Blog Posts By Author

Blog posts by Author

  • Wanted: Front-end Developer

    Tags: studio, hiring, ryan

    We're a small, high-performance studio that is best suited for an experienced developer with deep passion for their trade and who wants to make work that stands apart. Check out our vibes. If you want less bullshit and more of what you love, drop us a note! YOU GIVE US: Minimum 4 years experience in front-end web development. Very knowledgeable in CSS / HTML with ability to build... read more

  • Jenni Madson Named Partner of Northern Ground

    Tags: studio, jenni, fuckyeah

    TL;DR - Jenni kicks ass and now she owns part of this place.I'm thrilled to announce that effective January 1, 2017 Jenni is now Partner, Operations! She will mostly be doing what she's done since joining us as our first employee in 2012, running ops and working to support our largest, most strategic clients. But now she is an owner of Northern Ground.After we decided to start up in 2012 she was... read more

    Jenni Madson

  • Quarry Launches App for Links in Instagram

    Tags: ryan, quarry, studio, mobile, apps, linkbutter

    It occurred to us that the stuff we're creating in Quarry makes the Internet well, more  Internet. And our first little app is no exception. We've all seen them, those 287 character zombie links in Instagram posts that the 400M+ monthly users can't do anything with. Like a lemon without juicer, we thought those links needed some squeeze. It's the Internet - give us our links! Seeing a... read more

    Open links in Instagram, like butter.

  • Out of Shape, Not Out of Beer

    Tags: matt, studio, milwaukee

    Matt Retzer, all 6' 5" of his studly web programming self, played volleyball with the good people at Barrett-Lo Visionary Development as part of the Downtown Employee Week volleyball tournament. The rest of us drank beer, ate brats and stayed close to the v-fib kit. Happy summer Milwaukee! read more

    We work hard on our six packs, of PBR.

  • Quarry: Northern Ground Starts Employee Owned Incubator

    Tags: ryan, quarry, studio

    "Great companies are built on great products." - Elon Musk. New ideas keep changing the world right in front of us. We’re overdue to stop watching and start inventing. Tesla we are not, but we want to start making our own products. After months of planning (and legal and names and logos), I am honored to announce Quarry. Quarry is an internal incubator that is owned and operated... read more

    Because we like to create things.

  • Barrett-Lo Selects Northern Ground

    Tags: ryan, projects, strategy, design, development

    In late 2014 Northern Ground was named digital partner for Barrett-Lo Visionary Development. Barrett-Lo Visionary Development is a Milwaukee-based real estate and development company led by Rick Barrett and Tan Lo. The firm focuses on high-end projects that are centered around urban revitalization. In Milwaukee, you may know them best for the award winning 30-story Moderne tower at Old... read more

  • Tim Grove, Sr. Technical Architect Joins Northern Ground

    Tags: tim, development, 10Q, new hire

    10Q with Tim, a key member of our growing team. Tim will begin to lead our more challenging development projects. Oh wait, thats all we do. Anyhoo, Tim is rad and we are happy to have him. Welcome! Q1 Northern Ground: Tell us about your professional background. Tim: I started my career while going to school and interning at a web company in Milwaukee. I mostly used php, mysql, lamp... read more

  • Welcome Nicole Madison, Sr. User Experience Designer

    Tags: 10Q, nicole, UX

    Our work is not for the faint of heart. From embedded touch systems to games to mobile apps to new platforms, we get the tough stuff, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Nicole has joined Northern Ground to round out our capabilities related to information architecture and user experience planning. Her deep digital chops coupled with her design background make her a perfect fit for our team.... read more

  • Season's Greetings!

    To all of our amazing customers, partners and vendors, thank you for a wonderful year of challenge and opportunity! We wish you the happiest of holiday season's and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Stay warm my friends! read more

  • QOTD: Empathy in Design

    Tags: QOTD, ryan, design, empathy, design empathy

    ‘To make’ is to take on the challenge of engaging an other in an empathic conversation. An other we perceive as being separate from our ‘selves.’ An other we do not know. An other that can just as well be a fellow human being, as it could be a character in a story, a piece of raw material, or even your own body. These are all others we can make with, by realizing our... read more

  • MSOE: A Magento E-commerce Solution For Higher Ed

    Tags: ryan, projects, magento, strategy, design, development, ecommerce

    We all need a super hero once in a while! Northern Ground saved the day for us when we needed it most. We were in the midst of a new website launch yet Northern Ground found a way to work with our existing vendors and had us up and running with an e-commerce solution within an extremely tight deadline. We are so appreciative of the time, effort and willingness to answer our big and small... read more

  • QOTD: Craftsmanship

    Tags: QOTD

    There is a growing desire for authenticity in the world. Handcrafted goods, artisanal foods, community gardens; people are nostalgic and businesses are returning to old-world ways. We want to know where things come from, who makes them, what are the values behind a product. Craftsmanship is about human touch. Touch links us to something tangible, something of personal value. In quality... read more

  • 10 Tips: Hiring A Digital Firm For Your Next Project

    Tags: ryan, strategy, soapbox

    Sad but true that over the past year, roughly 1/4 of our work has been fixing mistakes made by other 'agencies'; either partly or wholesale. Dear clients, don't settle. I have short-listed some not-so-obvious tips on hiring a custom digital shop. Heed just 2-3 of these and your chances of success go way up. If not, see point #10. 1. SHARE REQUIREMENTS HAVE A CLEAR PROJECT OUTLINE AND BE ABLE... read more

