I not happy with my website that lives at randyjhunt.com. It’s drab, uninspired, and lacking the attention to detail that I typically take pride in.
Last I’d addressed it, I left it as a shell I was “okay” with. I’d make tiny tweaks to content once or twice each week, mostly to the list of future and past events.
The problems abound:
- the initial experience is more about navigation than content
- 4 different text styles (if you count link color changes, which I do)
- "things in streams" content is off-site on tumblr blogs. They’re updated occasionally, but the design is uncared for.
- it feels…well…boring
Do I see any redeeming qualities? The DOM structure was nice and tidy. And I quite like the color palette still:
Color by COLOURlovers
Most of all, I was happy with the language direction. A couple of notable examples as headers and sub-headers for views:
- Future Events page: “Events in the Future - I Will Participate In”
- Bio & Contact page: “You May Know This But Likely Not - Also, Ways to Get In Touch”
I’ll expand on the language topic another time.
Why did my little corner of the web end up in this state?
- unclear goals
- limited time
- trying to find the (near) perfect tool
These are the same things I encourage my colleagues to be aware of and avoid all of the time.
Looking for perfect tools means you’ll never get stuff done. No tool is perfect. Every new tool you discover will seem like a golden ticket until you try it. I got all wrapped up in the software: playing to its strengths, then butting heads with it when I really wanted more structured data or a different way to organize. I’d resolve to “just clean things up” which would last for about 15 minutes, then I’d find other more exciting diversions.
A Path Forward
I enjoy setting constraints — even arbitrary ones — that help force decisions and drive a design process forward. There are the constraints I’m setting myself
- use HTML5 document structure
- design for mobile first and launch
- initially design and launch all content on a single view
- only means of navigating between content will be scrolling
- color palette will reference the current color palette (seen above)
So begins the tale of two text files. One lives on the left. The other, the left’s counterpart, lives on the right. What are the two text files? One you are reading. The other is a one-page site. I’m working on that now.
 - No knock to to Virb. It’s great at what it does (and has some lovely design choices). It’s just not what I needed.