Notes A redesign in the open
- October 27, 2012
- Written by
- Andreas Nymark
- Labeled with
- website, open redesign
Building any website takes a lot of effort and includes decisions being made along the way, behind closed doors. With a redesign in the open I intend to share the process and the decisions being made throughout the process.
To add a little background story. For a long time I've been in a negative spiral when it comes to working on my own website. The site was in need of some major improvements, both regarding design-wise as well as the content management tool. Plenty of drafts being written without being fully finished and published, mainly because it didn't inspired made me also to not prioritize writing new posts.
In May 2011 I decided to redesign the site, a redesign process that has been taking forever to finish. I guess you could ask any designer around and they will tell you that it is really hard to design for yourself. You'll be your worst client. I know I am.
It wasn't the first time I decided to do a redesign, it has probably been like this for the last five years. At one point I get inspired, I start working on a new site, finishes about 80% and then I start improving and redesign parts all over again and often it ends with doing a total redesign again. An inifinite loop.
To try something different I decided to do a redesign in the open and change the perception of my own website; like a beta-release it doesn't have to be fully finished before launch. It can be an ever changing redesign process. In the end it is my website and for once--without any client--I'm free to use and abuse as I please.
The first iteration
The redesign for this new website started as early as in May 2011. The portfolio was launched in January the same year, as a part of my Hyper Island education. Pretty much since then there has been a constant redesign process going on behind the scenes. This summer I finished about 90% of the new site. To finish the final 10% I had to acquire certain skills to tweak the CMS in the way I wanted it to behave. Skills I really didn't have the time to acquire. The frustration slowed down the process and finally lead to me change my approach and instead attempt to do an open redesign.
This is an open redesign
A couple of weeks ago I decided to change content management system--I'll write about it in another post--and start over from scratch. Again with minor design improvements from the almost finished version I had on my local machine but this time the process would take place in the open, while writing about all decisions during the process.
With a concept of a redesign in the open I'm hoping this can have a lot of benefits. It'll definitely put some pressure on me to finish the site at some point. I also get a chance to write about the process along the way, to open source my design decisions sort of. You, whoever you are, get a chance to give feedback on everything and help me along the way. Hopefully this will generate a lot of good content and reflections, specially for people in the beginning of their career. I'm still in the beginning of my career, but there's definitely people behind me who'll benefit from this sharing.
Things will be broken
So. During the redesign process, everything and nothing will look broken. Things will change appearance along the road. But do bring your feedback to the table, it's definitely worth sharing rather than keeping it to yourself. I probably won't have comments on the website, so Twitter is probably a better forum. I'll try to remember to refer tweets in the future posts and in updates.
I'll try to cover some of the most common topics regarding the design and creations of websites. The purpose is not to be all about technology and actual solutions, but rather the decisions and thoughts behind the chosen solution. Articles I've planned on writing about:
- Grid system
- Design; Photoshop vs. prototyping
- Content management system and hosting
- Going mobile