past productions

Web sites are definitely not one-size-fits-all!I've been in the web design business for eight years now. My first page was little more than a place to store my favorite links. It had all the features one would expect from a typical personal page: huge graphics, no navigation, and fairly pointless content. Still, it was a great format for practice.

Through the intervening years, I've learned a lot about web design, most of it self-taught. One of the things I've found is that web sites are definitely not one-size-fits-all. Different people and businesses have vastly different needs and goals for their websites. I can break these down into four groups that I've worked on:

Small Businesses and Non-Profits:

"I’ve recommended Sleeping Baby to several colleagues and if they’re smart they’ll take my advice!"Many small businesses chose to put up a web page simply because it seems everyone else is doing it, but these sites can serve their customers well with the information they contain. A growing population of consumers uses the web as their primary source of information, even local information, and it makes sense to provide these people with an interface they will enjoy, as it may ensure their business later. Sites of this nature should be very quick to navigate, have low-bandwidth but attractive graphics, and be small enough to satisfy modem users. I tend to shoot for a screen resolution of 800x600 or below on these sites, generally keeping the page width at 600 pixels or less. I have done sites for:

Home-Based businesses:

"We are very happy to credit Jan with helping our Internet business get off the ground! ... She really likes to help small businesses!"Very small, home-based businesses often wind up with bad pages. It's through no fault of their own; limited capital and shortages of time tend to conspire, leaving these business owners with few options. They can attempt to build their own site with programs like Microsoft Word or Front Page (which are usually template-based and horribly bloated); pay someone else too much for a page that is also based on a template; or rely on free hosting services' templates. None of these avenues tend to generate satisfactory pages, and the business can suffer because of it.

Being a home-based businesswoman myself, I can empathize with the plight of such owners, and offer real solutions to this problem. I am happy to work for barter, full or partial; take payments on a flexible schedule without charging interest; and only work on portions of the page design which the owner cannot complete herself, allowing her to maximize the amount of work done for the minimum outlay of capital. I have designed sites for:

Research and Outreach groups:

These groups disseminate information, plain and simple. Their sites need to be easy for the general public to navigate, but also include areas for the researchers alone. Often the sites contain many hundreds of pages, and it is important that the pages be organized in such a way that the user need not plow through too many links to find what he or she is looking for. When designing these sites, I usually aim for a monitor resolution of 800x600 or higher, which may be larger than those using WebTV and lower-end computers, and allow for more graphics-intensive layouts, since the researchers often have state-of-the-art equipment and direct, high-speed connections. At the same time, I make sure that the outreach side of the site is easily accessible and user-friendly. Sites I have done in this category include:

Artists, Musicians, and Individuals:

"I really like what
you did with
the page and the
graphics. Also the slide show is great!"
These sites are often the most creative and colorful, owing to the nature of their subjects. They may showcase the talents of an individual or group, and tend to be very graphics-intensive. A good understanding of image compression is therefore required, as the pages are otherwise far too large to download via modem. The artist or musician will often need templates for pages, so that she or he may update performance dates and other swiftly-changing pages, or s/he may contract with me to do the updates myself. I have a great scanner, and can burn and upload MP3s when needed, so am equipped to provide the services that creative people need. Home pages for individuals, such as my own, allow for a unique and highly customized design, and the sky is the limit in terms of content. Pages in this vein include:

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