Web Design

Album Cover: Abbey Road

"She's killer-diller when she's dressed to the hilt."
The Beatles / Polythene Pam

After designing and developing websites for over a decade, I have established a fairly notable collection of projects to showcase here. The collection represents both the professional web design work I have done for companies and organizations, and the recreational web design I have done in my spare time or for personal reasons. If you are interested in hiring me for web design or development work or for consulting purposes, please contact me.

Merecal

Professional

Merecal In July of 2009, after nearly a year of initial development, my brother-in-law and I unveiled Merecal, a website geared around keeping up-to-date on new releases in books, Blu-ray discs, DVDs, music and video games. From its clean design to its full feature set, including custom web and Twitter feeds, automated import of preferences from other services like Last.fm and Goodreads, and fine-tuned new release notifications based on users' interests, Merecal was a service I was very proud to have helped build. Unfortunately, we were forced to shut it down in October of 2011. Nevertheless, a graphical representation of the Merecal homepage lives on to this day on Flickr.

Bernzilla: Pink for October

Recreational

Bernzilla: Pink for October In October of 2006, I went Pink for October (along with a whole lot of other people) to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Ironically enough, modding the then current "Requiem" design with pink hues was enough to really bring the site to life in a totally different way. In fact, the design was eye-catching enough to be handpicked as one of the top ten Pink for October redesigns. That was quite an honor, as was helping raise Breast Cancer awareness with so many talented web desigers.

Bernzilla: Requiem

Recreational

Bernzilla: Requiem I unleashed "Requiem" on July 3, 2006. It was quite a departure from the previous design (see "Submerged"), and one of the things I liked most about it was how it had a dark feel to it, but still managed to have some color thanks to the blue background and the colors in the header photo. As mentioned in my original post on the new design, the photo came from a whale-watching trip I had gone on and the natural colors in the photo lended a lot to the color scheme of the entire design.

Bernzilla: Submerged

Recreational

Bernzilla: Submerged Recent visitors will recognize this design, which reigned here at bernzilla.com from September 2005 to July 2006. It featured a subheader that actually proved to be a pretty novel idea. I was able to dedicate a small portion of the first fold to recent comments and B-Sides without giving up an entire sidebar. That made for more room for real content, and fit in quite nicely with the large navigation menu that blended in with the big, blue header. The "Submerged" redesign came with a couple feature changes (e.g. comment permalinks) that have stuck around and are still visible in the current design, dubbed "Requiem."

Bernzilla: Snow / Gecko

Recreational

Bernzilla: Snow / Gecko Long time visitors will recognize this one. My blog design didn't change for over two years, simply because I liked it so much. Usually I get tired of my own site's design fairly quickly, so once I found something I liked I felt I really had to stick with it. The design featured four separate skins originally, but eventually the available options narrowed to only two – known simply as "Snow" and "Gecko." Hence the way I've denoted this particular design. The design received a slight facelift in the middle of 2005 to increase screen space and font size, but that tweaked version didn't last long as it was soon followed by "Submerged," which you see above.

Pleasure Unit

Recreational

Pleasure Unit I wrote about this latest design of the Pleasure Unit website here at my blog back in February of 2005. The site had a rather plain and simplified look for a few years before I decided it was time for a change. Whereas the old design used tables for layout, the new one does not and is fully standards compliant. It validates as XHTML 1.0 Strict and the look and feel is designed with valid CSS. I utilized a fixed background image and abstract colors and images to really give the site a unique feel.

Bernie's Coldplay Site v3

Recreational

Bernie's Coldplay Site v3 I released v3 of Bernie's Coldplay Site on November 29, 2006. Much of the underlying XHTML remained unchanged, but the design took on a pretty major overhaul. The "toggle" feature, implemented with JavaScript, was reused, but in a new way that made the navigation bar seem a bit more interactive. Features such as "Recently Viewed Photos," "Recently Read News," and "Most Viewed Photos" brought a liveliness to the site that wasn't there in the v2 design. All-in-all, this design is one of the designs I'm most proud of. It is still viewable today.

