I'm Richard Jones, a Freelance Web Designer & Front-end Developer. Based in Sheffield, UK, I freelance for individuals, start-ups, web agencies and businesses of all shapes and sizes.
What I do
This is what I specialise in. Most jobs I do now require a responsive build and I strive to create clean, modular and well structured CSS. My HTML is semantic, with accessibility in mind and I have systems in place to test my work across a browser matrix before release. I hand-code and have amassed a large collection of snippets over the years to increase production speed.
A lot of my work involves me either creating HTML/CSS templates to be handed to Software Developers so they can integrate it into their application. Or it involves me working directly in the application and updating it according to a brief or design.
The web application frameworks I have experience of working with include Ruby on Rails, .Net, Java and PHP. I have worked with Content Management Systems like Wordpress, even creating custom themes, but I only do this as part of a wider project where a blogging system is required to be brought inline with the project's brand.
Tools for the job
User Experience Design
UX Design is an essential stage to better understand the requirements for the website. UX Design techniques can also be invaluable in helping to validate previous design decisions or to solve problems with existing websites.
Some websites can be designed and built without the need of extensive UX design processes. Whether it is because of a lack of budget/time, or that no new problems are being solved, some of my clients have just needed a web presence that has been designed and built using heuristics. Whatever the project circumstance, I can propose and implement appropriate UX Design processes for the job.
With the requirements for the website collected, I am able to produce sketches, wireframes, graphical mock-ups or prototypes that satisfy these requirements and solve the problems identified.
Tools for the job
- Pencils and paper
- Whiteboards & Post-it notes
I have an office in the Site Gallery (near Sheffield's train station) where I do most of my work. However, when required, I also work with the client at their place of business.
A brief history
I first got interested in the Internet in 2001 when the rock band I was playing in needed a website. I thought "I can do that." From then on I taught myself the principles of Web Design and Front-end Development and started designing and building websites for small businesses in Sheffield (my first client's website still exists!).
In 2005, I got my big break and landed a job as a Web Designer at Technophobia, the largest web agency in Sheffield at the time. Over my six years at Technophobia, I was promoted to Senior and then Lead Designer, managing a team of eight.
My time at Technophobia was a great education. They gave me the opportunity to work with clients such as Alfa Romeo, PizzaExpress, Yorkshire.com, Green Flag, Morrisons, Planning Portal, The Co-operative Bank, The Driving Standards Agency, etc. I also worked with some very talented people and have become part of a thriving network of web folks.
In 2009, I co-founded a company we called Curly Web. We focused on web applications for small to medium sized businesses. When I left Technophobia in 2011, I took up Curly Web full-time. However in 2013, I left Curly Web to become a Freelance Web Designer and Front-end Developer.
Since June 2013, I have been working freelance and you will see my work on this website. In this time, my company has had a re-brand but I still do the same things (and even more!).
Outside of work
A huge benefit of freelancing is that it offers a lot of flexibility with time. I love going deep into work projects, solving new and exciting problems, but I also love spending time on other pursuits; from trekking, skiing, diving and running, to furthering my education in the areas of philosophy, behavioural psychology and political history. I would therefore describe myself as a pragmatic, philosophical adventure seeker!