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Greg Answer

greganswer.com sample photo
Summary

I initially created this site to showcase my skills, provide links to my various social media accounts, and provide additional information about me. After receiving advice from a friend, I decided to make this site specifically to help potential employers discover why I’m an excellent candidate for a position as a web developer.

Last updated: June 14, 2017

Planning

Skills used:
Agile
UX design
Purpose The purpose of this site is to demonstrate my exceptional web development skills and entice potential employers to hire me. 
Goals
  1. Attract 20 visitors/day
  2. Receive 5 site driven emails/week
Actions
  1. Publish 1 blog post/month
  2. Attend 1 meetup/week
  3. Distribute 10 business cards/week

User Personas

NOTE: The following User Personas are based on interviews that were done in an informal matter. To protect the identity of the individuals, stock images were used to represent them.

Image of Rachel the Recruiter I need someone who fulfills my client's requirements
Rachel the Recruiter

I like candidates who can:
  • Market themselves
  • Interview well
  • Request a high salary
Image of Sean the Senior Dev I can't stand people who think they know everything
Sean the Senior Dev

I work with people who can:
  • Work in a team
  • Write clean code
  • Deliver on time
  • Ask good questions
Image of Chris the CTO Our success depends on building a strong team
Chris the CTO

I hire people who are:
  • Time sensitive
  • Customer oriented
  • Fast and flexible
Competition Not only did I look at portfolios of people that I know, I did extensive Google searching for Web Developer and Web Designer portfolios as well as "How to" articles. I did a subjective evaluation of all the portfolios' and articles' strengths and weaknesses, then implemented what I felt works for my situation.
Scope
  • Home page
    • Hero image
    • Brief about me section
    • List of projects
    • List of skills
    • Call-to-Action
  • Projects
    • Quiz Notes Case Study
    • Issue Tracker App Case Study
    • Greg Answer Case Study
  • About page
    • My story
    • My interests
  • Contact page
    • Short message
    • Contact form
Timeline Ongoing. This is my most important online representation and I will not put a timeline on it. I will continuously seek feedback from various people inside and outside the industry.

Designing

Skills used:
UI sketching
Mobile design
Responsive design
Materialize CSS

The initial design was focused on speed of delivery. "Get this done in 24 hours" was the design focus. I decided to use the Ruby on Rails web framework and Materialize CSS framework for the following reasons:

  • I excel with these tools
  • They give me the flexibility to modify sections of the site as needed
  • I want to focus on delivering a final product as quickly as possible

Information Architecture
Sitemap
Database Architecture At the moment, no database is required. I may consider adding a Blog model, but most likely I will just host my blog on my Medium account.
Content Creation
  • Home page
    • A short summary of why I should be hired
  • About page
    • My story - A brief "About me" section
    • My interests - This section will help to show my diversity and uniqueness
  • Projects (Case Studies)
    • Qwiz Notes
    • Issue Tracker App
    • Greg Answer

Developing

Skills used:
Ruby on Rails
CoffeeScript
HAML & SASS
HTML5 & CSS3
GitHub

Behavior Driven Development (BDD)

I decided not to use behavior driven development for most of this process for 2 reasons:

  1. Other than the contact form, there is no complex part of the site that I'm worried about breaking
  2. I have no intention of working with a team for my personal site.

The limited testing I did:

  1. Basic link testing (header links, side nav links, footer links)
  2. Contact form testing

Review

The Review process involves the following steps:

  1.   Spell-checking
  2.   Browser/device testing
  3.   Push to staging server
  4.   Link testing
  5.   Form testing
  6.   User feedback

Changes Made

You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.
— Randy Pausch

It is great to have a plan, but it doesn't always go according to plan. Here are some of the change I made throughout the process:

  1. Removed brief "About Me" section from homepage in favor of giving more emphasis to projects
  2. Simplified list of skills into 3 phases of development
  3. Omit additional skills (I may add a "Skills" page that has a searchable list of all my skills
  4. Reduced the number of visible social networks. Focus on what employers would be looking for

Lessons Learned

Ultimately there is no such thing as failure. There are lessons learned in different ways.
— Twyla Tharp

  1. Determine your target audience no matter how small the project.
  2. Always research your direct and indirect competition (Web Developers and UX Designers)
  3. The full UX process should be applied to projects of all sizes
  4. Omit needless links. Try to use only 3-5 links per section
  5. Omit needless words. Try to cut sentences/paragraphs in half while retaining important information