Personal web site design

Producing web sites to me is like crack to a sniffer dog. A drug reference already, this is a gonna be a real good one.

By 2012, Microsoft’s OneDrive had cemented its position as a primary service that I rely on. It’s been collecting WIN + PrtScn screenshots ever since. As for anyone else who makes digital content, screenshots play a significant role in the process, so you sure do rack up a few.

Let’s get to it then. We’ll discuss trends, techniques, technologies, and then thought processes of the development of my home page, over time, since July 2013.

July 2013

I’m completely gay with colour. It’s a style that comes and goes with time in my work, but it’s persistent. Big white text, subtle text drop-shadows, and little clue as to how to brand myself.

A blog (journal) and some photography albums (folio), but no mention of anything pertaining to digital design or programming.

May 2014

The emphasis on my photography increased through 2014 as I was wrapping my course work for my Diploma of Photo Imaging at CATC Design School.

November 2015

This version of my web site was born in the final moments of my reliance on WordPress as a content management system. It was convoluted and annoying, having to jump through so many extra hoops just to store and display some pretty photographs.

I moved away from WordPress with my next iteration. So far in fact, that I went entirely static with my HTML.

June 2016

I’m still fond of this iteration. It was filled with little niceties, like a countdown to a special day, some user interaction, and pages that collected their content asynchronously with Tumblr’s API.

Additionally, it was the first time I had chosen to highlight my web development activities. Essentially, it was three pages, photography, the landing page, and web dev., all wrapped up in a tortilla.

It was highly functional and quite pretty in a simple way.

At the conclusion of active development, I paused my personal web site activities and to work on those of others.

July 2017

Come July 2017, I had missed having a personal presence and making things that I wanted to make, as opposed to being restricted by the desires and purposes of others.

I really wanted to break free from the traditional web site model and try some fun and different things, including adjusting the behaviour of scrollbars and functionality of the default interaction model.

With my own web site, I’m not always so fixed on spending a great deal of time on things like landing pages, however important they typically are for most use cases.

This web site wasn’t really a web site, but rather a collection of individual pages loosely strung together with some twine.

I learnt a few lessons a long the way, including that users don’t like it when you fuck with their scrollbar. It’s great to have opportunities to think out of the box and prototype ideas.

August 2017

Realising that a strong landing page and a confident navigation system really do deserve more of my attention regardless of my intentions for my personal web site, I ripped out the core of the previous iteration and started again.

For the first time, I can truly consider my web site a single page web app. Google it — it’s so in right now.

Much alike the previous iteration, many parts of this web site are isolated from another. They load upon request to save time till content is initially displayed and reduce the overall foot print of my activities.

September 2017

Today, this is where I am. It’s been a long ride up until this point. Some things change while others… Stay the same.

I still love big fat text and gradients. The site relies heavily on JSON and sort of uses MVC concepts.

In my testing, iOS has been the least compliant and most buggy. Chrome for Android displays perfectly as per desktop. So if you are to take anything away from this story, it’s that Safari has usurped Internet Explorer’s reputation.

Overloaded with visual sugar — perhaps I should place my personal projects on a more strict diet regime…

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