Robby started The Nine in 2007 with a vision of becoming a leader in the digital landscape in The South. His background in Architecture (bachelor Architecture, Auburn University 2003) has helped him with designing the user interface for Caboose (The Nine's custom Content Editing Framework) and overseeing the direction and future of The Nine. As Chief Architect, he works closely with the lead designers and front end developers to help share his passion for great design. It has always been his goal to provide a work environment that motivates and keeps his employees pushing to be the best in everything that is produced from The Nine. He is active in the community and his church, The Highlands. His heart for the homeless is the driving force behind everything that he works to accomplish with Canvas a newly founded 501(c)(3) that is in the works.
William Barry: Chief Development Architect Partner
William (bachelor in Computer Science, University of Alabama) joined The Nine in 2013 and has brought over 15 years of development experience along with him. William is responsible for the development of Caboose and all of the moving parts that keep The Nine at the top of our game. He is passionate about developing applications that fit the real needs of our clients. He specializes in back-end development and performs all of the heavy lifting in the development process. He is fluent in the whole web spectrum, with a rich understanding in Rails (the development platform of The Nine). William's role with The Nine is two-fold: to provide a general architecture which will best meet the immediate and long-term needs of our clients, and to provide guidance to our team of developers in regards to project architecture, coding standards, testing and maintainability.
Billy Swift: Front-end Wizard/Barista Partner
Billy graduated from the Computer Science program at The University of Alabama, where he fine-tuned his programming skills. His background in graphic design enables him to code websites that are both visually appealing and easy to use, while maintaining a high level of functionality. Billy has in-depth knowledge of HTML5, CSS, jQuery, and Ruby - and dabbles in other languages. When he's not coding, Billy enjoys bonfires, quoting The Office, reading books, and traveling to Colorado. He is also the proud owner of a Dalmatian that has become our office mascot. He grew up in Dallas and Birmingham, and now resides in Tuscaloosa after graduating from university.
Lance Holloway: Digital Director
Lance graduated from The University of Alabama in 2003 with a degree in Telecommunications and Film. After graduation Lance started his own wedding videography company, Holloway Productions, which has become one of the top wedding video companies in the Southeast with such notable clients as Nick Saban, Jason Dufner, André Smith, Jeremy Pruitt, Mitch Moreland, Heidi Elnora and many others. Lance also spent ten years as the video editor for the television show Discovering Alabama, where he won three Emmy’s during that time. Lance’s work has been featured on Fox Sports, Golf Digest, TLC, The Food Network, and in 2010 Lance was recognized by Panache Publications as one of the south’s best videographers. Lance’s expertise ranges from portrait, landscape and architectural photography to corporate/commercial videography and he excels in post production of both stills and video. Lance’s best asset is making clients feel at ease in front of the camera and being able to bring our client’s ideas to life just the way they envisioned it. Lance plays a vital role with The Nine in creating amazing imagery and videography to go along with everything digital that we produce.
James Bates: Lead Designer
James graduated from The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a strong pursuance in creative design. Shortly after beginning work with the creative department of a New York Times affiliate, he was persuaded by The University of Alabama to return to school and teach undergraduate design courses as well as pursue a Master of Arts degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the institution. After working with high profile, major outdoor retailers and professional athletes to develop creative branding material, James Bates has gained a foundation on which he continues to perfect his craft. His work can be found in many outdoor lifestyle websites and magazines, as well as Southern lifestyle magazines such as Elle Decor and House Beautiful. James brings years of creative development along with years of professional photography with him to his many projects and extends his knowledge and expertise to client work.
Jon Harris: Lead App Developer
Jon was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from The University of Alabama. His skill designing apps and web software is unparalleled in the Milky Way. Jon has worked on major software development for nationally-used software and continues to develop his app developing skill across multiple platforms. Jon's ability is as close to limitless as earthly possible. When Jon is not developing software or reading entire books in binary, he enjoys spending time writing fan fiction and beet farming.
