web site/application design/development in boise, idaho

WEB DESIGN: Michael Richardson AKA Hand Eye Design, Boise


I work across the spectrum from design to front end user-interface development (JavaScript) to back-end (PHP, MySQL). Here are some of the websites I've developed. Most are my own graphic design work; others were designed by others, but where I wrote the code.

idaho climate think tank

Idaho Climate Think Tank

Wordpress is pretty incredible. With this site, I built the site on top of the Woo Canvas framework in very short order, using custom Post types (links) and custom fields to add data points to certain pages.

spark commission

Idaho Kids Count

This is a customized Wordpress site. I also created an Ajaxy search tool for IKC's library of documents and wrappe that into the Wordpress back-end. Design by the Amy Granger

spark commission

Boise Contemporary Theater

A souped up Wordpress site with extra data tables touches of jQuery. Design by Amy Granger



Flash-based application for creating interactive timelines, used by over 30,000 teachers, students, and professionals.

idaho humanities council

Idaho Humanities Council

CMS with added data-driven front and back end tools for navigating and managing IHC's Speakers Bureau

ian boyden studios

Ian Boyden Studios

CMS with added front and back end tools for various types of art and simple daily musings.

carla caruso jewelry

Carla Caruso Jewelry

an "ajaxy" Zen Cart married to the the HandEye CMS.

stave puzzles

Stave Puzzles

A wicked complex e-commerce site integrated with HandEye CMS, interactive games, and gobs of back-end management tools.

gunilla norris

Gunilla Norris, author

a quiet, contemplative site. Each book-feature page has an audio excerpt

Mulvaney MOB

Mulvaney Medical Office Building

A "classic" static website designed from scratch

Emily Rosenfeld

Emily Rosenfeld

a very simple, hand-crafted e-commerce site using ZenCart

Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities

Mass Humanities

Designed by Bidwell ID for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, using HandEye CMS with customized backend data management tools


ITD Amherst

designed by Bidwell ID, using HandEye CMS and a CMS component for featured artists

the o-tones

The O-Tones

A re-adaptation of a previously static/photo-based site, greatly enhanced by the HandEye CMS.


michaelMy background as a designer and craftsperson, and thirteen years experience as a web programmer, gives me a full set of tools for web development for small- to medium-sized companies.

As a "full stack" (html, javascript, php, mysql, css...) developer, I work with back-end programming and database development as well as front-end graphic and interaction design. My work ranges from simple Wordpress launches, perhaps tweaking (affordable) existing templates to highly customized application development that meets unusual business needs. I work with designers here in Boise, including Amy Granger and Creative Soapbox.

Read my bio to learn more, or click here to get in touch.


As I grew up, in Norwich Vermont, my family was a little ahead of the curve with computers. I remember, in the early '80s, using my dad's Radio Shack TRS-80 and getting a huge thrill from writing a Basic program to move an asterisk around the screen with the keyboard — almost like the videogame Asteroids. Our elementary school had a terminal connected to Dartmouth College (where Basic was invented), and we used to spend time in the terminal room (a converted closet) "chatting" with others on a network using an ancient UNIX application called "joi xyz": really just a slew of inanities being buzz-printed onto a continuous feed — a clear percursor to instant messaging.

In college I was a sculpture major at Wesleyan University, after which I morphed slowly from being a custom furniture maker into being a designer and bookbinder. I love graphic design but web design, capable of interaction — and quick correction — was appealing. In 1999 I dove into Flash, then PHP and MySQL, and it felt like I had come back the thrill of that TRS-80 again.

I live in Boise with my wife Harriett, our kid Simon, a cat named Buster and two frogs: Pab and Pab.

Get in touch, goldarned it.


All web sites should be considered "applications" because they they revolve around user interaction. I try to emphasize the possible and desired actions of users over a typical "information architecture". This emphasizes "doing" over "knowing". What do you want people to do on your site? What will they want to do?

My projects are often composed with PHP interacting with a MySQL database and I frequenly make use of libraries and frameworks, like JQuery for Javascript or CodeIgniter for PHP, to make sites more managable or richly interactive.

I rarely make a website that is not based on a content management system (CMS) framework. This is a two-sided interface: one side for users (public) and the other side for the owner/administrator of the site. I've created a "bare bones" CMS framework having been disappointed in the PHP CMS workhorses available: Drupal, Mambo, and others. The HandEye CMS uses precious little code, is easy manage, and integrates easily with other components.

In addition to "pages," sites often need complex database-driven resources. The Idaho Humanities Council needed a complex system for exploring their Speakers Bureau. Each speaker has a biography, an image, a catalog of presentations, and links to books they've authored. I built an interface that allows visitors to search and browse a Speakers catalog, and a back-end suite of tools that controls all the content.

I'm especially proud of TimeGlider, a web-based timeline authoring application I built in Flash, PHP, and MySQL: It's currently being used by thousands of teachers, students, and professionals to plan and explore history.


Michael Richardson
611 North Haines St
Boise, Idaho   83712

cell: 208.850.8512
twitter @ timeglider