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Kevin T. Boyd - Online Art Director

Creative Management & Web Design

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iPage, a host with terrible customer service, managed to break my fancier, WordPress site in 2016, so I've reverted to this older one until I can get a new one organized. Don't miss PointFinder.org, an acupressure information site of mine. And don't host with iPage.

The "T" is for Talents, for Teamwork and for Transformation

Thank you for visiting my site. I have a talent for making connections, between people and technologies, a reliable creativity tempered by a diverse career in design, and the integrity to use these abilities for good. Rather than the hub of a wheel of working relationships, I am the glue that binds the team together in a functional web that raises the group's effectiveness.

Kevin Boyd photo

As an artist at the San Jose Mercury News, I helped the paper win a Pulitzer Prize, became the Editorial Art Director, then transformed a passive, fine-arts oriented art department into a hard-hitting news team that helped make the Mercury a recognized leader in visual and technology journalism. At Stanford School of Medicine, I invented the system and designed the process that helped make the school's award-winning Web site number one in Google for "medical school" and "school of medicine," and have earned success as site architect, Web design leader, as production manager, as quality assurance manager, as trainer and mentor, and as Web support manager.

Seeking opportunities, I'm looking for a new employer who values my unique talents and puts them to good use. I want to be part of a team of creative technical people who enjoy life, with a healthy balance between hard work and fun. It is important to me to have a positive impact on people's lives, from leaders to colleagues to customers. Please take a few more minutes to view my accomplishments, resume, Web samples, artwork portfolio, writing samples and testimonials from colleagues and clients. Then, let's talk:

Jump to: | Creative direction  Leadership    |  Site architecture    |  Web design    |  QA    | Web Support & Training  |

Creative direction: A grounding in content, creativity and talent management

Having worked for the Chicago Tribune, the Orange County Register and the San Jose Mercury News, I have held roles including art director, illustrator and designer, and also graphics reporter, writer and editor. In the process, I developed a concise writing style, and mastered the art of visual storytelling and gung ho journalism on the most demanding deadlines imaginable. As a result, I never lack for a workable idea, because waiting for inspiration was never an option. As a news artist, I helped the Mercury News win the Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting, for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Promoted to Art Director for Editorial, I helped make the Mercury News a recognized visual news leader. When I started, Editorial Art was a passive service department staffed by 8 artists who only wanted to create features illustrations. To make us competitive, I fought for and won a newsroom reorganization that brought graphic editors under my direction and made new hires, creating a staff of 12 award-winning visual journalists. We changed the culture to become a hard-boiled news department that got scoops and created news ideas, content and designs.

Overcoming art stereotypes and editor resistance, I advocated the use of illustrations on Page One for news stories, developed an innovative format based on graphic novels dubbed "illustrated history," and published 14 examples. A natural organizer, I developed and implemented a proofing process that reduced graphic errors by 50%, kept the department on the cutting edge of desktop publishing technology, and implemented a digital archiving system that increased graphics output by 25%. An early adopter of the Web, I learned HTML and started building Web pages in 1995, and before moving to Stanford spent several months as a producer, designer and editor with Mercury Center, the online edition of the Mercury News, and the first online newspaper in the nation.

Leadership: A higher calling

Everyone needs meaning to achieve enduring happiness. Working for newspapers, I found meaning in the higher purpose to inform the people as an essential element of democracy. At Stanford Medicine I believe our higher purpose is to heal the world through the discovery of healthful wisdom, and by teaching that wisdom to the healers of the future.

Leadership has been an element of every role I have filled in my career. Bringing a thoughtful and well-studied approach, based in extensive personal experience observing myself and others to discover what is and isn't effective, I endeavor to apply the latest science of human behavior to my personal practice. I have carefully studied management, social economics and leadership, as well as culture and philosophy.

Whether acting as an individual contributor or as a supervisor of others, I hold myself and my staff to the highest standards of performance, with creativity, patience, compassion, character and humility as my core values.

Site Architecture: A history of innovation

When I began work as the Stanford University School of Medicine's Lead Web Designer there were 200+ plus sites for school organizations, but no coherence. Some groups spent thousands of dollars on attractive sites, but without any coordination, consistency or shared branding. It was expensive, chaotic and difficult for users to navigate.

