Cranky Gamer

BIO HAIKU

Tall guy games for fun
Searches his soul for purpose
Silliness ensues

Print & Logo Design

My initial foray into the design world started due to me being bored with IT/Support work. I completed a 2 year program for graphic design at a vocational school, and promptly grabbed a job doing sports posters for grade-school to high-school level kids. The work taught me a lot about photoshop, and a lot about how to not run a poster printing business.

Around 2003 I jumped over to a print and web design firm in a small town that allowed me to develop my HTML and CSS skills.

Here are some samples of print and logo work that I have worked on since taking that job:



If you would like to see high resolution samples please submit a request through my contact form.


Web Design

I started work at a small print/web design firm in 2003. I got to learn a lot about HTML and CSS and I was given the chance to develop my design skills further. I have always been technically strong, but this is where I got to develop my creative side.

This job also allowed me to work with clients, and developers. I learned a lot of lessons from both types of interactions that stick to me this day. I still remember the first chance I got to manage some programming work for a site... that developer HATED me for a couple of weeks due to my over management. It is a good thing I pickup on these things quick though. A few years later when I would work my way up to a Sr. Management position at another web development company I was able to convince that same developer to come work on my custom programming team.

Here are some samples of the web design work that I was the lead designer on:

If you would like to see high resolution samples please submit a request through my contact form.

SEO / SEM

Search Engine Optimization & Marketing

In Early 2005 I parlayed my web design work into a job at a web development company in Dallas, TX. I was hired on as an interface designer, and was basically going to build up the "look" of systems/sites before moving forward on programming in order to run the prototype by the client.

This sounded like great fun so I took the job. About one week into the job though the VP pops his head in the door and asks me what I know about search engines. I believe my response was, "I know how to submit sites to them." With that one phrase I was dubbed the new "SEO Guy" and spent the next 6 months learning all aspects of SEO in order to help our clients achieve their goals.

When I first got into the SEO work the current client base was at about 6 clients. Over the next year and a half I worked with the VP overseeing the division to help grow the client list to 30+ clients. During that time we also hired on 2 new SEO staff members, defined our standard processes, and worked with the sales team to come up with solid methods for showing the value of search engine optimization and marketing.

Here are a few of the most memorable clients I worked with directly:

  • KB Home - Helped build up their organic presence, and create PPC campaigns for Google
  • Greater Houston CVB - Worked on organic and PPC to promote seasonal events and trends.
  • 1000bulbs.com - Focus on PPC with some organic. Helped drive monthly revenue up ~400%

I would later go on to manage this team in a Sr. Manager role as I moved into other areas of the company. While under my management we further refined our processes to ensure we were one of the most profitable divisions of the company. During this time we also gained recognition in the industry as an Authorized Google Analytics Consultant. I can't take all of the credit though as the SEO/SEM team is awesome and deserves a lot of the praise for making these goals come to fruition.

Project Management

After working in the SEO division I was given the chance to move over to the world of account management and project management of web sites.

The primary purpose of this role was to work with current clients in order to get them more engaged with our services, and then I would manage the projects that I had pitched to them. I figure my superiors recognized that I can sit down and talk with almost any kind of client, but I also had the technical chops to keep us from screwing ourselves royally.

This was an interesting challenge as I tend to be a broad idea guy, but after delivering on the ideas I had to hone my tactical skills in order to follow up on the projects and get all of the details mapped out.

Here are a few of the most memorable clients I worked with directly:

  • KB Home - Built out multiple internal sites as well as a few public facing ones.
  • IAEE - Inherited a mess from the previous PM. Turned it around and built them another site also.
  • Austin CVB - Worked with a third party design firm to get their new look implemented in our CMS

The company had gone from about 35 employees when I started as the "SEO Guy" by the time I was doing the PM role for about 8 months we had reached about 75 employees. We were moving fast, but also having some growing pains. This is when I was given the chance to move up to "Senior Management."

Management

This is where I am currently. It took around 6 years to go from my initial job of poster maker when I got out of graphic design school up to "Senior Manager of Web Services" at a decent sized web development company.

I currently manage four areas of the company. This accounts for about 19 employees depending on our current work load. Some areas need more attention than others due to the nature of the teams, but each one has its own challenges and rewards.

This has probably been the most challenging job I have had to date. I believe that any good manager's job is to help define direction for his team(s), and ensure that there is nothing in the way of achieving those goals. While that may sound simple the bumps that can show up on the way to those goals can vary wildly, and often require quick creative thinking to get you past the current road block.

There are also days when this can be a very thankless job as another purpose of my job is to ensure that executive level management expectations, and the different team expectations match up. This can lead to some conflict, but it usually pays off in the end when the team is able to look back and see what they have accomplished. One lesson learned is that progress rarely if ever comes without conflict. It is normal, and necessary, if not slightly annoying.

Here are the areas I currently manage and some key achievments of the teams:

  • Search Engine Optimization & Marketing
    • Streamlined reporting and sales processes to allow for more time to be spent on consulting
    • Continue to deliver awesome results to clients which shows in our contract renewal rates
    • Acheived Google Analytics Authorized Consultant status
  • Content Management System & Custom Web Development
    • Planned, built, and successfully launched 2.0 version of the CMS platform
    • Implemented processes such as SCRUM (an agile programming method) to help streamline production.
    • Worked with sales staff to re-define sales process of the CMS product
    • Lowered turn over rate by creating a more stable environment through processes and building a team culture of open communication
  • Creative Development
    • Worked with team to define standard deliverables for sales use in order to make the build out process more efficient
    • Implemented creative review process in order to ensure that we were putting our best foot forward with our creative services
    • Implemented daily huddles to allow for broader communication amongst the team in order to start building a more stable culture
  • Customer Support
    • Planned, and Implemented web based access to support system. Used this to drive company wide changes in how customer support was handled at the time.
    • Directed setup of new processes for how the web teams handled their support tickets, in order to keep the process reliable and efficient.
    • Continually work with the support staff to open up communications between separate divisions of the company.

As mentioned before. This role is more of a director and facilitator than anything. None of the items above would have ever occurred if my teams hadn't put their minds to task, came up with new ways to achieve these goals, and in some cases told me we could be doing things in a better manner.

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All Content Is Copyright Charles King 2006