The internet changed everything for me. I wanted to be an advertising copywriter when I was a kid. But, when the internet took off in the mid-90’s I quickly shifted from wanting to write to learning how to code HTML.
I took more than a half dozen design classes, learned how to hand-code HTML and CSS, and basically slept with Adobe Photoshop. My life changed forever.
Seemingly at once we had email! We had a mechanism to disseminate information in a matter of minutes, not hours or days. No more geographic boundaries to hinder timely communication or having to send messages through regular mail– snail mail.
Along with email came browser wars, search engines, the technology boom and bust, increased security threats and new careers in old industries. The internet had me at “hello world!”
I truly believe in the transformative power of good design and its ability to engage and inspire people everywhere. Good design and good relationships come from collaboration. Good design generates an emotion. It gives you a feeling, sometimes thoughtful or insightful, other times tingly and sensational. Creativity makes me happy.
Color. Contrast. Type. Page Architecture. Whitespace. These are a few of the design elements I am passionate about.
I believe you always react, good or bad, to design. As a passionate designer I listen to my clients. And always, I intend to elevate them through a good user experience and good design.
I'm a IT professional with 15+ years of professional website development, management and production experience: Excellent client-facing communication skills; excellent project management skills; and expert use of industry production tools. Stay up with current technologies: responsive/mobile designs, SASS/LESS preprocessor development, Bootstrap framework, WordPress + Theme development, Drupal, jQuery, SharePoint, Google Analytics, HTML5/CSS3, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), etc.
January 2016 - Present
Digital Communication Specialist
- Serve as the technical analyst in the Office of Communications. Lead the agency’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP). Provide data exploration and web analytic reporting to our program office customer base. Use Google Analytic to improve the acf.hhs.gov site based on metrics, customer feedback, and testing.
- Coordinate with our program offices to identify their digital needs. Work with the digital team to ensure digital content meet applicable standards, best practices, and Section 508 laws. Develop recommendations and strategies for improving acf.hhs.gov and all ACF digital properties.
- Use user experience technologies, including conducting and documenting user research activities in support of web development efforts. Develop user-centered conceptual designs via mockups, wireframes and user-centered logical design via storyboards and clickable prototypes.
- Design pixel-perfect screens with expert knowledge in cascading style sheets, html, imagery, iconography, typography and branding.
- Participate and attend Drupal related technical conferences or user groups to stay current with the technology and best practices. Work with internal customers and our contractor to improve our Drupal-driven website.
April 2010 – January 2016
User Interface Designer/Front-End Developer
Headquarters of the Department of the Army, Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Information Technology Agency
- Worked as a defense contractor on a variety of complex, web-based (ASP.NET/SharePoint) custom applications developed specifically for HQDA/OAA/ITA/AED.
- Responsibilities included working as a project lead on several web application development efforts. Worked closely with key stakeholders to set goals and communicate objectives for the project.
- Worked closely with software developers and subject matter experts (SMES) to translate client articulated needs into functional, web-compliant user interfaces.
- Played an active, key role in all design-related aspects of their flagship public SharePoint website, Civilian Training & Leader Development: US Army. Identified requirements, created storyboards, hand-coded the front-end HTML/CSS using standardized, compliant web code and implemented iterative end user validation and revisions.
- Created product lifecycle UI deliverables: mock-ups, diagrams, wire-frames, graphic assets, i.e., icons, photographs, background images, etc. to support the agencies communication strategy and branding guidelines. Presented concepts to clients and synthesized feedback into subsequent design iterations.
- Generated the wireframes that illustrated functionality and organization as defined in the functional requirements of each project. Used SharePoint Designer and Visual Studio to generate well-organized comps that were ready for development and implementation.
- Ensured site readiness for public viewing. Applied appropriate accessibility standards and requirements to all web content code. Used Section 508 and WCGA guidelines to meet Federal requirement for all development code to complete final testing of all interactivity and feature sets. And, finally moved site from test environment to its current production environment.
- Conducted content update individual training sessions to G3/5/7 staff members to demonstrate how to upload and prepare content for their training publishing site.
Web Content Manager
Defense Media Activity
- Served as the Web Content Manager of the U.S. Navy’s official website, www.navy.mil.
- Main responsibilities included design, development, maintenance and support of the website which is the primary source for news, information and reference for all members of the U.S. Department on the Navy.
- Used Federal guidelines to meet Section 508 requirements. Applied testing on all site pages, PDFs files and multimedia content using WCGA guidelines to document all content errors. Made recommendations to PIO staff and eventually resolved any accessibility errors on site code and content, and retested for accessibility compliance.
- Advised and coordinated with software developers and subject matter experts (SMES) to develop, enhance and maintain the functionality of the website.
- Created micro project websites from concept to final launch: designed front-end HTML/CSS, managed and supported micro site development and their mobile adaptation, if applicable. Oversaw the design and ensured proper branding of all web properties.
- Worked with Navy PIO leadership and personnel worldwide to publish timely news about Navy activities around the globe. The Navy.mil news is read, and relied upon, by external media outlets also.
- Updated the site on a continuous basis. Was responsible for all inquiries about the website, both, internally and externally. Posted information that represented the Navy’s official position on significant issues that also had major impacts on the general public as well.
Defense Education Activity
- Served as the principle Web Specialist for this field activity of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Responsibilities included the design, development, maintenance and support for: http://militaryk12partners.dodea.edu & http://www. dodea.edu.
- Worked closely with CommonSpot CMS developers to migrate 174 DoD school websites into a dynamically driven, Cold Fusion based content management system.
- Responsible for complete web production life cycle, from concept to final launch, designed, produced, managed and supported the public-facing website and micro/mobile sites for this activity.
- Worked with the Communications Director and public affairs personnel worldwide to publish timely school and school-related news to DODEA parents, staff and students.
- Used UI/UX visual design principles to produce clear, well-documented user-interface code for the all public facing and Intranet sites. Prepared user-friendly content that would also comply with published Section 508 accessibility guidelines. Used WCGA guidelines to test code, and made appropriate corrections, when needed.
- Collaborated with senior management to develop social media strategies and its implementation. Helped develop, write, and produce blog posts, social media posts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SchoolTube and Flickr), video storyboards, podcast introductions and questions, and web content.
February 1999 – June 2008
Senior Web Designer/Developer
- Worked as a federal contractor to develop and design agency Intranet web sites and various online web-based initiatives at fcc.gov.
- Lead creative direction to create front-end user interfaces for web applications based on the LAMP (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP/Perl) open source platform. Managed complete development production cycles.
- Worked closely with PHP software developers to translate, and then implement client articulated needs into a fully customized web content management system that allowed the client to maintain/update their own website content.
- Worked closely with engineers, attorneys and other SMEs to gather technical and business requirements for various web initiatives. Managed web content, developed design elements, hand-coded HTML/CSS-based micro-sites and planned/produced information architecture for a 10,000+ website.
- Produced video and interactive media content (Flash animations, info-graphics, slideshows, etc.).
- Ensured cross-browser compatibility, site consistency and Section 508 compliance. Setup an assistive technology workstation to test all site content and ease of navigation with JAWS screen reader software and ACCVerify. Tested every site page, files attachments, and multimedia files using WCGA guidelines. Documented all errors/compliancy violations, and eventually corrected and retested content to ensure 100% compliant. Increased site usability by 100%.