northtemple archives

Don’t forget Northtemple’s Twitter feed, which is a fancy regurgitation of our website content. Many of our designers are also on Twitter, and you can find em by who the Northtemple account is following.

posted by jason on Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 · 0 comments

case study

How we rebuilt Northtemple

I am my own worst client. Designing for yourself is always an interesting exercise, and I find that not only am I increasingly more difficult to work with, but lately the process is taking longer than ever. It may be just as awkward as a doctor operating on himself, or a hair dresser cutting her own hair, or a baby changing her own diaper. Our process for rebuilding Northtemple was about as exasperating. Here’s how we did it.

posted by jason on Monday, Aug 25, 2008 · 8 comments

Introducing the Journal of Design

We’re happy to announce the Northtemple Journal of Design, our newest offering to the design community.

The Journal is our place to be a bit more serious, to polish the shoes up a bit and present brand new and completely original articles on everything design. We’ll be publishing these articles online and in print, on topics ranging from web and print design to design methods and processes. And starting today, we’ll publish a new article every two weeks on the site, and wrap them all up every quarter in printed form for handy desk reference.

Unlike our other articles, Journal articles will be longer, more polished, edited, and planned out in advance much like any other publication.

We’ll be posting our first article today.

Also new today is our Studies section, where we will be posting in-depth case studies on our techniques, styles and thinking. We’ve received many requests for more detail on what we do every day, and with 30+ designers we do have quite a bit of work to show. These won’t be on any sort of schedule, and much less formal than the Journal, but will dig deeper into our design process than we ever have to showcase what and how we work around here.

Studies will range from tutorials, to musings, to full on case studies. We’ve got quite a few of these in the works, including Chris’s fabulous design, and how we rebuilt Northtemple.

Thanks for paying attention. We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do you have any ideas for articles or case studies?

posted by jason on Monday, Aug 18, 2008 · 6 comments

A few small updates this morning. We’ve added pagination to the front page, so you can browse through the 100 pages of Northtemple posts dating back to August 2006. The Archives are also open for business, with a new (and fledgling) “best of” section which we’ll be slowly adding to as we ourselves sift through the archives. You’ll also find monthly archives, and posts by type/tag/author. Finally, we have a new RSS feed for Full Tumblelog + comments if you want to keep track of the discussion. Just yesterday we had over 20.

Still en route: a revamped Jobs page, Search, a new Case Studies section, plus the official announcement for our Northtemple Journal of Design.

Any other requests?

posted by jason on Tuesday, Aug 12, 2008 · 15 comments

Welcome to the new site! We’ve got comments working finally, after a launch day that saw everything possible go wrong. Hang in there – full Archives, Jobs, and our 2 new design sections will be available soon. Also Monday look for our first Case Study, on our process for redesigning Northtemple and the battles going on in this design. Thanks-

posted by jason on Saturday, Aug 09, 2008 · 13 comments

Searching Fun

Several months ago I posted some of the more interesting or humorous hits we’ve had from search engines. Over the intervening months, I’ve collected some more:

posted by ted on Thursday, Aug 30, 2007

We failed to note an anniversary a few weeks ago; 18 August 2006 marked the first public post on North Temple. That got me to looking back into what my own first post was. I found it: Design and the Golden Rule. A year later, I still feel the same—what a great job!

posted by ted on Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007

Two more—we can apparently help with ikea traffic problems and the design of small temples for home.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007

It’s fun every once in a while to go through the logs and see what internet searches are driving people to your site. Here are a few of the more unusual ways people are finding North Temple via Search:

posted by ted on Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007

Thou shalt not steal.

Thanks to the wonders of twitter, my favorite scaling Ruby on Rails app, I was notified this morning by Jesse Newland’s twitter that Matt Haughey’s new site Fortuitous was strangely similar to Northtemple.

From the twitterfoo of Jesse:

kinda sketched out by how much rips off

Sure, we didn’t invent the “footer-as-masthead” concept. Our own Cameron Moll has written beautifully about Nodes of Inspiration and how closely we all come to stealing or borrowing ideas.

But a quick glance at Matt’s source code reveals what we like to call copy/paste detection, not only borrowing Randy Hall’s excellent CSS hacks for making that PNG fade correctly in IE, but they even copied his comments:

/* transparent png hack for ie */

Jesse calls for an “about page mention” for our (Randy Hall, Gilbert Lee, and Jason Lynes) work, to which Matt responds with a Twitter private message (the fact that this all occurred over Twitter fascinates me):

regarding the “ripped off” I mention it here:, I liked their basic layout but didn’t copy any code or images

To his credit, Matt does include a bit (a very, very small bit) on his post over at awholelottanothing which has provided a trickle of traffic to NT today. It’s no “about page mention”, but we’ll take what we can, right?

See for yourself. The new Fortuitous:

And the current Northtemple:

Of course, imitation is the highest form of flattery, and I do see it as a compliment.

