We call her “Doc”, not just because her initials are M.D., but because she can improve the health of an ailing website with a few clicks of a mouse, or at least she makes it look that easy. Melissa made her first website in 2000, and says she’s addicted to design and being connected, and she should know. She has academic credentials not only in web design, but also in social work, psychology and education.
Melissa is our go-to source of information on SEO, UX/UI, and all things web. She loves the creative problem solving process and says her favorite-all-time project changes with every website launch. And she has a great dog that acts pretty much like a human. Do you think she programmed him?
Just a few of her skills…
Q&A with Melissa
I’ve been making websites for many years now. I’d like to think I ask the right questions up front to make sure the client gets what they want and need by the time the website is launched. By following this strategy, web projects are more likely to meet the client’s vision and get done on time, and on budget.
A new website can be laid out and launched in as little as one day. Of course, something like that would mostly likely be a one page website with limited information. But I’ve done it.
Larger websites with hundreds of pages and more complex functionalities, such as eCommerce can take several weeks or even months to be finalized. Not only does content need to get added, but also lots of testing is required with several payment gateways, browsers and devices that access the website.
What are the most important skills a web designer should have?
- Visual design and UX understanding. You have to like to design and understand it. You have a reasoning for your design strategy – which is related to the UX or “user experience” on a website. You’ll place certain elements on web pages, like testimonials, not just for aesthetics or filler, but for a purpose, to instill trust for your visitors.
- SEO and Google Analytics knowledge. Search engine optimization goes hand in hand with UX mentioned earlier. Where UX focuses on the human visitor, SEO focuses on the spiders like Google that are crawling the information on your website. Google’s intent is to list out the most useful content when people are asking questions.
- Communication & customer service skills. Fifty percent of doing any job well is good communication skills paired with customer driven focus. If you have the skills mentioned in 1-3 above, and can pair it with taking care of your customers/clients, you’ll be successful.
DIY and design – not just website design, but all aspects of design. I love the idea of up-cycling random things into something totally different.