Apple has today rolled out support for adding and maintaining New Zealand business on Apple Maps. What does this mean for your business? If you are a New Zealand-based business, we would strongly recommend you go ahead and claim your business listing on Apple Maps. It’s super quick and easy to get started—just go to Apple Maps for Small Business and follow the instructions.

Read “How to add New Zealand businesses to Apple Maps”

Every project is unique and the depth and scope depends on the budget, the requirements, and, how willing the client is to fully engage with the process. In any case, this is typically the process we strive to go through when developing a new website. Defining the brief First up, we work with our client to define the brief. It is our goal to ensure we fully understand their vision, their business (and business goals), the people behind the business, and their customers and potential market. We also want to make sure we’re excited and inspired by the project so we can be confident our team will enjoy working on it—and, ultimately, be able to deliver great value! Establishing a budget Once the brief is defined, we work up a quote for the project. We never start a project without a quote! As with every step of the process, we treat the quoting phase as an open dialogue with our clients while we work with them to establish the ideal budget—it needs to deliver great value to their business and provide the best opportunity for a quality return on their investment; but it also needs to give our team the...

Read “Our ideal workflow for designing new client websites”

One of the most requested features in Shopify is gift cards and vouchers. We’re pretty excited to have been invited to participate in the closed beta of Shopify’s newest feature: Gift Cards (here are full details and docs). This is something we are often asked about and, to be honest, the workaround of using promo codes has been less than ideal. Promo codes are literally a code entered on checkout that applies a discount (either a dollar amount or a percentage—or free shipping). They can’t be used over multiple purchases and they have to be entered partway through the checkout process which is not overly intutitive. The new gift cards, on the other hand, are treated like a product that customers can purchase like any other product. This in itself is a huge step up from promo codes as selling promo codes as de facto gift cards did not work very well. Once a gift card has been purchased, the customer receives an email with a personalised link to the gift card. From the email, they can either spend the gift card themselves or there are links to gift it to someone else. Customising the design Gift cards are customisable through their...

Read “New in Shopify: Gift Cards at long last”

For those who missed the announcement, Shopify recently launched a new POS (point of sale) app for iPad. Shopify POS is an iPad application that lets you sell your Shopify store's products in a physical, retail setting. It's quick and easy: browse your store's catalog, pick a customer's products, swipe their credit card, and print their receipt or send it through email. For Shopify store owners struggling with alternative POS systems (or lack thereof), this is an excellent opportunity to get your bricks-and-mortar store running smoothly with complete integration with your online storefront. In New Zealand, we can’t yet use the integrated credit card payment options so the hardware kits are not really applicable here but you can happily use Shopify POS with your own hardware. Check out Shopify POS.

Read “Shopify iPad POS app for New Zealand stores”

As we develop a third preset for Lucid One and continue development of a new Shopify theme, we are contemplating how theme settings should best be laid out. We've put together a little tiny survey to gather feedback from Shopify store owners and designers to try to get an idea of what people feel is the most logical structure. Give us your input—it should take less than a minute.

Read “What is the optimal structure of Shopify theme settings?”

In creating Lucid Mobile, our first, mobile-optimised Shopify theme, we’ve realised many Shopify store owners do not realise they can very easily add a 2nd, mobile-only theme to their site. Since June 2011, Shopify has made it possible to install a dedicated mobile theme in parallel to your main theme. This is great for sites with themes that are not are not well-optimised for mobile devices. Many recent themes are “responsive,” meaning they adapt elegantly and automatically to different screen sizes however there are many older or custom-designed themes that are not. The browsing experience with these sites when viewed on a mobile device can be cumbersome at best—and sometimes unusable! The process of adding a mobile theme is easy: Login to your Shopify site at Go to the Themes Manager at Browse to the Shopify Theme Store and click on Mobile to view the dedicated mobile themes Once you've found the theme you want, click Get Theme to install it on your store (you may need to enter your store’s address) You can now tweak and customise the theme while it's un-published Once you're happy with it, click Publish It’s really that easy! And, it’s clear there’s a rapidly growing trend towards consumers making purchases from their mobiles. Is...

