Category Archives: reblog Juxtaprose

Site Launch: Liberation Trilogy

Over the holidays, we launched a new site for the author Rick Atkinson around his trilogy of books on World War II:

Liberation Trilogy Website

The third book in the series is coming out this May. The site contains multiple photo galleries with really interesting photos from World War II (some of which are not found in the books), along with a timeline of events from the books.

You can find the site at: liberationtrilogy.com.

Site Launch: Don Stuart

One of the sites we’ve completed recently is for Seattle-based writer, educator, and consultant, Don Stuart. I’m particularly happy with the design of Don’s site, as I enjoyed designing with the large photo-based background:

Don Stuart Website

Don has a wealth of writings and a new book in the works as well. We really enjoyed working with him, and are currently in the process of designing and building a new site for his wife, Charlotte, as well.

We built his site in WordPress to allow for easy updating, and did a responsive build so that it works well on a variety of browser sizes (from mobile to large screens).

You can find his site at: donstuart.net.

Site Launch: Author Marina Koestler Ruben

This post is coming a bit late, but I wanted to showcase another author site we completed in the summer. This one is for Marina Koestler Ruben who is the author of How to Tutor Your Own Child:

Marina was great to work with, and she’s a great blogger too! If you spend any time around children, her blog is full of great bits of wisdom on how to bring learning into everyday activities.

For Marina’s site design, I wanted to use the colors / feeling of the book cover, but not match it completely. I ended up using graph paper and doodles/illustrations at the top and as design elements throughout, which brings in the feeling of learning and school, while not feeling too elementary or specific.

We built Marina’s site in ExpressionEngine which allows her to easily update the pages and blog. She’s doing a great job!

Visit Marina’s site.

Site Launch: Author Ilene Beckerman

We recently finished a new site for author Ilene Beckerman. She’s most known for her book Love, Loss, and What I Wore as it’s been made into a play with productions in New York and Chicago. Her latest book The Smartest Woman I Know is about her grandmother, Ettie, and what it was like growing up in New York around their stationery and magazine store. I enjoyed all her books, which I read as I was designing the site.

The design is bright and vibrant, with different colors on each of the pages (to complement the book cover colors). It was especially fun to use some of her illustrations from the books on the site as well. We built the site in WordPress to allow for easy updating.

Check out her website and her tour dates this fall.

Site Launch: What’s Eating Your Child (the book)

We just finished and launched a book website for author and nutritionist Kelly Dorfman’s book What’s Eating Your Child. For this site’s design we used the colors from the book cover (bright, primary colors), but also added some design elements of healthy fruits, herbs, and vegetables.

What's Eating Your Child website

The book is full of really helpful information, but it is also written in a very accessible style—using case studies. As I was working on the site, I’d find myself reading entire chapters, curious as to what she figured out worked for each of the children.

Be sure to check out Kelly’s upcoming events—she’s touring in June, and her blog: Nutrition Detective (which touches on nutrition/diet for adults as well), is definitely worth a read.

Visit www.whatseatingyourchild.com.

Site Launch: Heads You Lose (the book)

We’re happy to announce the launch of a new website for the forthcoming novel Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward:

Heads You Lose

To help explain the site, it’s useful to know the premise of the book:

Paul and Lacey Hansen are orphaned siblings who grow marijuana just outside the outskirts of tiny Mercer, California. When they find a headless body on their land one night, their occupation prevents them from calling the sheriff. Instead, they move the corpse to a more public location. Two nights later, the body reappears in their driveway, and Paul and Lacey soon discover some unsettling connections between their persistent visitor and their family’s past.

But the murder mystery might be the tamer side of Heads You Lose. The book is the product of a unique collaboration between author Lisa Lutz and her ex-boyfriend, obscure poet David Hayward. When the coauthors start to disagree about what should happen in the book—and to whom—their own turbulent past spills onto the page. As Paul and Lacey scramble to stay a step ahead of the killer, their toughest challenge might be surviving the crossfire between their two creators.

So we played on this in the site as well. The blog is set up for he-said / she-said type of postings. We have a “poll” going on on who you would rather collaborate with. (I’m excited to see what else Lisa and David come up with.)

