Website design and development

Since creating a GeoCities website in the early 2000s, I have had a keen interest in website design and then into website development. In 2010 I began producing websites freelance for local NHS practices and a charity I volunteered for; later this expanded into other areas including a museum, dance studio, business management company and a sign language teacher. Then in 2019 I begun a full-time job as Front-End Developer for a Students' Union whilst continuing freelance work and exploring back-end development.

A mockup of a laptop on a desk displaying a website design. The graphics on the webpage are space related, planets and asteroids etc, and the banner reads 'Find your space at Kent'. This was the landing page for the Kent Union Virtual Welcome Back Fair 2021.

Kent Union

May 2019 - Present

In May 2019 I was hired by Kent Union as a Website Designer; Kent Union are the Students' Union for the University of Kent which is where I graduated from five years before. Six months in, I discussed with my manager the potential I saw in the role and we amended the role to become a Front-End Website Developer.

Over the past three years I have redesigned the website from the ground up primarily using the Bootstrap CSS framework. During this process, I have introduced new features and increased accessibility across all areas of the organisation as well as creating an online brand identity based on the print brand guidelines.

P2Praise

In development

A peer-to-peer Praise system, this side-project was to help with Reward and Recognition. As a staff representative, this topic was regularly on our agenda and after some insightful conversations I envisaged this possible solution.

The second CRUD app I've developed, my aim was that a user could choose an affirmation, select the recipient from a departmentalised list and add their name and message in less than 30 seconds - upon landing on the homepage, the four-step form is immediately available to send Praise to fulfil this requirement. Once sent, the recipient can enjoy a designed email sent straight to their inbox and the Praise is added to a virtual Praise Wall too. The Praise Wall shows all Praise given to everyone and can be filtered to show only one individual; the Personal Praise Wall is also accessible via link using URL parameters. Behind the scenes (and a log-in wall) there is a Content Management System for Praise and Staff and, in future, there will be additional management areas for administrator accounts, departments and affirmations.

I also designed all the graphics throughout, creating 39 affirmation choices. These affirmations create a core set and I envisage seasonal, time-limited or company-related/project-specific affirmations can be dropped in and out easily too.

Makaton to Music

July 2021 - Present

A not-for-profit solo project, Makaton to Music aims to let their students have some fun and learn some Makaton signs through popular songs. Daily users are likely to be from a Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) background, so accessibility and tablet-friendly design was paramount. In person, these students are also familiar with a choosing board so the layout is reflective.

The first CRUD app I have developed, this website initially began as a single-page manually updated card-grid. Once the common requirements settled, I moved the client from a Google Sheet to a MySQL database accessed through a custom Content Management System on the back of the website. As the collection is continually growing, the client can now add, update, hide and remove cards themselves from here as well as managing tags, coming soon and release dates. Also added is the ability to upload thumbnails, with a future aim to store these path files in the database too.

Makaton to Music is also a brand I developed from scratch to the clients requirements, from colour scheme and font choice, to logo and video ident. To assist the client off-website, I additionally created a YouTube video-thumbnail maker that takes two inputs (song title/artist) and appends this to a HTML canvas element, with a choice from two branded backgrounds via a toggle.

Harwich RDF Tower

June 2021 - Present

A first foray into WordPress on a production website, the client is a curator of a new museum in Harwich, Essex.

Studio 86

September 2017 - Present

A growing dance studio in Derby, the client required a website to display their classes, timetable and take uniform orders.

Greenwich and Kent Students' Union (GKSU)

August 2020 - July 2021

The University of Kent and University of Greenwich, along with Canterbury Christ Church University, all share a Medway university campus in Chatham, Kent. Several years ago, the Students' Unions for Kent and Greenwich joined together to offer centralised services on the Medway campus for students of either university and it was operated primarily by Kent Union.

In early 2020 it was decided that GK Unions, as it was then, was going to re-brand itself and their system migrating from the Membership Solutions Limited (MSL) system to Students' Union Management System (SUMS) - the same system that Kent Union uses. In order to do all of this, a whole new website needed to be created from scratch.