Lloyd Robert Borrett

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Expert People Web Site

On Friday, 26th March 1999, I arrived home from the office at 8 p.m. and began work on a web site for Expert People, an IT recruitment agency we had recently established. On the following Monday the resulting web site went live.

Design Philosophy

I decided to adopt a very clean and simple style for the site. It had to be easy to use and informative for the two types of visitors we were targeting:

  1. Candidates looking for permanent or contract positions; and
  2. Companies looking for a recruiting agency to meet their needs.

Although most IT recruitment sites go for a "technology" look and feel, I decided that emphasising that recruitment is about people would be more appropriate. Thus I decided to incorporate an image of a person or people on all main pages.

To complicate matters I decided to adopt a 1950s/1960s "retro" look for the people images. The thinking was that this would stand out from the "trendy", "arty" or "business" looks that are so common. And besides we could later have a bit of fun with it on both the web site and in company literature and branding. (Though I must admit the initial implementation was a bit more "corny" than I intended. It does need a bit of a makeover.)

The Tools

The following software tools were used to design and build the Expert People web site:

  • Microsoft FrontPage 98
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer v4.01
  • Microsoft Word for Windows 97
  • Microsoft Windows 98 and Plus!
  • Adobe PhotoShop for Windows v4
  • Adobe ImageReady v1
  • Adobe ImageStyler v1
  • CorelDRAW! v5
  • WS_FTP for Windows

The site was hosted by WebCentral on a Microsoft Internet platform using Windows NT Server and Internet Information Server with FrontPage Extensions.

Site Construction

Having just received Adobe ImageStyler and ImageReady that week, I decided to try and make use of them. Thus the main navigation buttons on the left hand side of the pages were created in ImageStyler.

Adobe Photoshop was used to create and/or manipulate the required images. Running them through ImageReady so as to optimise the file sizes was well worth it. ImageReady was especially useful when working on the animated GIFs.

By midday Sunday I had the site structure, page framework navigation elements, and most graphic elements in place within Microsoft FrontPage 98. I then proceeded to write the content as all 25 pages were created.

When the site went live on the morning of Monday 29th March 1999, almost everything was in place. (That was one long, long weekend!)

By the end of that week I'd been able to collaborate with the team at Jobnet and we had the contract and permanent position listing pages being generated by a Perl CGI script from the database Expert People maintained on Jobnet. No point in having to maintain it in two places.

The Results

Well as I write this in January 2000, the Expert People web site is still running with almost every page still as I left it at the end of that memorable weekend in March 1999. And on the whole, it's doing the job it was designed to do quite well.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Expert People Web Site
Expert People Web Site
March 1999

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