My invention of an innovative site architecture powers Stanford Medicine Web’s infrastructure to this day. By combining server-side includes (SSIs), root referencing (/), and cross-domain service of central resources (/Templates/), it created a systematic approach, called SoM Web 1.0, that enabled a common format across hundreds of individually branded sites. This architecture also simplifies the integration of data-driven content from Web applications, including profiles, events and clinical trials, into any static Web site, saving time and increasing content agility.

The strengths of the new format created a new level of coherent excellence for Stanford Medicine sites. This work was rewarded in 2007 with the Award of Excellence in Electronic Communications from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). And the School of Medicine site ranks number one in Google for “medical school,” and “school of medicine,” a much-coveted vote of confidence and quality.

Web design: One brand to bind them all

For SoM Web 1.0, my HTML/CSS/Javascript design unified the appearance of all sites. It encouraged individual site branding and identity, while ensuring that the School of Medicine's parent brand was respected. It featured a number of innovations, including an emergency notification system not included in the original requirements, just because it was a good idea. Setting up an efficient work flow for in-house production saved money for the school, bringing average cost under $500 per site, as compared to a typical market cost of $1000 to $10,000.

Building the sites required consulting with site owners, to explain and guide the writing of content and the creation of site maps for taxonomy. I personally constructed over 200 sites, and hired more than a dozen student, temporary, fixed-term and regular full-time employees, and directed production of 400 more.

Over the years, I managed upgrades from SoM 1.0 to SoM Web 2.0 and to the current Stanford Medicine 1.0 format. The architecture facilitated upgrades of both static and data-driven sites with the least possible administrative effort or disruption. For Stanford Medicine 1.0 I hired five temporary staff and over the Summer of 2008 directed them in a complete overhaul. With the addition of Stanford Hospital & Clinics (SHC) to the system, we re-branded as Stanford Medicine.

Quality assurance: An engineering ally

At the beginning of the School of Medicine Web, software development was organic, with limited specification and frequent changes of direction. Engineers would often begin coding functions, then ask for help creating an attractive user interface.

My introduction of the practice of creating prototypes in HTML and CSS before coding, then collaborating with the ASP and Java engineers through the entire development cycle, helped make the process more agile. I created prototypes for five published systems, including the first two generations of Community Academic Profiles (CAP), a best-of-breed in-house profile system.

As software was developed and deployed, my team saved time and money by providing in-house user acceptance testing. In the most recent upgrade of CAP, we handled an organized and detailed testing project to ensure the quality of complex new functionality and interface designs. This effort earned the praise of the Director of Systems Engineering & Architecture and members of the engineering team.

Web Support & Training: Be true to your school

When we started building early versions of the standard format, no affordable content management system was available to fit the scale or our operations, so it was decided to build sites that could be managed with Dreamweaver or Contribute, operated by non-technical staff provided by each department. This created opportunities in training and support for what amounted to a human content management system.

To provide technical support for this army of site owners and operators known as "Web Authors," we created the Web Help service. Through direct and collaborative engagement with these clients, my understanding of customer service matured. As Web Help grew with the success of our Web sites, I recruite and hired 12 talented, technically accomplished student and temporary workers, then trained, supervised and mentored them in providing the best possible customer service. Several have gone on to great companies, such as Google, Genentech and Dreamworks.

From the beginning, I have also been priviledged to be tasked with training the Web Authors in our unique Stanford Medicine Web operations with Dreamweaver and Contribute. Given that comparable training elsewhere costs about $200 per student per session, this in-house training program saved an estimated $57,000 annually for SoM and SHC. In ten years, I have personally trained more than 800 Stanford people in the use of the software and in general Web development and operations in over 250 popular, in-person sessions. I am very proud that Web Support & Training has been an essential part of the success of hundreds of Stanford Medicine organizations.

I am also available for consulting relationships with individuals and organizations needing expert advice on Web strategy, design, implementation, operations, marketing, communications and social media. If interested, please visit http://thewebshaman.com/

©2011 Kevin T. Boyd