Thursday, June 9, 2016

Author Brian Rathbone

The purpose of this page is to show examples of the UI design process and re-design work for a fantasy author.

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I love books, funny jokes, and geeky things. It was probably only a matter of time before I met Brian, he is the best of all of those things. I'm not sure how, but we met on Twitter in 2014(?). After reading about 100 of his (hilarious) tweets about dragons, computers, and books; I figured I should checkout his website. The link to his blog that I found on his Twitter profile was very broken.

I messaged Brian with a screenshot of the issue and step-by-step details on how to fix a few of the problems. He thanked me and asked if I could help, so I fixed the problems and offered to build him a new website (for free). I loved his books and figured a quick blog (with little to no QA) would only take me a few days.

Setting Goals

I used the header from his old site, but scrapped the rest of the design. I based the colors off of his books and tried to highlight his books and how to buy them. Secondary goals included adding links to the many places you can find Brian's books, show-casing interviews, making it easy for him to add new pages (I used blogger so that was easy), and making it easy to contact Brian.

To streamline setup, I used my personal blog,, as a template for Brian's website. I had already put a lot of time into that site and improving the template. I looked for all of Brian's books and added them to the site, included lots of links, and even found some YouTube videos to create a couple of blog posts.

All in all the site only took a few days to create, Brian seems fairly happy with it and we stay in contact as Facebook/Twitter friends. He's even sent me a few books and referred me to more Indy authors who also have sent me free books to read/review.

Process Samples


I used to use Drupal, Wordpress, or other content management systems (CMS) to setup websites for clients. They all have their goods and bads. I've started using Google's Blogger platform a lot more in the past three years because it doesn't have all the security issues self-hosted Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla sites have. If the website doesn't need to process payments it's a great way to blog and easy to customize. For more robust sites, I work with other platforms and my day job creates custom applications for government clients almost exclusively using JAVA.

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Senior UI/UX web designer. Adventurist and certified Yoga / Barre Instructor. Love aviation, books, and travel. More: References About

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