Celebrating 25 Years of the Web - Part 3
Post date Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 17:27

Hidden Depths

There are over 2.2 billion pages on the internet that are known to us and accessible via search engines. This, however, is thought to be a mere fraction of the internet’s true size. Underneath its outward exterior lie the hidden depths (made up of “dynamically generated web pages, pages that are not linked to by other pages and sites that require logins”). The ‘deep web’ is undeniably massive, and most experts are in agreement that it is several times larger that the known web that we browse and Google our way through on a daily basis.

Momentous Momentum

The pace at which the internet has grown and spread is almost unimaginable. It is absolutely and categorically the fastest-growing communication medium that humanity has ever known. To put it into perspective, it took broadcast radio 38 years to reach its first 50 million listeners. Television had 50 million viewers in just 13 years. The web, however, reached 50 million users in just 4 years. These days, around 2.5 billion people are online. The growth is astronomical, and increases every day.

the world online

Source - wiki carnabotnet

And finally…

For those of you who made it to the end of my post, here’s something important to remember: internet users are a cynical, merciless bunch. The probability of them navigating away from your website is particularly high during the first ten seconds after arrival. The following twenty seconds are pretty dicey too… In order to keep the user interested, your website needs to be clear, eye-catching and well-designed, or it will get tossed out with the rest of the trash. This means that if you want to keep their attention, you have ten seconds to communicate your value proposition. No pressure!

The best way to achieve this mammoth task is through clear, efficient, suitable, targeted design. That’s also pleasing to the eye. Sounds easy, right? No? If you feel at a loss or are struggling to keep users engaged, drop us a line and we’ll see if we can help. Maybe it’s time for a bit of an overhaul. Maybe you just need a few tweaks to keep your customers interested. If in doubt, there are always silly pictures of cats to fall back on………

Celebrating 25 Years of the Web - Part 2
Post date Monday, June 9, 2014 - 14:41

Let there be Light!

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the internet is that it has given any old Jo(an) Bloggs a medium to publish and share their ideas and creations with the world. Yes, naturally this has led to an overdose of selfies, porn, trolls and stupid pictures of cats (actually I take that back, there is always room for more stupid pictures of cats). But on the flipside, this has meant that we don’t have to prove our worth and relevance to editors, publishers and broadcasters in order to get our ideas and vision across to the public market. We can post as many blogs, thoughts, videos, songs or pictures of cats as we like. Amen to that!

Bring on the Robots

…not really. Although the Guardian does make the point that our web is inherently limited at present by the fact that websites are readable, but not understandable to machines. This in practice means that when a webpage refers to Babylon, a machine would not know if you were talking about the ancient Mesopotamian empire or that boring song by David Gray. Berners-Lee’s solution to this problem is to restructure web pages to make them more readily understandable by machines (the “semantic web”), though this would reportedly require phenomenal effort and time. So a better way seems to be just to create smarter machines. Eek!

Isn’t it Clever?

What the web has shown us with startling clarity is the enormous power of software. What it means for us today is that virtually any idea we have, we can create and express beautifully online through websites and applications. All that is needed is an understanding of the specialised language of the computer program, inputted instructions to the system, and hey presto, your idea is live! This is some crazy 21st century witchcraft, no? Okay it’s not always quite as easy as it sounds, but it is easy to forget how impressive this is.

On the Downside…

Okay, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. One of the big drawbacks of the free web is that there was initially no system online to reward contributors, specifically no micro-payment e-commerce system to make large numbers of small transactions. This has led companies to extract profits surreptitiously through the mass exploitation of our personal data. The result of this is the murky, somewhat frightening, Orwellian-style situation that we all find ourselves in today. 

Stay tuned for the final part - 3!



Celebrating 25 Years of the Web - Part 1
Post date Friday, April 4, 2014 - 20:17

Happy Birthday!

It has been twenty-five years since Tim Berners-Lee created the worldwide web. Within such a short time it has grown exponentially, becoming the most widespread, versatile and extraordinary communication medium of all time. To commemorate its anniversary,  Guardian published twenty-five (sometimes surprising, often remarkable) facts about the internet last month. Here are some of these facts, as seen through the eyes of an intrepid web designer!

No Permission Required

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the internet is that although it was created by the government, it belongs to us all. Or rather, to no one.  The fact that it runs on open source software means that we are all able to use it as we please, when we please and without seeking permission or consent. This allows two forms of freedom; both in that the network itself is free (for which we have Berners-Lee to thank – profusely), and that we have the freedom to create and innovate infinitely. This as we have witnessed has led to continual transformation and transcendence in development, diversity and imagination.

Onwards and Upwards… and Upwards… and Upwards 

Which leads me to the next point – the web keeps on evolving, advancing, and re-establishing itself before our very eyes. Remember what it was like at first? Who doesn’t get nostalgic at the thought of the dial-up modem tone? Ahhh, the nineties…..

Early internet was comprised of, as far as I remember, a bunch of dodgy chat rooms and the odd badly laid out one-page website, brimming with unsightly graphics and ugly fonts. Check out Microsoft in early  1999 versus now . . . .

websites 1999 - 2014

. . . it is truly mind-blowing how much progress has been jammed into just fifteen years. According to The Guardian, the history of our internet can be divided into three broad ‘eras’: Web 1.0 was a static, text only, document-style system that lasted until the late nineties. After this came Web 2.0 (much of what we understand today as the worldwide web), which consists of “blogging, Web services, mapping, mashups and so on” – essentially millions of small, disparate elements, only loosely linked to one another. Web 3.0 is evolving as we speak, as we are seeing more and more web applications that can “read, analyse and mine” the plethora of information that now exists on the internet. Who knows what Web 4.0 will bring. Or web 99.0 for that matter??

Stay tuned for part 2!



Re-Branding & Re-Designing Orqa Design
Post date Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 11:47

We are proud to announce that Orqa Design has undergone a significant transformation in both our overall branding and website. For the past 4 years we have aspired to provide our clients with the very best service and support possible, and pride ourselves on keeping up to date with innovative, cutting edge technologies surrounding design, web design and development, and html email marketing. Our transformed identity has come from a demand to move the brand and website forward, reflecting these technological & visual advancements, as well as refining the Orqa Design brand.


Colour provides a strong visual link to our brand identity. Consistent representation of these core colours helps to reinforce the distinctiveness of Orqa Design, which is why we've retained the blue, green and greys, but taken a fresher and lighter approach by departing from the darker pallet..


We feel this new direction better represents what Orqa Design is about and what it is like to work with us. Fresh, clean and modern, yet professional and approachable. Let us be the canvas from which your brand can flourish.

Our new website employs a brand new responsive custom theme, with Drupal Spark working away in the background. The unbounded style gives visual scope without constrictions, increasing the illusion of space and fluidity.


We have also developed some neat interactive motion elements, such as our client quote fader, fading image rollover buttons, client logo scroller and javascript / CSS motion charts.

We've expanded the portfolio images to extend to full width of the screen and into a scrolling slideshow for a greater impact and ease of viewing.


May we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.

We look forward to working with you under our new branded identity.

orqa design team