Getting back to my web design roots
This December I have had the pleasure of taking on a few new small business clients, whom I'm really enjoying working with. In larger organisations, my work can sometimes be several steps removed from decision-makers, things tend to move slower, and there are more interested parties to keep happy. Not that it's a problem or anything, but it has been refreshing to work with people who are juggling the same issues and wearing multiple hats like me. Speaking of hats, I have also had the opportunity to dust off my web design hat, as I've been designing websites and HTML email campaigns for these shiny new clients... and in fact I have also spent a couple of days this Christmas break redesigning my own photography website, to boot. It's been a real design-fest this month!
This is a website I designed for Bubblegus, who specialise in management consulting, personal coaching and event management. As the client wanted to be able to update the site themselves, and to have the flexibility of adding new pages and sections without having to get a designer involved again, I opted to create the site using Squarespace. Squarespace is a neat little online CMS/blogging platform that has really nice Ajax drag n drop design tools built in. The administration on the back end is also very user-friendly, with lots of drag n drop functionality and helpful tips right on the page. There is a monthly fee involved, but the cost is on-par with decent web hosting, so there's no real disadvantage to using Squarespace over free CMS/blogging tools. Although creating the design took longer, the site build only took a matter of a few hours, and I was able to tweak the design via Squarespace live in a client meeting to get things 'just so'. I've been really impressed with the speed of deployment as well as the ease of use, and I would wholeheartedly recommend Squarespace to small businesses as an alternative to Wordpress. In fact, I have 2 other Squarespace projects on the go as I write.
As mentioned, I have also redesigned my photography website, which was in need of some TLC. For this project, I opted to use good old-fashioned HTML and CSS, with a little bit of Flash & XML thrown in. It's been a great exercise to brush up my hand-coding skills, as well as giving me the opportunity to fiddle around with the photo galleries built into Adobe Lightroom. If you need any photography, please have a look at my site and get in touch :-).
I reckon this is my last posting of 2008, so here's to having a great New Year's Eve and an even better 2009!