Old Web Design Stuff
I was entirely un-fascinated with computers, or the internet when it emerged. I used the hell out of it, but as means to an end. In retrospect, I was on the internet daily by 1988. And made a website in 1995. Hell, I've had this site since at least 1999.
But web work was always an adjutant to other work. I did the first website for money (with a WYSIWYG tool) while working at a marketing agency back in the mid 1990s. I had to actually buy a web safe palette for Photoshop. When I got a pure code editor, we had to buy the C++ version, and download the "web" plugins over the ISDN line. Anyway, I ended up doing a lot of work on what I now call the desktop web. As opposed to the mobile web. And with it, I accidentally discovered usability, user experience, process and a host of things I now believe with all my soul to be good and true. I kept in mind that the web is part of your brand, your service, your product and your company, but only one part. And I learned that guidance counsellors are useless; why didn't anyone tell me about Human Factors? I would happily have gotten a cog-sci degree and planned on designing aircraft cockpits.
Anyway, I rarely build or maintain pure desktop websites now, and only as a favor to a friend. Or a paid favor to a client. Or as a "non-pure" site, or as part of a mobile service. The newest items aren't even up here mostly. It's an archive instead, of what I did. So I remember, and so you can – if you care – get a glance at how long I have been doing this, and how much we all improved in the past decades.
For interesting work see the current interactive design portfolio page, such as it is.
Most of the sites have links to several variants. The top one is usually the current, live site. Others are listed by date below. Note that many of these will not look or link correctly, as they have root-relative links which do not function correctly in subfolders on this site. Some are just broken. I guess if you find a broken link, tell me. I might even fix it.
Top Freelance Sites
These are all sites that I did the design and most or all of the coding on. If there is functional server-side software, I almost certainly did not write this. Most of these I also maintain, though less and less all the time. Some of these are also deeply integrated into other products I did for the organization, from brochures to total brand creation.
NOTE: I haven't maintained this in several years, no one much cares if I can code (and if they care, they find out otherwise), and despite my best efforts Google keeps indexing the old versions so I get the occasional C&D order from a stupid, stupid lawyer for the inheriting or acquiring corporation of a previous client insisting that a portfolio site is not fair use and violates their right to have shitty SEO. So, all these links below should now be (deliberately) broken. Ask me if you need details and I'll probably ignore you as you are a most likely a recruiter who thinks I am a dev, not a designer. Jeesh.
- Arch It
- Current Production - Launched early in 2005; I also did a series of print pieces, some packaging and all the branding for the whole enterprise. Also, its a pretty neat product. I wanted to make them mold the arches themselves in blue, but they didn't go for it due to cost.
- The Ellen Miller Group
- Newest Site - Launched mid 2005 and still updated occasionally by me. The "new!" flag is the latest addition, which is fitting, since it says its new.
- 04/09/02 - Several years old, but not too bad still.
- Previous design - Also by me, but long ago. I cannot recall how old this is, however. 1997-98, I should think. This one is wysiwyg editing, before I really learned how to code.
- Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society
- Current Production - Updated to web standards in 2004, and most recently with flyout tabs on the home page and my first Flash promo
- 1/28/04 - Exemplifying web standards and the versatility of css, the same site, but with a new style sheet
- 1/14/04 - Old-look, but css
- 3/20/03 - Snapshot of table-based layout before the standards update
- Kansas City Shooting Masters
- Current Production - A local shooting club I participate in. Also done for free. That's why the template is identical to the EMG site, above. But, its a nice showcase for a fairly different treatment of a template, for minimal design effort.
- Star Firearms
- Current Production - A fansite I have run for years and years. Yes, uses the same template as this very site you are on.
- TN Davis Painting Division
- Current Production - A different grid, focusing on the imagery -- based on the fact that its a visual product -- and with cutlines and other standard print design theory. Navigtion doesn't make me totally happy, but attracts attention, I suppose. These guys never paid me for the design, but politics around me being a subcontractor mean I cannot just sue them.
- Unitex Chemicals
- Currrent production - No longer maintained by me, but they haven't changed the design one iota, so far. Also built some items for an intranet, and an interactive (biz card-sized) CD. And the graphics for them. You'll just have to take my word for it. Though these are probably down also, I have also made a lot of promo graphics for the site; its no fun at all when its your job eight hours a day, but its an amusing distraction when its just occasional.
Selected Sprint Work
In my years at Sprint I worked on many different websites and applications, not to mention my influence over the overall design standards and information architecture. Let me stop and emphasize the "many." At one point I was on a brand committee (with approval over all site brand elements, which was pretty cool). We did a survey and found 85 websites. Not counting intranets and microsites and other stuff we missed. Eighty-five public-facing sites. Wow. Anyway, many of these products are not as originally designed, were too collaborative to point out as being 'mine,' were implemented poorly, or are simply impossible to get to without credentials. Nevertheless, here is a small represenative selection of items which were visible when I wrote this, over which I exerted greater than usual infuence or of which I am unusually proud.
