Relaunching, but with a system and a plan

Published 2017.04

Like many designers, I struggle with keeping an up-to-date website. I will make a website when I’m ready to job-hunt, and at the same time I’m trying to assemble work samples for my portfolio and the whole thing becomes this intensely overwhelming and exhausting process that I abandon as soon as I can.

And then of course, during the times when I am happily employed, I have no place to showcase work that I am proud of, and no place brain dump thoughts or ideas…

So about two years ago, I decided change the way I think about my website. And although it has taken me longer than planned to reach this point, I am much more satisfied with this process and outcome than I ever have been with other versions.

What the hell was I doing wrong?

When I started this process again, I knew I need to change my approach and make something longer-term and less-painful. But to do that, I also needed to understand why each iteration of my website in the past was so damn miserable. Here are the core issues I identified:

What am I doing differently?

This time around, I started with those problems and tried to identify key values or elements that would help me move in a better direction.

  1. Robust and thorough case study pages (or project pages)
  2. A system built on reusability: Simplified styles, chunks and layout blocks, and a smarter web development process for myself
  3. A solution that would allow me to host my own blog with a with a minimally restrictive CMS

And those three points are also how I ended up with Jekyll. While Jekyll is not perfect, I am pleased with my choice. Ultimately, having both full control and simplicity in process are more important to me than any hiccups I have run into with Jekyll & liquid.

I’m not done yet

There are some elements that I’m still working the kinks out of, and this this is just the first ‘release’ with more updates to come. I’m pretty excited with the things I am still working on, and some additional ideas I hope I am able to implement. I am happy to say I am not done yet.

And let’s be honest, your website should never be “done,” and that was always part of my problem before.