Hi, I’m Matthew Licata.

I make things using computers—websites, mostly.
I think technology is cool, but what’s more important is
what technology does for human beings.

Skills

Here are a bunch of skills I’ve developed, as well as tools and techniques I’ve worked with.

  • Web design
  • Web development
  • UI
  • UX
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Information architecture
  • Responsive design
  • Mobile-first development
  • Grid-based layouts
  • Accessibility
  • Cross-browser testing
  • Typography
  • Typekit
  • Google Fonts
  • Bootstrap
  • Content management systems
  • Wordpress
  • ExpressionEngine
  • Tumblr
  • Sketch
  • Graphic design
  • Branding
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Image optimization
  • Retina image support
  • Javascript
  • jQuery
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • APIs
  • Domains
  • DNS records
  • Security
  • SSL
  • Shopify
  • Online commerce
  • SEO
  • Google Analytics
  • OpenGraph tags
  • Twitter cards
  • Command line interfaces
  • Git
  • Linux server administration
  • cPanel
  • WHM
  • Apache
  • Audio
  • Video
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Microsoft Office
  • Google Docs
  • Email design
  • Nonprofit CRM software

Work

Women in Secularism 4

Work done: web design, web development, Tumblr development, visual identity, responsive design

When I was brought onto the project there was only the “Women in Secularism IV” wordmark. I worked with the conference organizers to develop an aesthetic that fit with their vision of the conference, and creating the “low-poly woman” imagery with them was a great experience. From there we fleshed out the aesthetic into a full website that had the modern, progressive feel they were looking for. This one was fun.

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CFI Live

Work done: product design, implementation, establishing priorities on a short schedule

The Center for Inquiry had a communication problem to solve: the organization put on great events and conferences, but the only way to find coverage of these was to browse Twitter hashtags where there’s no control over the message, or by reading magazine articles published months after the fact.

To that end, I conceived and implemented CFI Live, which establishes a venue for those not able to make it to major CFI events to follow along with coverage crafted by the organization’s communications staff. There wasn’t a lot of development time available, and as you may be able to tell, the site is using a stock Wordpress theme. While the limited timeframe required that I leave out the nice things that impress designers and developers, I made sure that the functionality and usability of the site—both for visitors and for the staff maintaining it—were uncompromised.

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Reason for Change

Work done: web design, web development, Tumblr development, visual identity, responsive design

The two directives for this project were to convey a level of sophistication and to emphasize the appeal of the conference’s location. From there I developed the “Reason for Change” wordmark and the site’s very photographic aesthetic, working alongside the Center for Inquiry’s marketing director.

The site was developed using Tumblr as a CMS both to take advantage of its social features and to make the posting of updates simple and easy for non-developer staff.

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Reasonable Talk

Work done: product design, web design, web development, Wordpress development, visual identity, responsive design

The Center for Inquiry had a large backlog of video footage of lectures. Their strategy had been to unceremoniously release edited videos onto their YouTube channel whenever they were ready. To make better use of this content, I came up with the concept for Reasonable Talk: a site that provides a unique showcase for these lectures, treats them with the importance they deserve, and turns the liability of a video backlog into a useful product.

Reasonable Talk incorporates helpful filtering options—that wouldn’t be possible on YouTube—within a pleasant, easy-to-use website. The design, development, and visual identity were produced together with a designer/developer under my supervision.

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Women in Secularism 3

Work done: web design, web development, responsive design, coordinating website aesthetics with an existing logo

On this project, I was provided with the “Women in Secularism III” wordmark and “Rosie the Riveter” imagery, and worked with the conference organizers to develop the site’s design around these elements. I had the opportunity to try out some techniques that were new to me at the time, and I thought the results were pretty good. I was particularly happy with the flow of information on this site.

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Center for Inquiry

Work done: lots of maintenance, ExpressionEngine, complex CMS setups

Some projects are glorious—you get to try out new things and implement novel features you’re proud of.

This isn’t one of those. I didn’t design or develop this site, but I’ve maintained it for a long time. It includes dozens of sections and subsites, and hundreds of channels of content. It can be satisfying to throw things out and start over, but due to this level of complexity it has been much more important to ensure the site is serving the needs of its visitors and the organization it represents. Are users getting what they want out of the site? Is the organization able to use it to communicate easily, rapidly, and clearly?

These questions rightfully take precedence over showy design and fancy development, so a lot of “boring” maintenance has gone into this site. It isn't flashy work; it’s about getting the job done and making things better for other people, not doing what makes me the most satisfied as a designer/developer.

(An entirely new site is in the works, of course.)

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Moving Secularism Forward

Work done: web design, web development, coordinating with existing art assets

At the time of this site’s creation, I was working as a “webmaster” responsible for posting content updates, reporting to a web designer/developer. He was working on a custom content management and template system that could be used for all conference websites going forward.

Because he was busy with this work, I took the lead on designing this site, coordinating with the look of already-existing print materials. And when the custom content management system didn’t pan out, we worked together to develop the site on its own as quickly as possible. The site accomplished its goals and presented information in a clear, appealing way.

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