I've never been happy with the design of my website. It has taken my a long time to figure out why that's been the case. This summer it finally made sense.
Previous designs of this site were always just pre-designed templates with some minor adjustments. I was modifying someone else's design to fit my needs. While the designs were good, they just never felt like they were mine. In the Fall of last year, I started working on my own design. I started from scratch in Pixelmator (the app I use instead of Photoshop) and did a mock-up of my site which you can see below.
This time I chose my own typography and design. Then I found a template that could do what I wanted.
I was still modifying someone else’s design, that part didn’t change. Yet somehow I felt better about it since I had spent those few minutes thinking about what I wanted and designed a mock up. It’s those extra steps that made the design mine.
It was those few extra minutes I spent thinking about my design that made my site not only look better, but look the way I wanted. For the first time I'm fully responsible for the way my site looks. I started with an idea. Planned it out. And then implemented it on my site. It was similar to a process a real designer might use. It felt good.
It's this strategy of preparing, planning, and then implementing that I'll be using going forward for the website overall. In the past I would have an idea for a post or feature, write it up quickly, edit it even faster, and post it. While that wasn't terrible, it did sometimes lead to less than stellar outcomes. This year I'm putting more thought into what I post and when. I'm going to spend more time planning and editing and less time hurriedly posting something so I can be "first".
In the last year, my website has grown tremendously. I've found a niche to write for, I've increased my readership, and I've started some big projects. Now I'm spending an extra few minutes to plan even more. Both for new and existing features. I think it will result in better writing, better responses, and a better website.
Thank you for reading. I hope you continue to enjoy my site. I look forward to 2016.