Plus, we are all commanded to forgive.

So Matt, you are forgiven. No seriously, we’re honored.

(In other news, keep your eyes open for a brand new Northtemple design in the next few days.)

posted by jason on Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On A List Apart’s Web Design Survey, question #5, how many did you check off? If you checked more than 7 or 8, give us a call, and you’ll be able to check off 11 or 12 on question #6..

posted by jason on Tuesday, Apr 24, 2007

David Heinemeier Hansson at 37signals was recently approached by a recruiter about a Ruby on Rails position, saying “it looks like you have an interest in this new and exciting framework.” Note to recruiter: David invented Rails. Dorks. David writes up that experience and others in the current job market, where recruiters are so anxious to get the word out they forget about basic research and personal communication.

By the way, while we aren’t likely to spam you, we are hiring.

posted by jason on Wednesday, Apr 11, 2007

“Visually, it is beautiful; semantically, it makes pretty good sense; accessibly, it is probably better than average, but needs to improve.”
Ben Spaulding, in a review of NorthTemple for his IS 235 class at BYU-Idaho. It’s Randy’s fault.

posted by jason on Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006

Just posted a new job description at Authentic Jobs (not at all related to Cameron’s recent hire).. Temple-worthy Church Membership in the LDS Church, and 5 years web design experience are but two of the very reasonable things we’re looking for. Got the skills? We’ll even relocate ya. Come talk to us

posted by jason on Tuesday, Dec 05, 2006

Did you notice we’re hiring?

We are actively hiring and interviewing these days, searching for THE BEST of the best. We’ve posted fliers over at 37signals, Authentic Jobs, and a few other less effective sources.

We’ve already hired many from within Utah, and have facilitated a modern-day pioneer trek from Maine, Idaho, Missouri, Georgia, and Spanish Fork.

If you are LDS, temple-worthy, have 5 years of website and/or web application experience, and want to be part of the revolution, get in touch with us immediately.

Not LDS or don’t want to relocate? We can still use you. Touch base.

posted by jason on Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006

Performance = Results

Fresh out of our User Experience Group meeting (see photo below), I had to run look up an article we read late last year in reference to one of our “cultural beliefs” here in the Information and Communications Systems department. This particular belief is that “performance = results,” and it explains a core belief we have in the UxG.

What does “performance = results” mean? It means performance != effort. It means your success depends not on the amound of hours or the extra effort you’re putting into a solution, but rather the result of that work. If I can solve a problem in an hour, and someone else in five hours, who’s working harder? Longer? Better?

It reminded me of this article from Newsweek by Eric Schmidt and Hal Varian from Google, called Google: Ten Golden Rules, with the subhead “Getting the most out of knowledge workers will be the key to business success for the next quarter century. Here’s how we do it at Google.”

Let me quote right from the beginning:

“At google, we think business guru Peter Drucker well understood how to manage the new breed of ‘knowledge workers.’ After all, Drucker invented the term in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will ‘strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers’ way.’ Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing ‘the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years.’”

We are seeking to provide that very environment here, and we find that it works beautifully. We, the creative class, are here to perform. And performance means results. It means we’re paid to be effective, make 1,000 great decisions every day, and take this mentality and inspire others in the organization to follow suit.

We’re proving it works.

Schmidt outlines several key principles of creating and thriving in this kind of environment – a checklist of how to succeed and then attract even more like us. The points (briefly – see the article for more explanation):

We’re doing each of these things here, and it’s changing a lot. Just today a candidate came in to meet the team and remarked, “I didn’t expect [the environment] to be so fun.” Candidates come here and they want to be part of it. They’re surprised to find it at a church / non-profit, and they’re thrilled to be part of it. Customers, which here are internal, are starting to say things like “I couldn’t have asked for more,” and users say things like “it’s so easy I think I’m doing something wrong.”

And you know what? It’s contagious. Other departments start to take notice, and the excitement, passion, and desire starts catching on. Which, really, is what we’re aiming for.

posted by jason on Friday, Aug 25, 2006

On CSS Mania today (thanks to john)... On the front page currently – head over and vote for us...

posted by jason on Thursday, Aug 24, 2006

Welcome to

We are a group of designers in Salt Lake City, and NorthTemple is our shot at contributing back to the web design community, in return for so much we’ve received from it. Each of us rely on the web community every day, and this is our way of taking what we’re learning in some pretty unique circumstances and sharing it with this thing we call the internets. is built as a “tumblelog”, a stream of consciousness type of blog where we’ll be posting at all hours and with content of all type—articles, quotes, links, photos, videos, and more.

The site is still very new. We’ll be introducing comments very shortly, as well as adding our designers to the site and launching some extended bios and archives of it all.

We hope you enjoy. Don’t forget to grab our atom feed to keep up with the log.

posted by jason on Friday, Aug 18, 2006