Web Design

June Manning Thomas • Web Design Project

June Manning Thomas is an author and Professor Emerita of Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, promoting her latest book, Struggling to Learn (UofSC Press, 2022).


Web Design

Project Duration

February 2022 – April 2022 (2 Months)




To create a website to promote her published works and help secure public speaking events. 

Laptop showing the June Manning Thomas website

Published Books

Times Cited

Faculty/Teaching Awards

Writing/Service Awards

The DESIGN Process

It was a great pleasure working with Dr. Thomas to set up a more complete online presence in anticipation of the release of her newest book, Struggling to Learn: An Intimate History of School Desegregation in South Carolina (2022). This included creating a brand new website, creating new social media profiles, consulting about social media posting, and setting up a business email address, among other things. 

1. Ideation & Research

The first step was to determine the client budget and scope of the project to choose a suitable web framework.

2. Image Collection

I took headshots, collected and edited all of the author’s cover images, and searched for appropriate stock images.

3. Accessibility

Every design choice was made with accessibility in mind so as to attempt to avoid excluding anyone.

4. Site Creation

The site was created with DIVI, a WordPress site-building platform, because of its utility and flexibility.

5. Social Media Consulting

I also consulted and assisted with the setup and implementation of a social media content strategy.

6. Business Card Design

Business cards were designed and printed for Dr. Thomas to promote her new book at in-person events.

Ideation & Research

Based on the specific needs of the client and their budget, it made sense to go with a pre-made theme with a site builder like DIVI (by Elegant Themes) for this project. This allowed for drastically less development time, with virtually no need for code, and the flexibility of in-the-box creating and editing of content. 

A screenshot of DIVI Elegant Themes thumbnails

Image Collection

In addition to other design work, I also managed all of the images used during this project. I collected and edited all of the author’s book cover images to be featured on her site, searched for additional stock images, and set up a photoshoot at her residence to take her author headshot, which was used on her About page.

June Manning Thomas Website Backend Screenshot


There were a few instances where text color values in the original WordPress theme needed to be adjusted to pass WCAG standards to have sufficient color contrast. This included the gray body text, the gray field text labels, and several other colors. I also made sure that all images had the proper alt text markup. 

A screenshot of contrast scores before and after editing the colors

Site Creation

The site was created with DIVI’s block editor functionality within WordPress, requiring very minimal coding, which saved time and helped keep the budget low. Some of the key benefits of working in DIVI are its built-in features, like animation settings, easy-to-use responsive design settings, and contact form functionality.

June Manning Thomas Website Backend Screenshot
Laptop, desktop, smartphone and tablet with June Manning Thomas website

Social Media Consulting

With regular meetings we were able to discuss challenges, set goals, make plans, and see significant growth in the reach of her four main social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. I also created her social media banner graphics, as well as several other graphics designed to promote her latest book.

Struggling To Learn Book Cover Mockup
A Facebook post from June Manning Thomas

Business Card Design

Made to match her newly created brand identity of her new website, these rounded-edged business cards were designed and printed with an elegant suede-like finish. 

June Manning Thomas' website on a laptop, iPad and iPhone

What’s Next

Since the launch of her new website, Dr. Thomas’ latest book has been published, and she has been attending both in-person and virtual events in the promotion of it. With her updated online presence now established, she has been able to promote her events to a growing online community, and has been able to share the highlights of her experiences with them. 

“Calling out thanks to Nehemiah Harmsen who did a wonderful job creating a web page for my book publications! He and Jean Harmsen, in business together for several years, offer excellent design skills as well as careful attention to detail.”

June Manning Thomas

Professor Emerita of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan

Our Other Design Projects

Click on one of our recent projects below to see a case study for an in-depth look at our design process.

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