November 16th, 2012
Its all the buzz around the digital industry these days, but this time its different. The title of this post isn’t just a bunch of “buzz words”, they are a complete shift in thinking and developing websites. I should mention here, that I love it. From the first presentation and article I read on this, I was sold. It just makes sense.
Here’s whats important: The Internet isn’t changing, but how we consume it is. Smart phones of all sizes, tablets of all sizes, desktop computers, TVs..officially its everywhere. Getting your website to play nice with all the screen sizes, resolutions, etc would be a huge b**ch. The answer specifically, is Mobile First (Progressive Enhancement) Responsive Web Development. Yep – say that 3 times fast. But its genius. Start at your smallest size and “enhance” your site as your screen grows. It should be mentioned here that this method is successful as long as you know your site goals and have CONTENT First. Yep. That’s right – I mean think about it why else is someone visiting your website – they want to know something, do something, learn something… Content!
Oh but I digress – so, with HTML5 and CSS3 this practice is becoming more and more widely used. Up front, the development time might be more but down the road think of how adaptable your site will now be. Anywho, I am working on my first Mobile First Responsive Website. It is an amazing learning experience. It takes a lot of collaboration with design & content. Stay tuned. Hoping to roll it out in the first quarter next year!
*Granted I know this site needs a complete re-do, with this in mind…its on my list.
Tags: , CSS3, Grids, HTML 5, Mobile First, Responsive Web Development
September 11th, 2012
The Pettengill House, Inc. is an award-winning non-profit social service agency for the local community on the North Shore, MA. They do fantastic work helping families and the community but their website was in desperate need of a facelift and re-organization. That’s where Holly Gagne stepped in. She contacted myself and together we worked with the team at the Pettengill House to create a new site that conveyed their brand and allowed users to find content and resources easily.
Some site features that we implemented included a custom Facebook feed on their homepage. Believe it or not Facebook does not offer an easy way to get their feed (without their branding and what not) on your website. Tapping into it was a challenge but their homepage will be updated easily every time a Facebook post is made. In addition, we created a page for a Google Calender of their events, an image gallery of past events, and two web forms for easy submissions. We also connect their paypal account to the donation page to make it easy for users to show their support and donate to this great cause.
Tags: , Calendar, Custom Template, Facebook News Feed, Image Gallery, Jquery, non-profit, PHP, Web Forms
June 14th, 2012
EBSCO Discovery Service’s website needed a major facelift and re-organization. We began to work on the project and spent a lot of time to really nail down a site map that could organize the vast amount of information that needed to be conveyed while at the same time have room to grow as the service grows. From there the design team created a new, clean design that allowed the content to shine. The major functionality of the site is the ability to showcase screen-shots within a light-box and to at the same time link directly to that light-box if necessary.
While the site is launched we are continuing to work on it and improve the content and functionality. Stay tuned for updates.
Tags: , Contact Form, Custom Template, Cycle, Dropdown Menu, HTML 5, Jquery, lightbox
June 7th, 2012
Boston Furniture Design is a family owned and operated business, specializing in custom upholstery for commercial and residential spaces. They approached me to help them design and develop a web presence to help them increase their visibility and attain traction in the marketplace. It was a pleasure working with them and between their great work and attention to detail we were able to whip up an amazing website.
Simplicity was key here. We wanted to showcase their work and give the consumer the information they needed to get started without any interruptions. We used straight HMTL and hand coded CSS to achieve this. I created a simple jQuery image gallery for the commercial and residential sections to showcase some of their work.The site gives them a great starting off point and leaves room for expansion as their business grows.
Tags: , CSS, Cycle, Gallery, HTML, Jquery, Web Design
February 29th, 2012
EBSCO’s old careers site was lacking in a few different ways. It had a poor user experience, bad navigation and a apparent lack of SEO. We set out to change all that. We streamlined the site-map and site architecture to make it easier for a prospective candidate to find the information they needed to apply for jobs. We also skewed very heavy on the SEO for this site which means there is a lot of text on the pages to reinforce keywords that people search for jobs on. Other features that I added included a more flexible news section. This section now functions a lot like a blog and allows for the addition and sorting of each category like – videos, events, career fairs and other relevant job-seeking tips.
Tags: , Blog, Dropdown Menu, Expression Engine, HTML 5, Jquery, SEO, Slideshow
November 17th, 2011
Tags: , Custom Template, Green Design, HTML 5, Marketing, Unique Layout
November 9th, 2011
NoveList, a product of EBSCO, launched their new site this week. The new site brings a bold new look along with expanded functionality. Built in Expression Engine the site uses jquery and plug ins to create a fun consumer experience. I also built a “blog-like” section for novelist to post relevant product content, including podcasts. Going hand in hand with their new site we also launched their facebook page. Now users can discuss and connect with their favorite NoveList folks via the site, facebook and twitter!
July 13th, 2011
After a lot of hard work the new eBooks site for EBSCOhost has launched. About 8 months ago we began work on this new marketing site. This new initiative for the company had to make a bold statement and be rich in content and functionality. We wanted to showcase the breathe of the product we offer as well as what will differentiate us from competitors. The challenge we faced from a marketing perspective is that we are actually launching the marketing prior to the full development of the product so there were many shifts and tweaks along the way to account for product development.
That’s all well and good but what about the site you ask? Yes! The result is a portal type site – allowing consumers to choose between eBooks or Audiobooks – that is very rich in content and our offerings. Taking advantage of Expression Engine we were able to build out multiple channels to support all the content we wanted to incorporate. I utilized java-script to showcase our featured titles and metadata in sleek carousel with hover. The subject sets were built so that the users can quickly find pricing and titles in a given category. The Audiobooks section gives users samples to listen to. The site is built in HTML 5 so that as it grows and browsers start to incorporate more of the mark up in their updates the site can utilize all the new language’s features. Take a look and see for yourself!
March 16th, 2011
Last week we launched the Digital Archives website here at EBSCO Marketing. I had been working on this site for a while and am pretty excited about the result. This was my first site I built using the new HTML 5 mark up. HTML 5 is pretty amazing and while the browser support for all the functionality is not quite yet there, it makes sense to start to use the new tagging and java-script to get used to programming this way. The result for this site was awesome – the css was way simplier and I found that the cross browser coompatiablity was pretty high (a few IE 7 tweaks of course but whatcha going to do?).
The Archives site was also built entirely in Expression Engine. Some key features include the home page Carousel (which we should credit the Image Flow plug-in here), Contextual right side navigation (changes depending the page you are on), drop-down navigation, and Lightbox for the product samples. Using expression engine allows us to easily separate the content out from the design allowing our copywriters to tweak the copy on their own. The templating system in ee is great as you can code right within the CMS and have the template make decisions based on the content and what page you are on. Overall this site is a winner.
February 18th, 2011
This was my first new site build in Expression Engine. While, now looking back I might have built it a little differently – overall all parties are happy with the site and it is easily update-able. The site was created to promote all the corporate database products that we offer.
To give the site some pizazz I built the homepage slide-show as well as the learning center slide-shows using jquery’s cycle plug-in. Other features include jquery tabbed navigation in the learning centers section and lightbox to display sample snippets from the reports. The site provides some great insights to these products offered and provides consumers with actual free samples of the product, increasing awareness and getting the consumer involved with our offerings.
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Tags: , CMS, Content Updates, Custom Template, Cycle, Expression Engine, Jquery, lightbox