Challenging the Status Quo Since 1990™

When It's Time for a Redesign


So I've been thinking about it for a while now and I should probably go ahead and clean this up a bit. These gradients don't look all that hot anymore and that rainbow hover state went out of fashion around the 80s....

TL;DR? Hit "Read Later" and actually read it later. You know, like on the subway or something, with Instapaper.

The portfolio was built in 2009, the blog is a Tumblr theme, the work is outdated, and the posts are mostly of food and cats. Mere essence of a brand or cohesiveness was nonexistent. It was a smorgasbord of all-you-can eat, push, consume, and share.

I couldn't take it anymore. The disorganization, the mess. It was time.

After about 18 months of sporadic weeknight research and inspiration, I redesigned my portfolio site from the ground up. And it went a bit like this:

Round One

Day I: Design In-Browser Fail: After about 4 hours, everything looked absolutely terrible. Worse than a blank screen. I had a repeating pattern of birds as the background. It was BAD.

Round Two

Day I - Design Rush: After recovering from my emotionally scarring and ego busting design-in-browser experience, I decided to to it a bit differently. Quick, back-of paper sketches transformed into a Photoshop comp. Starting at around 6pm, it was 8 straight hours of design, from logo to a fully finished site comp.

Day 2 - Development Sprint: Several coffees later, it was time do make this pretty picture something that actually works - my specialty. My immediate concern: ship it. I wanted to make it responsive, and using Zurb's Foundation as a base it would have been easy enough to, but I knew there were far too many options. So I got to work. Slicing, skinning, and uploading all the necessary assets. 10 straight hours of development later, I had a solid template dev'd, complete with subpages. At around 4am I called it quits for the night.

Day 3 - Pack it Up, Pack it In: Now, the best part. Content allocation and loading. Screenshots. Editing. Copyrighting. To be honest, this was probably the most tedious part. Recalling all the things I've worked on, and being able to succinctly put it down in words - - that's an obstacle, especially at 2am. But at the end of it, I loaded up work and content, prepared a blog section, and it was ready to [privately] push live.

It's far too often that, while browsing other developers sites, I see a spot for a blog, and that infamous introductory post. "Welcome to my blog, here are my thoughts, this is all about my work, etc etc etc" And usually nothing else. That's where it begins and ends simply because of the amount of time it takes to compose a cohesive blog post. I made a conscious decision to withhold my blog until I could, well, actually blog. And let me tell you, blogging is HARD.

It's a change in mindset, but now that it's top of mind, blog post ideas are always flowing in. I have a whole page full of ideas. Now the challenge is just turning those words into sentences ;)

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