Website creative consulting

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Overview

Since 2005, in addition to my design, writing and creative consulting work (details), I’ve also been engaged by numerous clients for website-focused work, particularly in three areas:

  • To analyze their existing websites, and make recommendations for improvements.
  • To implement recommended improvements, as my technical skills permit. (I am a primarily a designer & writer, not a coding expert, so some of what I design must be subcontracted to specialists.)
  • To consult on and develop new websites, using WordPress templates.

To learn more or request a free initial consultation or quote, email me or call me at 434-825-8428.


Contents

My overall design approach >

Factors that distinguish me from other website consultants and analysts >

My website review service >

The creative website media services I offer >

Portfolio of some of my website work >


My overall design approach

OHNCScreenNew

An example of a recommendation for a complete front page makeover for a pioneering medical services firm; details here.

As in other aspects of my work, my approach website content is characterized by:

  • Bright, clean layouts with conservative typography for major content items.
  • Well-segmented visual and copy elements, with sufficient white space between them.
  • Converting complex subject matter into clear, concise visual and text explanations.
  • Generous use of bullet points, to break content down into “bite-sized pieces.”

Factors that distinguish me from other website consultants and analysts

In addition to being a professional graphic designer with experience in user interfaces, I have several key distinguishing characteristics that benefit my clients:

  • Top-level guest service training: I was an acclaimed employee of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, renowned for its unparalleled customer service, and developed training tools that were implemented chain-wide.  My work also involved constantly scanning environments for problems, and identifying opportunities to enhance the customer experience – skills that are directly applicable to the website analysis process.
  • Grasp of average person’s literacy limitations: I have a deep appreciation of the often-significant literacy limitations of the average American today, as evidenced by sections 3 & 4 of this comprehensive research report I produced (which discusses Americans’ civic, historic and functional literacy).  For example, 50% of Americans cannot read above the 8th-grade level, and even many college students have difficulty with “complex but common literacy tasks,” such as understanding the main point of a newspaper editorial.
  • Empathy: I am extremely empathetic, and am often able to project myself into the mind, lifestyle and literacy limitations of one’s target audience member.

My website review service

mag-glassFor those who suspect that their website design, content and/or information architecture could use improvement, I offer the following services:

  • An overall review of the site, from a user-experience perspective. 
    • Is the first impression of the site a positive one?
    • Is there a unified, dominant message – and is it clearly articulated?
    • Does the site design respect the visitor, and his/her time – or does it make them work to figure out what you do, why you are better than your competitors (or, in the activism realm, your antagonists), etc.?
  • An analysis of the site’s structure, content and navigation.
    • Is your content logically organized?
    • Are there grammatical or typographical errors?
    • Do the links all work properly?
  • A review of how the site compares to that of your competitors (or antagonists).  This is often not a matter of how much money was invested in competing sites, but rather, how much attention was paid to creating, attractively packaging and efficiently delivering a compelling message.
  • Recommendations for improvements and new features. 

Deliverables: Whatever range of services you request, my work will be provided to you in a written report (PDF) with links, as needed.


The creative website media services I offer

I have the capacity to implement many or all of the recommendations for improvement that I may submit, as part of my website review service, including:

  • SparkPubMedia

    An example of a website banner I consulted on and designed, for a publishing firm; details here.

    Copy writing & editing.

  • Graphic design (for banners, key visual elements, and infographics).
  • Front page design/redesign (mostly conceptual).
  • WordPress template research and recommendations.
  • If needed, a complete “blueprint” of approved, raw media elements (copy and graphics), that a programmer can then stitch together, under my or the client’s direction.

Portfolio of some of my website work

This portfolio presents snapshot summaries of some of my website consulting work and client testimonials, most of which was performed as an extension of other work I was doing for them.  At the bottom of each summary is a link to detailed project documentation.

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U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger

eagleburger_1913353bBackground: From 2010-2011, I was a part-time, intermittent consultant to Sec. Eagleburger, in the context of helping him to learn about personal blogging, and to develop his first blogsite. Unfortunately, our time ran out when he passed away in June 2011.

The Challenge: To develop the title and content architecture for his blog, using a simple WordPress theme, until we were ready to implement it via a fully-functional or custom-designed theme.

Eagleburger - antisemitism articleThe Result: We created the infrastructure of the blog, but Sec. Eagleburger passed just before we were about to finalize his first article, discussing the Israel-Palestinian conflict.  The design of the site was nowhere near where we planned to take it, but we were building it from the inside out, step-by-step, focusing on the function first.

See the complete project profile here.

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Ocean Hyperbaric-Neurologic Center

Background: The OHNC used hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to help victims of severe neurological trauma, especially children.  Unfortunately, the OHNC’s Medical Director, who was very much a “non-techie” (he’d literally never been on a website), was receiving reports from external colleagues that his website had serious problems.

