Welcome. This is not a cover letter, just some information about me and my work. If you want to find out more, I am all over the web and you can find (mostly) me with a simple Google Search.
It has been my experience that most companies and designers lose track of the goal of their website. It's not about "what's cool?" it's about "what does the customer need?" I believe that it's better to have information available to customers and let them decide what to do with it. I also believe that oftentimes less really is more — most sites have too much stuff that no one is going to care about and that distracts from the purpose of the site...helping the customer.
My goal is simple: to find a good, steady full-time web design position which uses my skills and gives me the opportunity to continue learning. I am currently living in Austin, TX.
Since 1995, I have worked as a:
- Graphic Designer
- Website Designer
- Website Developer
- User-interface Designer
- Information Architect
- Accessibility Consultant (Section 508)
- and Black-Box Quality Assurance Tester.
I have been an employee at "big name" companies such as: Adobe (twice), Sun Microsystems, and GTE Directories. I have also worked for Orcon, Caresoft, Olympus Servicing, Handcrafted Metal, and Great Wall China Adoption.
As a freelancer (which all good web designers are), my experience is "all over the map"...literally. I have designed websites for organizations in New York City, Phoenix, Denver, Shreveport, and a small town up in Minnesota. My contributions have ranged from minor code clean-up to complete control over all aspects of the site from design to writing all content.
Basic web design skills across the board. I know HTML and CSS backwards-and-forwards. I am a true expert in Photoshop and Illustrator.
The following are a list of some of my specialties. One of the things not listed is that I know when to get help. As good as I may be, I am only one person.
Because of my analytical skills, I have developed a reputation as "a fixer." People will come to me and say "something's not right...help!" and I generally can figure out what. I can also help clean up the HTML to allow for easier understanding of issues.
There's a joke that "Computer geeks are almost as good at writing documentation as they are at reading it." There's truth in that statement. One of the greatest challenges with the web is teaching — what's possible, what's not, and what's possible (but really expensive). That's where I come in. One of my areas of study is how people learn. If I can train my own mother in how to email photos, I can certainly train a non-relative in computer and web-based issues.
I use my writing style to reflect my personality: conversational and friendly, while being professional and clear. I am aware of how people read on the web (25% slower for starters), so it's important to engage them. And writing to them and their needs is the easiest way to do this. I have written pure copy for several websites (including dating advice and articles), copy-edited on several websites, and written copy for another client "in their voice" to promote their site.
As a dancer, I understand the issues common to dance and other political organizations and, with ten dance-related websites, my portfolio shows it. I have created a number of event registration systems based on MySQL (though I am not a DB programmer). I have also converted several dance organization websites to Content Management Systems.
Other Technical Skills
I am well versed with template-based sites. Whether .shtml or .php, I have used SSI almost exclusively for the past eight years. I have used a number of CMS's aimed at personal users (such as Joomla, Mambo, and Expression Engine) and have used PHP Magic to create bug-tracking databases and user-editable sites running PHP and MySQL. I've also done basic video editing and have had my share of fun with Flash.
As you can see from my resume, my Bachelor's degree is in Economics and I returned to school in 1994 to study web design. My loves include reading, science, and dance so I do get around quite a bit.