April 10, 2014

Redesign

I’ve begun the arduous process of redesigning my online presence. This is something I do a bit more often than most, but it’s not as bad as it was once. You see, there was a time when I redesigned my sites every six months, which isn’t too bad if you want to stay current. Things moved faster then though, and today a design just works longer, although I must confess they’ve always been relevant for more than six months. I used to love to tinker, that’s how I learned WordPress, which subsequently meant I got to write a bunch of books about how to do things with the platform.

Back then I redesigned because it was fun, and because I could. I was evolving a lot, as a designer and developer, and probably as a person too, without me or anyone else noticing. I’m still evolving, but rudimentary things such as clever taxonomy usage and new markup techniques isn’t doing it for me anymore. These days, I redesign when I need to.

TDH.me at the time of writing
TDH.me at the time of writing

The current design isn’t all that bad, but it isn’t working out the way I’d planned. Or rather, it did, but things – plans if you will – change, and the needs I had when I decided on this very design have changed too. I could tweak the design to meet my needs, but I don’t feel like doing this half-assed. You could say I’m done with this design, because tweaking and bending it would ruin its integrity, and the result would be lacking at best.

I’ve started work on the new design, which is to say I’ve drawn a lot of boxes on paper and created mind maps in various apps. While I’m proficient with a stylus (yes, stylus) and an appropriate iPad app, few things beat paper. I have found that mind mapping apps are quite far along though, some are especially great, and so I fiddle with these and they save me time. While I doubt I’ll drop the notebook for quick sketches, ideas and yes, even notes, the pen and paper have long lost the mind mapping game for me. Just as I don’t write longform by hand anymore, I won’t be caught mind mapping on paper if I can help it.

“Hang on there chum, you wrote online presence!”

Right you are, my good imaginary fellow. Content today flows through numerous channels, and this very site is just one of them. In fact, the past few months I’ve spewed more words on my tumblr than I have here, and Twitter beats both these places in terms of word count. I’m rethinking it all, because although I enjoy posting some short stuff on Tumblr and Twitter, it does seem a bit counter-productive to not have a plan for all this content. So yes, I’m redesigning that too, including my avatar (which stems from a lost bet, not a PR photo, as the last one did).

You’ll notice that when I talk about design, I don’t necessarily talk about colors and typefaces. Design is so much more than that and yes, how I treat my tweets fits in there too, albeit not carrying much weight in the matter obviously.

Anyway, I just thought I’d let you know what I’m up to. Or rather, one of the things I’m up to, but I can’t really talk about the other stuff so… Yeah.

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