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Craig Cecil

Software Engineer - User Experience Designer - Author - Inventor

About Craig

I'm a professional software engineer with more than 25 years of experience designing and developing desktop, mobile and web software for commercial, enterprise and government clients. I specialize in front-end web engineering, resulting in significant cost savings, and improved user experiences for everyone. My goal, as always, is to design and build insanely great software that you can see, hear and feel.

Read more at my LinkedIn page.

I've also been an avid and respected authority in the fitness field for more than 25 years, publishing four books and numerous software titles, speaking at seminars, and training amateur and professional athletes. I'm a member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association, current National powerlifting champion in the power and strict curls and hold a device patent in the exercise field.

Read more at my Amazon Author page.

A Tradition of Excellence

Phi Beta Kappa
Northrop Grumman SPARK Innovation Award
Northrop Grumman 2x Innovator of the Year
Lockheed Martin Mission Success Award
Lockheed Martin Performance Excellence Award
Lockheed Martin CMMI Level 3 Star Performer Award
Lockheed Martin Lightning Awards
Social Security Administration Commissioner's Award
SSA Associate Commissioner's Honor Award

McDaniel College Senior Athletic Award
USPCA 3x National Curl Champion
Highly-Acclaimed Fitness Book Author
U.S. Exercise Device Patent Holder

"Craig is, by far, the best mentor and technical lead I have worked with. His knowledge base and experience, in all aspects of front-end engineering far exceed those of his fellow colleagues. Craig is routinely used as a knowledgeable resource to those on the application teams throughout the Social Security Administration organization. He consistently strives to provide improvements and enhancements to the already top-notch quality products he produces for the customer – going above and beyond what is expected of him. I recognize and respect him as an expert and a leader in his field – one that you should follow, if you can keep up with him that is."

Jaclyn Urlahs—UX Designer/Technical Lead at the Social Security Administration

Craig's passion is working out, he has routinely followed a strict regime for over 20 years, and the results are apparent. I trained with Craig upon graduating from college. At the time, my muscles were depleted from an intense season of wrestling and cutting weight. In the three years following that, I trained with Craig and achieved my highest level of fitness and muscle mass. I recommend Craig and his book, Supermen, to anyone who needs guidance at the gym, especially for "ex" athletes looking to recapture their former physical self.


Four highly-acclaimed books, sold in 14 countries around the world.

Book cover for Supermen Building Maximum Muscle for a Lifetime

Book cover for Bodybuilding From Heavy Duty to Superslow

Book cover for Bodybuilding at Home

Book cover for The Complete Smith Machine


Over the past 25 years, I have designed and developed software for private industry and government agencies, as well as producing commercial software sold in retail stores and online. I invite you to check out examples of these in the Portfolio section below.

My current software interests center around loosely-typed late-binding languages, hypermedia and prototyping systems, and open source software.


An illustrated, capstone history of software I've designed and developed over the past two decades.

Government & Enterprise Software

UX Notebook (2018-present)

HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript

UX Notebook screenshot

UX Notebook is an integrated web application for recording, organizing, and presenting UX-related work. Includes database, spreadsheet, task management, diagramming, prototyping, slideshow, and UI widgets and macros for extending the functionality.

Genesys Design Kit (2017-present)

Visual Studio Code, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript

Genesys design kit screenshot

Genesys is a 'design in the browser' toolkit, transforming the open-source Visual Studio Code into an integrated design and prototyping environment.

UXG Designer (2017-present)

HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Bootstrap

UXG Designer screenshot

A single-page web app for user experience designers. Assembles and organizes all best-in-class design tools, references, and assets into one easy to use interface.

Design in the Browser Playbook (2017-present)

HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript

Design in the browser playbook screenshot

A single-page web app with an interactive series of 16 plays, detailing how to assemble, use, and produce rapid interactive, testable designs within the browser. This software won Northrop Grumman's SPARK Innovation Award.

SSA Web Standards (2016-present)

Web Components, Nunjucks, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript

SSA Web Standards screenshot

Chief architect of the official site for building web applications for the Social Security Administration, using the UEF framework.

UEF Framework (2009-present)

W3C Web Components, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, TypeScript

UEF logo

Inventor and chief architect of the User Experience Framework. UEF is an extensible, accessible, standards and component-based framework for rapidly constructing web-based user interfaces that define the user experience. Over 65 web applications at the Social Security Administration have been built with UEF, used by over 100 million users each year.

FlexWeb Framework (2008-2011)

HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript

Thumbnail of FlexWeb documentation site built with FlexWeb

Inventor and chief architect of FlexWeb, an extensible, accessible, standards and component-based framework for rapidly constructing web-based user interfaces that define the user experience. Provides a cross-browser compatibility layer, flexibility in layout design via a grid engine, UI components, screen resolution and font-scaling independence, pluggable extensions, skinnable themes, and full accessibility support and Section 508-compliance. The FlexWeb framework powers dozens of web applications from the Social Security Administration, used by millions of users each year.

