Little Buddha

  • Laura hi there!

    My name is Laura Melbourne, and I am the woman behind the curtain at Little Buddha Design. I live in beautiful SW Florida, where I enjoy kayaking through the mangroves, sipping fruity beverages, and taking long walks on the beach. My interests—both personal and professional—are widely varied, and I hope this web site reflects that.

    Once upon a time, I was a graphic designer doing, well, graphic design stuff. I have done a little bit of everything, including working for a small ad agency, a major university, and an award-winning video game company. In the mid-90s, I ventured into web design and got my foot in the door at a leading global media company; I have never looked back.

    Over the course of time, my approach to web design has become much more holistic. I believe that to design a successful web site, portal, intranet, or e-commerce solution, you must consider the who (usability), the what (strategy), the when (interaction design), the where (information architecture), and the how (visual design/user interface) to create great overall web experiences. After all, positive experiences are what helps users find what they are looking for, keeps visitors coming back, and is the incentive for consumers to go from mere browsers to buyers. That has as much to do with what you don't see as it does with what you do.

    I have been fortunate to work on projects that have allowed me to contribute in each of the capacities mentioned above, which has made me an incredibly well-rounded designer and a little bundle of web knowledge.

    If you would like to know more about my professional life, please view my resumè/CV. If you would like to know more about what motivates and inspires me, then read on.

    More about me

    • I am always thinking, studying, learning, analyzing, and questioning the things around me to achieve maximum enlightenment. Hence the moniker bestowed upon me by my friends, “Little Buddha”.
    • I am a creative person. I was destined to create. I’m happiest when designing, building, or creating something that didn’t previously exist. This has taken many forms over the years.
    • In 1987, I graduated with a degree in Fine Arts in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture from Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville. Today, the computer screen is my canvas, and the mouse my brush. Going from traditional art to the web was a relatively easy transition for me since I was already well-versed in the fundamentals of design. I have actually been able to make a pretty good living at it.
    • I’ve learned HTML, CSS, and a smidgen of other coding languages over the years. It started out as a hobby, and now I sometimes get paid for it. I am not—and will never be—a true programmer, so if you are looking for one, I am not your gal.
    • I care deeply about staying on top of changes, advancements, and theoretical discussions within User-Centered Design and User Experience Design. That's why I am a proud member in the following professional groups and organizations: Boxes and Arrows, Catalyze Community, Communication Arts, Information Architecture Institute (IAI), Interaction Design Association (IXDA), NetSquared, Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (SWFRTP), Usability Professionals' Association International (UPA-I), UsabilityMatters.Org, User Experience Group, User Experience Professionals Network, Web Standards Design + Development.
    • I took a photography class in college, and I loved capturing fleeting moments through a view finder. I am often seen with camera in hand, and use some of my photos in my designs. You can see some of my better photos over at Flickr. I wouldn’t call myself anything other than an amateur at this point, but I fantasize of someday traveling around the country to local art shows selling my photos and chatting up strangers.
    • I have been very blessed to have traveled to some amazing parts of the world. A few of the things I have discovered through those cultural experiences are: 1.) No matter where you go, people are much more alike than they are different... We need to do more to embrace those similarities. 2.) Kindness is a universal language ...speak it loudly and use it often. 3.) The riches one may have are NOT directly related to how happy they are in their lives. I have found that happiness seems to come to those most at peace with their situation. 4.) Everywhere you go there is beauty to behold - including your own backyard if you look for it. 5.) The United States may not have the extensive history of many other countries, but we have the best bathrooms by far.

  • Little Buddha Design is the online home of Laura Melbourne, a seasoned User Experience Designer and Graphic Artist.

    I work with small businesses and individuals who need an effective online presence to create professional, attractive web sites built according to web standards. You can view some of my work or contact me.

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