Work update

May 22nd, 2008

I just realised it's been a really long time since I updated the "portfolio section(Work | Benjamin Tollady Design | Freelance Web Designer & Usability Consultant | Melbourne)":/work/ of this site. Not without good reason though, and it's not because I've been slacking off and enjoying the Melbourne sunshine (the chance would be a fine thing). It's because most of the projects I've worked on of late have either been internal web applications (so not available for public consumption) or have not gone live yet. As such I don't want to publish anything visual just at the minute, partly because I'm not really allowed to in some cases but also because I don't want to spoil the launches for my clients.

That said, I'm enormously proud of some of the things I've been working on of late so I wanted to share some of the more notable pieces to give some insight on what I've been up to:

h3. Information architecture and usability consulting for Computershare

It's been a while, but late last year I worked with "Next Digital(Next Digital | Web design and development, Melbourne)":http://www.nextdigital.com.au/ providing information architecture and web usability consulting services to help them develop a unique online application that "Computershare(Computershare)":http://www-au.computershare.com/ could offer to their clients. Whilst I can't divulge exactly what the app does, it contains features not too dissimilar to those on the recently released "BBC website(British Broadcasting Corporation, UK)":http://www.bbc.co.uk/. The application provides a fully customisable, easy-to-use interface with many more features than those offered within their existing tool.

Needless to say I really enjoyed working on this one. Developing an online application has it's challenges, especially concerning usability when 'ajax' functionality is involved. I'm really happy with the solution we delivered though, and so is the client. You can't say fairer than that!

h3. XHTML/CSS template builds for the Video Hits website

In the first few months of this year I was fortunate enough to work with "Bullseye(Bullseye | Web design and development, Melbourne)":http://www.bullseye.com.au/ developing the templates that make up the new "Video Hits website(Video Hits)":http://www.videohits.com.au/ for "Channel Ten(Channel Ten)":http://www.ten.com.au/.

In addition to current web standards compliance and good accessibility, the code I produced had to conform to a unique series of templates developed by the guys at Bullseye which support the full suite of Channel Ten's web properties. Whilst this posed it's own small set of additional challenges, it will definitely prove worthwhile, making future modifications much easier.

As far as I understand, the design for the site was done in-house at Channel Ten.

h3. VicRoads homepage refresh

Also for "Bullseye(Bullseye | Web design and development, Melbourne)":http://www.bullseye.com.au/, and working alongside the talented mr "Andrew Gunstone(Sassafras Consulting | Web design and development, Melbourne)":http://www.sassafrasconsulting.com.au/, I developed a new home page design for "VicRoads(VicRoads)":http://www.vicroads.com.au/. The solution has yet to go live and is only intended as an interim solution, bridging the gap until a complete overhaul of the VicRoads site is conducted some time soon.

Poor performance in meeting the objectives of both site users and certain business objectives, coupled with a recent re-branding exercise prompted the redesign. The challenge was in generating substantial improvement without altering the information architecture and making only subtle changes to the content and layout.

The solution was a new page layout with content positioned according to priority, formulated through careful consideration of the user and business objectives, detailed research into site usage statistics and reviews of past usability studies.

I'm pretty happy with the new design and layout. I can't wait to see how it performs compared with the existing page. I'll keep you posted...

h3. Various work for the new Whereis website

Since late last year I have been involved with "Sensis(Sensis)":http://www.sensis.com.au/, working on a series of projects to support the new "Whereis(Whereis)":http://www.whereis.com.au/ which is due to launch within the next few months.

Providing mainly CSS/XHTML and flash development work I developed the pages that will go to make up the products (whereis.com/products/) and help (whereis.com/help/) sections of the site with, as always, particular consideration for web standards, accessibility and usability. The design of each of these sections was produced in-house.

Update - 03/04/2008 - "The products section has now gone live in beta":http://beta.whereis.com.au/products/index.html

Further to these complete sections I also produced a small number of flash elements to aid with usability across the site, including the new advertising panel to feature within their maps and a fully-functioning flash video player to deliver 'new features' screen casts, which I also produced.

h3. ...and a couple of wedding websites

"Ours(Amanda and Ben)":http://www.benandamanda.net/ and "Lisa and JP's(Lisa and JP)":http://www.lisaandjohnpaul.com/