[INTERVIEW] Web Producer – Bill Olson

July 16, 2021

Every month we introduce a new staff member from the Planeteria team. We sat down with Bill to ask him a few questions about his role at Planeteria.

Bill, please introduce yourself.
I’m a Sonoma County native and have had a career in web design since 2010. I have an Associates Degree in Interactive Media Design from the Santa Rosa Junior College.

What is your role at Planeteria?
Migrating content from existing websites to our new ones, as well as QA, and providing post-launch support for needed updates or issues. I work directly with clients in making updates as well as coordinate changes with our design and development team. I also help to keep our WordPress websites up to date with updated stability and security releases.

How long have you been in this role?
 I’ve been a Web Producer with Planeteria since 2019 and another company before then. Fun fact, I was a paid intern with Planeteria while I was going to college back in 2012.

How do you juggle supporting and maintaining multiple projects at once?
An online project management and customer support application are essential for handling the many ongoing projects and requests that we receive.

How do you ensure a website is running smoothly pre and post-launch?
Ongoing communication between the client and within our team is key. We have a QA process throughout development and launch. We have a dedicated support portal for any client requests that manages and tracks any requests

What is the most important factor when it comes to content migration?
A solid understanding of the existing website’s content and the structure helps in migrating to a new site. Also, understanding how the new website is built and may differ from the original one

Are there any trends that you think will be popular in 2021?
We will continue to see an increased need for compliance with California’s Online Privacy Protection Act, as well as Website Accessibility and ADA Compliance as a whole.

What would you like to see more of within municipal website design?
Making more easily accessible those areas and topics that the public wants to access most frequently. Many websites make it difficult to find the most relevant information.

What is a recent design/website layout you are very proud of?
I’m happy to have had part in CDBR-DR Disaster Recovery site for the Virgin Island Housing Finance Authority. It’s satisfying to know when your work is helping people in need.

What tools do you use?
The most frequent and versatile tool we use for making and editing websites is WordPress. Other applications I use a lot include Basecamp for project management, BugHerd for QA, Cayzu for our custom support portal, Brackets for coding, and Photoshop for image editing. Also, frequently use Slack and Skype for more immediate team communications.

What types of functionality do you work with most often? How do you ensure their accuracy?
Simplifying the layout of complex websites with lots of information into more easily accessible information for site visitors. Fortunately, WordPress makes this possible with it’s default and custom blocks we build. We can layout a lot of information in a concise manner using things like Accordion Menus, Tabs, Grids, Buttons, and other methods.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy the variety of projects that we work on as well as knowing that the government and municipal websites that we build are making life better for those communities.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?
The impressive work of my co-workers. They embody the variety of necessary skills sets and experiences that help in making better websites.