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Blog & News

The Top 10 Moments of 2016

By The Webspec Crew | Around the Office

Between celebrating our 15th anniversary, winning all the awards (okay, not all the awards, but several), honing our hacking skills, biking until our legs felt like they’d fall off, playing dress up, and figuratively (and literally) cooking up some of the freshest goods this side of the Mississippi (and Missouri), 2016 was one for the record books. It was too difficult to choose one favorite, so we did our best and narrowed it down to our top 10 moments. Grab a snack and get cozy while we take a walk down memory lane.

10. Our Experience with dsmHack

We were once again excited to participate in dsmHack, a whirlwind weekend hackathon that hosts designers, developers, and innovators to lend a hand to nonprofits in the community. This year, we lent our talents to the Roosevelt Cultural District (RCD), a historic district in the Roosevelt area that’s home to 29 businesses, including the Des Moines Playhouse. Designer Stephanie Wharton wrote a two-part blog series about her experience this year. Dive into parts one and two just in time for us to participate again in 2017!

9. Taking Home Several Horizon Interactive Awards

The Horizon Interactive Awards Competition was held for the 14th time this year and we were proud to receive several awards. The competition celebrates excellence in interactive media production worldwide and we were humbled to be among so many distinguished businesses. We won “Best Website Redesign & Development” in the “Legal” category for Fisher Law as well as in the “Corporate & B2B” category for Hatch & Kirk, Inc and in the “Government Agency” category for Caucus 101. Those awards were more than enough to make us happy, so when we were named a “Distinguished Agency/Developer,” thanks to the quality, consistency, and depth of work we do, we were thrilled! Take a look back with us here.

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8. Cooking Up Fresh Work & Being Recognized

It was a big year for us and while we don’t do what we do for the recognition, it’s sure nice to be noticed by those we respect – especially when it’s for doing work our clients can be proud to show off! This year, the Art Director’s Association of Iowa (ADAI) Design Exhibition honored us with an “Award of Excellence” in Website Design for work we did for The Picker Knows. The team enjoyed collaborating with the antiques and collectibles shop in West Des Moines on this custom design and development project, which included creating fresh content and a brilliant SEO strategy. Needless to say, we were pretty psyched to pick up that award! Be sure to look back on our proud moment here.

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7. Webspec’s Pedal Party

May is National Bike Month and since the Webspec Crew is full of ambitious biking fans, we thought the best way to celebrate would be to do so with a little competition. As it turns out, those bikers were not messing around! The longest ride was nearly 50 miles and total distance was 127 miles. Read more about it in that month’s Wranglings.

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6. Playing Games and Raising Returns

Several members of our team had the chance to attend the Association of Business and Industry (ABI) “Taking Care of Business” conference this summer. While hearing from keynote speakers Steve Rizzo and Dick Vitale was definitely something they won’t forget, they agreed the best part was the interactive game Webspec created for their session. That’s right, we designed a brand new board game to bring our digital marketing efforts to the three-dimensional world. The team hopes to return to the 2017 conference to share “Raise Your Return” with attendees again!

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5. Celebrating 15 Years By Giving Back

This September, Webspec celebrated fifteen years in business. To celebrate such a monumental event, we decided to give back to those who give so much of their time in our Game On: Celebrating Our Community contest. Owner and founder, Jeremiah Terhark, was able to start Webspec Design after he was a winner of the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award. First, we decided to give back to that foundation, so that more students in the future can realize their dreams. Next, we involved the community by asking for nominations of nonprofits in Iowa. Once the top five were named, the community voted for their favorite. The runners up each received $1,250 and the grand prize winner, On With Life, walked away with a $5,000 check.

4. Team Halloween Costume Challenge

If you can’t tell by now, the Webspec Crew is always looking for reasons to have fun. This Halloween was no exception. In an office full of creative people, it just made sense to hold the first Halloween Costume Challenge. Each team chose their own (secret) theme and came dressed to scare (or make laugh). It was a mixture of funny, silly, and (kind of) scary. Poor Niren never saw those creatures coming.

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We shared the photos on Facebook and let people vote for their favorite team costume. Gru and the Minions took the win, but we think everyone’s costume deserved a vote!

3. Webspecgiving

On the Friday before Thanksgiving, the crew gets together to celebrate Webspecgiving as a work family. We have so much to be thankful for – not the least of which is the fact that we have so many talented bakers and cooks in the office! This year, we decided to create the Webspec Recipe Book so that we can share some of our favorite recipes with you. Potlucks are the best and these recipes aren’t just for Thanksgiving. Trust us. We’d gladly eat these treats year-round! Head to our blog and download our custom recipe cards.

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2. The Webspec Cookie Shoppe

After fifteen years of baking up fresh content, we decided it was time to try our hands at real baking. That’s why we opened the Webspec Cookie Shoppe! We asked you to create your own custom cookie and spread the cheer by sending to a friend. These came in handy during our holiday open house, when we hosted clients, friends, and family for an end-of-the-year celebration.

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1. Learning From Our Clients

It’s pretty obvious we wouldn’t be here without you and that fact is never lost on us. It was fun to welcome so many of you to our holiday open house last week and if you haven’t seen the photos yet, click here to check them out.

We’ve learned a lot from you this year and can’t wait to keep learning in 2017 so we can put that knowledge right back to work for you!


Did you have a favorite moment with Webspec? Let us know in the comments!

The Webspec Crew

Webspec Design has an industry-leading team of web designers, web & software developers, content writers, SEO strategists, project managers and marketing staff based in Des Moines, Iowa. We hire the best and brightest to develop creative web design solutions and deliver your business unparalleled results. After fifteen years, hundreds of web design and development projects, and many software development projects, we are proud of our reputation for service.