I've experimented with my personal website since it first launched in 1996. It's changed domains twice and served different purposes over time. It started as a place to explore new technologies and design concepts. Over time it evolved into a place to improve my writing, connect with new friends, and showcase my work. Then, three or four years ago, I let the site go dormant.
Eventually I admitted to myself I didn't have time to keep it up and replaced it for a season with a page hosted at about.me. This week I decided the dormant season has ended. I want a place to write, share, and connect again.
This time my design goals were simple. I aimed to make the site:
- Useful — a site that will become more and more useful to others.
- Efficient — no more than a weekend to design & code.
- Content Focused — words over visual accoutrement.
- Professional — my work over my personal interests.
- Responsive — utilize basic responsive development techniques.
- Fast — make the site wicked fast to load and navigate.
Part of my minimal approach to the site was also an intentional effort to waste no time getting it out the door as quickly as possible so the process of incremental iteration can begin.
I left many of the details for later. Things like:
- Content styles: block quotes, pull quotes, code blocks, image insets, etc.
- Pages: a post archive, a portfolio, a CV, etc.
- Visual Design: refinements, additional layouts, any sort of animation, etc.
Learning to break my design process down into smaller and smaller chunks is an ongoing challenge. I time-boxed my effort in an attempt to use this site as it has often been used before—as a learning tool. This time around I am experimenting as much with the process of design as I am with the design itself.