09. February 2016 · Comments Off on Pony Party Place has a New Web Site Design · Categories: Web Site Examples · Tags: , , , ,
cartoon ponyThis was a fun project.  At the beginning of every design or redesign project I ask what's the audience for this web site.  For Pony Party Place the audience is families with young children.  Research showed unanimously that children respond best to cartoon web sites.  This is my first cartoon-style web site and I had a blast with it.  I purchased a stock cartoon pony, but the rest of the cartoon images I either created in Photoshop or got from free clip-art sites.  I also did an on-site photo shoot at one of the parties, which, by the way, looked like one of the best kid birthday parties ever. Pony Party Place
18. November 2014 · Comments Off on Redesigned Web Site for Randy Sabien · Categories: Web Site Examples
A few years ago I designed a web site for violinist Randy Sabien.  It featured his new CD at the time, Rhythm and Bows. Randy Sabien, old web site   With the release of his his next CD, Soul of a Man, Randy wanted to update the Home page. I took some new photos of Randy (you can read about the photo shoot here), changed the layout, and included sample listening tracks. Randy's fishing photos are also on the CD cover and the CD itself.  

Randy Sabien, new web site

The new web site

30. October 2013 · Comments Off on Book Cover Design Project · Categories: Photography, Web Site Examples
Jeff McCord asked me to design the cover for his novel, Undocumented Visitors in a Pirate Sea. Designing the book cover was a lot of fun.  Jeff had definite ideas about what he wanted on the cover:
  • the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy
  • a pirate flag
  • some sort of UFO image
We lucked out because there are two great images in the public domain we could use of the Kennedy and a pirate flag.  I used Photoshop to remove the helicopter from the Kennedy  photo and add a more interesting sky from another photo of mine.  Then I used Illustrator to design the text on the cover.book cover He also wanted me to help him with the submission process for publishing the book on the Amazon Kindle.To publish a book for the Kindle you need to have your book manuscript in HTML format.  Jeff wrote the book in MS Word and sent me the Word document to work with. There's a function in MS Word that converts a Word document into an HTML file, which I tried.  The result was an ugly pile of junk code that sort of worked.  I spent more time cleaning up the code than I would have doing the HTML myself.  Lesson learned: don't use the MS Word convert to HTML function.  The book is available on Amazon:  Undocumented Visitors in a Pirate Sea I also created an author web site: Jeffrey Roswell McCord, Author All content Copyright 2013 Alice Gebura.  All Rights Reserved.
13. May 2013 · Comments Off on A New Web Site for Costume Designer Shadia · Categories: Web Site Examples · Tags:
Shadia Costume Design Web Site

Shadia Costume Design

Shadia is one of the finest belly dance costume designers in the U.S. Her fabulous creations have graced many, many dancers in the United States and even internationally. I've been working with Shadia on a web site to showcase her costume portfolio and promote her costume design and production business. Her personal story is fascinating and you'll enjoy the costume photos on the Portfolio page.  
On March 15, 2012 I attended the Web Site Demolition Derby panel at the South by Southwest Music Festival. On the panel were: The purpose of the panel was to critique musicians' web sites.  Following  are my notes.

Biggest Mistakes

  • Text is too small
  • Auto playing music or other sounds
  • Built in Flash animations – Flash never looks as good as the first time you see it, the novelty wears off, and it doesn’t work on mobile devices
  • Your name or what you do is not immediately clear
  • Audio or video players don’t work
  • People hate you for putting them through extra clicks

Best Advice

  • Keep it simple
  • Build your web site to change frequently – treat your web site as living and breathing
  • Implement a 30 day, or less, news cycle
  • Make it unique – branding and identity are important
  • Reflect who you are
  • If you’re a performer, always provide a date your fans can look forward to
  • Immediately give your visitors something to play or watch
  • Text is just as important as photos
More »
Internet users are more and more sophisticated these days and aren’t granting businesses any slack when the web site is less than professional. The Boston Globe article When Bad Web Sites Happen to Good Restaurants highlights common complaints people make about restaurant web sites. Those complaints apply to all web sites so I've made a checklist. More »