This portfolio is about my work with the web. If you’re interested in my other work, you could look at my Launchpad profile or my Ohloh profile. And, of course, there is always my blog. If you want any more information, or if you just want to chat, feel free to contact me.
North Light Images
Stuart McCall needed a new website for North Light Images, his photography business. It needed to be responsive, touch friendly and, of course, beautiful. Instead of using lightbox popups or separate gallery pages, I developed an image gallery from scratch so all the information in the site would be available all the time. It is highly non-modal, which makes for a refreshing and streamlined experience even with a significant amount of content.
Where Will Santa Live?
In the end, we raised some money and we attracted an interesting flurry of attention from all sorts of people. Rex Murphy really didn’t like it, and Carin Bondar called it “one of the cleverest Christmas campaigns she’d seen.”
Harvest is a web service that helps people contribute to Ubuntu. It aggregates small bug reports and other quick tasks that could use attention. For Google Summer of Code 2010, I worked with Daniel Holbach to design and implement its new web front-end.
Part of my project was to make Harvest fast. It maintains a large database with a lot of very similar data. It is down to Harvest’s interface to make that data particularly useful. So, I added filters to quickly narrow down results, though my implementation is unusual: searching happens in real time. As the user selects filters, results immediately start to appear. This improves perceived performance and encourages exploration. The system was carefully tuned to keep the number of unnecessary database hits to a minimum. Whenever something is pulled from the database, there is some expectation it will be useful to the end user.
I also worked with Harvest’s Django server code and the front-end was augmented with jQuery’s Ajax utilities to streamline interaction. I had a lot to write about the project, so, I went ahead and wrote a short retrospective. In May 2011, I updated the design to match Ubuntu’s official branding guidelines.
See also: my blog posts about Harvest.
Stuart McCall’s portfolio
I created a portfolio for Stuart McCall’s art photography. The site is accessible and standards-compliant, and it gracefully functions in legacy browsers. It also looks great in modern web browsers like Firefox 4, IE9 or Chrome. It was designed with strong whitespace and cautious use of colour, aiming to make photographs and other coloured elements pop out in their purest forms.
The site uses Hyde as a back-end, which builds static web pages from template and content files. In this way, the site is easy to modify but doesn’t demand complex hosting arrangements.
Installer slideshow for Ubuntu
A few years ago, I spearheaded the effort to create an introductory slideshow that is presented to users while they install the Ubuntu operating system. Since Ubuntu 9.10, the slideshow has been included on the installer CD that ships to millions of users. Details about the project, including its source files, are on launchpad.net.
My aim with the project is to introduce new users to the system and the Ubuntu community by starting them off with easy and interesting basics. Importantly, it is written open-endedly. The aim is to encourage and inspire people so they can explore and discover new things for themselves.
The project has seen many contributors through its life and it has slideshows for many Ubuntu flavours including Edubuntu and Kubuntu. At this point, the design and copy is contributed by Canonical’s design team. I implement those designs and I write code to fit things together — making sure the slideshows are easy to create and to translate. I work on organizing the project as a whole, making sure the slideshow remains effective and the people involved are happy.
See also: my blog posts about the slideshow project.