I‘ve been designing every aspect of my applications since my earliest days as a web developer. Over the years I've learned that a good user–interface design and great user experience can make or break an application; thats why I've made it my primary focus as a developer.
My passion is UI & UX Design.
I designed wireframes and flows for freelancers to execute.
Armed with a color palette, I designed the UI and from the ground up.
Create a new look and feel based on existing site branding efforts.
Designed and implemented a new UI for an existing application.
Grungy logo and design for a company I was going to co-found.
An unsolicited redesign of a fansite I frequent; I liked grunge I guess.
A 99Designs submission for an identity theft prevention web site.
Your UI has to serve your UX needs, and they stem from your over–all web strategy. Identifying and optimizing your strategy requires understanding traffic analytics, plotting conversion rates, and a critical eye for details.
Together we can craft your web strategy.
I don‘t just design UI: I code UI.
HTML5 design with jQueryUI used heavily & ExtJS 4.0 for charts.
Silverlight & C# .Net RIA for drag & drop memorial configuration & design.
An online gradebook for parents, teachers, and students.
A Content Management System used by local school systems & business.
ColdFusion‘s been my bread–and–butter since 2006 and am a certified Advanced ColdFusion Developer, but I also know C# .Net, and the basics of a half a dozen other languages. I rock out T-SQL and know SQL Server development well.
I‘m a ColdFusion guru, and can learn new languages easily.
ColdFusion & SQL Server DB architecture designed for security & performance.
First developed in CF, now being reworked in Ruby on Rails.
C# .Net Bronze memorial configuration & order platform with SQL Server.
Updated legacy ColdFusion & MySQL DB code for a web 2.0 sports blog.
An online gradebook for parents, teachers, and students.
A Content Management System used by local school systems and business.
There are some things I've not not had the chance to do professionally yet; SEO/SEM, Brand Development, and online advertising. If it comes to your site and your online identity, I probably know how to do it.
If its Branding, SEO, or even marketing, I can help.
I attended the 2013 StartupBus Alumni competition with one goal: to pitch my idea well enough to get a team formed around it. I knocked it out the of the park, forming a team that put together a solid concept in short order. Although we didn't win the competition, I got to test my leadership skills and my idea was validated when a team with a similar concept swept the competion.
A key component of a competition like StartupBus is identifying the key features that make your application different, and what minimal build of your application would be necessary to get user traction. We worked through different monetization options and which features offered the largest benefit for users and could be executed within our three day launch window.
We lost to a team that had amost the same idea, but slanted towards helping veterans. Their only criticism during the competition was that they didn't have a solid monetization strategy and that they hadn't targeted a larger demographic. Those are things we covered and locked in on day one.
In order to execute within our schedule, we split up work and shopped out aspects of development. As the leader, I kept control over my vision by developing all the wire frames myself, reviewing them with my team's business and marketing experts, and then communicating it with the freelance developers. This allowed us to have a solid understanding of what we were going to be receiving from our freelancers as they worked independently.
One key feature of our design was to focus on LinkedIn users for our launch demographic. That let us leverage their API for authentication, and also let us skip the tedious process of having users enter their skills from scratch by importing the skills listed in their LinkedIn profile. This simplifed the user interface, but still left us open to implement our own login and skill-entry systems as the application expanded.
At The Home Depot I worked to implement new features and to improve the performance and stability of existing features. I implemented a new coding structure based on the module pattern, added the first strong implementations of encapsulation and Namespacing, and worked towards a higher standard for front-end development.
One key implementation is overseeing the development of a new auto-suggesting type ahead system featuring visual feedback and product links.
I'm the Lead Developer on this project, and so it was up to me to create everything about the architecture of this application.
I was given a color palette based on the design of the corporate website, but other than that I had to create the whole interface from scratch. I identified Personas, used them as Actors to create Use-case Diagrams, and developed Wire-frames basedon those uses. From there I created the design quickly in HTML so I could design using CSS3 feature that were supported by browser such as gradients and drop shadows.
My requirement for the user experience be that it felt like using a serious, desktop tool, but that it also allow for touch based interfaces (like the iPad). This mean that while I chose to use many standard elements of applications (like Tabs, buttons, and drop-downs), I had to size them so that they were easy to hit with fingers and didn't require mouse-only gestures.
I made heavy use of jQuery and jQueryUI for this application, including developing a custom skin for jQuery UI to reflect 1AnswerHR's palette and design choices.
The first half of the front-end of this application is HTML5 served by ColdFusion. I took great pains to encapsulate most of the elements on the site into reusable chunks in ColdFusion, either as Custom Tags or included files (partials).