Read “How to optimise your Shopify site for mobile devices”

When revising the design of a website, it is important to experiment with different versions rather than simply constantly changing the look-and-feel of the site. Making regular changes is good but it's advisable to do it in such a way that you can track the results between the different versions. If you just go ahead and make a big change, it can be difficult to measure the results as changes in buying habits from one month to the next can influence sales just as much as the changes you might make to the site. This can make it difficult to ascertain whether it was the revisions that made the difference or simply that it's a busier or quieter period than usual. A/B testing allows you to test different versions at the same time by serving up your different versions randomly to different users. We are currently running some homepage tests on the Monocle Order (you can see versions A—the original—B, and C in the images above). Our goal here is to see if, B, images of more "real" people will lead to better site interaction and, C, whether removing the emphasis on membership entirely from the homepage will draw more people in....

Read “Homepage A/B testing for The Monocle Order”

Over the past month or so we have had the pleasure of working with the small team at The Monocle Order, a members only designer sunglasses store based in New York City. In addition to designers such as Waiting for the Sun, Lotho, Mayfourteenth and Cassius, they are selling a range by New Zealand's very own Karen Walker! Nice. The site hasn't been live for 24 hours and it has been featured on which is pretty exciting—for us and for the Monocle Order! We'll post more screenshots and info to our portfolio shortly but wanted to share this in the meantime. Built with Shopify, you can check out the Monocle Order website now.

Read “The Monocle Order, our latest website project, featured on”

Our third iPhone app has gone live in the App Store just seven days in review. Compare is a simple iPhone app developed as a little side-project by Galen as a way to learn iOS and have a little play with designing and building an app from scratch with no input from our dev team. Most supermarkets in New Zealand do not display price per unit making it difficult to determine the best deal. Compare is a price comparison app that shows the best deal between two products. All you do is enter the price and units for each product and Compare will instantly show which ones is the best value. There are numerous comparison apps on the App Store but they all seem overly complicated with interfaces that are more complicated than needed. I have designed Compare to be the easiest way to check which of two products is the best value. The app does not even ask for the units of measurement as it simply assumes the same units are used for both sides. Check it out on our portfolio or take a look at Compare on our Lucid Code site where you can buy it from the App Store.  

Read “Compare iPhone app live on the App Store”

In support of Petite Fleur's recent rebrand, we are offering three lucky people a $25 lunch voucher each—that's three vouchers in total. All you need to do is tweet the reason why you think you deserve a free lunch mentioning @luciddesign and @petitefleurnz and we will give a $25 voucher for the three best tweets. Be sure to follow @luciddesign so we can DM you. If you're not on Twitter, you can leave a comment on Lucid Design's Facebook wall at If you miss out, you have 13 hours, 30 minutes, and a few seconds to buy a $25 voucher for just $10 from GrabOne…. Starting… now!* Conditions: This competition is open to anyone however you will need to be in Nelson by April 16th to redeem your voucher at Petite Fleur at Seifried Estate. Tweets must be received by NZT 5pm today (Monday, January 17th) and must include @luciddesign and @petitefleurnz to be eligible for the draw. Full conditions of voucher available at Voucher not redeemable for cash. (*GrabOne deal finishes at midnight I believe)

Read “WIN a free lunch at Petite Fleur at Seifried Estate”

We do quite a lot of work with Mat at Think Packaging including designing their new logo and branding so it's really cool to see this on two of our favourite packaging blogs: The Dieline » Lovely Package® » If you're looking for an incredibly talented packaging designer, check out Think Packaging.

Read “Think Packaging on The Dieline and Lovely Package®”

Most of our team have been working feverishly on-and-off over the past two weeks on our entry for the excellent Mix & Mash — the great NZ remix and mashup competition, which closed tonight at 9pm. They have done a fantastic job often using unfamiliar tools and methods and coding that has pushed them past anything they've done before. I'm very proud of them and they really deserve all the credit. Great stuff! One of the data sources made available for this competion is all the hut (and track) information from the Department of Conservation (DOC). We immediately had some ideas around how we could make hut and track information a social thing and set about creating Hutli. We couldn't achieve everything we wanted in time for Mix & Mash so initially it is focused on huts. But it's pretty cool. People can tweet about their favourite huts as well as "like" and comment on them which posts back to their Facebook wall. It's a great way to share stories about our experiences in New Zealand wonderful range of huts (over 750 of them it seems!). So, go check it out and leave a comment. If you have any feedback, feel free to comment here...

