Resume redesign and website renovation for 2015

Resume redesign and website renovation for 2015

Between my involvement in ONA, my recent speaking engagements and my day job, I’ve been expressing many opinions about best practices for online media. It was time that my website and resume reflect my latest ideas.

I held on to the old versions for so long because I was proud of coding the template for my old layout from the ground up. I spent weeks on the project, learning about HTML, CSS and WordPress’ PHP.

But that was many, many versions of WordPress ago.

While this is a portfolio website, I’ve always believed that it should fit my ideas about the best practices in the digital news industry. In that sense, this page is my proving ground.

So while I did not do any significant coding on this new template, it was not selected lightly.

The freeware template is called Surfarama. It is a responsive design that focuses heavily on imagery and offers many, many options for customization.

Responsive design and powerful images are simply a requirement in the current online media world, but would have been difficult for me to write from the ground up. It was more important that I focus on the organization of content within the site.

Toward that end, I’ve cleaned up many of the old, cluttered categories of content and color-coded those that remain. It’s a page out of the USA Today/Gannet playbook, but a good organizing principle.

I’ve also cleaned up the navigation menu, since simple menus are much more important when a user’s screen may be as large as 50 inches or as small as 3. Additionally, Surfarama’s category tab option on each post makes it easy for a visitor to continue to read within a category of their choosing without using the nav menu at all. This is integrated navigation, a principle that drastically increases the number of paths for a user on a page and keeps options available, so readers never have to pause or leave.

2015 resumeAfter the site was implemented to something near completion, it was time to work on the resume. The new document had to clean up the blocky, crisscross structure of the old resume and incorporate a burst of color to match the new site’s palette.

The new document also had to express my continued growth into multimedia digital storytelling. That is why the employment history has become a timeline, and the skills section became a series of infographics. Within each category, I’ve ranked key skills from most important to least as they apply to my daily work and tried to use the bar graphs to fairly express my level of expertise.