Brian Carroll Sage Island Staff Spotlight
December 5th, 2013

Staff Spotlight: Brian Carroll

by Vicki Vasil

Brian Carroll is our resident web programmer. Aside from implementation of the squeakiest clean code, his wide breadth of programming language fluency, and his willingness to adapt as quickly as the technology evolves, Brian’s greatest strength is that he knows which and when to use each piece of his repertoire. He doesn’t try to cram in all the latest and greatest trends and widgets into each and every site. His development always begins with a thorough and thoughtful exploration of the user perspective—both that of the end user who browses your site for information and products, and you, the client, who need to easily update and manage things on their site regularly.

“Keeping the whole package in mind—all the pieces, how the user navigates a site, and the paths they choose—are the most important thing to me,” he says. Unlike copy or layout design of a site, you usually only “notice” a programmer’s work when there’s a bug. So Brian is completely okay with you never even thinking about code when you’re browsing a site. That means he’s doing it right.

Brian’s favorite recent projects include:

Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation: In addition to reorganizing the JOEMC utility service site to highlight Energy, Memberships and the Cooperative, Brian was able to integrate CSS3—a newer programming language—to ensure the sliding effects of the mobile site were smooth and didn’t stutter, slowing down the user experience.

Working on the Warehouse Skateboards site is rewarding for Brian because he has the access and ability to make, test and debug incremental changes on an ongoing basis. Some of the recent upgrades he has made are mobile-friendly shopping and browsing adjustments, adding mega-menus to the site, and an overall optimization for all the latest browsers programmed to “gracefully fall back” to an earlier version per each user’s browser.

Another highlight was developing the new Coastal Beverage site, most notably the custom beerfinder he created, which suits the searching needs of both Coastal Beverage’s retailer clients and those retailers’ customers. Users can sort hundreds of beers through a Google Maps-integration, filtering by miles, zip code, store type, beer type, beer brand, and more.

Regarding trends towards responsive mobile-friendly design, Brian says that the best way to tackle it depends on the site’s purpose. Your account executive will work with Brian and the rest of the development team to propose the best solution for you. Rest assured that at Sage Island the possibilities of using the latest technology and design are available, but that we’ll always propose a solution with your specific user experience in mind for the best results.

The best news for our clients, according to Brian, is that in order to improve your users’ experience, your site can almost always be improved by incremental work. If you keep up with your site by simplifying user navigation that has gotten complicated over the years, re-optimizing the site to work in the most recent browser versions, or installing a new form or tool, a complete renovation isn’t always necessary. By tackling upgrades on your site little by little, you’ll keep it fresh, functional and relevant. Contact a Sage representative today for a free review of your website.