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September 14, 2004 > Centerville Business Association Spotlight

Centerville Business Association Spotlight

Marian Briones, 1 Stop Web Solutions

Computers have transformed the world's social, economic and political landscape. One of the most ubiquitous and revolutionary components of this revolution has been the use and expansion of the internet. Here, communication has gone from a matter of weeks, days or hours to minutes and even seconds. Whether sending or receiving messages and images, this instantaneous transmission has given rise to a network of commerce that is quickly being adopted around the world. Along with a need to engage in the practical applications of the worldwide web, technical expertise is often advertised to businesses, but may end up as a frustrating and costly experiment.

More and more people, especially the younger generation, are not only computer literate, but use these communication channels almost to the exclusion of "hard copy" standards such as the phone book or yellow pages. Businesses want to be part of this marketplace and most understand that, as in any other advertising medium, an attractive and "user friendly" design will bring customers and repeat business. The question faced by many is how to enter and remain current in this burgeoning market without relying on an outmoded and poorly constructed site on the web.

Marian Briones and 1 Stop Web Solutions came from a desktop publishing and graphics background. She says, "I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil in my hands." In 1986, she worked on her Mackintosh designing flyers and newsletters. Later, working as a purchasing agent, fellow employees told her that she could use her skills as a web page designer. "I had no clue about the internet at the time." In 1995, she started making "some really ugly web pages," but found she had an aptitude for working on the internet. A small company in Fremont, called Infolane, took her under their wing and Marian began to learn. It was a perfect match between Marian and a technology that she loves. "I knew this was what I wanted to do," says Marian. It was simply a question of how to do it and make a living.

Marian's father kept telling her, "you are a programmer and don't know it." But, she says, "It took his passing to push me over the edge." I attended some classes at Ohlone College and then taught myself to program. Working as a programmer for an internet company, the wheels were set in motion. "As soon as I became a programmer and crossed that line, things changed!"

"Usually a programmer and a graphic artist don't share the same skull," says Marian. Many ask if she means "skill" rather than "skull" and she replies that the word usage is correct. It is difficult to find a person who programs and can design well too. She adds, "That keeps my costs down, since I don't have to hire a graphic artist or a programmer." She is able to design each site as unique. "I stay away from template sites," says Marian. "Your site will look different from others." Through consultations with her clients, Marian tries to capture the ambiance of the business. For instance, if her client is a restaurant, she will visit the site and try to capture the essence at the website. Custom programming is her specialty, so ideas for websites can be translated to reality. "If I don't know how to do it, I will quickly find out," says Marian. "I have a lot of flexibility writing code rather than using programs since they often add extra and unnecessary code. Customers range from small business with simple needs to complex e-commerce sites that are interactive and sophisticated. Marian has written her own programs such as "Easy Page" that allows clients to modify pages. She has developed a suite of tools as the need arises from different customers.

One Stop Web Solutions has built an impressive list of clients which continues to grow. The list includes BFI Fremont and the U.S. Masters Swimming Association - Marian was the only non-swimmer to be selected to work on the site from a national competition - and this publication, Tri-City Voice as well as many other local small businesses.

Dissatisfied with your present site or still contemplating a leap into the world of the internet? Let Marian show you how to make it easy and profitable.

1 Stop Web Solutions
(510) 226-7827

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