New technologies are blurring the line between powerful, responsive desktop applications and the rich, colorful experiences of the web. The maturation of flash and emergence of Ajax have increased the potential of web applications and indeed the expectations of the average information consumer. I am pleased to offer a variety of services which leverage these rapidly evolving trends.
I offer three classes of service. End to end solutions are aimed at customers who're looking to complete a project without juggling contact with multiple developers and designers. Collateral services are generally offered as part of a larger service package. This might include illustration, print work or branding. Partial services are geared toward customers with an existing infrastructure or team and only need a particular role filled.
Full featured site These can vary in scope and scale, but generally provide information which changes over time such as sales, promotional deals, news and events. This may also include community building tools which allow your customers to provide feedback and interact with each other. For a company who's offering is enhanced by an extensive library of examples or how-to articles, a strong user community can greatly increase its value to the consumer with very little time and cost investment.
Kiosk interface Trade shows and in-store locations are ideal places for kiosks. As the price of touch screens and LCDs continue to fall, the benefit / cost of this class of solution is quickly increasing. Trade show kiosks allow interested parties to educate themselves about your offerings. Don't lose a sales pitch opportunity because you're already dealing with another interested party. In store locations allow customers to place orders and learn about the products in stock and where to find them, decreasing the demand on labor. See an example.
Business card site Quick and dirty. This sort of project provides largely static information such as contact details, hours of operation, driving directions, and preliminary information about your initiative. Think of it like taking out an ad in the paper or the yellow pages, only you have complete control over its presentation and the undivided attention of your audience.
Custom Not every project can fit neatly into a box. Are you thinking about doing something crazy with your project? Awesome :) Contact me and let's make it happen.
Illustration Spot illustration is a relatively inexpensive and effective means of adding depth and impact to your message.
Flash animation Hands down, flash offers the most rich interactive user experience possible on the web. The incorporation of sound, full motion video, animation and interaction provides a powerful medium for your message.
Branding This important service will help define the personality, philosophy and goals of your organization. Presenting a consistent message and image to the public is vital to name recognition and fostering customer loyalty.
Print If we are heading toward a paperless society, it is still a long way off. Until then, news letters, brochures, and business cards will remain an important part of your message.
Back end logic
A solution begins with a problem. The first steps are planning and designing, then development and execution. The solution is then evaluated against the stated objectives and refined. A successful initiative is then maintained and kept up to date.
This first step is the most important as it will inform the rest of the process. The scope, target audience and metric of success hinges on this step. The information gathered here must answer some important questions such as "What are we doing here?", "Who're we trying to talk to?", "What message do we want them to come away with?".
Here we develop an idea of who we're trying to reach and establish their needs, expectations and the best means of communicating with them. The most important byproduct of this step is use case scenarios. These are narratives of the users experience as he or she navigates and explores your website. If your site hopes to service more than one class of user (perhaps carpenters and those seeking carpentry services), we will develop a use case for each. These narratives are invaluable in planning the layout, sequence of information, and functionality.
Once a clear and logical purpose and direction have been defined, we begin development. This generally starts with the creation of rough drafts and prototypes subject to your approval and feedback. This step more than any other depends on a back and forth dialogue. When all parties are happy and project objectives appear to be met, we move on to the next step.
The first part of this step asks if the solution looks and behaves as we expected it to. The second and more important portion asks if it looks and behaves as our users expect it to. Users will always surprise you. Always. They will find a way to break something that was rock solid and they will find a cool innovative use for a feature that you never imagined. Quality assurance and user testing is a valuable process that not only ensures that you don't make an ass of yourself, but also provides invaluable insight and feedback. Once our ducks are all in a row, we launch.
A project doesn't end with go-live. Think of the time after the launch as an extended user study. Google has one of the most successful internet search applications on the market, yet is continually tinkering with the logic that selects and orders the search results, as well as how the information is presented.
Additionally, new and emerging technologies should be evaluated and possibly incorporated where they can add value to the project.
Im still drafting this section. Please forgive the brevity. The gist of it is this: the presentation and aesthetic value of a website are not the full measure of it's quality. Let the buyer beware! Mark up - the language that describes the structure and data of a webpage - needs to be clean and bear semantic significance. This is important because the disabled rely on intepretation of the markup to gather meaning and importance of the different elements. If your web designer is using tables to layout your web page a blind person will wonder what sort of data set consists of images. You can make a bit of text large and bold, but unless it is appropriately tagged, it wont be clear that it is the title of the following paragraph. Perhaps more importantly, humans are not the only ones reading anymore. Machines will be intepreting your webpage and presenting it on other platforms or in abbridged formats.