We had a lot of fun designing and building the site. The folks at Penguin did a very dynamic cover, and we used that as the basis for the design. The book’s out on April 5, and Lisa and David will be out and about on tour, so be sure to check out if they’ll be in your area. In any case, definitely pick up the book when it’s out (it’s funny and a very good read).

Take a look around and be sure to hang out on the home page for a bit to see the full animation (subtle, but fun—the way we like to do animation). Don’t forget to vote for your choice as a collaborator:

Visit www.headsyoulose.com.

Site Launch: Author Sean Beaudoin

Seattle-based young adult author Sean Beaudoin came to us a couple months ago, and hired us to redesign his site in time for the publication of his new book: Who Killed Wesley Payne. And, we’re happy to announce that his new site is up and running!

As part of the project, we migrated all his existing content from his old site, including his movie and book reviews (very fun and informative reads).

The visual design has a “noir / old Superman comic” feel to it. (Then we added a bowl of tomato soup – ha!) It was super fun to design and build, and it was great working with Sean.

Check out the new site:

Sean Beaudoin Website

Also, if you’re in the Seattle area, come by Elliot Bay Books on February 1st for the book launch party for You Killed Wesley Payne. Should be fun. You can find out more / RSVP here.

Knowledge Base Redesign: RealNetworks

Back in the spring, we worked with the folks at RealNetworks to redesign all five of their support knowledge base sites, for: RealPlayer, Subscriptions from Real / SuperPass, RealArcade, GameHouse and Rhapsody. (Note: RealNetwork’s ownership in some of these products / sites has changed since we originally worked on the KBs.)

Before we worked on them, the sites had been designed and built with mostly a very utilitarian ethic and “techie” look and feel. RealNetworks was excited to have the opportunity to improve the design on all fronts: branding, visual appeal, friendliness, usability, readability, findability, information / task flow and overall clarity.

We had a number of branding constraints we were given, in terms of the way the sites needed to tie into the global “Real” brand, yet be distinct from the “main” sites. The KB sites also needed to be visually compatible, but distinct from each other, as well.

We ended-up taking two different approaches: for one set of sites, there was a support portal type page design, and this then connected to the RealPlayer, Subscriptions, RealArcade and (at the time) Rhapsody KB designs—four very compatible KB designs, and a fifth design for a compatible portal page.

Then the GameHouse brand looks totally different, and required a totally different approach. In this case, we had to match their site design very closely such that the KB would work seamlessly in relationship to their “main” site.

Below are some examples:

An “answer” page, for the RealPlayer site:

Real Knowledge Base

A “contact” page, for the RealArcade site:

Real Arcade Knowledge Base

The main landing page, for the Subscriptions site:

Real Subscriptions Knowledge Base

As you would imagine, this kind of support knowledge base serves as an important resource for customers when they need help using these products and services. The knowledge base (articles / answers) portion of the site is also integrated into a full Customer Relationship Management (CRM)-type system where people can chat or ask questions of customer and technical support staff.

So, in our design work, we looked at how the sites would communicate, in a friendly and clear manner, when and how customers could and should connect with support staff.

As part of this, we designed and built an interactive “wizard” interface on the contact page, that helps customers select the right channel and mechanism for contact. There are several choices that depend on things like the type of question, the type of account the customer has, and the time of day—and it’s very important to both customers and the support staff that they be matched up correctly.

We also built and implemented our design, doing all of the front-end coding in HTML and CSS, and some key Javascript for the contact wizard. The KBs are built on RightNow Technologies Customer Portal, CRM / KB platform, and we created some extensively customized “widgets”—which are the components that connect the user interface / webpages to the back-end in the Customer Portal (CP).

In creating these widgets, we worked extensively in the underlying technologies in CP, which include CodeIgniter and YUI Library.

With our experience in branding, information architecture, customer service and knowledge management, we were happy to have the opportunity to design and build so many aspects of these KBs. And, we look forward to doing other RNT CP-based KBs in the future, as well!

Site Launch: Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick

Today’s the “official” book launch day for Gene Stone’s new book The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick. We launched his new website a couple weeks ago:

Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick website

Gene is on tour now, so check out his tour dates to see if he’ll be near you. He’s coming to Seattle in November, so we look forward to meeting him then (and hopefully staying well this winter too!). If you have questions for Gene, check out the Discussion area on his site for other bits of wisdom and to leave him (and/or other readers) a question or comment.