Hi!

And this is what I do:

  • Website Design
  • User Interface (UI) Design
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Copywriting

Click the button to reach me.

Where I've worked

I have been designing and building websites for over 20 years. My clients have ranged from small local businesses to large-scale international organizations.   

The following are a few highlights:

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Akamai Websites

Owner @ Honolulu, Hawaii (2013~2017)

Provided design (web, logo, graphics, print and UI), marketing (content, email, social, video) and consulting (online business, e-commerce, marketing) services for a wide range of clients and businesses.

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Active Network

Visual Designer @ Xi'an, China (2011~2012)

Designed user interfaces for web and mobile applications across various departments of this outdoor and recreation focused software company.

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Alive Not Dead

Senior Designer @ Hong Kong (2007~2008)

Designed and coded profile pages for artists on this Hong Kong-based social networking site for artists.

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Edko Films

Senior Web Producer @ Shanghai, China (2005~2006)

Oversaw design and development of the Hong Kong market website for the film, Fearless (霍元甲), including online marketing efforts in four countries.

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Jet Li (李连杰)

Webmaster / Assistant @ USA & China (1998~2008)

Served as the webmaster of the Official Jet Li Website for over 10 years including , and served as his 2nd assistant with personal and professional duties.

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Rotten Tomatoes

Critics & Community Manager @ Emeryville, CA (2000~2005)

A member of the team that helped build this popular movie website, I was the liaison for critics and moderated a forum of over 10,000 active users.

Design Reactor

Senior Producer @ Berkeley, CA (1998~2000)

Designed and produced websites for clients in the entertainment industry, such as Disney Channel, Warner Brothers and RKO Pictures.

Clients and Projects

Through my own freelance and contract work, I have been fortunate to design websites, graphics, print documents, logos and marketing materials for a wide range of clients.  Here are a few of the projects I've helped with:

Disney Channel Logo
Fluent in 3 Months Logo
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Entrepreneur on Fire Logo 2
RKO PIctures Logo
Mona Foundation Logo
House Flipping HQ Logo
African Consensus Logo
Hawaii Wushu Center
Warner Brothers Pictures Logo
Immerse App - Featured Image
Fearless - Featured Image

Workflow

When approaching a design project I often find myself using proven tools and methodologies over and over.  Here is my current preferred design workflow and the software I love using.

Project Management

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Before a project even begins, there are a few tools that I use to make sure I can work with the team and keep things running smoothly.

For team communication Slack is a great way to consult and share quick information.  If you are comfortable with Agile methodology, then Trello is a great free solution to help move designs and projects along.  

I also enjoy using Asana for project management since it provides a great way to document processes and procedures.

The last (but not least) piece of the puzzle is utilizing Google Docs and Sheets for both the documentation and organization of information.   This is especially true when collecting content from clients. It is also a great place to work on copywriting projects.

Discovery and Discussions

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My first step is to meet with the client to determine their true needs.  Often what they think they need and what they really need aren't the same thing.  It takes a lot of introspection and discussion, but often this discovery phase is what paves the way for the best results later on.

I prefer to meet in person with a nice whiteboard to write on, but if the client is on a different island then I like using Zoom as my teleconference software of choice.  Skype also works in a pinch.

Once I'm sure the fit is right, then I use Better Proposals to send my ideas and suggestions to the client.

Sketching, Structure and Sitemaps

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The first thing I do is put pen or pencil to paper (typically a Moleskine notebook) and sketch out ideas for the graphic design or a website structure.

For graphic design, such as a logo, I love the process of drawing on paper to get my ideas down.  This is often what I do for mobile application UI design or marketing funnel designs as well, although occasionally I will also work on a whiteboard.

If making a website, I quickly switch to designing the sitemap directly on a staging website.  I set up a quick WordPress installation and use the Slick Sitemap plugin to show the initial structure of the website.

Prototyping and Funnel Design

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When building websites, I prefer to build an interactive prototype before going into the visual design phase.  Often the content dictates the design, so this ends up being more effective down the line.

For this I usually use a plain grayscale template with either the OceanWP, WP Page Builder Framework or Generate Press themes for WordPress, and lay out the pages using the Elementor page builder. (I used to use Beaver Builder, but have grown to prefer Elementor this past year.)

With mobile applications I like to first set up an understanding of the user-flow.  For that I like either using Balsamiq Mockups, or going into Sketch with Funnel Flows to show the flow.  

Sketch with Funnel Flows also works well with Marketing Funnels, such as an email marketing campaign.

Visual and UI Design

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betterproposals

This is the fun part!  This is when I get to start being visually creative and building the look-and-feel of the website, mobile application, or graphic designs.

For websites I typically use Sketch and occasionally will go into Photoshop (my old standard).

For mobile applications I like using Sketch as well, but recently have been also working a bit in Adobe XD, which is proving to be a contender in the UI Design arena.

And with graphic design I often skill use Sketch since it has great vector design tools, but of course Adobe Illustrator is often the default go-to vector-based application.

When sharing designs and receiving feedback from clients, I love using InVisionApp.  It is the bee's knees. 🙂

Coding and Development

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I'm not a developer, but I do know my way around HTML and CSS for my front-end design work or setting up an email design template.

When working with code I love working with Sublime Text.  It is a great code editor.  If I need to work with a SVN system, then I am most familiar with Eclipse, but I would hardly call myself an expert.

When developing on my local machine, I used to use MAMP, but these days I prefer Desktop Server.

GitHub is also a playground that I have very limited experience with.  But, like I said, I'm not really a coder by trade.

Tracking, SEO and Analytics

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There are a ton of ways to track performance of a website or marketing campaign.  And often the tools depend on the specific situation. You can easily use one of a half-dozen different software packages, each with various pro's and con's.

Here are a few options that I've found are helpful regardless of the situation, or are great for people just getting started in the world of website and marketing optimization.

For website and marketing analytics, Google Analytics is the defacto standard for tracking website performance.  Use it, know it, love it.

Unbounce or Click Funnels are popular for marketing and landing page optimization, but since I like building my sites in WordPress, I often use Nelio for A/B testing, combined with Crazy Egg for heatmap and clickmap analysis.

There are a lot of email marketing programs, but I really like what ConvertKit is doing and recommend it has a good place to start.  Infusionsoft is popular but a bit of a beast.

So there you have it.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but these are a lot of the tools I use on a day-to-day basis to make my life easier.  I'm sure I'll have several changes to this list as time goes on. 🙂

Want to know more?

Just use the form below to shoot me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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Copyright © 2017, Mark C. Moran, All Rights Reserved