On top of that is the second half; jQuery & jQueryUI based enhancements and interfaces that provide many advantages, such as increased data density (by way of Tabs and Dialogs), increased responsiveness (via loading messages and AJAX controls) and increased performance (from loading scripts and JSON data via AJAX on-demand).
The HRIS platform is built on SQL Server 2008r2, and I've created a Stored Proceedure later that handles not just the CRUD functions of the site, but also hosts a business layer that enforces authorization rules on data and does the heavy lifting of the business tier.
This tier not only means that the application gains the performance benefits of Stored Procedures, but also an increase in security; SQL Injection wouldn't work against this site (even if they got past ColdFusion) because the user can only execute specific set of Stored Procedures (limited by Schema access).
On top of that is a ColdFusion based application that serves calls these Stored Procedures and then serves a corresponding view. While not a true MVC framework, this application does seek many of its benefits by breaking the loading of data from the views and embracing some design patterns from Ruby on Rails.
Access Athletes is a sports blog focusing getting content directly from players and those involved in the industry.
Access Athletes came to me looking for an overhaul. Their old platform had been geared more to social networking, but the blogs had become their most important focus. I redesigned their home page to put this content first and to move their look-and feel from a social-network landing page to a true online magazine.
My front-end design is a bit shakey on this homepage page... I really wanted a more textured background to the page (where there is a gradient currently) and less densly-packed text on the right hand side bar, but this was the client's preference, so I went with it. I sometimes have to trust that they know the preferences of their target demographic better than I do.
Although Access Athlete's needs were realatively simple, I did have to get used to a MySQL based database, as well as working on code that was seriously out of date: some of the ColdFusion pages referenced Allaire who hadn't owned ColdFusion since 2001. I updated the security, database handling, and much of the site processing.
Denosys was a small Human Resources company based out of Morgantown West Virginia. They have been bought out by a larger company since I worked for them.
When I came to work at Denosys in 2009 they were just starting a large effort to update the look-and-feel of their website and rebrand their company from a mid-90s era design to something their customers would find more modern. I helped them pick a new logo from a logo design firm and created a new visual design based on their re-branding efforts.
Ultimately the full redesign was scrapped in favor of updating the look and feel of the existing application. This change meant that the updated logo and header graphics didn't get used, but it did mean that the majority of the redesign made it into the hands of their users, as you can see on the right.
Back in 2009 I worked with a cool guy who knew another cool guy, and we were going to found a company and take the ColdFusion development world by storm... Then they moved away and I moved on.
I designed the logo and screens for what was going to the be the www.cloverfly.com corporate site. I was really into grungy ascetics at that point and made the logo as grunge-tastic as I could manage. I don't remember if the other guys didn't like the grungier one, or if I just wanted something that showed up better in smaller sizes, but I also made a simpler variant of the logo.
For the logo and site, I knew I wanted something with some grungy elements, but a feel that said we meant business; thats why I choose a color scheme based on money. Yes, money. Although the color scheme was rather bold (greens in that range aren't used much even now, let alonge in 09), I tried to keep the site from being too edgy by keeping the drop shadows and gradients simple and limited. I'd also just started looking into typography for websites, so I've got some varied fonts.
No those are not my friend's actual pictures.
Looking at it in 2012, I can see all kinds of things I'd change, but I do like the gradient for the header, the font choices (at the time I didn't know a way to embed the fonts I wanted), and the somewhat unusual placement.
I made this unsolicited redesign for a fansite I check out regularly; I was hoping they would at least like it enough to have be redesign it for real.
The Dungeons & Dragons game which www.enworld.org covers (and fantasy RPGs in general) feature exploration and combat in a pseudo- medieval world; I choose a color palette based on the nature, although muted and grungy due to the medieval theme. I found a nice set of Photoshop brushes that evoked the natural theme got down to work.
In retrospect, its not hard to see why I wasn't taken up on my offer; I varied too far from the site's existing color scheme and themes. In changing the color palette to remove the white text on a black background and introducing the leafy, natural elements, I inadvertantly added a somewhat feminine vibe, despite the use of dark colors and grunge. Oh well; I'd never learn if I didn't try.
I submitted this site design for a 99Designs design contest.
I didn't win, but I'm glad I made the effort; this was one of my first attempts at using Photoshop to do design work. Its not great, but it has some nice design elements: I like the thumb print background, the information selector in the bottom corner, and the effects on the grey bar.
I was a member of a team of five who founded BumperCrop during StartupBus 2012 on the bus out of Tampa Florida. I worked with an amazing team and took 2nd out of over 50 teams from the United States and Mexico.
My main role was that of a developer, but I also had to be an adviser on what was technically feasibile in reguard to using location information and developing applications for multiple device types (desktop browser and mobile devices). Given the 72 hour time frame my skills were pressed to the limit to get a working application in place, and I managed to get a working, database driven home page, even if the rest was a bit lacking.
