Portfolio Redesign: A New Philosophy

Seeing Rachel Andrew and Jen Simmons speak last year at An Event Apart changed my life. Jen’s experimental layout lab opened a new world to me, and Rachel’s CSS Grid tutorials made it reachable. I started seeing ads in old magazines and thought, “I can do that now!” I saw an ad for Commodore computers in an old People magazine and ran with it.

picture of 80s ad for Commodore computers

Inspiration

What I LOVE about the early ages of the internet is that it was a wild west of design. Looking through the Wayback Machine is a chance to see people’s raw creativy explosions. It was never orderly or sanitized. If there was something to go crazy with, they did. It’s endlessly charming to think of designers back then thinking, “This can move! This can flash! I can put pictures everywhere!”

However, this internet sufferred from poor to no accessibility. I see the future of design, and my philosophy of design, reaching back to the idea of wild creativity, but in a modern, inclusive way.

Ever since my sister posted a picture of me as a kid wearing a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads while playing Scorched Earth (with a dot matrix printer in the background), I thought, that’s me! But my websites - my digital personality - didn’t feel like me. Too much like every other template. I wanted to use inspiration from print, like Jen Simmons had done, and learn how to code crazy new layouts.

picture of 80s ad for autry shoes
picture of 80s ad for rca video camera

Work in Progress

This is the first site I built from scratch so it's a constant work in progress. I found this handy checklist for launching a site that I'm working on. I also am working on implementing feature queries to fix issues in Edge/IE. Even since I started building this site, I've learned so much that I'm worrying about the quality of the early code!

It is immensely difficult to launch something that is not 100% perfect, so it's also a constant work in progress to let go a little and understand that it's better to have something basic, something good enough, that you keep making iterative changes and testing vs putting off a launch until perfection is achieved. In the world of web, I don't believe anything can be perfect because there is always something new you can do to make your site better.