Earlier this week, we wrote about the rise and the fall of the independent digital agency in the Metroplex, and changes in the competitive landscape. In this piece, I take a look back and talk about some of the changes within Imaginuity.
Imaginuity was founded in 1997 as a non-profit to help inner city youth learn skills in graphic design and technology. Since then, Imaginuity has evolved into one of the largest independently held agencies in the Southwest.
Although Imaginuity has been around since 1997, I joined Imaginuity in 2008 (and I’d like this blog to be less than 600 words) so that’s where I will begin.
I had planned on taking a screenshot of Imaginuity’s website from 2008 using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. The problem is our original website was built with Adobe Flash, so the image is largely blank. That’s right, I said built with Flash. At the time, Flash was the standard used to animate websites. Imaginuity had excellent Flash developers and built award winning, cutting edge websites using Flash to animate images.
What happened to Adobe Flash you say? Why the change you ask? The answer is simple. The iPhone.
The iPhone came out in June, 2007. In 2008, only a handful of users had begun using the iPhone. Most professionals were using a Blackberry. The Android had yet to be invented and I had a cool flip phone. As the popularity of the iPhone grew, users started accessing the web through their mobile device.
It was also around this time that Adobe and Apple had a falling out. The result was that Apple stopped supporting Adobe Flash on its devices. The change created a shift in website development. In general, Flash was no longer being used in website development, and Imaginuity started animating images using technologies like HTML 5.
What are other major changes I’ve seen along the way at Imaginuity?
Algorithms. Responsive Design. Google. Yes, today Google rules the world.
Some of the biggest changes at Imaginuity have been due to Google and the ever-changing world of the web.
In 2008, search engine optimization was accomplished almost exclusively using keywords, meta tags, and meta data.
Today a large part of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and mobile is very important in website search rankings. In fact, as of April, 2015 Google’s new algorithm penalizes any website that is not mobile friendly (responsively designed).
As an innovative agency, Imaginuity was ahead of the curve and had already been building responsive websites for several years.
In 2008, the most popular social media platform was MySpace. Other than college kids, most people were just starting to hear about Facebook. There were no Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine or Snapchat-style platforms. Imaginuity was just starting to enter the social media world with its own Facebook page. For most companies, social media was not even a blip on their radar.
Today, not only does your website have to be mobile friendly, but it is imperative that companies engage their audiences across social media channels. The era of a company being successful in the digital arena by simply building a beautiful website without a fully integrated digital strategy and social media voice are long gone.
Imaginuity has kept pace with all these changes. We have evolved ahead of the curve and have built a team of professionals consisting of Strategists, User Experience Experts, Search Engine Optimization Experts, Social Media Experts, Copywriters, Designers, and Developers.
In very large part, our continuing success is due to our ability to embrace innovation. That quality, combined with our deep experience translates into our customers’ success in an ever-changing digital world.