Ray Tomlin Designs
A site set up for a crafter and jewlery maker in Columbus, Ohio, the main purpose of this site was something simple that would let the client update his wares easily. Working within the client’s specifications, I created a design that reflected the portfolio nature and allowed for easy updating through the creation of custom boxes.
Ray is a technical person, but didn’t want to muck about with code each time he needed to update something. We started with WordPress as a base for the site and I built custom updating structures to make it easy for him to integrate information from his various categories.
- Interactive Menu Elements
- Simple Image Slider on Front Page
- Multiple Categories Allowed per Item
- Custom Coding To Allow Easy Sales Information
- Custom Scrollbars When Content Overflows Boundaries
- Custom Coding to Allow Integration Of Shapeways Storefront
- WordPress Framework
Moving Between CategoriesRay created many works that sat in many categories and often criss-crossed. A piece of jewelry may also be a 3D item. We created a custom display structure within the wordpress framework that let individual pieces be displayed on different pages while still retaining the emphasis on the pieces themselves. Ray didn’t want it to feel like a store, so we avoided some of the easier solutions in favor of the one that met Ray’s design desires.
Design Trumped AllThis was a portfolio site for Ray primarily, so it required a look that matched his ideas. Using photographs of his works, I created backgrounds and image buttons to create a look that matched Ray’s design ideas and aesthetic. The grey slate background was a nod to the fact that Ray works with slate for many projects.
To add some styling, we used one of his 3d designs as an opaque background element when you hover over the buttons, making a dynamic effect and interesting navigation.
Easy To Work With Behind The Scenes
Easy To UpdateWordpress has a standard way to handle and create content easily, but Ray needed more. We created custom coding to integrate many elements and provide him the ability to click a few buttons and upload a few images to make a new portfolio piece easily. This required redoing the wordpress backend with plugins and custom coding.
Sales CodingRay sold items through Paypal and also needed to integrate shapeways sales information. We created a way for him to take the generated sales code and integrate it in a standard way. From his end, all he had to do was export the code and drop it in a field on the page. End of story. The information got parsed and displayed in a standard way from there.
DocumentationAll this special coding was great, but we wanted to make sure Ray had no issues. We created documentation and tutorial videos showing Ray how to use the features of his website. He was always welcome to come back with questions, but he had a simple and easy to understand set of tutorials he could refer to when he needed.
Challenges And Rewards
Though there were some technical challenges in creating the sort of site that Ray wanted, it was rewarding to be able to break through them and create a site that the client was happy with. This was one of my earlier projects when I started on my freelancing path, but it provided a lot of great experience.