I was the lead web developer on this 18-month redesign project.
Erickson Living manage 16 premium retirement communities around the United States. I joined the company in January 2011, and in April we began a wholesale redesign of the Erickson website. It launched in April 2012, and was further refreshed in July the same year, and again in September.
- I created initial concepts for the site design, along with the other three team members.
- I collaborated on the information architecture (IA) development with the Web Director.
- I participated in the user experience (UX) testing of the prototype site.
- There were multiple rounds of design and redesign, and I was involved at all times.
- I Identified mobile users as a prime area of focus, despite resistance from management. In April 2011, ~4% of our users were using mobile browsers. As of September 2013, that number was ~21%. I ensured we did not remain focused on the desktop at the expense of other users.
- I collaborated with other designers on the sections of the site they had responsibility for.
As lead developer I built the first version of the site, which contained our corporate pages and a complete working version of the pages for one of the sixteen communities.
- Having identified HTML5 and CSS3 as our development choice, I evaluated various frameworks and chose 320up to build the site upon.
- I then chose and defined the breakpoints for the site's media queries and created designs for mobile, tablets and large screens to complement the approved, regular desktop sized design.
- I built initial HTML5 code templates used on over 90% of pages in the site.
- I created the initial site CSS, which was used in ~90% of the site's pages.
- I introduced the other three designers and the Web Director to coding in HTML 5.
- I also mentored the designers in jQuery
- I Introduced CSS3 and advanced selectors, etc. to the designers and Web Director.
- I gave the designers primers and continued guidance in the principles of mobile-first design and coding.
- I also encouraged the designers to move to in-browser design as soon as possible, rather than endlessly tweak Photoshop comps.
Although the site as launched was fully responsive, I felt it had not been as succesful as it could be and set about refreshing the iPad size layout and the phone layout. Mainly this improved the usability of the navigation on the phone and made the layout much cleaner on tablet sized displays.
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