Hello, I'm Catherine, I live in Hackney, East London. I design and build websites for individuals, small companies and charities.
It all began with a 'Design for the Web' course at Tower Hamlets College in East London, which was invaluable in developing my web design skills. During the course I learned about the fundamental issues of the World Wide Web, usability and accessiblity, and design principles. I also learned how to hand code websites using Web Standards.
I enjoy the creative aspect of web design and I have good visual skills. I aim to develop well proportioned designs with attractive colour schemes and fonts, relevant to the theme of the site. Web design requires close attention to detail, but also good logical thinking, and knowledge of site navigation principles and norms. It's essential to keep a good balance between designing a site that is original and unique, and a site that is easy for the user to navigate. The user should enjoy the website, but still be able find the infomation they are looking for.
Writing and language skills
I have an academic as well as an IT background, and am well practised at writing. I'm also a perfectionist when it comes to having correct spelling and grammar. Copy writing for the web is best kept short and to the point, and also needs to be optimised for good search engine results.
I speak fluent French and have a good knowledge of Spanish, and I have experience working on multi-language websites. I have an Institute of Linguists diploma in French to English translation, and can translate content from French to English if required.
Web coding skills
I have learned to hand code websites using html and css, which I find both fun and challenging. It also makes it easy for me to intergrate features from social media into a website. I can also adapt open source code such as Wordpress to create and develop unique websites which incorporate a content management system or a blogging platform. I can also for example develop websites with a forum or a shopping cart, using open source code or licensed code. Being a 'web standards' developer, I always choose web standards platforms to work from.
People are what matter
Web design has everything to do with communication and people skills, and I find this is one of the most rewarding aspects of the work. It's imperative to take the time to assess and understand the client's objectives and vision, and to explain the options clearly. The right approach and response can make a world of difference in progressing towards a good outcome for the client and for end users of the website.
And in my spare time..
Of course I do like to get away from the screen from time to time.. I love the outdoors and long walks and cycles, and I'm passionate about music and dance.
Well that's enough about me, why not get in touch and we can talk about your web project. I would be interested to hear about it, and I'm aways happy to advise :-)