Thomas Vander Wal

Life

Current Life:

Work...

Deisgn for Context, Senior User Experience Designer and Strategist

Side Projects...

Web Standards Project, Steering Committee
Personal InfoCloud, Founder & Publisher

Live...

Bethesda, Maryland.

Written About

Also see Press Coverage

Past Lives:

Work...

More detail can be found on many of these on my LinkedIn profile for Thomas Vander Wal.

Side Projects...

AIfIA, Founding Leadership Council
Boxes and Arrows, Alumni Tech Lead

Education

Lived...

Getting Here

I am fortunate that work and play intersect to a great degree. I research, design, advise, and build information applications based on internet technologies and leverage my foundations in information architecture, organizational efficiency, IS/IT management, product & project management, social interactions & analysis, and interaction design (see Technosocial Architect for an understanding). I work and have worked inside organizations and consulting/contracting, which helps know the pain felt on both sides. I work in and across nearly all sizes and sectors of organizations.

In college I chose communication as my major (over economics, the draw to this subject stems from a great econ teacher in high school) as I did not have a great grasp of how people interacted and shared information easily nor effectively. What made a good speech that hit home? What made an advertisement stick in your head? These sort of questions triggered a tidal wave of interest. The digital information trends in the office and home really added to the interest and created a deep rooted passion.

While, it is not recent, the interview by Peter Bogaards for InfoDesign - Understanding Design: Profile of Thomas Vander Wal is still quite good and rather relevant overview of the design slice of what I do.

The Site

Much of this site is built with TypePad (Mac), and a touch of Dreamweaver and put into place with FTP. The graphic elements are created and modified with Adobe PhotoShop and Macromedia FreeHand. The site is moving toward validating XHTML and CSS.

The "Off the Top" section, is managed with a blogging tool built from scratch using PHP and MySQL. This is a light content management system that I built to ease content creation and upkeep.

Vanderwal.net is now hosted at Webfactional, which supports applications and sites developed with PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby and MySQL.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.