Read “Hutli—our Mix & Mash competition entry”

Source: Nelson Mail, page 5 on 09/11/2010. Until graphic designer Galen King took on his first employee he felt like a lonely only child with no- one to share his creative ideas with. Now he wants to replicate the feeling of creative collaboration on a grander scale. “It’s great to have people to bounce ideas off. I really enjoy working with a bunch of creative people. It’s great to have that stimulation.” After taking over a 300 square metre commercial space on Bridge St, Mr King saw the opportunity to realise a dream six years in the making. With the Bridge Street Collective he hopes to create a shared creative space in the building - one filled with architects, photographers, designers and writers, to name a few. “Basically we are not simply setting up another cluster of office space.” He said the benefits of working alongside other creative people could not be overstated. Mr King, the founder of Lucid Design, moved from Golden Bay a year ago to grow his business in Nelson. He said the city was quite competitive among designers but hoped his concept would result in more collaboration. The shared space would feature meeting rooms and shared resources...

Read “The Bridge Street Collective—A space for creative people to gather”

It's been almost a full year in the making and we are really thrilled to finally be launching our new website. At first glance it may not seem much different from our previous site but, after countless hours spent on design concepts and numerous revisions, we concluded that we got so much good feedback on our previous site and there were so many things we liked about it that we simply had a major freshen up. We also rebuilt the entire site from scratch since we have been wanting to move away from our old CMS (content-management system) for some time and we're really pleased to now have Lucid Design running on our new platform, Harmony which is just fantastic. In addition to being more stable, faster and hugely more flexible, it also makes it considerably easier for our whole team to manage the site, add articles, blog posts and portfolio work and tweak and polish to design as things evolve. There are still a few little glitches and rough edges to iron out but we have had a great response to the new design from those we showed it to prior to launching and we welcome any feedback anyone...

Read “Today we launch our new website”

I received an email this morning from someone asking if I knew how to contact PayPal from New Zealand because they have been locked out of their account and can't get back in. I have had this problem before too and their email prompted me to write up a quick article on how to unlock a PayPal account with a New Zealand bank account number. The problem is that PayPal expects your bank account number in a specific format but they don't specify what this format is. I've done some trial-and-error and worked out that, despite the fact they ask for your "full bank account number", you have to exclude the first six digits (bank and branch). So, if your account number is 12-3456-7890123-00, you would need to enter just 789012300. Can't get much more obscure than that!

Read “Tip: How to reset your PayPal password using a New Zealand bank account number”

A couple years ago we did a run of t-shirts and a number of people said they'd love to have been able to buy one so this year we're taking orders. The tees will be printed in white on high quality cotton garments and we have a wide range of colours and styles available including men's and women's (scoop necks and v-necks), children's…. To keep it simple, we're just inviting you to send an email to with your first and second choice for colour and your size and style (i.e., men's, women's, v-neck etc). We're keeping it pretty relaxed and will contact you if there are any problems with your choice. The price is NZD$35 incl. GST and we'll be happy to send anywhere in New Zealand for no extra charge. For our friends and clients outside NZ, there will be a shipping fee of some kind. We'll let you know when the time is right.

Read “Lucid Design T-Shirts—the Summer 2010 Collection”

For an iPhone app we are developing for a client, I really wanted to come up with a strong, simple, beatiful, elegant icon. I knew in my mind what I wanted but had trouble describing it so I have come up with this collection of icons that stand out for me for their strength and simplicity. Let me know if there are any you think deserve to be included.

