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Magento’s Second Best Designer Returns from Sabbatical
 
Scott
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Total Posts:  333
Joined:  2007-08-31
Northwest Ohio
 

How’s that for a headline?

I’m Scott and I take my ego very personally. So leggo my ego, k?

About Me

For those who don’t know me, I’m known as Scott on the forums, but my real name is SpiderMan. Okay, maybe not… I’m pretty easy going and I enjoy making people smile and laugh. Although my humor is occasionally lame, I try to make the best of it. I’m a website designer and brand developer hailing from… I mean designing in Northwest Ohio, US. I can be humble when I try. And since geniuses don’t admit they’re geniuses, naturally I would assume that the best designers won’t admit they’re the best either. So I hearby declare that I’m neither a genius nor the best designer (Magento or otherwise). *wink* ...  I’ll leave that for you to decide (but flame me via pm only, if you feel you must!).

Others say my design style is clean, and likable (lickable even?), which can be seen in my work. My work tends to pile up faster than I can add completed projects to the portfolio, so I will probably update it when I get a chance (also working on rebranding my business and launching a new site driven by EE as time permits). I have left some of my ecommerce projects out of the showcase, because the system was so limiting that my vanity and ego would not permit me to showcase those laughingstocks of ecommerce systems and my attempts at wrangling their designs. I’m probably over-exaggerating just a bit…

My Magento History

I’ve been fairly involved with Magento since the early inceptions of the application last spring, and I’ve watched the application bud and then bloom into a rich, full-featured ecommerce application that has raised the bar for the entire ecommerce experience. I have always been passionate about ecommerce ever since I became involved with my first ecommerce project nearly five years ago.

Even the simple announcement of Magento last spring was enough to excite me from a state of ecommerce apathy (regarding the available applications) into a state of ecommerce elation, because until coming across that announcement I was disgusted with the sad state of ecommerce, especially from a design standpoint.

I needed something much more flexible than what was out there, whether open source or commercial, and none of those projects could deliver, until I tried Magento upon its initial release on August 31st as one of the first to download and test it, and join these forums to help others who were interested in experiencing what I like to call ecommerce 2.0 … Although, admittedly, I am already looking forward to ecommerce 2.1!

Shortly after, I banged out the first publicly available Magento theme, which I affectionately called Tealo. I said I would maintain that theme package for future releases of Magento, as time allowed (hint: it hasn’t yet). The design experience, though it can seem daunting at first, was a new and interesting one. And though I did not customize the look of every Magento facet, and its internal modules still looked stock, but I wrangled the CSS, the navigation and other design elements in under 8 hours (it was all the time I had available) and released Tealo on September 19th, just two weeks after the first public beta release of Magento.

The Evolution of my Sabbatical

As with any app’s beta release, many things were bound to change, and at that time there were many bugs to be solved and features to be added. Changes to be implemented would most likely change the way designing for Magento is handled. Any designs made to be compatible with the first release would most likely not be compatible with future releases, needing minor (or possibly major) modifications in order to be compatible, and that is the case today. Meaning, Tealo is no longer compatible with new releases (this has been noted in the Tealo thread). So back in September, I was involved in developing Magento design documentation, but designing for Magento was recommended for experience purposes only, because they would probably not be compatible with future releases.

Being that Magento was still evolving, the forums kind of tapered off (at least in the design area), and being that I had mounds of client work, I decided to take a Sabbatical from Magento for a few months and let it evolve while I focused on clients. I still hung out in the IRC channel #magento, lurked around the forums, and talked to Roy and Moshe here and there, for the most part I was just buying time for Magento to progress in features, stability and give the team time to iron out and finalize the design aspect. (I wish I really could buy time!)

(Continued below)

 
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Scott
Guru
 
Avatar
Total Posts:  333
Joined:  2007-08-31
Northwest Ohio
 

Giving the People What They Want

Since the announcement of Magento, I had predetermined to decline new ecommerce clients until the stable release of Magento. For clients who inquired, I would tell them that I was not accepting clients until April 2008, when Magento would (hopefully) be released in a stable form, and if they were patient enough, that this solution would meet their needs better than any other solution out there, and would most likely save them money (because Magento would support most of their requirements out of the box). I emphasized that patience meant quality, and to this day I am still talking with those prospects and clients who were patient enough to wait and who saw the value in quality and money saved.

That brings me to today. I have demo’d Magento a couple times, and the clients have liked what they saw. Although Magento still has a short ways to go, I feel comfortable now in getting started with ecommerce clients, assuming that in two months, we will have all the preparations and considerations for each project taken care of, so that when Magento is released in it’s fully stable form, it should be pretty straightforward and simple to setup the site, run Magento (I have a dedicated server with full Magento support which I run most of my clients on) and get their ecommerce site launched successfully. I’m pretty stoked about it all. Always have been, but we’re getting closer to the stable release, which I feel comfortable putting to good use. I mean, seriously good use… good as in “for the betterment of mankind” good. Haha, maybe that’s a stretch, but hey I’m passionate about it okay? I hope you are too, :)

So Now What?

I fully understand if you skip right to this paragraph, I talk way too much!  :coolsmile:

So now, I have actively decided to return to the forums, although probably not in full force at this point, as I still have lots of client work to take care of. But since a couple of my projects will be Magento related, I expect to hang around here a bit more, rather than just lurking around occasionally like I have been the past few months as time has permitted. I absolutely did not need to announce my return, but I couldn’t help myself (Ego said, “Do it, or else!)…

Anyway, If anyone needs design help, I would be glad to discuss Magento design with you. You can usually reach me and other helpful and passionate members in the IRC channel #magento (type ‘purefusion’ to get my attention, and don’t bother ‘myrth’ as he’s just so darn busy all the time :D ) ... If I’m online I will most likely respond (usually during the week, weekends are hit-or-miss). If you’re a fellow designer, say hey. If you’re a programmer, pm me! If you’re from around these parts of the US, we need to plan a Magento meet-up, yeah? Get in touch. ;)

God bless the entire Magento team! :)

Go “whoa” Magento!

 
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