.Alan Officer : Web Services, Tuition & Support : www.alanodesign.co.uk

Web Design and Development

January 2017

Another year, another bridge international site! Another Camrose site for March in preparation, revamp of the Scottish Bridge Union web site main site in Joomla! ongoing. Assorted development things in the pipeline.

Some past works from recent years

The latest instalment of my international bridge tournament coverage is now over — Camrose weekend 1 in Edinburgh. This was designed in crisp minimalist fashion and intended to provide mobile friendly results pages and board by board live scores and tournament rankings. Everything went well! Traffic peaked at 3,486 daily visits.

Live scoring was taken from Jeff Smith’s scoring program, which was being used to provide the official results for the tournament, with scoring data being simultaneously uploaded to the Camrose web site where it was processed and styled to present to the web public in an attractive and easy to follow format. The page layout was as usual responsive to adapt to the range of viewing devices. This sort of site attract a relatively high number of mobile visitors, and 22% of the visitors were using tablets of one form or other, with another 11% on mobile phones and the remaining 67% on desktop computers.

Kirsty MacColl

A major revamp for the popular Kirsty MacColl web site This is a comprehensive career record for the late singer songwriter – it might look like a blog in the screenshot but this is a very detailed CMS driven site which takes up approximately 400 pages of web real estate. It's very much a specialist site aimed at Kirsty's ever loyal fan base.

The new site was built in WordPress, with custom responsive styling, making it highly suited to small screen devices. It also makes use of custom taxonomies to allow speedy filtering of the database along the lines of songwriter credits and chord sheets. Social media integration too, obviously, with a live twitter feed.

Finally, a smooth transition from the previous site style was managed via google web tools, to maintain its high rankings in web searches.

CNBC Tournament

Another successful event website for the 4th Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship which was held in Glasgow. The now customary display of news, photos, stats and for the first time in this series of sites a live feed from the scoring computers.

The web traffic pattern for an event website! Peaking at 4,000 hits per day

Roland Fraser

From initial discussions to live site in a day! Artist Roland Fraser’s new site at www.rolandfraser.com went live this month using a bespoke hand coded style to meet Roland’s requirements.

Video Production work

Work on editing and postproduction on a short film for Brian Miller at Leith School of Art has completed, and the work was very well received at the end of year show. Camerawork also provided courtesy of alano.

Kindle editing

While assorted websites are hanging around awaiting approvals and design updates, I’ve been busy mastering the black art of KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). My first Kindle direct publication as proof reader and e-publisher is available, I am also working on a Print On Demand version. I am now able to offer a similar service (or general advice) for e-books on the Kindle store platform. Please contact me to discuss your project. This is not my core activity, professionally qualified proof readers and editors are available, however proofing for KDP has much in common with web publishing. I am less interested in changing the content or ghost writing your book, and will expect the fundamentals to be in good shape.

Yum Di Dee Dah

Yum De Dee Dah — The life story of Theatre Workshop’s choreographer Jean Newlove, Discovering Laban, working with Joan Littlewood and her marriage to writer and singer/ song-writer Ewan MacColl.

This book follows Jean’s story until the birth of her daughter Kirsty (MacColl).

Buy Yum Di Dee Dah (Kindle) from amazon.co.uk (or from amazon.com).


I don’t just do bridge sites (though it does feel like it at times!). My site for Craigendarroch Owners’ Club went live in January 2013, using a full blown customised WordPress template. Content is being managed directly by the Owners’ Club, clearly a major benefit of the Wordpress approach to design.

Home International Bridge Broadcasts

In March 2012, I again broadcasted news and results live from the Camrose at camrosebridge.com.

Using a custom designed website updated live on site everything the British bridge fan should want to know was available within a few seconds of events on the ground.

This time round the up to the minute tables and scores were more tightly automated using a combination of VBA and PHP, so all the pages on the site were updated simultaneously. The news feed was being handled via facebook and twitter integration, adding social media interaction with the bridge loving viewers.

The Scottish Bridge Union “received plaudits from all over the world saying it was an incredible website”.

More of the same this April, when I will be broadcasting the Lady Milne results service from Edinburgh.


