Business Growth Architect. User Experience Finessicist.

Project Showcase

Profile

Background

I'm a rare breed—a hybrid developer and designer with a proactive passion for usability and UX. My web development experience began as a hobby back in 1998, but after seeing a creative side flourish within me, I pursued a degree in digital media technology, adding graphic design prowess to my arsenal of UX disciplines, and carrying those design principals right back into the medium of Web design. I've also studied users themselves, ascertaining secrets about how they think, decide, interact with interfaces, etc, and how to exceed their expectations for an exceptional user experience. Today, my skillset continues to blossom as new front-end technologies emerge, and I consume them like sweet, sweet candy, employing their new-found power to push the boundaries of what's possible in web development.

Philosophy

The best user interfaces are invisible to the user—like a ninja. By being intuitive and responsive, an exceptional UI gets out of the user's way and lets them find or manage their desired information as efficiently as possible, without distraction or frustration. Meanwhile, providing gorgeous visuals and interesting, yet useful, interactive functionality will engage the user's senses and emotions, completing the loop of what I believe defines a superior user experience.

Quest

To thrive as an innovator and thought-leader within an amazing, cross-disciplined UX team, working alongside like-minded individuals who actively employ best practices and value usability, accessibility, polished aesthetics and clean, lightwight code that results in optimal performance, front to back. As an ally within that team, I'll invest my time, energy and talent empowering each of us to create websites and apps that impress and captivate users, immersing them in a phenomenal user experience.

Strategy

Design Workflow

  • Analyze client needs, define goals and expectations (Client Meeting)
  • Develop a written proposal outline project specifications (PDF, for Client Approval)
  • Review inspiration sources. (Client-Supplied or Self-Researched)
  • Conceive and sketch layout concepts, usually as thumbnails. (Graphite on Papyrus)
  • Create wireframes/storyboards of best layout concepts for client review. (Illustrator)
  • Upon client request, evolve the ideal layout into a full mockup. (Photoshop)
  • Otherwise, create only the graphics optimized for peak performance. (Photoshop)
  • Flesh out the underlying code cleanly, in order of priority. (Komodo or Xcode)
  • Continually validate for standards compliance, accessibility and browser compatibility for desktop websites, or test for device compatibility (for mobile sites or native apps).
  • Present a live proof of concept for the client to review.

Development Process

  • Gather requirements, and develop work estimate timelines.
  • Write psudocode, which ends up turning into comments for the code I do write.
  • When developing for interactivity (via JavaScript), I usually determine several things:
    • What events will need to be listened for, and on which elements if applicable?
    • Can event listeners for several elements be delegated to a single parent element?
    • What kind of math formulas will need calculated, and when?
    • What elements will be interacted with and/or manipulated, and when?
    • What properties of said elements will need to be known or modified, and when?
    • What specific actions can we turn into methods?
    • What pattern should be used for the code?
    • Will developers need to extend, modify or customize my code with options?
    • Will certain properties or methods need to be kept private?
    • Will some events need triggered programmatically rather than with interaction?

Experience

Development Experience

  • 15 years experience developing websites from scratch with handcrafted HTML.
  • 11 years experience creating engaging and innovative user experiences.
  • 9 years experience scripting dynamic frontend functionality using JavaScript.
  • 8 years experience developing for accessibility and standards compliance.
  • 7 years experience developing CMS websites using ExpressionEngine/Wordpress.
  • 6 years experience developing Ecommerce websites using Magento.
  • 4 years experience developing native apps for iOS (iPhone/iPod touch).
  • 3 years experience developing mobile websites for smartphones.
  • 2 years experience developing responsive sites targeting multiple devices.
  • I incorporate principles of traditional graphic design into each project I do.
  • I code as cleanly as I design, bringing a visual beauty to every script I write.
  • I endeavor to remain on the crest of emerging technologies, including:
    • Languages & frameworks, IDEs and Operating Systems (Mac, PC & Linux)

Design Experience

  • 15 years experience designing interactive user experiences.
  • 13 years experience using Photoshop and Illustrator to create UI graphics.
  • 11 years experience optimizing Web graphics for efficient CSS placement.
  • 11 years experience creating identities, print media and marketing collateral.
  • Extensive knowledge of design fundamentals, including:
    • Typography, hierarchy, color, space, unity and flow.
  • I infuse principles of traditional design into my modern web design workflow for a cohesive and professional look and feel across multiple mediums.
  • I employ an ideal project workflow, from concepts to completion.
  • I continually strive to maintain a consistent look and feel between a brand's visual identity and its various promotional offshoots, whether print media, marketing collateral or an interactive user experience.