Read “Simple, elegant, minimalist iPhone app icons”

"Lucid Design, a small web development and graphic design studio was founded by Galen King in early 2000 when she was still studying at Canterbury University.The main priority of the business is to make beautiful and elegant designs that truly meet their client’s needs. Their style is minimalist and they put a lot of emphasis on not over designing or over complicating their projects and applications.They are strongly committed to looking after small businesses and helping them grow, which makes them a truly great little innovative kiwi business…." Read the full article here:

Read “Parcels, Lucid Design's first iPhone app, gets a nice little write-up by Etch Magazine”

We're very excited to announce that our first app for the Shopify app store has been released. We've simply called it Campaign Monitor because that's what it does—Campaign Monitor integration for Shopify. It's as simple as inputting your Campaign Monitor API Key, choosing which list you wish Shopify to add new buyers' details to and that's it. It only adds those names of people who have implicitly opted-in to receive further emails and it also will update a contact if it's alreay in your Campaign Monitor list. We've set up a discussion topic in our support system and welcome all feedback:

Read “Our Campaign Monitor app hits the Shopify app store”

Lucid Design is currently developing a Shopify app that automatically adds a buyer's email address to a Campaign Monitor subscriber list if they have ticked the "keep me updated" checkbox on checkout. So that we can build a nice little app that meets people's needs, we are currently looking for people who are keen to test the app out before it's released. If you are keen, please take a look at the Shopify + Campaign Monitor page in our Goodies section.

Read “Looking for beta testers for our Shopify + Campaign Monitor app”

I've seen Xero's Contact Links feature before but I didn't pay much attention to it as it appears, at first glance, to be rather limited without the ability to define custom "key" fields for contacts. You can access this feature by going to General Settings » Organisation Settings and you'll see Contact Links at the bottom. However, I've discovered that it's actually quite powerful as it is. For example, while you can't easily link to a client's specific record in other systems, you can easily link to search results which means generally two clicks to the client's record. For example, in WorkflowMax (the timetracking and billing system we use, you can link to the search like this:{!CONTACTNAME} To show search results in Basecamp that contain the client's name, you can do this (however it's not as reliable due to the fields Basecamp indexes for search results):{!CONTACTNAME} And something else that is very cool is that you can do a Whitepages™ lookup very easily like this:{!CONTACTNAME}-1.html The Whitepages™ one is particularly handy as it gives you a 1-click Whitepages™ lookup for a contact in Xero which I find useful since we don't always store all a client's details. Anyway, I've just...

Read “Using "Contact Links" in Xero to do all kinds of cool things”

We have news! After much deliberation, we have made the big decision that Lucid Design will be moving to Nelson towards the end of this year. It has always been a possibility that my family would move to Nelson at some point but one of the big factors that was keeping us in Golden Bay was our team at Lucid Design to whom I have always felt a strong commitment. However, with two of the team moving to the North Island towards the end of the year—from where they will work remotely—our team in Golden Bay is getting smaller. Taking on new designers and developers is going to be hard in Takaka so, along with several other factors, now really feels like the best time to make the move. The decision to move has not been an easy one as Lucid Design has effectively 'grown up' in Golden Bay with a strong connection and commitment to the community here. However, we know that we will still be able to provide the same level of service—if not better—from Nelson. So, from a business perspective, what will change? Well, for most of you there will be no obvious changes at all. Due...

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5 August 2009 -- Lucid Design today announced it has become one of the first authorised reseller of the Google Apps™ suite of communication and collaboration tools in New Zealand. The focus will initially be on offering clients highly flexible, robust email to complement their businesses. "Google Apps enables us to offer our clients a solid, robust email solution built on a reliable platform. By bringing all our clients' email services into a single system, we are better able to reliably support any issues that may occur and, with the backing of Google's support team, we feel confident we are now able to offer one of the best email systems available" said Galen King, Creative Director of Lucid Design. Google Apps brings simple, powerful communication and collaboration tools to organisations. With Google Apps, users can use applications such as Gmail™ webmail service, Google Talk™ instant messaging service, Google Calendar™ calendaring service, Google Docs™ program, Google Sites™ web application, and Google Video™ for business on their own domain to work together more effectively. Best of all, it's all hosted by Google, so there's no hardware or software to download, install or maintain. The Google Apps Reseller program includes resellers, consultants and...

Read “Press-release: Lucid Design one of the first in New Zealand to become a Google Apps authorised reseller”

I received a nice little surprise this morning when checking out the new Shopify Theme Gallery website. Clean Earth Soap, one of our first Shopify sites, is featured in the initiall select of "The Best Shopify CSS Designs on the Web". It's always nice to get some recognition—especially when it's totally unexpected. Take a look:

Read “Clean Earth Soap recognised as one of the best Shopify CSS designs on the web”