Last year I had the opportunity to work on a team of developers to implement the new Maybelline product site. The site had already been redesigned and the HTML developed before it was brought to our team at Viridian Spark. Our task was to build the site using the Sitecore content management system (CMS), and lay the foundation for multilingual localized variants that would be added at a later date. Sitecore made the technical implementation of localized sites a breeze, it did however allow design weaknesses to surface that needed to be buttoned up before the site was ready for prime time. Almost a year later I am happy to see the site finally launched, and it looks like they are gearing up to start rebuilding more of their international sites into our multilingual framework.
This was the first large client site I had the opportunity to work on after landing a consulting job at BigBad. I was on staff only a few weeks when MIT Alumni (MITAA) insisted that their site was to be built on the open source Alfresco CMS platform. Since the agency had no staff trained on Alfresco, I was instructed to learn as much as I could about Alfresco and get ready to lead development on the MITAA site redesign.
Although initially a bit daunting, in hindsight I couldn't have chosen a better project to be my first large-scale implementation. With the help of an outstanding project manager communication was seamless, goals were focused, and we were able to co-develop the project alongside some of the MIT Alumni developers to accelerate the schedule. Taking this approach not only helped compress the project schedule, the MITAA developers ultimately had an in-depth understanding of the site architecture ensuring that content entry, training, and deployment were all a breeze. This project taught me a lot about how smooth projects can be when the right team is in place and communication is free flowing.
This was an extremely large and complex redesign project that spanned almost two years and across two agencies I was working at. When dealing with a school the size of UMass the stakeholder body is humongous and unifying the needs from such a diverse organization is no small task. One of our critical success factors was the usability testing we conducted with users to validate that we were on the right course. This usability testing was instrumental in both guiding our process, and helping gain consensus from the large body of stakeholders. All in all the new site defined a brand for the University that is both aesthetically pleasing and visually consistent across the many web properties.
I've worked with Suffolk University on a number of projects over the years and each is more interesting than the last. The objective for this project was to completely re-imagine the admissions and financial aid sections of their existing site. After several intensive discovery sessions, meeting with everyone from the dean of admissions to current and prospective students we were able to discover that poor information architecture was at the core of the problem. Crucial information for prospective students was spread out among three distinct sections within the University site (undergraduate admissions, graduate admissions, and financial aid). Armed with this information we were able to design and build a sub-site specifically for Admissions which pulled information from the existing content silos and organized it in a way that more closely matched the mental model of prospective students.
This is the company site for my current employer Viridian Spark. Similar to the cobbler's shoeless children this site was not a proper representation of the company at the time I took on the redesign project. Although the visual design remained fairly consistent I was able to overhaul the information architecture aspects of the site and code it into a content management system so it could be more efficiently updated.
Over the years I've worked with Susquehanna University on a variety of projects, but my personal favorite was the redesign of the Susquepedia section on their site. I was the Solutions Architect for the initial site redesign where we first conceived the concept for Susquepedia, and now years later I was tasked with leading the redesign effort to finish what was started. The primary focus for the redesign was to eliminate the dependency on Adobe Flash, and increase user engagement with the vast amount of content in Susquepedia. Another interesting challenge was to reuse the existing plethora of carefully curated content, imagery, and videos Susquehanna had already published to Susquepedia. I was able to develop the strategy and user interface for the new Susquepedia which served these needs and allowed them to use their existing content in a more effective and engaging presentation.
LIM College had a beautiful site, but at the heart of the homepage was a large flash feature area complete with tiny thumbnails, sound effects, and video auto-play functionality that no one seemed to love. They knew from their analytics that this component wasn't working and needed to be replaced. I worked with the web team at LIM to deliver strategy for an all new HTML5 feature area that would be far more flexible than their existing Flash piece. The feature is designed to play HTML5 video for devices lacking Flash support, and more effectively promote initiatives the College cared most about. This was a really fun project to work on that taught me more than I had expected regarding video on the web, encoding formats & methods, and some of the real world challenges of using HTML5 video on a production site.
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