Skylar Design Called Upon To Develop XHTML/CSS Templates

Sunnyvale, CA – In 2009, Dionex Corporation contracted with Skylar Design to help them with their website redesign campaign. Their web development team already had the skills to redesign and develop the site, but they specifically needed a firm who had the expertise in writing the core site structure, all while abiding by W3C and current programming standards.

The site redesign was performed by their in-house graphic team since protecting the integrity of the Dionex brand was essential for the redeveloped website. After the designs were presented to the web committee and Dionex executives, the final comps were selected and approved. From there, the "baton" was handed off to Skylar Design to start production on the project. Fifty web page variations were presented to Skylar but, out of that selection, only eight templates needed to be built. Thus, all remaining page templates could be created with just a few minor changes in the code.

Dionex Objectives

As for Dionex, there were five (5) main goals Skylar had to complete for this project:

  • Convert Adobe Photoshop files into well-written, semantic XHTML and valid CSS code
  • Develop eight (8) core XHTML/CSS templates
  • All templates must validate and pass W3C standards (both XHTML and CSS files)
  • Create the JavaScript tabs, both a one row and two row solution
  • All templates must have the ability to work within Dionex’s CMS solution of choice

Creation of XHTML/CSS Web Templates

  • Home page with the ability to embed Flash movie
  • 2 Columns with one, vertical side navigation bar
  • 3 Columns with two, vertical side navigation bars
  • 2 Columns with table in content region
  • Multipurpose page – no sidebar or content embedded
  • Contact page – 3 column layout to display Dionex contacts around the world
  • 1 Column with JavaScript tab panel system
  • 3 Column, 2 row JavaScript tab panel system
"Not only is he (Justin) tech savvy in the field but he was able to explain complex techniques and ideas in simple English for the non-techie audience."

Skylar Design’s Solutions

Before a line of code was ever written, Skylar Design had a few kick-off meetings with the Dionex web team to discuss the project and review the 50 comp designs. The purpose of those meetings were not only to ensure Skylar understood the range of templates and potential coding hurdles, but to ask ourselves this one important question - “will our users find it easy to use our website?”

Many web development companies often consent to most, if not all, of their client requests regarding their website (i.e., colors, objectives, specific functionality, where elements should be placed, etc.). But where web firms typically fail is in asking their clients what their users are looking for with their website. Dionex not only communicated a genuine concern with their in-house needs and goals, but they were most concerned about how their visitors were served best and what they wanted. Based on those discussions, some wonderful suggestions were shared and later integrated into the ongoing development of the site.

As for programming of the XHTML and CSS templates, there were a few crucial factors that had to be considered: a short turnaround time (scheduling), templates ported into a CMS (application managing site), targeting multiple browsers/versions (rendering issues including IE 6). Once these were addressed, the development of the templates began. Templates were created in a timely fashion and reviewed to ensure they would assimilate well within the CMS.

The overall experience of working with Dionex was such a positive one especially on such a large endeavor. Thankfully, the Dionex team had the background, experience, and understanding to handle such a project. Collaborating with their team made this project one to remember.

Client Feedback

Working with Skylar Design was an extremely positive experience. Despite our last minute changes to design template requirements, Justin was able to meet shifting deadlines with very clean and compliant code. He has mastered the technique of CSS design and was able to successfully create table-free versions of all of our template variations. Not only is he tech savvy in the field but he was able to explain complex techniques and ideas in simple English for the non-techie audience. Although he was across the country from us, communication was never a problem and he was committed to our project through completion. I would highly recommend his services to anyone in search of a professional CSS-based, web-compliant website.

- Rodger Belisle Sr. Web Developer, Dionex Corporation

View the Dionex Website

About Dionex

Dionex (NASDAQ:DNEX) is a global leader in the manufacturing and marketing of liquid chromatography and sample preparation systems, consumables, and software for chemical analysis. The company's systems are used worldwide in environmental analysis and by the life sciences, chemical, petrochemical, food and beverage, power generation, and electronics industries. The company’s expertise in applications and instrumentation helps analytical scientists to evaluate and develop pharmaceuticals, establish environmental regulations, and produce better industrial products.