Welcome. Where shall I begin?
For the past few years, I’ve been planning to rebuild my personal site. The previous site had a copyright that hadn’t been updated since 2013 and was dated both figuratively and literally.
The portfolio of my old site did a really fine job highlighting my previous career as an art director and designer. That print work was good, in many cases award-winning. And in one case, gold medal winning. However, what the old site didn’t do is present me as someone who can make websites, which evidently I do know a thing or two about.
Why did it take me two years to rethink my website? That’s a good question.
If you’re not a designer, you may not now this, but designers are terrible clients when it comes to work with and form themselves. All designers might not be terrible personal clients, but I certainly am. Conservatively, I would estimate I redesigned my site five times during the past two years, trashing all of them. Not just walking away, but move the document to the trash, empty the trash kind of walking away. Essentially, I fired myself at least five times in the past two years.
So why now? Why is this moment so special? And am I telling you I’ve finally found the secret sauce of working for myself?
It’s not a special moment. I’m definitely not a better self client. It’s just time to make it happen.
This year I simply resolved to build more things.
To ensure I didn’t build another soon-to-be-trashed website, I gave myself about a couple hours to sketch out a rough, semi-coherent direction in Indesign. Then jumped right into code. I set up the git repository, I installed Jekyll, I got my Grunt tasks running, and I begin writing code. Over the course of the past few nights, I made a thing.
The result isn’t pretty. The type is unrefined. The overall design looks like it was done in two hours. The code is a jumble of ill conceived SCSS and has none of the thoughtfulness of a normal client project. There’s no browser testing; no breakpoint tweaks or refinements. None of the normal assurances. Just a dude banging away at his keyboard, building a thing.
Now that it’s launched, and you’re seeing it, I can figure out how I want this site to look, or how solid I want the code base to be.
Yes, it is flawed. It might look terrible in many contexts, but I’m cool with that, for now.