Foodgawker

Gawkerverse is a network of user-generated content sites including foodgawker.com, craftgawker.com, stylgawker.com, weddinggawker.com, and dwellinggawker.com built by chief gawker, Chuck Lai. I began working with Chuck in 2011 on an original project to enhance the search functionality on his sites. He and I collaborated on the product until summer of 2015. Here is an archive of that initial case and the later redesign effort.

The suite of gawker sites are based on one WordPress parent theme with many custom functions built to enhance administration, improve performance and delivery, and/or improve user experience. Each customization required careful consideration of the market, usability (how, where, and what users were doing and expected to do), administration, and performance. All while playing well with the native app integrations. These constraints provided very specific guidelines for research, implementation, and release.

  • Starting with specific browser and device support specifications with negotiated trade-offs based on research (external forces and current usage activities).
  • And carefully crafted UI documents to articulate workflows based on user behavior patterns.
  • Upon moving into implementation, I managed the development in an agile process leveraging GitHub issues for task tracking and communications.
  • I handled user testing to specific requirements to ensure compliance with the agreed upon specs. Often MVP testing for targeted changes to ensure alignment.
  • I communicated updates balancing priorities, budget implications, scope adjustments, and expected timetables.
  • And I wrangled release plans and activities around allowable downtimes.