SmartForms (2008)


Thumbnail of SmartForms TextArea providing dynamic character counting and progress bar

SmartForms is an unobtrusive JavaScript library providing enhanced versions of standard web form data entry elements, including Date, SSN, TextArea and US Phone Number. All SmartForms controls are compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Section 508 and work with all screen readers and all web browsers. SmartForms is a pluggable extension to the FlexWeb Framework.

Social Security Benefits Application (2005)

JSP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Thumbnail of Social Security Benefits Application

Senior developer on the Social Security Benefits Application, allowing citizens to apply for Social Security Benefits online. In 2005, this application received the second highest customer satisfaction score ever recorded among all government web sites from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

SSA Online Web Services (2001-2006)

JSP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Thumbnail of SSA Web Service

Senior developer on the Social Security Administration Online Web Services, providing browser-based solutions for filling in and submitting various forms to the federal government for processing. The reusable presentation-tier page architecture provided complete separation between the page layout, structure, and visual appearance enabling diverse teams to construct form-based Internet applications.

The IBM Systems Journal published an article on this architecture.

Usability Center Redesign (2001)

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Active Server Pages, VBScript, MSAccess 97

Thumbnail of Redesigned Usability Center web site

This is a redesign of the Usability Center website developed in 2000 (see below). Besides doubling the amount of content, the underlying information architecture was changed, the navigation systems were changed, and the entire visual design was updated to a new set of design templates. All of the changes were made in order to more closely match the goals of the users with the task(s) they wanted to perform.

Usability Center (2000)

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Active Server Pages, VBScript, Microsoft Access

Thumbnail of Usability Center web site

The goal of the Usability Center site was to provide a centralized location for all usability activities, issues, etc., where developers could get help on any usability question that they may have. The database-driven site is built from a set of reusable components, and the underlying information architecture is fully scalable. The site features a download library, threaded discussion groups, specialized content areas, and keyword-based searching across the entire site, or within specified search zones.

Software Tools Strategy Intranet Site (1999)

HTML, CSS, ASP/ADO, VBScript, JavaScript, Microsoft Access

Thumbnail of Software Tools Strategy Intranet Site

The goal of the Software Tools Strategy site was to provide a centralized reference source for the organization's short and long-term strategies related to software tools. The majority of the site is database-driven and provides the user with a query interface for filtering, sorting, and searching for specific tools and toolsets.

Contract Task Management (1999)

Visual Basic 5.0

Thumbnail of Contract Task Management

The Contract Task Management system was designed to integrate an assortment of existing corporate systems under one central information architecture and user interface.

Graphical User Interface Standards Intranet Site (1999)

HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Thumbnail of Graphical User Interface Standards Intranet Site

The Graphical User Interface Standards site was designed to provide a centralized information repository and download center for user interfaces built with Visual Basic, Java, and HTML. The site includes a keyword-based search facility.

Five-Year Systems Plans (1999)

Visual Basic for Applications, Microsoft Access

Thumbnail of Five-Year Systems Plans

The Five-Year Systems Plans application allows managers to browse, draft and refine high-level project plans, including resource allocation, cost, and schedule. These plans can be aggregated, sorted, and filtered based on the user's criteria. The system also provides several standard reports.

Report Gallery (1998)

Visual Basic for Applications, Microsoft Access

Thumbnail of Report Gallery

Report Gallery is a Microsoft Access 97 plug-in, which allows developers to quickly add a centralized reporting center to any Access application with only a single line of code. The plug-in is completely database-driven, and can easily be customized by modifying the supporting tables. Report Gallery first appeared in the Five-Year Systems Plans application (see above) and has been used in several other applications at the Social Security Administration.

Application for Leave (1998)

Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, VBScript

Thumbnail of Application for Leave

Application for Leave is a workflow application allowing employees to request time off and have the request automatically routed to their manager for approval. Uses the Microsoft Exchange messaging architecture for workflow routing and Microsoft Outlook for the presentation layer. This application replaced a commercial product used by the Social Security Administration, has been in use for 20 years, and saved the agency millions of dollars. My designs and software last. :-)

Electronic Forms Utilities (1998)

Microsoft Access, Visual Basic for Applications

Thumbnail of Electronic Forms Utilities

Electronic Forms Utilities is an add-on application for JetForm FormFlow developers, which automatically generates form definition files. These definition files are used with automated form test scripts, thus automating the form testing process. The application allows the developer to select a form, select a destination file, and then generates the definition file.

