Ever heard the saying, “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot”? Such is often the case with web designers. Designing websites is our daily craft, yet our own personal sites are too often unfinished, out dated, or altogether non existent. My own personal site has usually fallen into the “outdated” category. At first, because I was too busy building websites for others, but now because I’m solely focused on building Scan.
THE POWER OF PERSONAL PROJECTS
I had long been wanting to update my personal site, but every time I was about to make it happen, I’d see 10 things I needed or wanted to accomplish with Scan. I don’t think personal projects are a distraction. Well, it all depends on how you approach them. For me, personal projects like my website are a playground for experimentation, somewhere I can freely mess up, and a place to learn and grow in different mediums and environments. Invaluable.
WHY THE UPDATE
When I finally decided to update my personal website it was actually just out of frustration with the majority of websites out there. Restaurant sites where I couldn’t find hours of operation. Websites that are only usable on a desktop and are just impossible to to navigate on mobile. ..and recently, if I’m on my phone, why not take advantage of native apps when available rather than sending me to sign into a lesser web-based experience? I wanted to work on these problems. To the playground! (like Batman’s bat cave or Dexter’s laboratory) It was late at night when these problems got the best of me, so I hopped out of bed and designed through the night. I was finished by sunrise.
THE PROCESS – MOBILE FIRST
Usually (aka always) I design a website for desktop first, then work towards mobile. This time (and maybe from now on) I focused first on mobile and then moved towards desktop. Was interesting the difference in process and outcome. Thinking first about mobile forced me to keep things simple and easily accessible. It also enabled me to take advantage of things like native apps (ex. tapping on the Instagram icon takes you out of your mobile web browser and into the native Instagram app) as well as unique mobile swiping gestures (ex. the WORK, SHOP, and LINKS pages have enabled right and left swiping gestures to move across categories..ps..this keeps breaking). Even the CONTACT button takes you outside of my website and directly into your native email app with an email readily composed. Not a big change from most average sites, but a huge difference : )
I designed through the night and was finished by sunrise. Next, coding the site. I asked my friend, Zarin Ficklin, to help me. I knew I could trust him to be just as obsessive over each detail down to the pixel. I trusted his expertise to make suggested updates and changes while maintaining the integrity of my initial vision. A few late nights later, we pushed the site live. I would love for you to take a peek around and let me know what you think.
OTHER FAVORITE SITES
Here are some awesome personal sites from other designers around the web for you to enjoy: