Hello! This page is to provide a little background on me personally.
I started making websites when I was 17, my freshman year in college. I probably spent more time making websites for fun than going to class. That was 1998, and a lot has changed in web technology since then. What hasn’t changed are the basic principles of good design and the value of craftsmanship.
I don’t have a degree in design. I taught myself web design by doing–by making websites over and over–and by considering what worked and didn’t work about websites I came across in my everyday life. I also learned by listening to my clients–what they struggled with, what they were willing to pay for, and what they needed but didn’t know how to ask for. My basic philosophy is “do what works, in the best way possible”.
Over the years, design for the web has become more sophisticated, more flexible, more complex, and more accessible. Anyone can have a gorgeous professionally designed website for under $100 by buying a premium WordPress template and plugging in their content. This has changed the role of a web designer–the bedrock of what we used to do is no longer necessary. So we evolve.
With accessibility comes new challenges. Who do you turn to when that template breaks? How do you get it to work properly with the plugins you need? What if your logo doesn’t turn out to work with the template you chose? How do you choose from the 20 plugins that do what you want? How do you evaluate a plugin author or a theme company? What if there is no plugin that does exactly what you want?
I do a lot of research. Of all the available options and all the different ways to accomplish your goal, I want to find and recommend the one that is the most useful, cost-effective, and that fits with your long-term goals. I have always enjoyed being a problem-solver and a “deep generalist”, and this role fits me well.
I’ve always loved web design for its blend of technical and aesthetic aspects, and for its immense practicality. I find lately that I’m moving away from pure design and instead enjoy solving technical problems that need an eye for design. For example, I did all the layout and design for Beadage, but the bulk of my time was spent researching plugins and writing code.
I enjoy the combination of creativity and precision that goes into web design work. I am the kind of person who has a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated, not because I’m a huge fan of cooking, but because if I am going to take the time to make a meal I want it to be the best possible meal–one that has been tested and perfected. If you are going to do something, you might as well do it right.
At the same time, I’ve always been a solopreneur working with mostly others solopreneurs. Running a small business usually always comes with an eye on cost. None of my clients have money to burn on things that are needlessly perfect, so there is always a balance. Ultimately I want your website to be an investment that serves your business for years to come.
I enjoy being able to solve technical problems that help people create the business and life they love.
I’ve always had a keen awareness of the many forms of suffering that exist in this world. While I admire and appreciate activists, artists, healers, and revolutionaries, that does not seem to be my path. My highest aspiration is to help create the world I want to live in–a world of beauty, love, acceptance and support for all people, everywhere. When it comes to web design, my passion lies in supporting people to create good things. In the everyday world of life, death, and taxes, starting your own business where you create value and serve people is an avenue to living a life with purpose, meaning, freedom, and authenticity. It is these expressions of life that I am supporting when I serve my clients.
Four people laying bricks were asked, “What are you doing?”
The first said, “I am laying bricks.” The second said, “I am building a wall.” The third said, “I am building a cathedral.” The fourth said, “I am serving God.”
I think of this story as not about any particular faith, but rather about the nature of work itself, and the meaning you can bring to it.
Another of my favorite thoughts about work and the nature of solving problems:
Tao Te Ching: Chapter 63 (Ursula K. Le Guin translation)
Do without doing,
Act without action.
Savor the flavorless.
Treat the small as large,
the few as many.
with the power of goodness.
Study the hard while it is still easy.
Do big things while they are small.
The hardest jobs in the world start out easy,
the great affairs of the world start small.
So the wise soul,
by never dealing with great things,
gets great things done.
Now, since taking things too lightly
makes them worthless,
and taking things too easy makes them hard,
the wise soul
by treating the easy as hard,
doesn’t find anything hard.
My Door is Open
I like helping people. Send me a message if you think we’d be a good fit to work together (or even if you just have a question).