm Zurb held its annual ZurbWired event, a day-long affair where all Zurb employees stay up for 24 hours to design a website and marketing materials for a nonprofit in need.

Zurb prides itself on being more than just “dudes in expensive chairs.” The firm offers web design services, but also creates tools to help implement designs internally, gives how-to lessons, and will make house calls to help teams code and install designs.

ZurbWired is the one day out of the year when coffee flows Bacchanalia style, and cat naps are the only form of rejuvenation. For this year’s event, Zurb chose Rebekah Children’s Services to receive a new website, pamphlets, posters and other marketing materials from the 24-hour push.

“A lot can get accomplished in 24 hours if you just dedicate yourself!” marketing lead Dmitry Dragilev (pictured above) told VentureBeat in an interview. “We have to go for 24 hours. We don’t sleep, we don’t go home, we just crank through it and create a website and brochures.”

The effort is not free — it takes a lot of hands to make the project a success, but it has a lasting impact on nonprofits who generally don’t have the resources to take on months-long web design initiatives.

At the time we talked with Dmitry and a group of seven volunteers had already created 70 mock ups for Rebekah Children’s Services. Zurb makes sure the chosen nonprofit is involved in the design process — in this case it was five people from the nonprofit’s executive team.

The group hoped to finish the job by 8am Friday morning, and they succeeded. By that time Rebekah Children’s Services had a new website, an updated backend using Joomla, a full mobile version of the website, new website and promotional copy, printed brochures and post cards, two new logos, and newsletter, letterhead and business card templates.

You can see the completed website here.

When its not being altruistic, Zurb is continuing to turn the innovation gears.

“We’re going to the next stage where we’re staring to release products for people to create websites on their own,” said Dragilev.

Zurb will have released up to six web applications by the end of the year. Many of these apps will work with Zurb’s product Verify, which it demonstrated at the Spring 2010 DEMO conference. Verify is about feedback and testing concepts. One of these web apps will allow designers to bypass coding a test page for feedback. Instead, they will be able to upload their design onto Zurb and share the mock-up in a link.

Zurb was founded in 1998 and is located in Campbell, Calif. The company has 13 employees.

Photo and video shot by Zurb.

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Tags: 24 hours, nonprofit, web design

Companies: Rebekah Children's Services, Zurb

People: Dmitry Dragilev

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