I first met the early internet in 1992 through a friend at the University of London. I was amazed and we discussed all the things this technology could become. The first ever unstoppable communications technology. We talked about it disrupting politics, business, converging with the TV and phone and its enormous possibilities for mass education. 20 years later, every single thing we predicted has come true.
I built my first website in 1997 and I've been doing the same thing professionally ever since. I've watched the web grow up and worked in almost all of the core web roles that have emerged over that time. As a result I can now do what it usually takes a team of five or six people to achieve.
I have worked on a smaller number of very large projects, rather than lots of little websites, several in start up companies. Most have been ahead of their time even if they now seem mainstream. But at the time, they were steaming...
My USP is that I deliver projects that usually takes a whole team of people to achieve.
- Project planning and management
- Enterprise grade content management
- Object oriented php5 programming
- Visual design
- Information design
- Writer and editor for large web systems
- Best practice to conform to accessilibility and usability guidelines and legal requirements for public service settings.
Weekend In The Country Ltd
WITC offers unique Hen and Stag weekends, based around courses in country craft skills and bushcraft. They had a wealth of untapped branding assets and needed help to craft a new web experience that promoted their core values and ideas.
They already had very good web writing skills, but needed help to create a website that could both visually capture their offering and also to offer customer data capture towards a future online bookings system that we hope to bild later in the year.
Finished product: www.weekendinthecountry.co.uk
The project involved
- Branding design
- CMS installation and integration
- Responsive web design for multiple display platforms
- Custom data capture
- Technical planning for future custom bookings system
Gathering Voices Festival of Song '12 to '14
This project involved enabling festival organisers to automatically collate, format and display multiple cross linking types of information in an efficient, easy to manage manner. Using only one data input form, the volunteer web team can now manage a large events data set with no knowledge of web technology in a web system that can be reused for many years to come.
The project involved
- Design a work flow to map festival events to a data system and then create an easy to understand data entry system for non-technical people.
- Repurpose that data in multiple forms to drive all sections of the website, sorting and collating as necessary.
- Responsive design, flexing to work across multiple viewing devices and screen sizes, including tablet and mobile.
- Custom Google map to integrate data.
- Complete separation between design and data so that the whole site can have a refreshed visual design without needing a future rebuild.
In 2010/11 I spent my time helping to set up The Learning Warehouse - a startup company arising as a spin off from a University of Bristol education research project. We were attempting to build an international web distribution platform for a new education assessment and enablement product, aimed at showing disadvantaged learners how they can access hidden learning abilities they didn't know they had.
Despite having partner organisations and trial projects in 5 continents, sadly, like most startups the company didn't make it. But you can try out a learning information visualisation tool that I built for the project here:
- Custom plugin developed for Typo3 enterprise grade CMS
- Object Oriented php5
- AJAX updates
- Modular design to enable porting to other CMS platforms
- Smarty templating (can be swapped to other template engines)
- jQuery integrated with flash charts to allow real time sliders
University of Bristol, The Wellcome Trust & The Institute of Physics
From 2004 to 2011, I was a Research Associate in the post-doctoral research department of the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. Here I both built large scale websites for education and researched best practice methods for producing materials to help schools teach ethics in the science classroom.
Working with many teachers in schools across the UK, I built 2 huge online respositories of teaching materials, all cross linked and bedded into teaching specifications. 1400 pages of content and data, all designed, programmed, part authored and co-edited by one person - me. The websites have won best practice awards and one was picked out as one of the best school science websites in Europe in an EU funded pan-european research project looking at school science provision.
From a technical perspctive, the site was built around speed of access from the teacher's perspective and ease of access to disadvantaged students many of whom were still using dial up networking to access the site from home.
Devon Partnership Mental Health NHS Trust
In 2004 I was again half of the team that designed and built the website for Devon Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, using the then relatively new Typo3 content management framework. This site has been so successful that it is still in daily use 10 years later, with the same design, structures and software that we put in place. We produced a bomb-proof system that has stood up without crashes for years at a time. The design may have degraded over time from non-expert users, but the functionality, flow and usefulness has been a huge success.
Core issue - Longevity as a result of all round good planning