Natalie Thompson: Marketing Director
Natalie graduated from The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English. As a native of Tuscaloosa with an extensive background in event management, marketing and fundraising, she has cultivated relationships with community leaders and business owners across West Alabama. Natalie actively networks with local businesses leading to an ever expanding client base for The Nine. Her main area of focus is with Eyesight Marketing, providing comprehensive and powerful digital advertising solutions for businesses to increase revenue and promote customer engagement. She also serves as the office mom/manager, ensuring coworkers schedule hair appointments, make to do lists for vacations, remember post-op surgery instructions, etc. Natalie is also a volunteer for The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and serves as the Vice President of Social and Networking Events for United Way’s Young Leaders Society. She also enjoys posting selfies with her son nephew.
Chris Fort: Chief Accountant
Chris is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama. Born and raised in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, Chris has the mentality for getting down to the nitty gritty and is not afraid to roll up his sleeves for a bit of hard work. While not crunching the numbers, Chris enjoys spending time playing sports, helping local charity organizations, and the never ending chase for world domination.
We work a sustainable work pace. We work four days for clients on projects and one day on “investment time.” Our typical work week will be Monday through Thursday on client work and Friday on investment. Our investment time is time for investment in ourselves, The Nine and our community. We learn, we prototype, we build and we give back. We work on open source software, we contribute to the Think Tank project, we write blog posts and we continue to work on making Caboose the CMS choice for every developer using Rails as their programming language. We also work on Canvas and Cotton Spark, which is currently in the planning stages (more to come soon).
This time allows for us to put in the work to be the best at what we do, which in turn provides you with the best solutions and technologies avaiable.
We love dogs. Our dogs are an integral part of our daily successes and failures. Take solace in the fact that your beautiful site was designed and built with a puppy in our lap. We also love our Moms.
Cooper is a year-old Dalmatian. He is completely deaf, but that doesn't slow him down! He loves to run, chase squirrels, and knows sign language. He enjoys wrestling with his best friend Franklin and getting into trouble.
Franklin is a two-year-old miniature Goldendoodle. He loves greeting clients at the door of the office and chasing light.
Bentley is a miniature Goldendoodle. He likes to play rowdy and get all the attention.
convey your story.
Shot in the South
The Nine is excited to bring on board two of the most talented photographers from right here in the South. Lance Holloway has been working for the past ten years for the University of Alabama on Discovering Alabama, a show that has won three emmy’s over the course of his time there and has allowed him to develop his craft along the way. James Bates has been shooting for major outdoor conservation groups and for major outdoor lifestyle retailers for the last 5 years and has developed his craft on a very broad spectrum under Lance. The Nine knows the value of great photography in everything we do. From print to interactive design, images are the foundation on which we build.
We direct, shoot, and edit for just about anything our clients need. From beautiful aerial stills to fluid, follow shots on a chest-mounted steady cam, our digital experieces set the bar.
Check out our demo reel. We think it speaks for itself.
What We Do
COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING PEOPLE PORTRAITS ARCHITECTURE AERIAL PRODUCTS CORPORATE HOTEL RESORTS FASHION
"Don't shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like." -David Alan Harvey
We create amazing designs built on responsive frameworks that adapt to the capabilities of desktop, tablet and mobile screen sizes. Your site will look and function as well on the mobile phone as it does on your desktop. We create custom designs that set all of our clients apart from their competition. We love what we do and this is where it shows the most. We take pride in the work we do from the initial design concept to the final pixels that are launched live. We provide plenty of opportunities for you to review our work and provide feedback. You’ll be set up a Dropbox that allows you to see the layouts we are working on and provide feedback. This is also the place where you’ll drop of your content for us to build your site. If, at any stage, you’re not happy with the direction our work is taking, you’ll pay us in full for everything we’ve produced until that point and cancel this contract.
The Nine has built our own Content Management System called Caboose. With our love for Rails, we felt it only right to name our backend end system with such a name. Caboose is a robust and powerful CMS that allows you to edit and add to your site in ways never experienced before. The beauty of Caboose is you will not need any experience or development background to handle editing your content. We provide training for your team to help understand how to use Caboose and will also give you access to how to videos on using the system.
Our hosting is state of the art and uses the latest technologies to ensure your site is secure, healthy and always running. We use Heroku to power Caboose. It's a platform built on Amazon's cloud infrastructure. It is simple to use when your site is just starting to be developed or once it is running with a high concurrency and sustained load. Like Rails, Heroku uses conventions to make your site secure and scalable as it grows. The cloud promises lower operating costs which allow us to provide you with the greatest service at the lowest price. All of our content for assets like images, we upload to Amazon S3 Web Services, which provide reliability and security that are industry standards in data storage. We provide monitoring on our development platforms to make sure all of our sites are running at their highest potential with New Relic.