  • 10 Questions With New Front-End Designer Hunter Ruth

    Tags: ryan, hunter, design, 10Q

    With both design and code chops, Hunter represents a new-breed of digital creative; he can design an app UI and build it. He's a millenial that doesn't know a world without high-speed internet. We expect great things from him in the coming years. Join us in welcoming him to our team. Q1 Northern Ground: Where did you grow up? Hunter: All over. I was born in Midland Texas & lived there... read more

  • Wanted: Assistant Web Designer Who Doesn't Know It All, Yet

    Tags: studio, about, jay, hiring

    UPDATE 7/15/13: We are excited to announce that this position has been filled. Thank you for the overwhelming interest and stay tuned to meet our newest team member soon... First and foremost, everyone loathes bullshit job descriptions that are vague, cut/pasted and make no sense. We don't want 1,000 applicants and we don't want to waste your time (or ours). I am going lay out what we need and... read more

  • Craft Beer + Investment Crowdfunding = CraftFund

    Tags: projects, ryan, craftfund, strategy, design, development, mobile, social, startup, logos, responsive

    Does is get any better? Craft beer and crowdfunding. WHAT? Where in the h--e-double hockey sticks do I sign up? Oh, We've all either heard of or participated in rewards-based crowdfunding; I hope?  You see the world's thinnest watch and because thickness was the clearly the reason you stopped wearing your last one, you want in. You go to, pay your $99 and... read more

  • I think about you. I miss you. I need you. A lot. Seriously.

    Tags: ryan, strategy, customers, soapbox

    Remember what matters? Customers, prospects, partners, etc. They should be spinning around in your brain at all times - like 80's movie lines or, if you have a 3 year old daughter like me, the theme song to Dora. "C'mon Vamanos! Everybody let's go!" Far too often clients and prospects come to us with a specific INTERNAL issue. Then, they discuss the needs of their audience and target users... read more

  • Northern Ground Launches New Website for True Process

    Tags: strategy, design, development, responsive, true process, illustration, typography, b2b, mobile, web, projects, ryan

    We could go on and on about the design system, user experience or content strategy but I'd rather have our client share his experience. After a small bribe, he agreed. Plus, we're tired. Thanks Todd. Back to bed. "My name is Todd Dunsrin and I am the CEO of True Process.  We launched our new website this week and Ryan asked that I share our experience with Northern Ground. True Process... read more

  • Visiting Northern Ground

    Find us at 260 E. Highland Avenue on the top floor of the historic Blatz Brewery. See the map below for parking options or, if you love parking tickets, street parking is readily available. You can enter our building under the covered drive on Highland or through the courtyard off of Market Street. Once in the Blatz lobby, take an immediate right through a set of glass doors and take the... read more


    Tags: about, photography, studio, ryan

    Smell that? Progress is fermenting at the Blatz. Okay, it's probably asbestos (or body odor) but either way demo has begun on our new space. We're scheduled to take occupancy by EOY and are well on our way. Great light, huge volume, private entrance, wonderful views, oh, and it needs to get totally gutted like my smelly refrigerator two weeks after Thanksgiving. Some pics from today..... read more

  • Authentic Content Marketing

    Tags: content, about face media, strategy, social, projects, ryan

    When I [am forced to] watch a traditional corporate marketing video, ion rays fly out of the screen and penetrate my soul stealing my dreams and replacing them with feelings of regret and shame, like when I reach that weird part of YouTube. I'll get right to it. One, we built the new website for About Face Media and two, and more importantly, if you are a brand that cares about storytelling... read more

  • We Needed Some Glue, Not The Sniffing Kind

    Tags: jenni, about, ryan, bio

    If the future success of Northern Ground will be based on our first hire, we’re going to be fine. And by fine I mean amazing. Welcome Jenni Madson, employee #1. Man, where do I start with Jenni? She likes to laugh, work hard, laugh, spend time with her amazing family and laugh some more. I met Jenni at Layer One five years ago. The day I started was the day she gave birth to her second... read more


    Tags: mobile, strategy, app, b2b, ryan

    Yes, this is a blog post about another blog post. But Aaron Shapiro (CEO of HUGE in NYC) is on point. You should really read it, right now, then come back.  I'll wait. In addition to Aaron’s advice, allow me to offer my own counsel, perhaps more tactically, But remember, regardless of the path you take, this problem is not going away. Speed to market has never been more... read more

  • The New (OLD) Home of Northern Ground

    Tags: about, photography, studio, ryan, libby

    The expected route was to grab a space in the Third Ward. We wanted something different.  We think we found a diamond in the rough but it will take creative vision and some gasoline to get us there. We happen to have plenty of both. Part of what we want to do with this blog is bring you into the inner workings.  We’re going to have victories and defeats and we think it's... read more


    Tags: about, design, development, strategy, ryan

    Several months ago we sat down over drinks dinner and a spreadsheet. We left that night deciding to start our own digital studio. We have ideas about how to do things differently, better. Welcome to Northern Ground. Does the world really need another shop like ours? What differentiation could we possibly offer? Why would you decide to work with a small studio? Why did we leave... read more