Reno Web Developer Spotlight: Stephanie Kendziorski

D4 Advanced Media can do a lot to grow your business. We produce industry-leading web design, graphic design, search engine optimization, and internet marketing strategies for trendsetting businesses. One of the ways we deliver such outstanding results for our clients is by employing some of the most talented professionals in northern Nevada. Today, we get to know Stephanie Kendziorski.

Education & Background

Stephanie attended Universite Rendeu #2, an art school in France. There, she learned HTML, graphic design and a broad range of art. Upon graduation, Stephanie moved to the United States where she continued her studies at TMCC. There, she received an Associate degree in web development and a certificate in graphic design.

Day to Day Web Development

Stephanie spends much of her time at D4 flexing her creative muscles to design innovative websites, graphics and print media. She begins every project by meeting with the client and getting to know their needs and goals. Next comes designing the website itself, and then building the site in WordPress. The graphic elements Stephanie produces for the client may include:

Web Design Jargon Explained

Business owners and organizations know that an attractive website is critical to establishing a brand’s image. Savvy professionals know that an effective website is not just for show. An effective website can educate, persuade, entertain, and sell to users. A business can benefit from web design, graphic design, frontend development and backend development.

But, what exactly do these different services entail?

Web Design and Graphic Design:

These terms are sometimes used synonymously. Graphic design will be both print media / print materials, but also just designing how a website should look. Web design describes the digital appearance only and will not include any print elements.

Frontend Development versus Backend Development:

Frontend development includes web design and graphic design and works to create the outward appearance of the website. When we talk about the backend, we’re referring to the code of everything that is hidden to the human eye. It’s easy to forget that a website is combination of ones and zeroes. Our computers understand HTML, CSS, and PHP as we write it and they convert these languages into ones and zeroes. We take the design and apply it to the backend to create the ideal outward-facing appearance. The backend code is like the bones of the website and the frontend is the skin or outward appearance of the website.

A Little Q&A Keeps Website Stagnation at Bay

In this section, we ask Stephanie how she came to be where she is. We also learn in greater detail what web developers do and the challenges they must navigate.

What attracted you to working for D4 Advanced Media?

Block quote“I remember when I got my interview and I walked in here and I saw that the office looks very cool. There’s this button on the wall that we press when we launch a website or accomplish something big. We press that button, and it rings a loud bell to celebrate. There’s a quote underneath the bell button that says, “Remember, curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” It really spoke to me. I felt that this would be the place where I could grow, learn, and become a better developer. It feels like a family in a way.”

Stephanie Speaks French and English. What Other Languages Does She Speak?

Block quote“The very basic languages we use are HTML and CSS. HTML will allow us to include the written content, images, and links. CSS allows us to style. It will allow us to change the colors, change how links react when you hover the cursor over it; it’s just an infinite world within CSS. We work with PHP for more dynamic content. It’s a combination of working with WordPress and working with the code.

We can set up a form for users to submit feedback about a business, and then we can write PHP that will use the feedback to create a testimonial on the site. PHP takes the code to the next level. While HTML and CSS are very good in and of themselves, they have limitations. With PHP, you can do much more. Then you can include Javascript and do even more.”

What are some the challenges facing today’s web developers, and what do you wish you knew when you first entered the industry?

Block quote“Web development is constantly evolving. It’s easy for new developers to feel overwhelmed, and it’s necessary to keep up with the latest coding languages and methods. I was recently introduced to SCSS. It’s a different way of coding and styling a website. It’s a beautiful language. We at D4 stay current with evolving coding languages to keep our client’s sites looking fresh.

I wish I better understood WordPress when I started. I didn’t fully know what goes into the creation of a professional website. I should have further researched how to use a content management system like WordPress alongside the code. Since working at D4, I’ve learned the artistry required to marry code with a CMS (content management system).”

How can your services benefit companies and organizations that are considering a new website or redesigning a preexisting website?

Block quote“I think our services at D4 can provide clients with something more modern, because the languages keep evolving and so does the design. Our expectations with website design are constantly changing.

Our mobile devices are also evolving all the time. We need to provide a website that will work for as broad an audience as possible. Now, it’s not just about a website that looks good on a desktop. It’s about providing a website that works on every device, also known as responsive design or mobile optimization.

I tend to emphasize the functionality of the website. The design part goes fairly quickly, and we get a good understanding of what we want the navigation to look like: the homepage, the footer, what content we need on that homepage, but we don’t necessarily design the remaining pages.

We design as we start building. We want a good-looking website that will attract our client’s customers, but we think of the backend, too. It’s not just about the aesthetic value of a website. We at D4 also try to really ensure that the functionality is optimal. We think of how the website will work with SEO. We think about how the website will look on your phone. The client will approve a basic homepage design which will be applied to the rest of the pages. We design one to three pages normally, but if a client wants every single page personally designed by D4, we are happy to do that.

I had a project where we designed nine pages for the client, and those weren’t all the pages on the website, but it covered every possible button, link, or any possible content they might have. We design everything the client needs to move forward with their remaining pages.”