Bernie's Coldplay Site v2

Recreational

Bernie's Coldplay Site v2 This is probably one of the most complex standards-compliant designs I have implemented. Not only was the site written in valid XHTML, but it featured several skins for users to choose from that immediately changed the look and feel of the website. The user's choice was then remembered on subsequent visits. The CSS used was not completely valid, but that was because I made use of the border-box property that is still only a part of the working CSS3 spec. This allowed me to control the way box elements were positioned on the page, further allowing me to ensure Mozilla and IE users saw the same design despite the differences in their browsers' handling of CSS properties.

Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Page

Recreational

Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Page Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Page was initially created in August of 1996. After its inception, it underwent a redesign roughly every year, until 2002 when the final version was released (showcased here). The final version was created using a little bit of Internet Explorer-only code (that degraded well in other browsers), ColdFusion, and a database backend to allow image and news searching. It its 7 years of existence, Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Page saw over two and a half million visitors.

Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Site (2006)

Recreational

Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Site Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Site, as you might guess, is the result of a resurrection of the old Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Page (covered above). As Jenny's career has been rejuvenated (due to her recent success as an author), I figured it was time to rejuvenate this old fan favorite. In 2006, the site underwent a complete frontend overhaul, consisting of valid XHTML 1.0 markup and CSS, and featured an up-to-date, clean design that was heavily inspired by a former iteration of SimpleBits.com. Its backend was completely overhauled as well. Written in PHP and powered by MySQL, the site is faster, allows for tracking of views and comments of news items, photos and videos, and has extensive searching capabilities.

Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Site (2007)

Recreational

Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Site Bernie's Jenny McCarthy Site was redesigned in May of 2007 in an attempt to bring more color to the site and shed its aforementioned SimpleBits-esque shell. At the same time, the ability to see the photos being viewed by the site's visitors in real time was added, along with a similar feature for news articles. A series of rotating header images were created to keep the site looking lively even upon subsequent page views. Thanks to the beauty of CSS, only a handful of actual markup tweaks were required to put the fit-and-finish on the new design.

Evergreen Spina Bifida Association

Professional

Evergreen Spina Bifida Association The ESBA project was one I did through my company, Trilute. The secretary of the Evergreen Spina Bifida Association contacted me and said that her organization's top priority was to gain a presence on the web and to provide pertinant information to those interested in spina bifida. Not only was the site to be educational, but also a way to catch the attention of potential association members and to gather donations and support.

The finished website contains information on folic acid, pictures of those with the birth defect in every day activities, and a regularly updated Profiles section, which includes stories about people with Spina Bifida. The design was finished in the spring of 2003 and is still being used by the Evergreen Spina Bifida Association.

Interwrx.com

Professional

Interwrx.com In the summer of 2001 I was hired as a web development intern at Interwrx, a major Internet Service Provider in Arizona. Over the course of the summer I met with the president and several members of the management team to develop a redesign of the company website. By August of 2001 my design went live, and with the exception of a few cosmetic changes, is still being used to this day at Interwrx.com.

Pacific Lutheran University CSCE

Professional

Pacific Lutheran University CSCE I worked as Webmaster of the Pacific Lutheran University department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering from January of 2000 to May of 2002. Before graduation I developed a redesign (seen here) that utilized drop-down menus for easy navigation, and an interface similar to the style used at Apple.com. Unfortunately, I graduated before the new design could be launched, but the department's website has come along nicely on its own since then.

Trilute.com

Professional

Trilute In the early summer of 2002, I co-founded Trilute, a company specializing in web and database application development. With the help of fellow founder Mike Ash, I designed the company website showcased here. Trilute focuses primarlily on its music library cataloguing application, the Performance Library Database, or "PLD." Because the PLD's typical user base comes from the educational sector, it was important that the Trilute website degrade well in browsers typical of those types of users (e.g. Netscape Navigator 4.x).

So, to tackle this issue and still find a way to adhere to web standards, browser detection was used to serve Navigator-friendly code to that particular browser and valid XHTML/CSS to more modern web browsers. Thanks to this technique, the site appears almost identical in both Netscape Navigator 4+ and Internet Explorer 5+.