In addition to my road tested and well regarded highly accessible static site layouts I am now happy to offer CMS driven sites using WordPress or Joomla!, whichever is better suited to your needs. I took some time out over the summer to immerse myself in those development environments. Worthwhile.

The first publically available WordPress site is the Rats bridge team microsite. It's a simple affair, but sometimes that’ all you need!

Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship

Commonwealth Bridge screenshotThis is a longer term project, but work has started already on the 4th Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in September 2014.

The development work will go on behind the scenes until nearer the event, but a taster page is now online to advertise the event.

Site Refreshed

SBU East screenshotDuring 2011 the site for the Scottish Bridge Union (East District) was gradually refreshed.

Advances in search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques in recent years has led to clear benefits for sites designed to take advantage, and the SBU East site is already showing significant improvements in its google search ranking.

I took the opportunity to add navigation breadcrumbs and tighten up the overall design. The bridge world runs on facts and figures so this site is focused on providing these as quickly and easily as possible. Further enhancements will continue to appear over time.

Other alano design sites

Camrose Home International Bridge Series

Camrose screenshotOver one weekend in early 2010, I broadcasted news and results live from Novotel Edinburgh Park at camrosebridge.com ...

Using a custom designed website updated live on site everything the British bridge fan should want to know was available within a few seconds of events on the ground.

Over the course of the weekend the website received almost 50,000 page views from more than 7,000 visitors. Not bad for a site that wasn't even on the cyberspace map a week earlier!

“Allow me to compliment you on a job well done. What an excellent service, greatly appreciated by our many spectators. The Scottish Bridge Union has every reason to be proud of the presentation to thousands of viewers all over the world. It was your most comprehensive arrangement ever, and it was a tremendous success!” Roland Wald, VuGraph Coordinator, Bridge Base Online

“Thank you very, very much for the amazing web site. No question, you have set the standards for others to follow.” Peter Hasenson, British Bridge Almanack

Successful and popular websites for the Hilton Grand Vacations Group - at Dunkeld and Coylumbridge - have raised the profile of these holiday destinations and enhanced their owner experience. London based investigative journalist Alix Kirsta is very pleased with her site.

I also designed and continue to maintain the Edinburgh Royal High School web site, as well as extremely popular sites for the East District of the Scottish Bridge Union and Portsmouth & Havant Badminton Association. Widening the scope slightly, consider also the official Kirsty MacColl site which is pretty comprehensive though has been around for a very long time now in design years!

Design philosophy

I make every effort to understand your business in order to ensure that the design meets your needs and those of your customers. For example the Camrose site focused heavily on accurate and timely well presented information.

As another example, the Dunkeld Lodge Owners Club wanted more of a “brochure” feel to attract potential new customers as well as meeting the information needs of existing ones.

Free initial consultation is standard to determine whether we have “a fit”.

Off Web Design

In addition to web work I will prepare designs for printing, e.g. newsletters, brochures and other promotional documents. I will also undertake work on technical and general writing and proof reading. I have had 3 well received sets of CD sleeve notes published by EMI. Please do not hesitate to enquire about these services.

Aquaduct in Winter Fire on the Streets

About alano design

This is the brand name for designs by Alan Officer. I am a web developer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can contact me on 0131 3432560.

The focus is on accessible, clear, informative, atttractive web layouts, using Content Management Systems, client and server side scripting where appropriate.

In addition to my range of web sites I design for paper based media such as newsletters, brochures and other promotional material, as well as photography.

I am a published proof reader/editor of an e-books, and am the author of several published CD sleeve note essays. I am happy to assist with content or proof read your web site content as a fresh pair of eyes (always useful). It helps to have a fresh pair of eyes to read it back!

Poppy, Edinburgh Botanic GardensWith 20+ years experience as an IT Professional I can also offer IT consultancy, management, general computing support and tuition.

Alan Officer BSc (Hons),
Microsoft Office Master,
ECDL Advanced,
300 hours of lecturing class time,
20+ years of corporate IT in a leading role.

I am currently working on several projects under development. I still have some capacity for this year, and am also happy to discuss offers of part time or full time employment in any of these areas of expertise.