Marketing & SEO/SEM Experience

  • 9 years experience writing copy for print media and marketing collateral.
  • 7 years experience writing keyword-optimized copy for websites.
  • 7 years experience optimizing websites for top placement in search engines.
  • 7 years experience implementing cost-per-click advertising, and perfecting various search marketing strategies on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • 6 years experience employing A/B testing techniques to optimize ROI.
  • Extensive knowledge of both white-hat and black-hat SEO techniques.
    • I know what works and what to avoid.
  • Perfected techniques to address the differing algorithms used by the 'big three'.
  • Understanding of how to integrate social media into a marketing strategy.

Project Management Experience

  • 6 years experience meeting with clients to analyze needs, define goals and expectations, then developing detailed proposals with project specifications.
  • 4 years experience using Daylight (Mac) to manage projects and deadlines.
  • 2 years experience hiring and training designers and developers underneath me, and managing tasks, time and deadlines for their active projects.
  • Contracted with a local advertising agency in the past, to handle project management during busy seasons, working closely with their designers, developers and interns, to make sure projects remained on schedule.
  • Occasionally, I spend time assessing productivity and workflow optimization.
  • I've made a habit of using use Google Calendar to actively track my time spent on any given task or event, and I use it to plan the ideal course of each day.

Qualifications

Technologies

  • Adobe Creative Suite for Mac and PC
  • Development IDEs:
    • Xcode
    • Komodo
    • Textmate
    • Dreamweaver
    • Eclipse
    • Netbeans
  • Programming Languages:
    • Objective-C and Cocoa
    • (X)HTML, HTML5 and CSS
    • JavaScript and frameworks:
      • jQuery
      • Mootools
      • Prototype
      • Scriptaculous
    • PHP 5 (OOP):
      • and frameworks:
        • Zend Framework
        • CodeIgniter
        • Kohana
        • FuelPHP
        • CakePHP
      • and platforms:
        • Magento
        • ExpressionEngine
        • Wordpress
        • Other Ecommerce
    • Python and frameworks:
      • Django
      • Twisted
    • Databases and platforms:
      • MySQL
      • phpMyAdmin
      • MySQL Workbench
      • MySQL Query Browser
      • MySQL Administrator
      • SQLite
      • HTML5 Local Storage
  • Version Control:
    • Git
    • SVN
  • Dedicated server environments:
    • CentOS 5

Employment

Master Experience Builder — Symmetry Communications/OnLetterhead (Toledo, OH) April 2013 – Current
  • Craft user experiences for websites and mobile apps with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Implement UI design and frontend functionality for websites using the Wordpress platform.
  • Overhaul and improve existing websites, whether or not built using Wordpress.
  • Develop native mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
  • Strategize opportunities for business growth for us and our clients.
  • Continually improve and refine the overall design and development process the company utilizes.
  • Have fun doing what I do best.
Lead Front-End Developer — Internet Payment Exchange (Toledo, OH) April 2012 – October 2012
  • Worked with clients in the the medical, utility and municipality fields.
  • Implemented UI design and frontend functionality for online billing platforms.
  • Developed and improved upon AJAX login functionality and form post.
  • Assisted with development and debugging of database and back end platform functionality as necessary.
  • Continually developed written documentation as well as documented significantly lacking back end code.
  • Significantly improved upon existing code and its previously implemented disregard for best practices.
  • Encouraged dev team to use best practices, Web standards and regard for accessibility in current and future development.
  • Created a touchscreen kiosk-friendly interface for their online billing system.
Lead Developer — Scottrageous Creative (Perrysburg, OH) March 2009 – April 2012
  • Specialized in website and mobile app development, search engine optimization and branding with an occassional print project.
  • Worked with numerous clients, both locally and over long distances, to provide the above services that their projects require.
  • Met with clients to explore their project needs and goals, and to establish ideal project requirements.
  • Developed written project proposals that outline a project's phases, specifications, estimations, timeline and terms.
  • Conceived unique layouts and create innovative user interface designs for interactive websites and mobile applications.
  • Designed brands or infuse the company's corporate image into the project for cohesive and intuitive user experiences.
  • Efficiently handled the thought processes, and maintain timely and effective production, of multiple projects at one time.
  • Worked individually or at times team up with client's team to implement both design and functionality requirements efficiently.
  • Provided one-on-one training with clients and designers and/or developers on:
    • implementing design into frameworks
    • performing functions necessary to site maintenance
    • using back end configurations to manage their workflow.
Web Developer — NovaVision (Bowling Green, OH) February 2005 – March 2009
  • Helped build and manage over 40 websites for a growing security company that got a majority of business from the web.
  • Optimized each page for various search terms for maximum traffic to each of the websites.
  • Integrated Google Analytics and Mint Statistics for a better understanding of the user experience.
  • Performed detailed weekly and monthly research, analyzing each website's web analytics and user statistics.
  • Compiled monthly reports outlining search engine rankings and documentating analytics data with suggestions for improvement.
  • Initiated and implemented ecommerce functionality on the main site for stock products.
  • Developed unique JavaScript-based design functionality for customizable products using an open-source JavaScript framework.
  • Estabilished standards for, and documentation of, workflow and best practices for the Web and graphics departments.
  • Hired graphic artists and developers under me and trained them on their respective departments' workflow and best practices.
  • Managed employees in both departments, along with their respective tasks, schedules and deadlines.

