Category Archives: Ellen’s Portfolio

Marketing -Just For Fun

Realtime Microsystems Screenshot

Engineers at Realtime Microsystems in San Diego recently moved into a new office. Although this small consultant firm has kept busy over the years without marketing, I created a new website for them just for fun to celebrate the new office.

Does the world need another single page, mobile friendly website with gratuitious animation? Check out and decide for yourself.

Don Norman Signing Books

Designing Everyday Things

Don Norman gave a great talk and signed his book  at the Los Angeles User Experience (LAUX) meeting, November 2013.

NEW VIDEO – Donald Norman: The Design of Everyday Things in the 21st Century, Nov. 15, 7PM, Santa Monica, @jnd1er from on Vimeo.

To get to the part where Don begins to speak, jump to 10:03 on the video timeline. At 20:26, Don talk’s about the User Centered System Design (UCSD) book. Don is holding my copy of his book! He signed it for me before his talk.

Don Norman is an entertaining and inspiring speaker. I was Dr. Norman’s student at UCSD and I used his advice and read his books throughout my career. His messages have gotten even better with age and experience. At the end of the meeting I had the honor of having Don show me the Uber app to call a ride to the airport. It was fun to watch the “black car” move along on the map on Don’s cell phone and then appear in front of us in real life.

Don Norman Signing Books

Don Norman signing Ellen’s giant stack of books

Beach Readers Facebook Page

Setting Up E-Commerce in a Day

It’s possible to set up your own store on Facebook for free in a day. You don’t even have to have your own domain. To put this to the test, I came up with a brand I call Beach Readers and created an online store. Beach Readers are sunglasses with bifocal or progressive lenses in them. I wear my Beach Readers outside all the time -no swapping glasses to see my cell phone, to look at my cars dashboard or to read.
Beach Readers Facebook Page
I set up a shopping cart to sell Beach Readers in a just few hours. I uploaded a few photos I took last week, filled in lots of forms, verified a few accounts and voila -instant E-Commerce!  Amazing! I recommend using Ecwid. As a former e-commerce software interface designer and developer, I can especially appreciate the power of this awesome technology.

Although it appears that I have created a functioning online store so easily, setting this up was a bit of an unnecessary struggle.  I didn’t come across any one set of instructions that worked specifically for my case. The instructions are most likely out there, but at this point (May 2013), it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I watched a few videos on setting up the Ecwid store which were pretty time-consuming, but only partially helpful. I found the rest of what I needed to know on the Ecwid website.

There were lots of necessary steps and important forms to fill out on both Ecwid and Facebook. Due to the fact that Facebook is always changing and there are so many ways that Ecwid works, I’m giving general guidelines for now. It’s not this easy.

Set Up your Ecwid Store: Go to up an account and store. Make a note of your “Store ID”. You will need this for Facebook. There are lots of tabs for setting up your inventory. Delete the fruit examples and add your own. Fill in the shipping and tax information etc…

Set up your Facebook Store: Go to to and set up a developer account. Set up your Facebook Store. Filling out these forms were really a leap of faith – not for the faint of heart. Lots of bank account information and business information goes in here.

Here’s what the Product Detail Page looks like:

Beach Readers Detail Page

The next step is to sell something and also get this store working for mobile too!

Note: As of June 7, 2013 it looks like Ecwid is still working on responsive mobile software and Facebook 3rd party application constraints See for more details from Ecwid.