Hello world

My name is Will. I am a Product Manager by day and a developer/ designer by night. On weekends you can find me building websites, playing soccer around New York City, or skiing in Vermont.

Want to talk about a project? Send me an email at willdurkin@gmail.com.


MARK CUNNINGHAM / an interior designer's portfolio site

Mark Cunningham is a New York based interior designer who has worked on a wide range of residential and commercial buildings. He has been written up in Vogue and the New York Times Magazine, and has been included on the yearly list of America’s top designers by Elle Decor and Architectural Digest. For his site, I wanted to create an immersive visual presentation of his work that encouraged users to dive in and explore the different projects.

The central challenge of the project was creating a seamless viewing experience for the many images in Mark's protfolio. As a starting point, I experiemented with different site architectures.

First solution:


My first solution on desktop was to create a single page that hosted all portfolio images, and was navigated using a menu on project links. Images would be shown and hidden without page reload for a smoother UX.

However, the design for the mobile site offered a simpler solution, which became the basis for the final desktop design.

ODYSSEE / a gif-based adventure game

Odyssee is a world composed entirely of gifs that the user must navigate. The site architectures is a 10 x 10 grid of "slides," each of which is composed of a full screen gif, a set of navigation controls and often some other kind of elements. Certain slides contain puzzles the user has to solve to continue. The goal is to make it to the end of the path.

LITE.FM / a communal listening experience powered by the youtube api

Lite.fm was my final project for the Javascript course I took at General Assembly. The site is comprised on a single playlist of YouTube videos (each intended to be a song) that is generated through a form located at the top of the page. Any user can add a song to the playlist by pasting a YouTube link into the form. When the form is submitted, the site calls the YouTube API to retrieve the video information, stores it in Firebase, and adds the video to the top of the page.

The concept was inspired by the way that my friends and I share music over email. I have discovered a lot of great music through them, but the links are scattered across emails and become lost. With lite.fm, my goal was to collect music in a centralized place to form a continuous listening experience and make the catalog more explorable.

As a next step, I am adding upvoting and sorting functionality so that users can access the most popular songs. I am also working on a Chrome extension that allows the user to add a songs directly from a YouTube page.

SULLIVAN CROMWELL / a tax law blog

The New York law firm Sullivan Cromwell LLC has a network of blogs on its site that cover different legal topics. This was a design project (they wanted the programming to be handled by their in house team) for their tax law blog - Tax Law Today.

The firm wanted to evolve the site's look and improve the overall user experience. At the start of the project, I spoke with representatives from their Marketing department. We identified these goals for the project, as well as certain limitations.

While they wanted to give the page a cleaner, modern design, there were certain restrictions on design elements because they were standard across their blog network. The color scheme, typeface, header image and certain page elements had to remain in place.

The way to improve the site most significantly was to improve its page layout and create an information hierarchy to guide the user. The blog consisted of two types of posts: long form pieces written by the firm’s lawyers, and daily roundups of news links from other sites. The long form pieces represented the blog’s core content, but they were quickly buried on the blogroll by the news posts. News posts were added daily, while long form pieces only once or twice a week. The previews of the two post types had the same visual format, so there was little to distinguish them from each other. Their was also an About section that described the tax blog pinned to the top of the blog roll that pushed content below the fold of the page. As a result, the core content of the site was hard to find.

To clarify the user experience, I broke these content types out into separate sections. The main blogroll was reserved for the long form pieces and daily news posts were moved to the right rail. The current day's links were shown in a list, with a link to an archive page. The About section was moved to its own page.

Sullivan Cromwell's motto is “Quietly confident.” My goal was to communicate that with a professional design and an efficient user experience. The site is still being developed by Sullivan Cromwell's team, they are planning to launch in summer 2018.

JZ BANKING SERVICES / a private equity group corporate website

JZ Banking Services is a private equity group based in the Netherlands. They needed a company website, and wanted it built on Wordpress so that they would have the ability to made content edits. They wanted a modern look and feel that still maintained the level of professionalism that you would expect as a finance company.

SAM DAKOTA / a visual artist and printmaker portfolio

Sam Dakota is a New York based artist. For his portfolio site we wanted to create a design that complemented his artistic style and a user experience that made it fun to look through his work. He created a custom wallpaper pattern to serve as a background and I used the localScroll Javascript plugin to create a navigation system that lets users seamless toggle between projects (this is something I later explored in more depth with Odyssee).