Is This Guy for Real

Well, I could be just a an online bot, but I feel real. Below is a good review of who I am and where I've been.

My Career Adventure

Future of patio furniture sales capability online. CS was unable to facilitate all of its patio retail services that it provides in store so an evaluation of CS patio retail capabilities online is needed as well as a way forward.

Curtis Blake's desk setup and office decor

During the final year of Curtis’ tenure at the Art Institute of Colorado, I found my way into the e-commerce department of Christy Sports Ski and Snowboard. The Christy Sports e-commerce team was relatively new, and I found it a good fit with the skills I was quickly acquiring from school.

Soon I found myself in charge of designing and deploying email campaigns to grow the e-commerce revenue and loyal customers. My new responsibility was naturally followed by enhancing the website to receive customers from the email blasts to keep them oriented and help them achieve their goals more quickly.

The next chapter in Christy Sports' e-commerce legacy saw me working to improve the 'look and feel' of several Christy Sports websites and to add front-end functionality. I handled design and worked with our developer to achieve several milestones in the design of the company’s retail, rental and patio sites.  Website enhancements for usability, appearance and for the overall user experience became ongoing, and we gradually improved the sites in step with online shopping trends and our customer’s needs.

Highlights in these improvements that I oversaw included migrating the sites to a responsive design that accommodated the growing use of mobile devices to browse and purchase Christy Sports growing goods and services available online. New features and design updates were added with each redesign at the recommendation of several consulting experts in e-commerce and web design including FitForCommerce, Two Octobers, Ovative, SocialSEO and Conductor.

In more recent years, my responsibilities grew to include the absorption of digital assets from partner companies acquired by Christy Sports. Support for these banners included maintaining existing websites, collaboration with teams to migrate certain banner’s assets into the Christy Sports e-commerce system, and for smaller companies, a redesign and deployment of digital assets to facilitate a web presence for these partner brands. At its peak, I maintained and designed more than 25 websites for Christy Sports and its subsidiaries. Many of these were smaller sites on WordPress platforms while some included full e-commerce capabilities.

At the sunset of my career with Christy Sports, I helped to migrate Christy Sports and its partner brands to a New robust e-commerce platform on Salesforce Community Cloud. This migration brought new opportunities for Christy Sports to grow with more siloed positions in the e-commerce digital department and I was set apart to find new challenges and to advance my career with a new role in an equally satisfying digital team at a new company.

If you’re in need of a creative and motivated web designer to fill a role on your digital team or if you need contract web design work at a competitive rate, feel free to contact me.

What does he do?

I was tasked with creating the new look and feel changes to the site.

I coordinated the changes to the site architecture to better address the UX issues that were discovered as well as the business goals of the patio department.

I developed the front end for all pages with static content that was not served up from a database. All pages that were outside of the catalog of products and retail conversion process.

Curtis Blake's two passions on desktop, Web Design and the mountains of Colorado

What Drives Curtis

Like many other aspects of my life, my motivations and passions are diverse. My career has been driven by my passion for the web as a place to communicate and conduct business with one another. My focus has been the presentation of those websites that I have been involved in; to make them look better and work better. Of course, having a passion for the mountains goes a long way toward getting me out of bed too.

Pervasive Design Principles in My Work

  • Design should do a fantastic job of staying out of the way and letting content stand up on its own.
  • Design should do everything to bring the owner’s values and chief interests to the finished product.
  • Design should make it easy for a user to extract the information they are searching for from the existing content.

What is his passion?

The site was updated to match the format of the ski snowboard retail site The main navigation was updated to accommodate faster browsing to ready to ship items that could be purchased online with little to know service from CS patio experts.

Patio Furniture was limited to Collections that were featured in CS print. (These were carefully selected based on stock levels and ability to sell online)

Emphasis was placed on categories of items that ship immediately from online sales.

A new conversion path was put in place for customers to contact a local store to engage in consultation and expert sales service from store locations

My Personal Background

Curtis Blake in his office

Who is Curtis?

In the early years, I was drawn toward Colorado from a family ski vacation. A typical two weeks of skiing in the I-70 corridor convinced me that Colorado would be my future home.

My passion for web design and all things digital began with a roommate, studying computer science, sold me his old computer. I was soon enveloped by the digital world and as a creative, I saw web design as my place to contribute.

Christy Sports was a way to meld my passion for Colorado and the outdoors with web design and the digital world. I will always have these passions whether my future sees them together in the advancement of my career or as a career and an occupation in my personal life.

Contact Curtis Blake

I'm currently looking for a career with a fantastic company that would be a great fit and requires someone with my skill set. I am also available for contract work. If interested, drop me a line and we can get in touch to discuss my price structure and the nature of your project. Feel free to contact me with any of the methods above.