I was hired by Internet Info where I extended their developer team as a graphic designer, web designer and front‑end developer. I was therefore responsible for every visual work in the company such as print and online ads, logo designs or basic illustrations but the main focus laid on web design and front‑end development.
When I started in the company I was mostly creating visual layers on top of wireframes that were designed by a company’s business division focused on online consultation. I was involved in our projects from the very beginning of their creation contributing to improve usability and user experience. My growing interest in those areas helped me develop my role so that I became a web designer of all stages of our projects: initial planning, wireframing, user-flows and visual design.
Unlike print publishing where focus on content has been obvious, online publishing still needed to get there. When I joined the company, our oldest online magazine reached it’s 10th birthday. Although it meant that the publisher had been providing great content for many years and retained a huge user base, our online magazines suffered from archaic web techniques and approaches. Our magazines sites were rather complicated–there were too many features and distractful side content. It was the time when clean and simple pages were considered as something rather wrong, lacking features, there was a tendency that every site had to look “portal” like. I invested lot of energy and effort into making our magazines simpler and focused on our users/readers. Content was put in the first place, feature bloat was eliminated, layouts were much simplified and readability was greatly improved. I definitely contributed to the company’s shift towards more design-thinking and new features and projects were much better considered and development became more focused.
For our small dev team to be able to maintain our range of project, efficiency in terms of reusable code and assets was a key to meet company’s plans and to reduce maintenance costs. From my front‑end perspective it meant that HTML code, CSS and image assets for components and pages were shared across projects from one source where possible. Code was managed via Mercurial versioning system.