Website Technical Factors - Johnny Lightning Strikes Again

I started this post thinking I would do a quick dump of the technical considerations that go into excellently designed and positioned websites. A lot of people want their website to have specific functionality, be built on specific technology, and be optimised in specific ways; however, a lot of people have no flipping clue what they want, let alone need. The article I imagined I’d be writing would be for the latter group, a sort of primer on the technical decisions that would need to be made. However, I knew I was in trouble when my basic article outline was over a thousand words on various considerations.


I recently came across a presentation by a designer, speaker, and author named Cameron Moll called, “Nine skills that separate good and great designers.” Needless to say, it struck a chord, because it’s a topic that we spend a great deal of time talking and thinking about – both within our agency and with people who are interested in our agency.  Since this blog is a place for us to talk not only about us and our work, but also our industry as a whole, I thought I would take some time to go through the points he makes and do my part to help educate people on the differences between good designers and great designers.


Some of you may remember the article we posted last month, entitled “Web site or website?”  Well, thanks to an email from a friend of ours at another Kansas City creative agency, we just learned that the AP Style Guide just released this weekend that “website” is now the correct term for a site that exists the World Wide Web.

Since we may be another step closer to putting such a long argument to rest, we thought it was worth a quick addendum to our original post.

Good job AP Style Guide!


Posted in Strategy on by Joshua Davis

Everyone knows what it’s like to wait on a load bar. With the rise of broadband, our appetite for large multimedia content has also risen. As such, the load bar seems to be in the cards as a major part of our interactive experiences for the time being.

We’re always looking for ways to build a better experience, and finding better ways to load a website is part of that. A recent improvement was introducing two “layers” of motion in our loading animations. For example – if the loader pulses, then it also needs to turn. If something gives a percentage read, then it also needs to _______.

This second layer of activity engages the eye and in turn gives the impression that time is passing more quickly. We rarely deal with more than a 10 second wait, but patience grows thin on the web. It’s like the 60 second burrito that took way too long; I am hungry!

Creativity, even when based in sound business strategy, can be subjective.  For this reason, every time a business engages us to design something that will visually capture their brand and message, there is an element of trust involved; we take this trust very, very seriously.  We relish the opportunity because it makes days like today even better, when we can send another happy client on their way with a visual solution in place that we’re positive will do great things for their business.

Today’s portfolio addition is Health Care Consultants of Kansas City, a brand new business with a brand new website and a brand new business card.

Based on a true story

Posted in Inspiration on by James Penman

From: DudeGuyPerson A <[redacted]@yahoo.com>

Subject: cooperation

Date: March 8, 2010 1:22:20 PM CST

To: johnnylightning@strikesagain.net

Dear sir or madam,

I would like to analyze visual style of select companies. Thus, if it is possible I would like to ask you to share your company’s brandbook with me.

Yours, DudeGuyPerson

Web site or website?

Posted in Strategy on by David Cecil

We’re a firm that designs websites. Or, designs Web sites. We design things that go on the World Wide Web, but what the heck are people calling it these days?

In the many years that I’ve been in web design & graphic design industry, I’ve always preferred the term “website” when discussing a site on the web.  However, there’s always a small, easily-ignored voice in the back of my head telling me that Web site is the proper spelling (coupled with a small, easily-ignored need to be proper).  So, armed with my Google search bar, I went looking for a once-and-for-all answer.

And I didn’t find one.

Few things make me wish for wealth more than the possibility of eating at 801 Chophouse every night. When we were asked to design a website that reflected the experience of the restaurant, we were happy to dive deep into research (that means eat there). The end result was truly defining and in some cases delicious.

801 Chophouse is in 3 locations: Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa. They offer a fine dining experience that ranks with the best available, claiming a midwest reputation that spreads to the coasts. We worked to match the caliber, energy, and mood that was definitively 801.

801 Chophouse Kansas City Website Design - Johnny Lightning Strikes Again

The Kansas City location is the newest of the three.


When you’re a design firm that lives to capture and communicate the full experience of a brand, it is an exciting day to announce the completion and launch of a website like the one we’re introducing to everyone today.  Everyone, this is the new website for 801 Chophouse.  New website for 801 Chophouse, this is everyone.

801 Chophouse Kansas City Web Design - Johnny Lightning Strikes Again


Some of you may have already played through Today I Die, an independent flash game that has more in common with poetry than gameplay. It is a little interactive gem with something to say, or at least something to make you feel. If you haven’t, take the 10 minutes or so you’ll need to noodle through it to completion.

If you don’t have the time or the patience here is a youtube “walkthrough.” You’ll get the drift but not the heart. Either way is better than not at all.