About User First Web

User First Web is the online home for articles, blog posts, and photography by Jason Grigsby (me). I am a mobile evangelist and web strategist who helps clients find the best solutions to accomplish their online goals.

I co-founded Cloud Four and started the Mobile Portland user group. I’m often invited to speak on topics related to the future of mobile, web performance, and other web-related topics.

I started User First Web both to provide a place to publish online, but also as an experiment in LAMP architecture. The original version of User First Web was hosted on a Linux server that I built, maintained, and hosted using my home Internet connection.

In the Summer of 2007, the original User First Web site and server were retired and the site was moved to Media Temple and site was rebuilt using WordPress.

Why “User First Web”?

When I started this site, User Centered Design wasn’t common practice. Many web developers were creating designs and technology that served no purpose but their own interest. At the height of the dot com bubble, it seemed like people had lost their minds and were building businesses that attracted investors, but no people.

Everywhere I looked I saw examples where we had forgot to remember that we build technology for people. Hence the name: User First Web. Web pages that focus on accomplishing real objectives for real people. Putting users first and our own aspirations second.

About Me

My background includes a degree in Public Relations with a minor in Political Science. Despite my educational background, I have been a computer geek since childhood. My parents bought my first computer, a Commodore 64, in the fourth grade and my first modem in the fifth grade.

In fact, online culture was such a large part of my life that at one point I could whistle at the exact pitch of a 1200 baud modem so that it would stop squelching when the phone rang. It was either develop this skill or my mother would ungraciously unplug the computer.

During college, I was first introduced to the web early on. I remember the first web browser, Mosiac. Unfortunately, I thought it was too slow to replace gopher and walled gardens like QuantumLink (the precursor to AOL), and thought the web wouldn’t go amount to anything.

Less than a year later and after the release of a better browser (Netscape), I built my first web page. I’ve been building web pages since and recently celebrated over 10 years of web site development.

My Strengths

We recently took the tests associated with Now, Discover Your Strengths at my work. Unlike most personality tests I’ve seen, it was unanimous that the results of the test described everyone’s top strengths.

I certainly identified strongly with my strengths. It was as if someone had been observing me. My strengths are:

Achiever
People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
Strategic
People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
Futuristic
People strong in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their
visions of the future.
Input
People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of
information.
Responsibility
People strong in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are
committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

These strengths describe the way I work and what I use to help my company and my customers succeed.