Stacey Kamen Design

Stacey Kamen Design

Stacey Kamen DesignI like surfing the Internet for good design, but I like it even better when I find it close to home.

Case in point: A friend of mine, Stacey Kamen, has just finished her new website for 2006. Like me, she’s an independent designer fighting it out in the trenches. Unlike me, she has no problem making a web presence that’s colorful and snappy, striking just the right balance of design, approachability, and commercial intent. Everything is nicely fitted together, and I am not ashamed to admit that I want to lick those Flash buttons right off the page. Mmm…shiny!

And on top of that, she can write copy that matches the tone of her design. Her voice is active and insightful, and not afraid to toe the line with phrases like this:

“Your logo is like your spouse. Changing it can cost you big. Get it right the first time with a professional logo designed by Stacey Kamen.”

Heh! The site fits her personality and professional standards, and that’s totally awesome.

I’m impressed, and inspired, and I can see I need to inject some personality back into my site design…it’s so subdued. That’s not the way I want to present myself; I need less “um” and more “awesome!” in the mix! It’s reassuring to be reminded that there’s one more person locally who knows what they’re doing. This kick-in-the-pants comes at exactly the right time.

Thanks Stacey! To a kick ass 2006!

3 Comments

  1. Dave Seah 50 years ago

    It doesn’t seem too out of whack when you look at other image-heavy websites like the stuff at screenspire. The cleaner/sparser designs weigh in at around 70-150K, and the more image heavy go up to 600K. A portfolio site is going to suffer in comparison to regular websites as far as page weight goes no matter how you look at it. And if you’re trying to attract a certain kind of client, they’re not going to care so much about page weight as much as first impression visual impact.

    Still, it’s interesting to think of how this page could be optimized. The SWF I wouldn’t be worried about because you can hide the image loading asynchronously (weight matters here only if it delays showing the rest of the website, which it does not seem to do). I could see that some of the background imagery might be reduced to a GIF background and maybe you could reduce the JPEG quality overall of some of the foreground elements, but you start running the risk of introducing “the fuzzies”. Some of the other elements could probably be color-reduced further and GIFified, but for the time and effort that takes, I’m not clear it would be an optimal use of TIME.

    UPDATE: Oh, I see what you might mean…the foreground JPEGs appear to be stored at maximum quality, which probably contributes to their high memory footprint relative to size (80K).

  2. Nathan de Vries 14 years ago

    She’s got an eye for design, but I think she could use some tips in optimisation. 500KB+ is pretty heavy for a webpage, even when you remove the 300KB SWF.

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  3. Nollind Whachell 14 years ago

    “I can see I need to inject some personality back into my site design…it’s so subdued.”

    That’s the problem though. One day you’d don’t like the “subdued” look and then the next day you’ll find your higher impact design too much for you, so you’re constantly switching. I mean look at how often designers change their site designs. Why? Because no one design fits their personality or mood. I mean your varied content is a perfect example of this (and you pull it off very well). What do we need then?

    Mood designs! They’d be like old mood rings of yesterday! Hehe! Move a slider bar to your feeling for the day and your site tones change appropriately! Just kidding but in a sense look at your site. You’re a step above other designs because of your header banner image. With that area you have the ability to change your site style to fit your mood.

    Another slightly varied approach is to have varied styles for each of your category topics. Talking about personal stuff? Then you might have more subtle earthy tones. Talking about business? Then you might have more high impactful images and tones. In a sense, each of your topic categories is like a mini-site with its own feeling of space and theme (or “flavor” as you said). Think of it like walking around your house from room to room with each one having different artwork, books, furniture, and so forth to fit the purpose of the room.