People love Perch: Matt Gibson

We love to hear how much People love Perch and this interview is with Matt Gibson, Production Director at Cyber-Duck.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company or who you work for?

I am the Production Director at Cyber-Duck, a digital agency based in leafy Elstree in Hertfordshire, home of James Bond, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones and perhaps most famously Peggy Mitchell.

At Cyber-Duck we specialise in user experience (UX), design and development for responsive websites and apps, working with a range of clients like the European Commission, GlaxoSmithKline and Flight Centre.

Do you consider yourself primarily a designer, a developer, something else?

I am primarily a designer, overseeing all design work at Cyber-Duck from the early research and planning stages, to sketching and designing interfaces and flows, right through to helping deliver HTML / CSS code. At our agency I work with a talented team of researchers, designers and developers. Our development team have been using Perch for nearly a year now (since October 2012).

What sites have you used Perch on recently?

A site we recently launched is BAM Sustainable. We’ve been working with BAM (one of Europe’s leading construction companies) since 2008 and for our latest project we created a responsive website specifically focused on what BAM is doing to help build a more sustainable future. Content throughout the website is driven by Perch so that BAM can update their content and more specifically data on their achievements quickly and without hassle, no matter what device they’re using.

We integrated Perch and apps such as Blogs and Forms with Laravel, our preferred PHP MVC framework using Perch’s simple but powerful API.

Why did you choose Perch?

Karen McGrane describes content management systems as the enterprise software that UX forgot, and often in the past we’ve found this to be the case. Most of our clients don’t need a bloated or complicated CMS (or worse still a blogging platform trying to be a CMS), they just need to be able to easily get up and running managing their content. That’s what we love about Perch: It’s really simple for the end user to learn and use.

When designing responsive websites, performance and speed is of primary importance. We chose Perch because it is lightweight, it isn’t bloated by default like many other CMS options out there, yet is easy to extend and flexible to client needs.

How do you find working with Perch?

We’ve really enjoyed working with Perch so far. Getting up and running and building templates is a doddle. It’s really straightforward to integrate dynamic zones into your static code, rather than trying squeeze your code into predefined templates. The API is simple to work with, is reliable and means we can extend the CMS when needed by creating custom apps.

Everything has been thoughtfully documented meaning that should we need to extend any part of the CMS, it has never been a problem to do so. For example on the BAM site above, we wanted a blog/articles section that we then wanted to duplicate and tweak slightly for a case studies section, which wasn’t a problem at all.

Perch is a fantastic CMS for projects big and small: we’re proud to be registered Perch developers.

How do your clients find working with Perch?

From what we’ve seen, our clients pick up and learn Perch really fast, making training them on managing their site far more smooth and painless than it has in the past with other CMS. We can tailor Perch to how they use it. This is particularly useful to ensure our work in creating a carefully crafted responsive design and art direction is not wasted. Clients don’t need to worry about semantics or styles and instead can focus on the content they are editing. The fact that the admin panel is responsive means that clients don’t need to be at their desk to create or edit content either which is a really useful feature.