- Power Network Coverage Tool
- Current Production - For some years I have personally been pushing for a dynamic coverage tool, so when T-mobile launched one, I was tapped as the designer already familiar with the product space. Though numerous technical and legal limitations prevent it from working quite as intended, this has been well-received by the general community, making top-of-the-web lists for the week it launched, for example. Aside from the interaction design and layout, I also created most (but not all) of the graphics for this application, and did a lot of technical work to help decide how to turn 30 types of radio signal into an info-viz remotely understandable. Also did my own user research on this one.
- Unified Self-Care (W+)
- Sign on with a username and password. Also, only some customers see the new experience - The merger of Sprint and Nextel led to many consolidations of systems. Most important is the movement of all wireless customers to the Unified Billing Platform. This of course has implications to the bill, to the customer care centers, and for me to the web self-care system. I have been the lead designer (working with many other designers, usability experts, researchers, etc. of course) on the Unified Self Care web self-care experience of the UBP product the entire time. This was interesting in that the merged product set, as well as a new set of requirements to move from just self-care to transacting revenue-generating products made it a clean-sheet design. I got an opportunity to implement some neat solutions to these needs.
New FCC regulations will take effect in December, so I have also been the lead designer for the registration and various security schemes. If you get switched to this new USC experience in the next few months, you will see various versions of this process as we move thru the stages.
- Sprint PCS Text Messaging
- Current Production - (Note: There is a much more complex version of this for authenticated customers) This was a tool that had grown by bits and pieces over the years. When I took on the lead design role, a design concept was already in place, but was still too complex, involving alertboxes and other punishing interactions. I designed this to be error-free and as simple and easy-to-understand as possible. In fact, it has no help, no FAQs and despite some (at the time) 200 million uses a day, no measurable number of complaints to customer care. When it was so easy to use that it was being attacked by bots, I and my team figured out how to make it safer without authentication or a CAPTCHA, and almost for free. This is all not super-high tech, but simple solutions at the design side that save a lot of money, while generating revenue and stickiness. A win all around.
- Sprint Business Search
- Current Production - This was intended to be the sitewide search for all of Sprint. That didn't happen for technical and political reasons, and it is now about to be replaced with a vendor-driven product. So, this link may disappear anytime. I did about 90% of the interaction and information design for this application, getting the most help in proving out the case for adding the global search initiator to the masthead; this part will in fact be retained for the new search system as well. Aside from being a clean design, it was a model of good process, with the UI delivered with the business concept, and requiring about 10 hours of involvement during the remaining IT phases. It also launched exactly as designed; a big win for the company and myself.
- Sprint Mobile Search
- To see this, go to your Sprint PCS phone (I assume everyone has this of course) and do a search from the wireless web. This was not implemented quite right, and has drifted more over time, so please look at it sorta squinty and assume I coded it well. This was fun and interesting for two reasons. First, its a full-bore mobile product, with minimal constraints. It didn't have to be like any wireline site or anything else. So I was able to explore theories and new concepts and really play with it. I particularly liked some of the related-items paradigms, and the use of typography to differentiate search result ranking (like blue italics) from the hotkey (black, 0-9) values.
Secondly, while I am usually almost everything on a project, and increasingly towards the academic side, this time I worked with someone else who took the role of the usability guy, and I got to be the interaction and graphic designer, as well coding all the xhtml for the pages themselves.
One more thing about this. Its the second time I worked on a mobile search application for Sprint. The first time was the Google search; even though they have plenty of designers, I was instructed to give them a basic design (not an end-to-end spec). Fun as I had to merge the Google simplicity and brand with specific Sprint needs. Went well, I think, as they implemented it spot-on, until we replaced it when there was some contract dispute.
These are all old, ugly, boring or are not even my design anymore. Some are only designs that never even launched. Oh, all are freelance, or from defunct employers.
- Development site, 1999 - [link removed per alphapointe request, 16 June 2008] - Launched, but with no relation to my design
- http://ccar-greenlink.org/ - Currrently still around, and with several elements clearly retained, but not done by me for years.
- 1999 - Production snapshot from before I left the agency.
- Internation Essential Tremor Foundation
- http://www.krwa.net - Taken over by internal resources, and since updated completely.
- framed redo - Simple update using frames, because the budget was too constrained for a real redo.
- redo 2 - another update, still in frames, though
- winchester office park
- April 2001 - Large specialty retailer of sewing products. Seems to have let the site lapse, or gone out of business since I stopped doing the work.