I designed and built my first information system when I was 16, the same year I won several prizes for my artwork. The information system was small, in Hypercard, but was very useful for our small scientific office. The art is hanging in my parent's living room. I built my first website in 1994, back when you could fit a list of all personal web pages on a single webpage, and I designed my first web application in 1996.
My background is eclectic; I majored in Ancient Studies, knitting together a major from multiple discliplines and focusing on the culture of a specific region from the perspective of art, literature, language, religion, pop culture, city planning, archaeology, and history. At the same time, I was building information systems for scientists, evangelizing the web to anyone who would listen, and running the college newspaper.
My master's degree is in information science, which - in my case - was a combination of information theory, user interface classes, and practical skills ranging from database design to networking, and courses dealing with users and information. As a professional user interface designer, I've worked for Fortune 500 companies, in a small startup, on academic contracts, and for the government, and have been highly successful in all of those roles.
Key facts about me:
- I am not a programmer - I complement programmers.
- I specify and design user interface metaphors and themes, information architectures, navigational schemas, screen layouts, user interaction, functional flow, and user experiences.
- I have strong visual, organizational, and verbal skills.
- I have introduced and enforced development and design processes to project teams, business teams, and development groups, working to ensure that we manage requirements gathering and reporting, version control, collaborative work environments, testing, and change control efficiently and effectively.
- I have led creative teams, mentored junior designers, worked with fellow leads to improve our delivery, prioritize schedules and goals, and resolve outstanding issues and problems.
- I have also participated in design partnerships, where a two person team works together to complete a project and share responsibility for the successful completion of the project.
- I have highly adaptable skills. Where necessary, I have gathered and written requirements, mentored junior programmers and designers, done quality assurance and testing, written and created training and marketing materials, done peer reviews, and taught classes on topics ranging from HTML to meeting facilitation. My core skills, however, are in design.
- I have been brought in on multiple projects to rescue and renovate user interfaces, to improve usability, look and feel, and client satisfaction, and to hit project deadlines and goals.
- I have designed applications for Windows, Macintosh (in 1992), and for the web to meet a variety of needs, including subscription-based financial services, interaction with government agencies, B2B tools and extranets, healthcare information centers and marketplaces, project and process management, searching, and community-building.
- I have designed websites, intranets, extranets, and web applications for internet hubs and service providers, hospitals, corporations, scientific partnerships, academic departments and groups, small businesses, and individuals.
- Since 1994, I have maintained a collection of websites at julen.net that have received more than 11 million hits in a year (approximately 250,000 repeat visitors), including the Ancient World Web (shuttered in 2005), the oldest meta-index to sites dealing with the ancient world on the Internet. I was also responsible for Charlottesville On-Line, the index of all sites about Charlottesville, VA from 1994-1997 (when the site was retired). My sites have been covered in articles for USA Today, The New York Times, Archaeology, major and regional newspapers around the world, and on television in the USA, Australia, and Japan.
- My design and/or writing has been studied for classes in Information Design (SFSU), Short Fiction (Texas Community Colleges), Information Science (Michigan, UIUC), Book Arts (twelve-fourteen universities around the world), and Web and Graphic Design
- I have designed, typeset, and printed my own books using both digital and letterpress technologies, and I have won local and regional awards for my artwork.
I have expertise with the following software packages, tools, and operating systems:
- Adobe's Photoshop, Illustrator, ImageReady, Acrobat, and Pagemaker
- Macromedia's Studio products, including Freehand, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver
- Microsoft Office Suite, Visio, and Project
- Corel's Graphics Suite
- Quark Express
- Typographer and FontLab
- Allaire Homesite
- vi, emacs, SimpleText, Wordpad, and other core text editors
- Visual SourceSafe, PVCS, CVS, and other source control tools
- Multiple bug-tracking tools
- Major and minor browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, AOL Explorer, Mozilla, Opera, Lynx, propietary AOL and WebTV browsers, Konquerer, and more)
- Font Management Tools
- Comfortable with Microsoft OSes (including NT and XP), Mac OSes, and Unix