New stuff in the making!

Posted on .

New stuff in the making!



New stuff in the making!

Posted on .

I am currently working on a number of projects which haven’t appeared on my portfolio site yet. Partly because most of them are still work in progress and partly because I want to hold them back until I can add the whole bunch of them to the site.

Nevertheless I thought it might just be interesting to briefly introduce the projects and share some of the thoughts that went into them.

1. A website for a veterinary practice


Now If you know me personally you will not have too much trouble finding out which company this website is for.

In the same way animal anatomy is in its basics not too different from its human counterpart, a website for a vet needs to be built on the same cornerstones as a website for a regular physician. It must feel

  • trustworthy and friendly: A sick pet means worries and stress for its keeper. It’s the vet on whom people rely and the website should help to communicate his expertise while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere.
  • factual and to the point: There is a reason why emergency rooms don’t have cosy carpets and fragrant candles. It’s because it is the workplace of highly trained professionals in which concentration and coordination can save lives. People know that, and it should be mirrored in the website.
  • clearly laid out and easy to use: If you are developing a geeky webshop, then your target audience will probably be, well, geeks. Chances are they use their computers fairly regularly and know how to get around on more complex websites. The target audience for this site however is everybody who has a) a pet  and b) a computer or mobile device with internet connection. This includes a lot of people who are no digital natives. Imagine your granny using the browser for the first time since you showed her how three years ago, and that in a state of total shock because her cat has eaten the neighbor boy’s little toy soldier. It has to be easy, and if you’re just making the phone number easy to find, so she can call in. Obviously this also includes making the website accessible for as many of the old browsers as possible.

So I am currently building the website on the above principles. It features a big background image of an animal, which serves to address the visitor on an emotional level. The page titles are set in the typeface Meta. A clean font, but one with a somewhat friendly appearance. The content areas of the website are kept in white and blue combinations, two colors suitable for the medical nature of the site.

The site’s structure is very simple, just five pages:

  • Home
  • Die Praxis (the practice)
  • Unser Team (our team)
  • Anfahrt und Sprechzeiten (getting there and opening hours)
  • Kontakt (contact, along with a the telephone number)

There’s no redundant information, everything is designed to give the client the information he needs.

Right now, there is only small things missing, so I hope I will be able to present you the completed website within the next few weeks!

2. A website for a local politician


I have always found politics fascinating. And when I started studying, I was really shocked by all the advertising and psychology talk you get to hear in design classes. I didn’t sound too great to put all your efforts and talent into creating mind tricks to make people buy trash.

But this was also the time of the American 2008 presidential election campaign, and nothing restored my faith in design as a tool to do good as much as seeing the impact of Shepard Fairey’s HOPE posters did. Now you can have different opinions about Shepard Fairey and even more so about the authenticity of the promise of HOPE, but it proved that there was still a chance to work for projects you believe in and being successful with it. So there’s no need to say that it’s always a true high-five-fest in my head when I get an opportunity to work on political projects. What’s even better is that I was getting help from my brother Benedikt.

I have worked on different occasions for local chapters of the German green party Bündnis90 / Die Grünen before (view it in my portfolio), and this project is for one of their city councillors in Ulm.

Right now I don’t want to go into too many details but it is a blog/portfolio website and in terms of design it follows the current trend of large background-images, only in a somewhat innovative way. The content area is kept very clean to guarantee high legibility.

I am especially proud of the fact that this will be a full grown WordPress blog, and therefore my first fully functional blog theme. I hope this will be online soon so I can show of even more.

3. & 4. Websites for an organic food and cosmetics store


For this last stop on our quick tour, we’ll have a look at two projects that are in two ways similar to the above one. First of all, they too are somewhat “green” and they too are content management system based projects. In fact, WordPress as the CMS, and of course the HTML, CSS and JavaScript around it made up almost all of my work here, because this again was a collaboration in which I was responsible for the coding while Stephanie Reiner created the screen design.

One could probably say that this project had an unusual rhythm to it. While both websites are equally relevant, we were first asked to create the one for the organic food store, Naturkost Stolz. Some month after that, the client decided to go ahead and add a website for the organic cosmetics   company, Naturkosmetik Stolz. By that time Stephanie and I felt we could achieve a much more modern look for the website. And by the time we were finished with the cosmetics site, we knew the food website’s visuals would have to be updated to be fit in with its fancy cosmetics sister.

Right now, the new Naturkost Stolz site is just waiting for some minor changes before it will go live some time within the next days. The Naturkosmetik Stolz website can already be viewed under



I know that in this post I haven’t provided you with a lot of visual material, but I hope you found it interesting to read some of my thoughts on these projects. I will of course post more material as soon as the different websites get launched.



Max Maier

Max is working as a User Experience Designer at a web and e-learning agency in Stuttgart, Germany. The web has been a second home for him since his teenage years, and he loves to see it become more mature (as he does – somewhat).


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