I've been working with WordPress and the Blueprint and 960 grid systems lately, as well as dangling a toe into the PHP/MySQL pool. I've also been learning some jQuery effects. We've come a long way from the animated .gif lava lamps back in '96. Is it wrong to miss them a little?
Morris, Manning & Martin desperately needed a more powerful website and employee intranet. I designed the original layout for the new site, and worked on the design and functionality in collaboration with the web design and development team at Ritetek. When complete, this site will feature a custom lawyer search, automatic content cross-referencing (for example, articles automatically appear on the author's page, the articles page, and the related practice area page), an event calendar, and many more interactive features.
Role: Preliminary designer and project manager
Tools: Photoshop, Blueprint Grid System, Dreamweaver, HTML/CSS, jQuery, ModX
Lessons Learned: Working on such a big project required outside help, and it was a great experience to bring Ritetek into the project and quickly learn to work together.
Heidi Pritchett is a costumer and seamstress launching a new e-commerce business. She wanted a bright, fun design with a bit of an edge, and a cute monster mascot. She knew what she wanted Stan the monster to look like, and once I had created him in Illustrator, I started to help Heidi find his voice and personality. I suggested that she tweet as Stan, and then use her Facebook page in her own designer's voice.
The site is built on Shopify, a paid ecommerce platform with a lot of flexible features. I learned to use Liquid, Shopify's programming language, to customize the functionality of Heidi's site. I also helped her get started with Mail Chimp, and introduced her to the world of responsible email marketing.
Heidi and I plan on continuing to work together to add character and functionality to the site in the future.
Role: Designer, developer, assistant copy writer, portrait photographer, and social media and branding coach
Tools: Photoshop, 960 Grid System, HTML/CSS, Shopify, Liquid, Twitter, Facebook, Mail Chimp
Lessons Learned: E-commerce can be a real challenge, and there's more to it than it seems. Shopify's templating system has a bit of a learning curve, but it becomes amazingly wonderful and easy to use, especially the seller interface.
The Georgia Innocence Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to using forensic technology to free wrongly convicted prisoners, hosted the annual international Innocence Network Conference in the Spring of 2010. I designed a Dreamweaver template for the conference site based on the way their main website is updated. They wanted a design that expressed the character of Georgia, so I used variants of the peach and brown colors from their logo, with a few leaf-green accents thrown in.
Completed: October 2009
Role: Designer and Dreamweaver template developer
Tools: Photoshop, Blueprint Grid System, Dreamweaver, HTML/CSS
Lessons Learned: I learned how to use Dreamweaver's template design functionality, which I had previously overlooked. It's a pretty good solution for folks who don't want or need to convert to a content management system, especially for a non-profit with a small staff of motivated individuals.
Marianne Kirby, a writer on fat politics, needed an upgrade to her existing WordPress blog. She needed a design that expressed her vibrant, effervescent personality. I designed a new look for her, and added some new features, such as her Twitter feed in the sidebar, threaded comments, and an update to her content organization to make it easier to find topics on her blog.
Completed: August 2009
Role: Designer and Wordpress template developer
Tools: Photoshop, Blueprint Grid System, HTML/CSS, Wordpress, PHP
Lessons Learned: When inspiration strikes, listen! I sketched out a few different design concepts for Marianne, but none of them were "the one" until I woke up one morning with the shiny bubble idea. It fits her personality and her topic so perfectly, on so many levels I hadn't consciously considered.