Ben Stedman

Ben

I’m a self-taught computer guy¹ who’s been at it for ~27 years now. My first machine was a Tandy from Radio Shack and it didn’t come with a mouse. 128k RAM. I’ve been playing and working on the internet ever since I got my first modem, a blazing 14.4k monster.

¹ Actually, I’ve been taught by 100s of people who write books, and teach computer science online.

Made in the USA
© 2022 Cypress Mill Co.

➔ ABOUT

Primary Focus

At Cypress Mill, my main goal is to make sure every type of user can operate our software without thinking about it. That means going the extra mile and doing the hard work behind the scenes to make things straightforward.

I design software, improve existing systems, communicate closely with stakeholders, and I do plenty of ‘mundane’ tasks that, at the end of the day, increase the value of the software we build at Cypress Mill.

Skillset

Dev Stack

Frontend
Backend

Languages

HTML / CSS
React
Javascript
PHP

Wireframing / Prototyping

Pen and Paper
Figma
Sketch

Adobe Suite

Illustrator
After Effects
Photoshop
Premiere Pro
XD

Custom Code

WordPress
Webflow
Squarespace
Shopify

Mindset

“Form follows function.”
– Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
– Louis Sullivan
While I certainly enjoy staying up with the current trends of design and user experience, I try to be careful not to fix things that aren’t broken. Not a fan of reinventing the wheel. There are certain expectations the average user has, whether they realize it or not, and I need to meet those expectations.
“Everything does not  look like a nail.”
– A Responsible Hammer User
There are times when innovation needs to happen. Mostly, I’m speaking of those times when a client brings a unique challenge that I haven’t seen before. The idea is find the balance between scope (features), timeline, and budget. It’s impossible to complete a project that requires a ton of features, has a short timeline, and a tiny budget.
My job is to find a fair solution by designing something with a reasonable feature set, that can be done within a set timeline, for the budget available for the project. This can include leveraging existing software, specifying tech that is appropriate for the project, and old-fashioned creativity.
“Good design is as little design as possible. Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.”
– Dieter Rams
If there’s too much noise, too many redundant decisions, too many sizes, and shapes, and screens… If there is too much, users will be weighed down by the software. I want them to get things done and never notice the UI/UX. Bonus points if they enjoy the experience.

History

2019
Started at Cypress Mill
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2018
Freelance Web and Graphic Design
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2016
Started at PartCycle
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2006
Started SaaS with some Friends
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1995
Freelance Web and Graphic Design
As blown away as I was that you could make a computer do things, when I found out you could make a Thing that anyone in the world could see on their computer... I was excited and terrified at the same time.

M

When CSS came out, I almost felt like a real coder.

I got hooked on Macromedia Flash for a while, because you could make an app that was pixel perfect and it would resize automatically based on the user's screen.

Heady days.
1982
First Logo Design
I started with pencils, pen, and paper. I jerry-built a light table and I would pull different elements together by tracing and inking. I made my first logo and they actually paid me for it. I was hooked.

My first computer wasn't exactly a graphics powerhouse, but I still messed with it any other way I could. One night my dad showed me how he told the computer to ask my name, and then say hi to me USING MY NAME. He made a text adventure game for us, but I was more interested in using extended ASCII characters to make frames for the text to try to make it all look fancier.

Past Work

Feel free to reach out

There’s no obligation. Give us a chance to chat to see if we can work for you.