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Show Me the Markup!

I could bore you with a bunch of stuff about how many awards I've won and blah blah blah, but we know it's all about the actual results. So check out some of my recent work below, and if you're like, "Oh, wow! That's *just* what I need," well, then... drop me a line! or 775.250.2942

Washoe County

When you work on a single site for, like, a decade, you can pull out all the stops. The Washoe County site does just about everything but make a good cup of coffee.

My work includes design, custom content management system that handles over 2,000 pages and 20 thousand files for 30 distinct departments and 100+ users, email management (both subscription and rich email generation), online form builder, multi-channel information distribution, integration with Request Tracker CRM, custom reporting and analytics tools, and a left-handed can opener.

Over a seven year period, the rebuilt site increased traffic from under 40,000 visitors per month to over 300 thousand, and generated over $14 million in in annual transactional savings for the County.

In 2015, the county finally switched over to a new design and system, so you'll have to check out my version on the Wayback Machine... It's worth mentioning that it took them three years to find a system that would provide them with the same functionality- and the even after I left, the site ran like a champ!

Interior page of
Front page of

Nevada Preferred Healthcare

The folks at NPP and I have been working together for over a decade, and we've gone through several iterations of their site.

The site's design was done by cool guy Roy Lindauer over at Noble Studios, but the mechanics are all me. There's a content management system, a comprehensive provider search tool which can be maintained by NPP as they need, and a personal directory allowing visitors to save a list of providers and print or email it.

The provider directory currently holds information on over 60,000 providers in Nevada and Utah.

Front page of
Provider search page of

Dragonfly Creative

My good friend and brilliant photographer Toni Gonyea was looking for a site to help her start her photography business, and was amenable to me using her site to test some concepts.

We combined a nice simple design with a whimsical layout to match her personality and make sure we gave her work the star treatment. There's a content management tool and photo upload / organization system which dynamically resizes photos on upload to fit the site. The site is unusual in that most of the non-picture content is delivered through the mega-menus at the top for a very effecient site which focuses on the imagery.

Portfolio page of
Front page of

Tracy Chase for Reno City Attorney

Campaign websites should be pretty straightforward, but it's amazing how screwed up some of them can get, so I was happy when Tracy, who's a great attorney and advocate for Reno, came to me for her site. She's since withdrawn from the race, but it's still a cool site, so I've kept a copy around for checking out...

The design was developed to be responsive, so the full site optimizes itself for mobile devices. There's a content management tool (if you haven't caught the trend, I pretty much don't go anywhere without my trusty CMS) and a link to a WePay donation widget. Like I said- pretty straightforward. (Well, that *was* the domain name... election's over, so the site's no longer in use, but I kept a copy around.)

Front page of
About Me page of

Silver Desert Design

What kind of yahoo would I be if I didn't build my own site? It'd be like going to Starbucks for a nice cup of Folgers instant coffee.

Since it's my site, I get to play with it how I want. In this case, I went for a very lightweight design, and tested out some movement and alternative layout. The site is a single, multi-layered page, which reveals itself as you click on the menu items. It's totally responsive (fer sure), as you can see from the screen shots to the right (unless, of course, you're checking it out on your phone... in which case, you're probably thinking, "So, what's your point?" Check it out on a desktop and you'll see...) and fast loading.

As the old saying goes, "The shoemaker's kids go barefoot," which basically means I'm so busy working on my clients' sites, that I don't have a lot left over for mine. So I kept it simple.

Uh, you're already here...

Mobile version of the Silver Desert mobile version
Mobile version of the Silver Desert home page
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You Oughta Be in (my) Pictures!

Part of what I dig most about doing web and graphic design is the strong part that imagery plays in a successful site or print piece. And, as it so happens, I love to hang out behind a viewfinder. In fact, you'll almost never see me without a camera within arm's reach.

While animal and landscape photograpy is really my bag, baby, I'm also a competent portrait photographer- especially when the shots go hand in hand with other pieces I'm developing for you.

So, sit back, pop some corn, and enjoy the slideshows below. And don't forget to get ahold of me to capture those important moments in your life- weddings, birthdays, hot dog eating competitions... or 775.250.2942

Landscapey, Outdoorsey Shots

Fur and Feathers

Picture of Chris Matthews, Owner of Silver Desert Design

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

While my work speaks for itself, I guess you may be interested to know a little more about me. Otherwise, you probably wouldn't have clicked on the "about me" link...

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

So, this whole web thing? I kind of stumbled on to it in 1997. I've been a professional marketer and communicator for 20 years, and a photography buff for years before that. One day, I was asked, "Hey. Can you build a website?" I, of course, immediately said, "Sure." And then panicked once the boss rounded the corner.

Turns out, web design is really pretty cool. For you psychology nuts, it's a great exercise for both the left side (logical) and right side (creative) of the brain. A web designer gets to plan strategically, engage in marketing and public relations, plan site logistics, and write code. A little bit of everything to keep the brain constantly engaged.

Makes you wanna be a web designer, doesn't it? Go for it. (Right after you hire me and I finish building your project.)

Whaddayaknow, Joe?

Here it is, 15 years later, and I've built dozens of sites- big and small, private sector and public sector, doctors' offices to comic book stores. (Ask me, some time, about some of my more 'interesting' projects.)

Design has changed considerably in the last decade. It used to be that if you had a clean page with some imagery, a good amount of text, and a couple of online forms, you were a visionary.

It's all about the interaction, now. Web users expect to *do* things online- access data, purchase product, fill out forms. And they want to do it wherever they happen to be- phone, tablet, desktop. A site that simply informs no longer cuts it.

Whether it's mobile web, e-commerce, or data gathering, collation, and display, I've got you covered.

Oooo, oooo, pick me! Pick me!

Here's the gig. I'm a freelance designer. This has some distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared to a design company.

The first is price. The reality is that I don't need to support some huge infrastructure- buildings, employees, benefits- which means that I can offer you the same level of expertise at a fraction of the cost.

Additionally, because I only work with a few clients at a time, my experience with you will be very personal. I'm your sales person, your designer, your programmer, and your marketer. We'll get to know each other's kids n' stuff.

Now, on the downside, since I'm a freelancer, I'm more susceptible to the whims of life. Means when I'm sick, or on vacation, there isn't a 'B' team to work on your project. Also, as a part-time gig, I'm less able to drop everything and meet with you, and most of the work on your site will happen outside the 9a -5p day.

In short, if you want a high quality product at an excellent price, and have the flexibility to handle the schedule of a freelancer, I'm your guy. If you need more structure and 24/7 immediate support, you'd be better off with a larger, more structured firm, like my good pals over at Noble Studios, for example. (Don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings if you choose Noble. But please mention I sent you. It helps me convince them to pick up the lunch tab.)

You had me at "Hello"

Excellent. Time for us to chat. or 775.250.2942