The Challenge: I was retained by the OHNC to (among other things) conduct a top-to-bottom analysis of its website, report my findings to the Medical Director, and make recommendations for improvement.  Ultimately, it was found that the site was in such terrible shape that I was tasked with rewriting all the copy, establishing new content architecture, designing a new interface, etc.

The Result: The OHNC’s Medical Director was thrilled:

“Jon’s work… required that he research, analyze, deconstruct, then reconstruct OHNC’s existing media, and consult on overall strategies […] Jon has performed exceptionally well, and the results became apparent soon after our affiliation began. Our business has increased significantly, and we are much better organized. […] OHNC has received compliments from all over the world regarding the media that Jon reconstructed (particularly our videos and website).”
Richard A. Neubauer, MD, Medical Director

See complete project profile here.

Update: Dr. Neubauer passed away in 2007.  In 2011 the OHNC endured a devastating fire which resulted in the deaths of two patients.  The current site (as of January 2014) was created by an unknown party.

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Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice

LapOfLove - New websiteBackground: Lap of Love is a national network of hospice veterinarians who provide both in-home and phone support for geriatric companion animals, and end-of-life support.

The Challenge: Due to the reasons described in my book, I was in a difficult financial situation and was conducting online fundraisers to help pay for my dog Shayna’s medical expenses.  I learned about Lap of Love, and wished to utilize their service, but also detected some serious weaknesses in their website.  I proposed, and Lap of Love agreed to a barter of services, in which I would receive phone consultations from one its founders, Dr. Dani McVety, in exchange for my developing a comprehensive report that would contain my observations from reviewing its website, and recommendations for improvement.

The Result: Dr. McVety was thrilled:

“Jon’s candid thoughts about our site and suggested improvements were very helpful as we updated our content.  He was very responsive, helpful, and appropriately targeted with all his suggestions.”
Dani McVety, DVM

See complete project profile here.

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American-Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD)

Background: After the 9/11 attacks, the founders of the AIFD – America-loving Muslim professionals in Phoenix, AZ – became determined to help expose and defeat the radical Islamist ideology that (a) presents such a grave threat to American liberty and national security, yet (b) is being propagated by thinly-disguised front groups, on U.S. soil.  They created the AIFD to challenge the purveyors and enablers of Islamism, on a theological and ideological basis.

The Challenge: The AIFD’s president, Zuhdi Jasser, MD retained me to recreate major elements of its outreach media, including its logo, website copy and layout, etc., outreach media, and more.

AIFDWebScreen2The Result: My work was deemed highly successful by the AIFD:

“Jon has provided a vast array of services and input which have been essential to the success of the AIFD [… His] combination of marketing, graphic design, writing, editing and research abilities and knowledge, along with his deep understanding of the ideas of liberty and security, upon which the AIFD is focused, made his contributions not only superb, but unique. […] We found his input on our (existing) website, logo, and the body of other visual and written media we have developed and employ, to be uniquely on-point, and well thought-out.”
Zuhdi Jasser, MD, Founder & President

See before-and-after webscreens here, and complete project profile here.

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Freestar Media: The “Lost Liberty Hotel”

Background: In June 2005, by a 5-4 margin, the U.S. Supreme Court established a “new interpretation” of “eminent domain.”  It ruled in Kelo v. City of New London that a city has the right under eminent domain to seize private property, and transfer it to another private party, if the latter’s use would provide greater tax revenue or economic benefits to the community “as a whole.”

The Challenge: I was asked to take a fellow advocate of liberty’s raw idea – to see if this “new interpretation” also applied to the property owned by the Supreme Court justices who voted for it – and turn it into finished media, from press releases to a logo and beyond, that would get attention.  Part of my work was also to make recommendations for improvements to its web front page.

The Result: My work for Freestar Media was deemed a major success. Unfortunately, its fundraising goals were not met, and this prevented it from being able to implement my website improvement recommendations.

“The pro-liberty movement is fortunate to have Jon Sutz among its ranks.  […] [His] creativity, passion and strong work ethic were vital assets to us, and any serious liberty-oriented organization would benefit by enlisting him in its development and outreach efforts.”
Logan Clements, CEO, Freestar Media

See before-and-after webscreens here, and complete project profile here.

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Shayna The Miracle Dog

STMD screencap front pageBackground: In 2007, I began working on my first book – an inspirational memoir that discusses how a “miracle dog” came into my life shortly after 9/11, and went on to help save me from the emotional turmoil I was experiencing after that tragic day.

The challenge: To create a website to archive all the photographs, videos and other items that would be instrumental in telling this story, and act as a platform upon which to promote the book, which I entitled “Saved By Shayna: Life Lessons From A Miracle Dog,” released in December 2013 at Amazon.com.

The result: Using a WordPress template, I created ShaynaTheMiracleDog.com.

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To learn more or request a free initial consultation or quote, email me or call me at 434-825-8428.

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