We plan to continue BumperCrop, but we're reevaluating the technology its built with as we move forward with finalizing the business plans.
With such a short time window for development, I didn't try anything too fancy. I built with ColdFusion on Wheels and backed it up with a very simplistic SQL Server database (so simple I could have used MySQL *zing!*).
WVOnline was redesigned in 2007 by its owner, Citynet, to become a business contact information directory. After over a year in the market, it wasn't performing as well as they hoped, and I worked on my off hours to complete an analysis of what might be going on with the site.
The first thing that I did was look at WVOnline's traffic via Google Analytics, as well as the AdSense data for the site and the usage statistics captured by Citynet itself (via database saves and billing statements). This gave me a clear picture of the current state of Citynet's traffic and the results of their initial promotion efforts.
With this base of information in hand I crafted a document that outlined the current state of the site and its current profitability, and I also created a forecast of future profitibility if the company did not contribute additional resources to the project and continued to let the existing trends run their course.
Lastly, I used the data that I'd gathered about past performance and created a series of metrics by which the site should be redesigned to increase profitibility. I used these metrics to do a screen-by-screen analysis of WVOnline and identified what could be redesigned or removed to increase profitibility.
Please note that all values in these samples have been altered or redacted to prevent exposer of WVOnline's actual performance data.
Citynet chose not to update the site in the manor I suggested. As of 2012, the site remains unchanged, save that a large banner promoting Citynet's side in a public legal battle for funding has been added to the main page, further erroding its ability to offer an affective service to users.
My father, Paul Hartmann, is an abstract photographer, and back in 2006 I built him a website.
The most important aspect of an artist's website is that it allows him to show off his art in a way that not only showcases their work, but also allows him to show off some of his artistic style. Dad's aways had an interest in the typography and color of his signs for art shows, so I made sure that he had access to a WYSIWYG editor for his news updates.
This also meant that I needed a design that served his needs an artist, and according to him his only need was to create a place where people could see his art online. He didn't want to sell prints, engauge the community with social networking, or even provide permanent galleries online (all of his galleries change over time).
Matthews International had me work on a drag-and-drop bronze memorial designer.
LiveGrades is an online grade book from Citynet which was developed in partnership with Harrison County Board of Education and is in use by several West Virginia school systems.
LiveGrades featured an AJAX heavy front–end that allowed users to perform many tasks in-line or with a minimum of page refreshes. This also served to minimize the strain on the servers by loading information on demand. All of the DHTML and AJAX needs for this application were met using Prototype and the Scriptaculous library.
Although not all of the visual design was under my control, I did have complete control over the basics of the interface layout, as well as the creating of everything involved in building the UI.
Under the hood, LiveGrades was the larged database that I had worked on at the time. Built in SQL Server, the database was required to track all students in multiple school systems, their school and class assignments, teacher's assignments, individual student grades and combined class averages. All of this information also had to export into formats that could be consumed by an AS-400 system used by the West Virginia Education Information System, a legacy grade tracking system used bt the state of West Virginia.
One of my first professional development projects, the Citynet Content Management System is used by schools in Harrison County West Virginia to manage individual web pages for each teacher, as well as group pages.
Although the first iteration featured only a relatively simple user interface, the second iteration included much richer features based on ExtJS 1.1 which included an improved page editing system that used ExtJS interface components to offer users a more responsive experience while making changes to their website. ExtJS also allowed me to create a much more simple system for interacting with the site's files and configuration.
Built with ColdFusion and SQL Server, the main challenge with this system was working with the heirarchical nature of the site and the permissions associated with those objects. If I had only known then the wonders of Recursive CTE in SQL Server, I would have avoided many headaches.
That and I learned that I loath recurring calendar events, but thats another story.
I maintained and supported Matthews International's PicturePositive Online application.
Utilizing a number of SQL Server stored procedures and a C# .Net backed web application, PPO serves as a web interface for a legacy ordering and bronze casting system. While working on this application I not only learned C# and how to work in ASP.Net, but also the basics of stored procedures and a number of other new database techniques to manage the thousands of orders that they managed per month.
I'm currently in the process of developing a simple system to do brand asset analysis to determine not only what aspects of your brand are solidly entrenched with your users, but what elements they can do without.
If your looking to evolve your brand, or even go all in for a rebranding effort, I can help sort out the options and guide you through the process.
I've run several marketing campaigns for my own blog, and analysed the results of a few campaigns at my work places. I can help you analyze your key words, identify new SEO/SEM objectives, and see which of your campaigns are really paying off.
I've designed my own business cards and lots of other stuff, too.