Education

Owens Community College

Associate of Arts and Sciences — Digital Media Technology (May 2004)
  • Graduated with Highest Honors (3.91 Grade Point Average)
  • Emphasis on incorporating elements of design into all projects from print to web.
  • Classes included:
    • Typography
    • Page Layout
    • Web Design
    • Photo Editing
    • Vector Graphics
    • 3D Graphics
    • Interactive Media
    • Video Editing
    • Art History
    • Speech

Stanford University

iPhone Development Program (Fall 2009)
iOS 5/Xcode 4 Development Program - Refresher Course (Fall 2011)
Human Computer Interaction (Fall 2012)

Continued Education

2005
  • Web Standards Solutions – Dan Cedarholm
  • Bulletproof Web Design – Dan Cedarholm
  • CSS Anthology – Rachel Andrew
  • PHP & MySQL – Larry Ullman
2006
  • PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice – Matt Zandstra
  • JavaScript: The Definitive Guide – David Flanagan
  • AJAX in Action – Dave Crane
  • Building Online Stores – David Mercer
2007
  • The Business Side of Creativity – Cameron S. Foote
  • DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model – Jeremy Keith
  • Bulletproof Ajax – Jeremy Keith
  • Object Oriented Thought Process – Matt Weisfeld
  • OOP Demystified – James Keogh, Mario Giannini
  • PHP 5 Advanced – Larry Ullman
2008
  • Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions – Jason Burby
  • Web Analytics: An Hour a Day – Avinash Kaushik
  • Zag: The Number One Strategy of High Performance Brands – Marty Neumeier
  • Pro MySQL – Michael Kruckenberg, Jay Pipes
2009
  • Beginning iOS Development – Dave Mark, Jeff LaMarche
  • Programming in Objective-C 2.0 – Stephen G. Kochan
2010
  • Learn Cocoa on the Mac – Jack Nutting, Dave Mark
  • Introducing HTML5 – Bruce Lawson
  • Pro HTML5 Programming – Peter Lubbers, Brian Albers

 

2011
  • HTML5 for Web Designers – Jeremy Keith
  • Beginning Smartphone Web Development – Gail Frederick
  • Mobile Design and Development – Brian Fling
  • Beginning iPhone and iPad Web Apps with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript – Chris Apers
  • Xcode 4 iOS Development – Steven Daniel
  • Beginning iOS 5 Game Center and Game Kit – Kyle Richter
  • iOS 5 Games Development – Lucas Jordan
  • JavaScript: The Definitive Guide – David Flanagan (updated, reference)
  • JavaScript Web Applications – Alex MacCaw
2012
  • Responsive Web Design – Ethan Marcotte
  • Canvas: Scripted Graphics for HTML5 – David Flanagan
  • Maintainable JavaScript – Nicholas C. Zakas
  • Beginning iOS 5 Development – Dave Mark, Jeff LaMarche (updated, reference)
  • Programming in Objective-C – Stephan G. Kochan (updated, reference)
2013
  • Mastering Regular Expressions – Jeffery Friedl
  • 100 Things: Every Designer Needs to Know About People – Susan Weinschenk
  • JavaScript, The Good Parts – Douglas Crockford (refresher, reference)
  • Beautiful Code – 38 Master Coders
  • Lean UX – Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden
2014
  • Lean UX Conference, NYC
  • Mastery – Ethan Marcotte
  • The Obstacle is the Way – David Flanagan
  • The Innovator's Dilemma – Clayton Christensen
  • A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas – Warren Berger
  • Ready Player One – Earnest Cline