Nick Day / Freelance web designer & developer based in Manchester specialising in Django

I'm an award-winning freelance web designer and developer based in Manchester.  I design and develop simple, user-friendly and effective websites for small and medium sized businesses, offering a complete service from initial planning and research through to hosting and maintenance.  I am also available for work at digital agencies throughout the North West.

"A diligent, committed and - most
importantly - highly talented developer...
I would recommend him without question."

- Garry Byrne, Reading Room Manchester

"Nick was a great colleague to work with. He is
fast, accurate, innovative and solution-driven
and an all-round great developer."

- Ian Wilson, Reading Room Manchester

"I would recommend Nick to anyone who
needs a high-quality publication or website. He is
both very professional and highly personable."

- Josy Audigier, JET Alumni Association UK

"It would not be an understatement to say that Nick
is one of the most talented front-end developers
that I've ever had the pleasure to work with."

- Tom Hardwidge, Considered Creative

I have over five years of professional experience and have worked for leading digital agencies, specialising in accessible front-end development and developing with the Django framework. I also design for print and interactive projects and have considerable experience in the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) sector.

Passionate about the work I deliver, I am highly recommended by my clients and colleagues. Please explore a selection of my work below and feel free to contact me for an informal no-jargon chat about your project requirements.

English in Chester / Web

I have recently designed and developed a new website for English in Chester to coincide with my rebrand of the school's identity. The design is clean and fresh and the simple navigation helps foreign students navigate through the site easily.

The site features video introductions by members of staff, interactive guides to the history of Chester and selecting a visa to study in the UK, an interactive e-Learning facility and a booking and secure payment system.

The new website also ties in with the public display system I have developed for use at the school.

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Public Display / Interactive

English in Chester asked me to develop a bespoke public display system to be installed in the entrance of the school, with the task of keeping students informed and helping to increase the sense of community amongst students at the school.

Staff can post short messages, details of upcoming events and photos to the screen, through the same easy to use CMS used to manage their website. Photos are automatically downloaded from English in Chester's Facebook page through the Facebook API, and the screen can be updated securely from any location.

English UK Fairs / Web

English UK asked me to develop a site for their range of international education fairs, with the aim of increasing the number of applications to the fairs in the different regions.

The site I developed is strongly reflects the English UK brand, with a visual homepage layout and clear user journeys towards each of the individually themed fair mini-sites. All areas of content and photos/videos can be managed through a tailored CMS. The site also offers online applications and payment, and provides an interface for English UK staff to view and manage bookings and contact delegates.

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Cauldron Foods / Front-End Development

I was the front-end developer for the Cauldron Foods website while working for Reading Room Manchester in 2010.

My role involved the coding of several image-heavy designs into semantic and valid XHTML page templates, development of jQuery plugins for custom functionality (for example, a product carousel) and cross-browser testing. I also coded an HTML email template which was integrated with Campaign Monitor.

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The English Network / Web

The English Network is a group of quality, established English language schools, who formed in 2010 to share and develop their expertise. I was asked to develop their identity and produce their website.

The site provides information about the group and an overview of the services offered by each member school. The interface makes extensive use of jQuery to add visual effects and create an exciting user experience. The site has proven to be highly effective in driving enquiries and clickthroughs to each member's website. As part of my work I also designed and printed various promotional materials for their launch event, including flyers, adverts and presentation banners.

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Barbados Apartment Rental / Web

The Barbados Apartment Rental website provides information about an exclusive holiday rental apartment on the south coast of Barbados.

The design merges from sky to sea, to beach and finally to ground as you scroll down through the page. This one-page design provides all the relevant information that prospective renters require in an easy to read format. My search engine optimisation has given the site very high rankings for relevant terms, and 90% of rental enquiries come directly through the website.

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Cambridge Shakespeare Festival / Web

I was approached by Cambridge Shakespeare Festival to redevelop their website in a suitable visual style and include an online booking system to help increase ticket sales.

Having been quoted high fees elsewhere for a ticket booking system, I worked with the festival's director to come up with a ticketing solution that was simple to operate and within their budget. The bespoke system automatically sends out tickets via email and provides the festival operators with a list of allocated ticket holders for each performance. The website now handles thousands of ticket sales each year during the festival season.

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English UK North / Web

The English UK North website promotes language schools, colleges and universities in the North of England, as well as the region itself, to overseas students who are thinking of studying in the UK.

The site lists several hundred courses in the region and offers a user-friendly, map-based search function. A tailored CMS developed in Django allows any of the 31 members to login to the site at any time and update their profile or course listings. There is also a bespoke email signup system which sends online lessons via email every month to subscribers, increasing awareness of the English UK North brand and providing followup marketing opportunities.

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English UK Training / Web

English UK commissioned me to develop an online booking and payment system for their range of conferences, to replace a paper-based manual booking process.

I developed a bespoke booking system using Django, tailored to the exact requirements of English UK's staff and tuned to the internal working processes of the company. The system provides a single point of storage for all data related to conference bookings, and can be fully managed by English UK staff with minimal training. The user-facing application forms were designed with user experience as a core requirement, ensuring that users could complete complex application processes as easily as possible.

