When you talk about web design, it’s easy for language to get airy and convoluted…

I believe in elegant, user-centric solutions that deliver purposeful experiences and delight.


To be more specific…

I try to be an asset to the company (get more sign-ups, make it memorable) as well as an advocate for the user (make it easy, make it fast).

There’s a lesson to be learned from every project. Here’s a few of mine:

Stay sharp

Co-founded with my photographer friend and mentor Bob Hodson, Chef’s Insight profiles top chefs and reveals their creative process through photos, interviews, recipes, and video.

My primary duties were design and web development, technically, though more often I tasked myself with whatever came up… backup photography, audio transcription, graphic production, content layout, copy editing, video production, marketing, partner management, sales, and event planning.

The magic of each profile comes from the photography and credit for the layout goes to Masonry, though it took plenty of foresight and hands-on work to piece everything together for the 28 chefs we profiled.

I’m the first to admit the site is showing it’s age—and I’d love to give the code a refresh—but it has served us well and given me plenty of lessons in the kitchen, business, and life.

Visit chefsinsight.com

Get your
hands dirty

The first “underground dining” group in our neck of the woods, I formed Hidden Dinner with chef Anahita Naderi and event planner Betty Lang. Armed with our address books and a simple but intriguing website, we managed to wrangle 24 guests to our first event in November, 2010.

By the third dinner our email list grew to 319 and by the sixth it was at 1,030. Sometime around the 10th dinner we started selling out, getting media attention, and these days the subscriber count is over 17,000.

Identity and web design were my official duties, as usual, but events (especially traveling, multi-course, themed dinners) are hard and we shared the immense task list. Scouting, promoting, ticketing, guest prep, food prep, hosting, serving, cooking, photography…

And, of course, dish duty.

Visit hiddendinner.com

Psst. Use the passcode “compass” to enter without signing up

Make it

Restaurant websites always got a bad rap because, well… they deserved it. For years they were overcomplicated, underutilized, and made the simplest tasks difficult.

Better templates and mobile awareness made things better, but many sites today are either so minimal they look generic or so bloated with parallax, uncompressed photos, and unused assets they barely load on the go.

Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen was celebrating their 10 year anniversary—remarkable for an independent restaurateur—but her website felt just as old.

For such unique food and atmosphere, bold photography needed to play a big roll. OpenTable was integral and needed to be seamless. Email marketing, social, and promotions were active and needed real prominence.

The result is a site that’s easy to use, easy to update, and it’s plain to see why another 10 years is easily in their future.

Visit gabbipatrick.com

Learn something new

Before this venture, I knew as much about commercial real estate as a cap rate on a $1 million building with an annual NOI of ten bucks!

[Hold for laughs—surely—from industry folks]

My industry knowledge is still pretty basic, but after being one third of an aspiring CRE media empire, I picked up plenty of lessons about marketing new media and designing for a massive but old-fashioned $15 trillion market.

The design of the site and my own skillset evolved as our ambitions grew from producing a podcast with guests to streaming live, taking on sponsors, running articles, featuring authors, attending events, creating videos, and trying to become the authority for in depth commercial real estate content.

I may never fully understand the acronyms of this industry, but thankfully building and growing products is a transferrable skill.

Visit creradio.com

Links to previous version of homepage theme, FYI

don't tell

Their concept is a modern day “roadside diner,” but these days vehicle traffic plays second fiddle to mobile phone traffic.

[Hold for laughs]

Seriously though, the traffic on restaurant websites always astounded me, and with 71% of theirs on mobile, Deemer’s needed a site that quickly showcased their brand of high quality, fast casual food.

Using graphic styles from menu boards I created, the site feels like an extension of the physical space. It carried over to their email marketing program as well, which continues to foster customer loyalty.

I also developed a in-house system for digital gift certificates, avoiding an expensive gift card company and allowing the staff to easily create, manage, and redeem vouchers from the same place they update their menus.

With an improved digital presence, the folks at Deemer’s can focus on what they do best (like my standard order: Cali Burger, Tapatio, Lagunitas IPA).

Visit deemersgrill.com

Choose partners wisely

Though it certainly applies to business, choosing the right partner in life seems like the most important (and best) decision I’ve ever made.

Thankfully she agreed, and we decided to tie the knot in a music festival-inspired DIY destination wedding.

It didn’t seem right for a designer/developer to outsource his wedding materials, so between building benches and clearing land, I designed our identity, print materials, and website—including an e-commerce integration to handle our honeymoon gift registry (thanks again, everyone).

The wedding is over but the website lives on. Feel free to RSVP and request a song. Promise I’ll make her dance to it tonight.

Visit gettinhitchedfest.com

And finally...

Leave ‘em wanting more (let’s hope).

There’s plenty more to show and lessons to share…
but let’s talk about you now.

What are you trying to create?
I'd love to learn about it.
Get in touch.

justin@jpv.design      (714)926-6863