about

me wearing a black t-shirt on a dark night

Hello, my name is Joel. I am a freelance web developer, UX/UI designer & technical author based in sunny Somerset. I have worked in the “noo-meedja” industry since 1999, starting off as a digital producer for a scientific publishing house in London. Along the way I’ve worked for various agencies as a permanent member of staff or a contractor in dev teams, as a designer and occasionally in management.

Over the years I’ve worked on tons of projects and created a considerable amount of digital “stuff”, from Flash-powered PDA apps, kiosk interfaces, vast CMS sites using a variety of technologies (including Cold Fusion!), built hand-held scanning devices, written user manuals, training guides and have come round to web development, UX, and technical authoring.

These days, I tend to work on interface planning and design (not graphic design!), usability, and front-end programming. I also occasionally provide a consultancy service to companies who want to know more about the web and what it can do for them.

I sometimes use WordPress where appropriate to build custom sites from scratch (not using off-the-shelf themes!), and a reasonable amount of my output to private clients is built using WP as an application/CMS framework (yes, it really is that versatile and powerful). It’s quick to work with, open source (and thus often a cheaper option for smaller companies), well supported and fills a wide niche in the market.

Before I work for someone, I tend to get asked a lot of questions, which I’ll try and answer in my “freelancers faq” below, but please get in touch if you want to know anything else – I am permanently wired into email so will probably get back to you fairly swiftly.

Where do you work?

I am based in Frome in Somerset and have a lovely office in a beautiful old school with an amazing view. I often work in clients’ offices, for example; Bradford on Avon, Bath, Bristol and occasionally in places that don’t begin with “b” like London, Guildford, Oxford, Newport or Southampton so travelling to you with my laptop is not a problem (bike parking and a spare monitor is always a bonus though!). However, I’m very happy working in my office if that’s how you prefer it – I have lots of bandwidth, a coffee machine and various computers which make testing a whole lot easier.

How much do you charge?

In short, it depends, so best ask me really. If you’re an agency, I tend to charge a daily or weekly rate and it’s a lot less if I’m working from my own office plus I give discounts for bulk-booked time. If you’re a potential client, then I can give you a quote for a whole job, whether it be technical authoring or building you a fully-dynamic website or whatever.

What is it you do exactly?

This is best answered by going to the services page, where you can find a breakdown of what I can help out with. Most work is either building dynamic, responsive websites or UX design/planning, with the occasional bit of technical authoring.

So this “UX” lark, isn’t everyone saying that these days?

Sadly yes, a bit, in the same way that “social media guru” was hot a few years back.  But really, I have actually genuinely been researching, speccing, planning, designing, wireframing, structuring, prototyping, building, testing, tweaking, breaking, rebuilding and releasing user interfaces into the wild for well over ten years.

Anyway, I’ve built some cool stuff over the years, like a Flash-based interface to run on PDAs in about 2001 (UX irony there, kids!), an interface for an events management tool for BT, touchscreen kiosk pushy-clicky things that printed out barcodes (sod your QR codes, we used Aztecs and Data Matrix back in the day), WAP portals for mobiles using card-based WML interfaces (you betcha!), firmware for handheld scanning devices and that’s before I’ve even started on the mountain of other web-based stuff.

Anyway, if you want to reminisce about the bad ol’ days, or even hire me, then scramble up the nearest hill and waft over some smoke signals.

I’ve managed to actually read all this, but there’s something else I want to ask, is that OK?

Of course, click this link to go to the contact page!