After advertising in Sawston Scene, I had a few commissions to build websites for local businesses. These were all short, simple, and ultra low cost.
My clients are mostly thoroughly untechnical, and so I usually advise on the domain name, register it, and organise hosting as part of the package.
After a brainstorming session, I came up with a list of suggested names for this new group, then designed a logo for the one they chose. The website design made the most of a distinctive set of photos.
Designed to showcase Silas’s different musical abilities, this is a wordier site where my aim was to break up the text as much as possible – pictures and pull quotes, then expandable boxes to let the user decide how much to read.
Gill Shelley Garden Design
A site focusing on visuals, but with good explanations of how the design process works – usually these would be the result of extensive editing, but Gill is a great writer as well as a gardener. Designed with a blog format, to be easily updateable.
Again, I designed the logo, advised on the domain and organised hosting. As this is a local charity, I do all the site updates too at no coast since invoicing isn’t worth the admin time!
This year, I have been helping Cambridge-based company localsecrets make the functional bits of their site more user-friendly. This work ran the gamut from simple renaming of parts to full overhauls involving new functional specifications.
Owner Neal Robbins said: “I want to thank you for your really considerable contribution to localsecrets over the past months. I have enjoyed working with you and learned a great deal.
[…] “You’ve done great work and I am really grateful for all you’ve done. A heartfelt thanks for your diligence, expertise and patience.”
I also tried to help them with marketing, but sadly it wasn’t enough and the site is due to shut down in October 2018.
Also known as AOTOS. I will add details later!
The RTPI is the body that charters town planners. I joined the small ICT team to produce a staff intranet, and to help with other developments to the website, including an extra layer of security protocol. I’m trying to persuade them to use user research and wireframes to get pages worked out before the build stage.
The Family and Parenting Institute combined with the Daycare Trust to form the Family and Childcare Trust.
They asked me to compare the site analytics for all six of the websites the two charities were running, and then to do a competitor analysis. I also helped with their social media tactics.
They wanted a new, combined website and I ran some workshop sessions to help them decide what the new site would need to do and what content it should include, before writing a functional specification with them and helping them assess the proposals when the build was put out to tender.
Now the rebranded site has launched, I am back to building pages, editing copy, and refining the site’s structure and usability. I have also been giving some of the other website editors training in writing for the web – writing clear English, structuring copy so that it’s less effort for the reader, using best practice for accessibility, and following the EST’s house style. I hadn’t done website training since 2004, so this has been very enjoyable.I reckon the challenge is to make it less like an exam and more like a pub quiz – I’m working on it!
My role has been scaled down, so I’m looking for other work to supplement it.
The Energy Saving Trust is rebranding itself as a charitable foundation with a business arm. As we needed to refresh the website, I and my colleagues in the marketing team wanted to take the opportunity to improve the functionality too, which included a radical rethink of how we used the CMS’s translation mechanism. Neither the design team nor the technical agency has a UX, so I have taken on that role, writing functional specifications for the new elements, working out some of the technical integration into eZpublish, a CMS I now know very well, and doing the liaison between design and tech and the client that’s such a fundamental part of a UX’s job. I’m now working on the IA and taxonomy for the site, and planning how to do the back-end restructure.
Family Friendly is a nationwide charity scheme that brings together businesses and public services committed to making the UK a more family friendly place. Their website, WeAreFamilyFriendly.org, encourages users to comment on the service they have received. My role is to moderate comments and ask the organisations involved to give their feedback.
The site is owned by the Family and Parenting Institute, and I’m happy to be working for a charity with worthwhile aims.
The Energy Saving Trust website should be your first stop for independent and impartial advice about how to save energy and money.
I started editing copy for them in 2011, then got involved in content management, then did some user experience work on the website, which was rebuilt from scratch and relaunched on 5th October 2011. Now I work part-time in the Digital team as the website editor, building and editing pages using eZPublish’s content management system. I also help revise the usability of online tools, looking at both functionality and copy.
The FI is a charity that lobbies for government policy changes and supports professionals in care services to improve the situation of fathers.
All staff work remotely, so I got used to managing my time and taking initiatives.
Online community for professionals, dadsincluded.org:
Project-managed site build; designed database and helped with the technical integration; worked with coders to choose and improve the functionality; rewrote all functional copy.
After launch, I moderated the forums, answered user queries and managed the site’s back end in Joomla.
Main site, fatherhoodinstitute.org:
Managed migration from old site to new. Designed structure of new site. Helped build and integrate new database.
Wrote, edited and designed web pages in WordPress; wrote, designed and tested email newsletters in MailChimp; and managed database of 17,000 names; produced reports and advised on IT and web strategy; managed FI domains; dealt with suppliers.
Due to funding cuts, I was made redundant on 11 February 2011.