Skills & Software
Here's an incomplete list of skills I've developed over the years:
- HTML/CSS — mid-level markup author/stylist; interested in semantics (where it's useful), responsive/progressive design, and accessibility. I typically use Sublime text editor, although browser inspectors and Codepen are also useful tools.
- PHP — mid-level programmer, familiar with older versions (but interested in learning the new hotness). Most of the time I use Sublime, but long ago used Eclipse.
- Visual Design — mid-level visual designer, with experience in digital graphics, textiles, printing, & animation. Generally I would use Photoshop/Illustrator/Fireworks for this kind of work, but long ago I might have included Flash in here as well (nowadays JS/CSS/SVG seems like it can mostly replace that though).
- UX Design — junior-to-mid-level, with experience in wireframing, prototyping, user research, and rapid iteration. Very much a user-centered designer. My primary tool for wireframing etc. is Balsamiq, although I've also played around with Invision and some others. My primary tool for user-research is empathy.
- Application Architecture/Design — junior-to-mid-level experience with web-based enterprise application design
- Interaction Design — junior-to-mid-level experience with Ix design for web, particularly focused on responsive experiences
You might be asking yourself, "Why does someone with 10+ years experience rate themselves as junior-to-mid-level here?"
Well, it's because I'm aware of folks who have really delved deeply into the skills listed, and done some amazing work. It's been rare that I've been able to delve as deeply into some of these areas. I generally learn what I need to in order to satisfy a project need, and only sometimes do I have an opportunity to explore beyond that point. In many projects I've had to wear a number of hats, which also reduces the amount of focus I can apply to specific skills.
Here's a collection of things I've designed/built (or participated meaningfully in).
Past Projects & Experience
Starting fall of 2018 through spring of 2019 I was a staff Web Developer at Maker Media. In this role I had the opportunity to get my hands dirty on a number of different sites and technologies, such as Make Magazine (Wordpress), Maker Faire (Wordpress), Maker Share (Headless Drupal and Angular), Maker Shed (Shopify), and Make.co (Wordpress)
One of my favorite aspects of this role is that I was able to do such a variety of work, from programming in PHP and JS, to doing UX design and collaboration with a bunch of really great folks, to helping promote accessibility, user-focused design, and sensible engineering practices.
Some highlights are:
- Built a Holiday Gift Guide with Vue.js, thereby introducing the team to this great framework (which was later adopted for other projects).
- Re-implemented a Maker Space directory and map from the ground up (also using Vue.js) to improve UX and take advantage of under-utilized features of Google Maps.
- Updated the build processes across numerous properties to use NPM scripts instead of Grunt, simplifying the stack and making minification and bundling more consistent across them.
- Lead the charge to set aside time to address technical debt on both a yearly and monthly basis.
- Researched various technical topics and summarized them for easy knowledge transfer to the rest of my team.
Trilogi Software Solutions
From fall of 2012 through spring of 2018 I was a consultant for Trilogi Software Solutions working on various projects for Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world's largest testing and assessment organization.
Trilogi was an incredible learning experience, allowing me to work collaboratively with very talented designers and developers. In this environment I was able to continue my history of expanding—and improving—my design and coding skills. Starting from an intermediate level, I'm pleased to say that I grew to contribute at the architectural and library level.
Among these achievements are:
- Major contributor to a custom hierarchical Backbone view library; abstracted away much of the boilerplate.
- Implemented a two-way binding library for Backbone, with support for ‘Auto-save’.
- Provided code for a library wrapper around various components of a comprehensive user-notification toolset; provides consistent, easy access to modal alerts and dialogs, transient messages, JS and CSS based working spinners, and more.
- Co-developer of hierarchical live style guide and pattern library; enabled team to produce new (and easily update old) products.
- Participated in the development of a modular, component-sharing, hierarchical, theme-based Angular application architecture.
Peña Pachamama Center
The Peña is a SF North Beach institution—A non-profit performing arts center and refuge of high-quality organic vegan raw foods.
My work here has ranged from websites to CD covers to posters.
Having worked with these delightful folks for over 10 years, I've seen their web-presence go from a single table-based image-sliced site, to a couple of mobile-first highly usable websites.
Some highlights of these are:
- A custom built CMS that allows them to administer their events calendar and food menu.
- Great mobile experience, permitting quick access to critical features like reservation booking and map/directions.
- A Raw Foods web store, built on Shopify.
Wild Planet Entertainment
Sadly not in business anymore, Wild Planet was a great experience for me. My official title was Webmaster (from August '09 thru October '11) which meant that I was involved in a number of areas, even extending into Product Design and Marketing.
My primary job was to ensure the day-to-day operation of all 15-20 of their customer-facing web properties. I also contributed to a number of internal efforts, creating sites and processes to help manage Customer Support and more.
Some of my favorite things here were:
- Creating an upload-based C compiler feature for a customizable robotic spy tank. (See? Doesn't that just sound awesome?)
- Developing a custom Product CMS backend for their flagship product line.
- Working with (and learning from) amazing visual designers to seamlessly extend product packaging design into useable websites.
- Working with Product Designers and Marketing to incorporate the web presence into products from square one.
- Greatly improving the product safety DB and UI to make it easier for consumers (and staff) to find relevant info.
An SF design company, I worked here from 2007-09.
Mostly I was responsible for implementing customized template-based sites for one of their largest clients.
Some points of interest:
- Created numerous Flash animations and banners (Flash! I know!)
- Produced logo designs for select clients.
- Conducted SEO research to implement search rank improvement efforts.
Basically, SHN is Broadway on the West Coast.
Officially a Graphic Designer & Marketing Assistant (2004-06), my participation here included work in Print, Web, Video, and Audio.
- Produced marketing email for dozens of shows and events.
- Participated in the re-branding of the company, and creation of a new website to match.
- Localized dozens of TV/Radio spots.
- Localized many show posters.
- Produced a number of banner ads in Flash and GIF form (Flash! GIFs!)
Experiments & Goofing
I like to play around with ideas in programming and design, a few examples of which are below.
Be warned, some of these things don't work well on mobile devices, and are generally half-baked…
Even Older Stuff
Prior to 2004 (and even after occasionally), my work included a number of smaller websites and print designs.
Sadly, most of these are lost to history. Fortunately, I’ve saved some copies.
Here’s a nod to a few of those ancient works: