In defense of the humble website

JavaScript SPA frameworks are all the rage, but not every web experience needs to be an app.

While Interactive Art Director for the design agency HDMZ, I designed and developed websites, reports, and materials for several clients in the healthcare and biopharmaceutical industry. My favorite client was Cepheid.

Cepheid’s health testing technology is truly ground-breaking; the counter-top Xpert testing system returns results for most tests in under 30 minutes. Instead of sending samples to off-site labs and waiting for up to a week, remote medical clinics with Cepheid testing machines can diagnose and begin treatment the same day.

The Xpert system’s cartridge-style collection kits enable Cepheid to quickly manufacture and distribute a wide range of tests, from sexual health to critical infections and most recently SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Today, they have a product catalog of more than twenty rapid test cartridges.

Cepheid Product page, circa 2014

The cartridges themselves are smaller than a soda can, but their distinct design is instantly recognizable in the medical community. Where the previous site focused on presenting the blocky grey testing machines that run in the thousands of dollars, I featured the bright and modern testing cartridges.

Although Cepheid sells the machines and the cartridge kits together as an integrated system, the real value is in the modularity and breadth of the testing catalog. Once a facility has even one Xpert testing machine, they can use it with any test cartridge.

My goal was to use the website to expand Cepheid’s market reach. By lifting patterns from e-commerce sites such as an individual product page for each test, related product suggestions, and strong call-to-action buttons to persuade viewers to order new tests, I hoped to increase the visibility of the range of testing products and build Cepheid’s market influence.

Check it out on the Wayback Machine.

Asana Community

As we prepared to kick off the first official Asana Community forum, we explored restyling an Open Source forum software to match the Asana product style, instead of licensing an expensive managed solution.

I presented this and several other screens as concepts that could be easily implemented with a simple CSS theme on the open-source Vanilla Forums software.

Concept for an Asana Community discussion thread
Concept for an Asana Community profile page

With the proliferation of blogs as passive income, I thought I’d try my hand at making a niche website to see what the fuss was about.

The Knitting Needle Guide is a Jekyll-based affiliate marketing website that I host on AWS and maintain myself for about $2/month. I handle writing, copyediting, design, development, SEO strategy, advertising, monetization, and social promotion myself, though I’ve recently started hiring freelance writers to continue building up the content.

The site has a consistent 10,000+ unique monthly visitors and makes a modest but rapidly growing profit, now with minimal oversight from me.

Check it out at

Knitting Needle Guide homepage

If you're looking for examples of Javascript SPAs, check out the dashboards and sales tools I made in Vue, or the Design System and Sample Apps I built using Web Components.

I make other stuff too!