Delighted to introduce to you an inspiring web designer and developer Nadine, of Curious Light. Nadine is talented in web design, however what is really inspiring about Nadine is all of the relationships and trust she has built. She is known for being valuable adviser in the bigger vision of strategic marketing. She successfully designs with the perspective of her client’s target market which makes her an ideal partner for her clients entering into the online arena.
A big thank you to Nadine for taking the time to answer these interview question.
Be sure to connect with Nadine, as you will find she is welcoming as well generous to share her insight about design and my favorite tool WordPress.
Connect with Nadine
Curious Light designs and builds high quality, affordable & stylish web sites that will give your small business a BIG online presence. Owner Nadine Gilden is a seasoned website and graphic designer, with over 12 years of experience. Nadine not only designs and codes websites, but assists companies in creating their marketing tools such as WordPress blogs, email newsletters, business cards and Twitter pages.
Curious Light has had a busy couple of months. We launched 4 new sites including a redesign of an ecommerce site for maternity fitness wear (fit2bmom.com) and a site for a new eco-friendly brand of plush toys. Nadine has also been spending a lot of time working with WordPress creating custom themes.
In Nadine’s Own Words
Design In Mind
Design for the client’s target audience, not for me and not for the client. It’s not about the latest bells and whistles, it’s about creating an easy to use, functional site that is also beautiful.
I explain that my only goal is to create a great site for them, and that everything is done for a reason – where elements are placed, where text is used instead of images, everything! Usually that is all you need to say, they hired me for a reason. Every once in a while though, you get someone who just wants it they way they want it, and in the end, it is their money & their site, so I do what they want.
Varies from project to project, but I include 3 rounds of revisions once a design direction is chosen.
I keep two To-do lists. One is on a white board that lets me glance at the overall projects. The other is my notebook. I write an itemized To-do list every morning of what I need to do for each project.
Vision For Brand
My vision is that Curious Light be known as a design company that really helps & guides our clients, and helps them create a brand they can grow their business on.
In so many ways. I have gotten business from Twitter, but I have also gotten an enormous amount of help & resources. I’m amazed that if I have a problem with a WordPress site I am working on, I can send a message on Twitter, and within minutes, I have people trying to help me solve the problem. It really inspired me to create Twitter Study Group, which is a free service that brings people who want to learn the same thing together. It makes it so much easier to learn something when you have others to go to when you have a problem or question.
Everyone I interact with inspires me in different ways. All the people that try and help with so many different kinds of things, from helping with a technical issue, to helping charities – it’s amazing to me the giving nature of so many people on twitter.
Advice For Young Designers
Find sites that you think are done poorly and redesign them. It’s not going to get you paid, but it will show potential clients what you can do. Offer your services for free to non-profits, they always need help!
Approach a Website Re-design
I look at who the target audience is for t
he client, and how the previous/current design missed for them. I also listen to the client, because they have lived with their current design, and they have ideas about why it didn’t work for them.
Design Burn Out
I walk away, I do things outside, or do things that inspire me – go to a movie, visit a museum, etc. Even when your
schedule is really busy, you need to break from it if you are feeling that way, you’ll waste more time spinning your wheels from the burn out then if you took a little time away.
Who is Nadine Offline?
I don’t think you have enough room for me to truly answer that! I’m pretty easy going. I think I (for the most part) still have a child like wonder about the world. I still find little things miraculous -flowers, art, etc, and I am quite easily amused. I have a great family, and amazing friends and I am old enough to appreciate that!
Essential Designer Tool Kit
Yes, all of those. WordPress has really been a new essential for me. Our last Twitter Study Group was on WordPress custom theme creation, so I created my first custom theme. It was enormously helpful in learning the ins and outs of WordPress. I also find been cross platform essential. I work on both a Mac and a PC. Most of my work is done on my Mac, but my laptop (the PC) is essential for seeing how things work on another system, and being able to help clients that use PCs. I also been using Only2Clicks.com to store my extensive list of bookmarks. I created categories for every area, and it is my go to library when I need something.
If you want new business, you have to network!
Everything inspires me. Well everything done well. I’m awed by people that are truly gifted at their craft, whatever it may be. I love all kinds of design – interior design, clothing design, crafts, everything! I’m a bit of a media junkie – books, movies, magazines, television – I love it all, and it all inspires me when it’s done well!
Connect with Nadine