Recent Blog Posts

By Mike Gifford on 09/09/2014
Google Styled Map from Hackable Cities Guide

Canada's Cities Need a Digital Roadmap, and it needs to engage with citizens.

Most Canadians interact with the local level of government more than any other, and increasingly this is being done electronically

Defining a Digital Roadmap

A roadmap is a common planning tool to help both visualize and achieve a particular goal. It's useful to build consensus around any multi-stakeholder process. Projects often stall if they get caught up in the details, because there is no...

By Mike Gifford on 06/09/2014
New Office Wall with Values

I didn't start OpenConcept because I was interested in business, I started this company because I saw the Internet as being a vehicle of much needed change in our world. So when thinking about the future of my business, I had pretty non-traditional way of looking at growth. 

My initial inspirations about OpenConcept as a business started around a kitchen table over 15 years ago, and in much of this time has been spent around a kitchen table. What I knew was that progressive...

By Mike Gifford on 04/09/2014
The Awesome Room from TCDrupal's Sprint Room

At DrupalCon Austin I was asked by Barry Madore of Triplo to talk about Drupal & Accessibility at TCDrupal 2014. In 2013, a team of people had done some great usability and accessibility work on Drupal 8 at the University of Minnesota. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to follow-up on that.

This year Twin Cities Drupal Camp took place from August 7-10. I spent a bunch of my time there in the Awesome Room, which was where the sprints were taking place on Saturday.


By Mike Gifford on 03/09/2014
Old Zenith Monitor

I was a relatively early adopter of the Internet, having gotten a Bitnet account at the University of Calgary through the Shad Valley program. Of course I'd been involved in BBS's & Fidonet before this, but that branch of computer networking died when the Internet started to take off. 

It was exciting to see the range of conversations on Usenet newsgroups, mailing lists and of course through email.  I became very involved in exploring what could be done with this technology and in...

By Chris Wright on 02/09/2014
Wetkit Logo
I had the opportunity to attend CodeFest 2014 in Ottawa.  This two-day conference was a great chance for anyone who “works in the web” to get together, share their expertise and learn from their peers. Background Codefest is a free, volunteer-run conference centered around the Web Experience Toolkit (WET).    WET is an open source project led by the Government of Canada that is developed openly on GitHub. The focus of WET is to develop an innovative, user-centered web experience that can be...
By Mike Gifford on 10/07/2014
Slide from presentation

I am presenting at Ottawa's first Accessibility Summit. It's a 20 minute presentation on Fixing Accessibility Problems at the Source which I am using to talk about Drupal's experience trying to meet WCAG 2.0 AA.

The slides from this event are available on, a neat service that works nicely using the open source library reveal.js. I totally loved that I could both edit the HTML directly in the interface and also import/export and host my files wherever I wanted to.For my...

By Mike Gifford on 05/06/2014
Mike Gifford Preseting about ATAG at CodeFest 2014

Anyone who has been involved Web Accessibility knows that the basics are quite simple, but that it can get complicated really quickly. Training people to create content that can be perceived by people with varieties of sight, hearing, mobility & cognitive challenges is no small task, and ultimately we all make mistakes.

Most web content now is being created through Content Management Systems, which are helping to simplify the process of producing content. The future seems to be...

By Cindy Warren on 05/06/2014

We're happy to announce that Claire-Isabelle Carlier is now a permanent member of our staff in the new position of Business Development and Marketing Manager. Over the past few months, on top of learning a lot about Drupal, about our company and our clients, and about working in Canada, Claire has already proven to be a valuable member of our team.

She has updated our corporate look, logo and values statement; produced several proposals for new work; started enhancing our online...

By Cindy Warren on 30/05/2014
A photo of a box of chocolates with a few missing.

OpenConcept prides itself on supporting the community, and takes action to do so in several ways – one of which is encouraging staff to volunteer with community groups and services that they are passionate about, and getting behind that volunteer work by allowing for flexible hours and through corporate charitable donations.

I've been volunteering for the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region (DCOR) for about five years now, and I'm so grateful for the support Mike Gifford has shown...

By Mike Gifford on 28/05/2014
Drupal Guy & Octocat sitting in Frank Lloyd Wright Porch

Yesterday we saw profile images get into This has gotten a bunch of positive feedback as it both modernizes the look of the community and addresses a style bug that goes back to 2010 when the last design (Bluecheese) was applied to the site.  More importantly though it puts a face on the contributors of the d.o community -- we are no longer just anonymous blue nicknames!

The styling changes on are a nice improvement, mostly because it is a regular reminder about...

Subscribe to