Deploy

Published on November 29, 2014

parachuter landing in sandbox

Hello, world.

What should a web designer’s personal website look like in 2014? That’s a good question, and one I’m still wrestling over. I had a big ‘coming soon’ splash page up here for several more months than I originally planned, and have had a lot of time to think about this. I haven’t figured it all out yet, but have been itching to write about some other stuff (more on that later). Here are some thoughts:

A place to try stuff out

A portfolio is really important if you’re trying to get hired. At the moment, I’m steadily employed, so I’m treating mine as sort of a “Greatest Hits” section.

I don’t fancy myself a professional writer, but I use it as a way to organize my thoughts and communicate ideas to others. Having some kind of blog is helpful for others to find you, and figure out what you’re about. I am not going to make any kind of promises about the frequency, length, or format of my posts, but I will make a few things clear:

  • I am not writing on behalf of my employers or the people who pay me. I won’t discuss specific clients or projects without explicit permission.

  • Its impossible to completely separate Nick the designer from Nick the private citizen. That said, the content will skew largely toward the former. If you are more interested in the latter, you probably know a much better way to get in touch with me for those details.

  • You will not see any variant of the words “Wow, I haven’t written a blog post in a long time” on this website. If I go several months without publishing any content here, regrets will be privately held, but no written apologies will be made.

Finally, I am planning to play and experiment with the design and code of this site a lot. I have been interested in learning to use GitHub, and the free hosting on GitHub pages seemed like a logical choice. I’m keeping the site’s content and structure simple by design, so the presentation can evolve as the site evolves.

The flexibility of the templating software (Jekyll and Liquid) will allow for little one-off designs and side projects to be hosted from this main domain. As a designer, nearly all the code I write is simple HTML, CSS and Javascript, and this approach frees me from having to worry or check up on databases and server-side stuff. If you are interested in how this site is put together, I am curating a resources page with more information about the tech and tools I am using.

Audience

Who reads these things? I thought about my interests and topics and narrowed it down to three groups of people:

  1. Anyone involved in the creation of web content, software, or design. Content strategists, developers, fellow designers and people who work with these sorts of people on a regular basis.
  2. People who are interested in learning about design, specializing, or working with a designer for the first time. I’ve been at this for almost ten years now, which feels like a long time, but in many ways I still feel like I’m just getting started.
  3. People who already know me—Colleagues, friends, and family (Hi mom!)—and are interested in what I’m up to.

Content

I’ve drafted or am in the process of writing several blog posts to be published after this one. Before I started designing this site, I brainstormed a list of 20 titles for the blog posts I want to write. Some are informational. Some are satirical. A few are in need of a professional editor. Here are the ones I’m most excited about:

  • Chasing imperfectionism
  • “Coming Soon” and other broken promises
  • Content strategist by accident
  • Designing for others vs. designing in a vaccuum
  • Fear of the command line
  • Managing content in the future
  • More top-level domains you weren’t asking for
  • Resume writing tips for designers (really)
  • Stupid branding tricks
  • Unsexy design projects

I’ll come back to this list and add a hyperlink once I’ve exhausted a topic. From time to time, I may also publish a review of a book or video on this blog.

If any of this interests or intrigues you, I invite you to stick around and come back often for more. Here’s an RSS feed you can grab, and a low-volume mailing list you can sign up for, if you are interested in getting an email from me every 4-6 months. Thank for reading all the way to here, and more importantly, thank you for resisting the temptation to correct my grammar.