Launching soon!

Groundwork / Front-End Development

I was the front-end developer for the Groundwork website while working for Reading Room Manchester during 2009 and 2010.

My role involved the coding of over twenty different page templates, development of several interactive widgets with jQuery, integration into the Alterian Immediacy CMS and cross-browser testing throughout. I also coded an HTML email template which was integrated with Campaign Monitor.

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Jeepey / Web

The Jeepey Jeep Club approached me to redesign and redevelop their website to help increase awareness of the club and its events.

I worked with Jeepey to design a new logo and visual style to be used on the website and all other promotional material. The site is simple to manage with an easy to use custom CMS allowing Jeepey to manage content, upload photo galleries and publicise events. A forum provides an area for members to communicate and an online store is currently being developed.

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JET Alumni Association UK / Web

The JET Alumni Assocation provides a network for alumni of the JET programme, helping to promote Japan and the JET programme through various activities. I was asked to redevelop their site with a modern new look and logical navigation, with the aim of increasing the reach of the JET community within the UK.

The site allows the JET programme community to stay in touch - through sharing news, messages, photos, events and jobs with other alumni. There are over 5,000 registered members and a friend search facility makes it easy to locate other members, view profiles and send messages. HTML newsletters can be sent in bulk to specific chapters of alumni, and the site as a whole can be fully managed by the JET community.

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NSW Commission for Children and Young People / Front-End Development

I was one of the front-end developers working on the NSW Commission for Children and Young People website for Reading Room's Australia office while working for Reading Room Manchester in 2010.

My role involved the coding of several flexible page templates, jQuery development and cross-browser testing.

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ProTherapy / Web

ProTherapy is an independent psychotherapy practice based in Chester. They approached me to design a new identity for the practice and develop their website.

I worked with ProTherapy to design their logo and print their letterhead, compliment slips and business cards. The website contains information about their psychotherapy and occupational health services and helps to drive both online and offline enquiries to the practice.

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Study UK / Web

Study UK is the official membership association for further and higher education colleges accredited by the British Accreditation Council in the UK. I designed and developed Study UK's new website to help promote the organisation and its members.

The site's clear design is simple to navigate, with a visual homepage providing clear signposts to areas of the site for different users. The site has recently been translated into seven different languages, and all content can be managed using the CMS. The CMS also makes it easy to send out HTML newsletters to members, and a members-only area of the site allows Study UK members to login and access various resources and forms.

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English in Chester / Print & Identity

English in Chester asked me to design their 2011 brochure to market the school to prospective students and agents worldwide.

The 20-page A4 brochure provides information about the school and the range of courses offered in colour coded sections, with a clear layout helping to aid understanding by the target market of overseas students and agents. My work also included the design of a new logo and visual identity for the school, as well as a range of promotional items.

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English UK North / Print & Identity

I designed a brochure for English UK North to help with the promotion of the North of England to overseas students as a destination for English language learning. Opting for a square format the brochure offers an vibrant design to compliment the website I developed, whilst helping to keep postage costs low for sending overseas.

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EThames Graduate School Prospectus / Print & Identity

EThames Graduate School in London approached me to design their 2011 International Prospectus to be distributed to overseas students ahead of the new academic year.

The 52-page A4 prospectus offers a clean and neat visual design, with colour coded sections and a clear and logical layout of information. The font and colour schemes used in the prospectus are now being used by the school to achieve brand uniformity across all of their promotional material.

UniVote / Interactive

UniVote is a interactive public voting system that I developed in the final year of my BSc Computer Science degree at Lancaster University. The system is designed to be used within universities to elicit student opinions on a wide variety of subjects, as well as keeping students informed of events happening throughout the campus. I presented this work at the British Human-Computer Interaction Conference in 2007 in my paper Breaking the Campus Bubble.

The system uses Java and Bluetooth to communicate between mobile phones and screens, with Director providing the front-end interface and a PHP web service connecting the different components together.

More information

Achieving User Satisfaction in Content Management Systems / Academic

Content management systems (CMS) allow companies to maintain their website themselves through a web browser interface. What happens when an unusable or poorly implemented CMS is used on a daily basis by the same team of people, with the pressures and deadlines imposed by a commercial environment?

As part of my masters in Human-Computer Interaction, my thesis Achieving User Satisfaction in Content Management Systems investigates the factors by which user satisfaction can be achieved in Content Management Systems designed for long-term repetitive use. I conducted a User-Centred Design (UCD) process to redesign/redevelop an existing CMS to be tailored to its users and reported my findings.

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Breaking the Campus Bubble / Academic

Students living on a university campus can feel like they are living in a "bubble" - an isolated and insular community cut off from the outside world. Can interaction with technology be used to help break the bubble, foster interaction and help to create a sense of community?

My paper Breaking the Campus Bubble: Informed, Engaged, Connected tests this theory by using the UniVote system I developed as a case study. This paper was published and I presented it at the British Human-Computer Interaction Conference 2007 at Lancaster University.

Download paperDownload slides