The Verdi Group has a new web designer–Amanda! We decided it’s only appropriate to do a Q & A for you (and us!) to get to know her better–plus, get a sneak peek on her coding and web design insights.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background? (College, past jobs, etc.)
I graduated from Alfred University in 2014 with a BFA in Art & Design. I have worked in many different fields–I was a photographer for the university, shooting football games and performances. I also served for the newspaper, The Fiat Lux. Later I got a job working for a local newspaper called The Chautauquan Daily as a layout editor and created 7-10 pages per day. I was also a web designer for CGI and created 3-4 websites a week in WordPress and straight HTML code. I currently do work on the side for The Fathers House, consulting for their website and photography for social media and marketing.
What sparked your love for coding and designing websites?
I loved how interactive it was. I have a background in print design, and while that will always be my first love, I enjoy how things move, change, and respond to the viewer.
Can you tell me about some successful moments you’ve had in your career thus far?
When I co-created a template on WordPress for my previous job, we had a problem where we were overloaded with small edits that the client was capable of making. We needed to create different pages that took advantage of what WordPress does best, blogs. To fix this we made pages that looked like our staff and service pages so that it was easy for clients to update the site themselves.
In your opinion, what is most important when building a website?
Giving users something that catches the eye and draws them in. The best sites are only great if you can get your clients to interact with you and stay on your site. Whether this means calling, emailing, making an appointment, buying something on your site, or just filling out a contact form–your site needs to have easy paths for your clients to communicate with you.
What do you think differentiates one website from the next?
How much the user has taken into consideration when accessing your sites is huge. Is it responsive? Is it easy to find things? Ask yourself: Did you hide your events far down on your page so that you have to scroll forever, or are there easy links so that you can find what you need without searching? Is there a clear hierarchy to the page, or is everything treated the same? When the designer clearly thought about how the user will experience your site, those are the ones that stand out.
What are the biggest challenges web designers are facing these days? Any ideas on what’s in store for the future of web design?
The biggest challenges web designers face is getting too comfortable with programs and techniques. When something works, it’s hard to change up what you’re doing. However, I think change can bring about the best ideas. I mean, if everyone was content with their Blackberry cell phones, no one would have developed the iPhone.
As for the future of web design, I think that it’s going to be more mobile focused. Some think that more people are accessing the internet by phones or tablets rather than desktops–this is important not just for traffic reasons, but because Google favors those who have a responsive website. This means that if you don’t update and make your site responsive, you can get pushed down on Google results.
What is your favorite part of coding?
Coding is agile and ever-changing. For some, it can get tiresome how things are never the same, but I love that there’s always something new to learn, because you can constantly build on what is there to make something new.
What is your favorite part of designing?
I like that it tells a story. When a person can relate to a design and feel something–there’s something beautiful in that.
What are you looking forward to most in your new position at The Verdi Group?
I am looking forward to creating new things for our clients–and with the shift toward mobile, I look forward to making the design and code mobile responsive.
Finally, Bob is dying to know… do you like wine and cheese?
Yes, I love wine and cheese! My senior thesis was actually on wine! I am a fan of sweet, white wines–Rieslings and Moscatos being my favorite.