We support Internet Explorer 9.0+ and the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. We do not support Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8. Instead, those users see a polite message showing them how to upgrade. Those browsers are losing market share, they have security issues, and they are time-consuming to design for, develop for, and support. In limited special cases, user demographics will dictate that supporting an older version of Internet Explorer is required. Those special cases should be identified early on and additional time and expense will be needed in order to support the version.
We test our work in current versions of major desktop browsers including those made by Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Microsoft (Internet Explorer), and Mozilla Firefox. We’ll also test to ensure Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 for Windows users get an appropriate, possibly different, experience. We’ll implement a single column design for older versions of Internet Explorer and we won’t test in other older browsers unless you specify otherwise. If you need an enhanced design for an older browser, we can provide a separate estimate for that. Testing popular small-screen devices is essential in ensuring that a person’s experience of a design is appropriate to the capabilities of the device they’re using. We test our work in: iOS: Safari, Google Chrome Android 4.x: Google Chrome and Firefox. We currently don’t test Blackberry, Opera Mini/Mobile, Windows Phone or other mobile browsers. If you need us to test using these, we can provide a separate estimate for those services.
High quality tools result in high quality products. Our team uses a variety of tools, both hardware and software, to build the best products possible. Check out below some tools we use often:
Apple MacBook Pro Wacom Drawing Tablet iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Apple Cinema HD Display Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge iPhone 6 and 6+
Adobe Creative Suite Ruby on Rails Sublime Postgres Heroku Slack
Building a Better Way
we ride the rails like no one else.
After several years of working in frameworks like Wordpress, Expression Engine and the likes, The Nine decided it was time to build our own Content Management System to handle all of our digital sites. Ruby on Rails was the platform of choice as we desired a language that allowed us to write clean code and build quickly.
The Nine has built our own Content Management System called Caboose. With our love for Rails, we felt it only right to name our backend system with such a name. Caboose is a robust and powerful CMS that allows you to edit and add to your site in ways never experienced before. The beauty of Caboose is you won’t need any experience or development background to handle editing your content. We provide training to your team to help understand how to use Caboose and will also give you access to how to videos on using the system.
Hello for Trello
We like Trello. A lot. So when we couldn't find an easy solution to communicate with our clients in Trello, we developed one from scratch. We call it Hello for Trello - a valuable tool we use to regularly communicate with our clients on support tickets. HFT allows our clients to create support tickets in Trello by simply sending us an email, and our support staff can work on the ticket and correspond with the client all within Trello. It helps us stay on top of things and let our clients know what we're working on.
Fancy Moose is a web-based dashboard available to Eyesight Marketing clients. The dashboard allows advertisers to track clicks and impressions, approve ad designs, view invoices, and monitor their campaign progress. Fancy Moose makes it easy to see the value created for your brand through digital advertising.
To find out more about Eyesight Marketing and digital marketing campaigns, head on over to eyesightmarketing.com.
Repconnex is a vendor credentialing system built by The Nine and used in hospitals across the country. This valuable tool allows hospitals to ensure that vendors visiting their facilities have the appropriate credentials and are up-to-date on their paperwork. To learn more about Repconnex, visit repconnex.com.
Be Seen and On Target.
build your following.
Eyesight puts your ads in front of the audiences that matter to you. To learn more about Eyesight digital marketing packages, head on over to eyesightmarketing.com.
The Nine can help your brand increase its social media presence by providing consulting and marketing material, or we can completely run your social media accounts.
Seeing is Believing
visually engage your customers.
We are passionate about beautiful logos. Your logo is the main representation of your brand - and of you. An outdated logo can turn customers away and damage the image of your organization. Our designers will take what you already have going for you - color schemes, shapes, brand recognition - and improve on it to create something new and amazing. Something your brand can be proud of.
Whether it's business cards, brochures, boxes, or billboards, The Nine can help you ensure that customers are seeing the best visual represenation of your brand.
Please use the form below to contact us, and we will be in touch with you shortly.