Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.

Oprah’s Angel Network

with DesignKitchen

Some projects you love for the technical problems you get to solve. Sometimes it’s because the client’s goal is humane. Sometimes it’s the people you work with, or the fact that they all understand the work you want to do. Sometimes it’s all these things.

To date, the Oprah’s Angel Network site is the best client project I’ve been part of. The team was second to none: a lead designer who got the web, when so many still wanted it to work like print; back-end devs whose thrill for the tools matched the fun they had together; and the most patient and sympathetic project manager. There were no egos to tiptoe around.

And it was the first big-league front-end project I saw to completion. I’d only recently been promoted from design production: when the back-end devs strained to build out a CMS I was designing, I asked for access to the codebase. By the time OAN kicked off, I had a new desk, a new title, and my colleagues’ confidence.

I needed that confidence: OAN needed clickable, text-replacing PNG-24s positioned over a Flash banner — and Harpo Studios’ default browser was IE6.


  • Front-end development: XHTML and CSS
  • Integration: Ruby on Rails/ERB
  • OAN home

    OAN home

    Phase II screenshot, original header intact. Image courtesy Steve Polacek.

  • OAN stories drill

    OAN stories drill

    Note the redesigned navigation.