I'm a Front End Web Developer and Web Designer living in Grand Rapids, Michigan and working as Creative Director for MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry.
I've been designing and coding for the screen for over 12 years. In that time I've designed, built and launched hundreds of client sites.
I strive to create engaging design and intuitive user interface. I love building simple, usable and beautiful sites that look great on your laptop, your tablet and your phone.
Finding me around the web
I also like to write about web design and development
Head on over to the blog to read everything, or check out some of my most recent articles below.
In the beginning, it seems most designers adopted Photoshop as their preferred tool for Web Design projects. Granted, there wasn't a lot of software to pick from, but I personally think Photoshop prevailed over Illustrator because the web of old was based on static pixels. The Web Design community built our layouts at 800x600 pixels for years. It was just the way we did things. Then one day we threw all that to the wayside and decided to start designing them at 1024x768. Why? Because we were dicks, that's why.
As the years come and go, the types technology we use to access the web change and our approach to web design and development changes along with it. What made a good website five years ago does not make a good website today.
When meeting with new clients, one of the first questions I ask is "What sites do you like and what do you dislike?" The answers are all over the board, but what I don't really see are examples of beautiful, modern websites that represent what it means to have a real online presence today.
In its most simple form, a CSS Framework is a grid system as well as a collection of assets and styles for creating any variety of page layouts. They lay the groundwork for creating cross-browser sites that work great across all modern browsers with minimal work on the developers part.
In short, they speed up the development process by providing a solid code-base for building sites without the repetitious coding and routine setup that would otherwise be necessary in getting our sites and applications off the ground.
It's really one of the most annoying industry-specific trends online. The menu, arguably the most important part of any restaurants site, is usually the most difficult to use.
I don't mean the navigation menu. I mean the actual menu that lists all the food they have to offer. Nine times out of ten, it's a PDF. There's this jarring switch in the user experience where we are no longer browsing a website. We're now looking at (or waiting patiently to load) a PDF of the menu.
The Goal-Gradient Effect simply states that you are more motivated to complete a task the closer you get to the end goal. This is not a specific phenomenon on the web. It is a commonly known psychological behaviorism first studied by Clark Hull in the early 1930's. When putting rats into a maze, he learned, they would run faster as they got closer to the end. As if building up momentum, or saying "Hey, I've got too much invested in this to quit now." Maybe they saw the end goal in sight. Rather, maybe they could smell it.
If you're a Web Developer or Designer, you probably hear about Interaction Design all the time these days. I hear it a lot at work. After a bit of reflection, a lot of Web Designers would probably say "I already do that." Others might be intimidated by the term, confused about what Interaction Design actually means as it pertains to their job.
And that's the thing. Interaction Design applys to all sorts of things, not just Web Development. Interaction Design is about understanding the behavior of people and how they use your product.
One of the biggest usability problems I've run into when viewing sites that are not properly optimized for mobile is forms. They can look terrible, be incredibly difficult to use and are something to be avoided at all costs.
Let's be honest, forms are generally cumbersome to use on desktop. They always have been. All of these flaws are amplified when you cram them into a 3.5 inch screen.
If I had to pick a single aspect of design that I think is most important in modern web design, it's typography. In a time where the web is driven by content, good typography simply promotes good reading. The days of blowing someones mind with a dancing hamster are over. Content is king, as they say. And good typography is what separates the king from the peasants.
You can design a beautiful website with nothing more than a bit of content and good typography. In fact, way back in 2006, a fellow with a really cool name, Oliver Reichenstein wrote Web Design is 95% Typography. Smashing Magazine later substantiated his claims.