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The problem.

Jon Rudy approached me to create an online presence site for his peacebuidling consulting practice. He wanted a site that would highlight his areas of expertise and demonstrate his experience transforming conflicts in international settings. He also needed a site that was simple to maintain and integrated with his existing tools—all this on a limited budget.

The solution.

The first step in my work with Jon was identifying content to feature on the site. To begin, we reviewed the content of his previous site as well as the materials that he used to communicate with clients. Jon had already identified six areas of expertise—from peace program design to nonviolence training. I paired these with images from his photo library to create an engaging display for the site’s home page.

On the technical front, I evaluated several content management systems, but all of them seemed like overkill for this simple site. Instead, I created a simple custom CMS using PHP and integrated it with CushyCMS for easy editing. I also integrated Jon’s Google Calendar and pulled in posts from his blog so that he wouldn’t have to edit content in multiple locations.

For design on a tight budget, I looked to Adobe’s Kuler tool for inspiration. I selected the Sushi Maki palette by lilipruneau to reflect Jon’s lively personality and international savvy. The design that I created from it combines clean lines with bold colors to create a look that’s traditional with a little extra zing.

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