Web Portfolio: What I Do

arcobaleno bulwer-lytton fiction contest site nc state ballet site streampaintings site dr. m.k. key's home page neuronexus site amy burzinski's home page waterpaws best practices web design

Hi. I’m Michael Tuck, a teacher, writer, and Web designer/front-end developer. I use the Internet moniker “Black Max,” and variants such as “Max Black,” “blackmax,” and so forth. I’m now offering my design services for non-profit organizations and individuals whose Web sites are in need of upgrading and revamping, or who have no sites at all. If you’re involved in helping people or animals, I can design or redesign your site for you at considerably less than the standard rates.

I’m not a full-time professional, so I don’t charge professional rates. I am, however, a former advisor and author for SitePoint.com, one of the largest and most influential design communities on the Internet. I have also written for Smashing Magazine, Onextrapixel, and Six Revisions, all pre-eminent Web design magazines. So I know what I’m doing.

Usually I charge for my designs; once in a while, I do it for nothing. Admittedly, there are some things the pros can do that I cannot. What I will do is create simple, elegant, attractive, SEO-friendly and standards-compliant sites that bring in visitors and help your organization raise the money and the user interest it needs to function.

You can read about my work on behalf of non-profit organizations in the Star News article Teacher gives local nonprofits online makeovers.

If you or your non-profit organization is financially strapped, working to alleviate the suffering and improve the quality of life for people or animals, and in need of a modern, sophisticated Web design to bring more donors and volunteers into the fold, I can help. Many organizations stand or fall based on their Web presence. Make sure your Web site is working for you and not against you.

Fifteen years ago I taught myself some HTML and created a website for the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest, a bad-writing competition started at San Jose State University in 1982. I added new material occasionally, but as the web changed and matured the site grew stale and outdated. In 2012 it looked and functioned like what I must admit it was: a well-intentioned but disorganized site mostly untouched since 1997. People kept telling me it needed a “do over” but I had no idea how to go about getting this done. Enter Mike. In no time at all he assessed what was needed, gave me several great options for the redesign, and created a site that is not only modern and user friendly but visually beautiful and engaging. Compliments on the new site are pouring in from colleagues, contest participants, and friends around the globe. The contest feels reinvigorated, and I look forward with relish to its 30th year. I can’t recommend Mike’s work highly enough. — Dr. Scott Rice, proprietor of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Contest

Thank you for writing the tutorials in plain English, and for creating a lesson that has an appropriate progression from the basics to more advanced concepts. Your lessons are so accessible that I never felt overwhelmed about the prospect of learning HTML and CSS. With your lessons, I was able to develop a fundamental working knowledge of HTML and CSS in a matter of days, even though I had never written a line of code before in my life. — Elena Laskin, founder of Digital Legal

Links to My Work

List of my published articles

A list of the articles I’ve published so far.

Best Practices Web Design

“Best practices” and modern Web design lessons and info. Very user-friendly. Still under development, and needs to be updated to reflect more HTML 5, CSS 3, and responsive design concepts. Let me know how I can improve it to help you!

The Artisan Teacher with Reference to the Work of Dr. M.K. Key

The work of noted author and speaker Dr. M.K. Key as correlated with the 23 themes of the “Artisan Teacher” paradigm.

Better School Websites

A movement sparked by my article on Six Revisions, aiming to create a group of designers and developers willing to help public schools improve their sites. Unfortunately, the interest did not last.

Business card Web template

Free to use. If you like it, just view the source, copy it for your use, and change it to suit your needs. Drop me a line if you like it.

My design resume

Suitable for printing.



design is how you treat your customers. if you treat them well from an environmental, emotional, and aesthetic standpoint, you're probably doing good design. — yves behar