Calendar Mailer (1998)

Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, VBScript

Thumbnail of Calendar Mailer

Calendar Mailer allows Microsoft Outlook users to send an ASCII version of their calendar to anyone--even users who do not have Outlook or do not use the Microsoft Exchange messaging architecture. This is useful for synchronizing Outlook calendars with web-based e-mail services, such as GMail.

Guidelines for Software Construction Intranet Site (1998)

HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Thumbnail of Guidelines for Software Construction Intranet Site

Guidelines for Software Construction is a reference site focusing on topics related to the construction phase in a software engineering project. Topics include syntax and structure, naming conventions (Visual Basic and Java), and special topics devoted to User Interface design, VBScript, Microsoft Outlook and web-based development.

While You Were Out (1997)

Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, VBScript

Thumbnail of While You Were Out

While You Were Out is a Microsoft Outlook-based application which allows administrative staff to record and send notifications events in your absence. Offers pre-defined selections for purpose, date/time, and follow-up actions in order to rapidly record the event while minimizing keystrokes required for information entry. Integrates with Outlook's Contacts folder.

PRISM II (1997)

Lotus Notes, LotusScript

Thumbnail of PRISM II

PRISM II is a groupware application that facilitates the collaborative workflow process of project lifecycle management. Allows project leaders to initiate a project through the justification process, and if approved, tracks the project through its entire lifecycle, until the project is retired. The application also includes extensive search and reporting capabilities, as well as a multi-tiered approval/denial workflow process.

Lotus Notes Automated Installation Guide (1995)


Thumbnail of Lotus Notes Automated Installation Guide

The Windows Help-based Lotus Notes Automated Installation Guide assists end-users with no prior Notes experience in the self-directed installation of the Notes client on their workstation or laptop. Lotus Notes was notorious for its complex and lengthy installation procedure, which often required a network administrator to visit each workstation for installation. This step-by-step, interactive guide reduced initial administrator visits by over 75%, follow-up visits by 50%, and accelerated the roll-out of Notes throughout the enterprise.

Fitness & Commercial Software

Running Deer Software (2001-2019)

HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Thumbnail of Running Deer Software website

The Running Deer Software website was an e-commerce site used to promote, sell and support Windows, Mac and mobile software applications. The site featured a flexible layout, font-scaling independence, full accessibility, as well as an integrated shopping cart and full analytics. I'm the founder of Running Deer Software. The site ceased operations in 2019 after almost two decades of delivering quality software to individuals and organizations.

Exercise Gambler (2011)

HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Chrome Store App

Exercise Gambler screenshot

Exercise Gambler is a Google Chrome Store application where users can select a randomized workout routine via a slot machine metaphor.

FitnessCALC (2010)

Microsoft Excel

Thumbnail of FitnessCALC's dashboard screen

FitnessCALC is a spreadsheet-based fitness testing and tracking system for personal trainers or home users.

Diet Genie (2008)

Microsoft Excel

Thumbnail of Diet Genie's Nutrition Facts screen

Diet Genie is a spreadsheet-based food database and nutrition analysis system, which selects foods based the user's specific dietary criteria, estimates calorie requirements, and calculates diet progress over time. Diet Genie was featured by Microsoft in their Microsoft Office Online solution center.

Exercise Genie (2007)

Microsoft Excel

Thumbnail of Exercise Genie's Workout Wizard function

Exercise Genie is a spreadsheet-based exercise encylopedia and workout builder, allowing users to construct workouts and view specific types of exercises (based on filtering criteria) from a detailed categorization system. Featured by Microsoft in their Microsoft Office Online solution center.

MuscleCALC (2007)

Microsoft Excel

Thumbnail of MuscleCALC spreadsheet summary page

MuscleCALC is a complete spreadsheet-based tracking system for weightlifting for recording workout information and providing analysis tools for increasing strength and muscular performance. MuscleCALC was featured by Microsoft in their Microsoft Office Online solution center.

Home & Office Essentials (2005)


Thumbnail of Home Office Essentials

Home & Office Essentials is a general purpose database system, allowing the user to create, view, and manage databases and records. The system includes 20 pre-built databases for home and office tasks, such as vehicle maintenance, timesheets, project tracking, home inventory, insurance info, cookbooks, etc. The product also includes a completely automated installer for handheld devices.

Exercise Genie (2001-2004)


Thumbnail of Exercise Genie

Exercise Genie is an exercise database system, allowing users to construct workouts and view specific types of exercises (based on filtering criteria) from a detailed categorization system.

Fitness Tools (2001-2002)


Thumbnail of Fitness Tools

Fitness Tools is an integrated fitness calculation system, targeted towards casual users, personal fitness trainers, and kinesiology/physiology staff and students.

LiftThis! (1998)

Visual Basic for Applications, Microsoft Access

Thumbnail of LiftThis!

LiftThis! allows weightlifters to record and track their weightlifting progress over time. The program includes an extensive database of exercises, a journal to record workout performance, and a selection of predefined reports.

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