S.R. Wild

Redesign 2019

I have been redesigning and redesigning this site for almost 10 years. I did many versions. I was so close to launching it a few times. I didn’t. I was never happy with it. The closest I got was putting a few versions on a staging site. Designing for yourself is hard. I can efficiently crank out good work for clients, but doing work for myself is a problem. I’m the worst client. “That’s a great start. Just one change: can you start over? —Best Regards”

I stopped posting on here in 2010 and I let the site rot. It displayed a PHP error for a few years. 5 years ago I deleted everything and put up a dumb splash page that had one image, my email, and a link to my Instagram account. It was better than what I had up there. The old blog posts and work didn’t represent who I was or the things I was doing. It didn’t show what I can do. Most of the blog posts were embarrassing. The work was embarrassing. It was using a framework to display one image. It was like I didn’t have a page at all.

So, I finally did it. Pop open a can of seltzer and celebrate. I launched a redesign. You’re looking at it. It’s not perfect and it never will be. I have a long list of things I need to do and a longer list of things I want to do.

Why?

This website is a place where I can show my work. I make a lot of things: collages, lettering, animations, and all sorts of other visual things. I rarely, if ever, show a lot of those things to anyone. Partly because I do a lot of those things for myself and I’m not usually happy with them. Everything I do always feels like a work in progress, even when it’s done. The aphorism attributed to Voltaire, “The best is the enemy of the good”, is the best… wait, I can think of a better one.

The wild world of web design changes almost every day — except for email design, we’re still in the ’90s there. This is a place to exercise and experiment. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep up. That’s one of the things I love about it, but it can be overwhelming. I like learning. The best way to learn is to do. It’s better to make something bad than nothing at all. It’s important to mention that I would never give work like this to a client. Think of it as a more production-ready CodePen.

When I had a Facebook account I used to post rants, ideas, work in progress, etc. I have numerous notes in Bear that I’ve never done anything with. I need to practice writing. Again, this isn’t production-ready work, prepare for ungood grammer and spelfing. Now, I have a place for those things even if no one sees them. I saw Jefferey Zeldman speak at An Event Apart in San Francisco. He said, “Blog like no one’s reading”. That got stuck in my head, but I never did anything about it until now.

Who knows what else this site will be good for. Maybe I’ll help someone, find some work, or meet a penpal. When I was using this site, I met my girlfriend and I got a job through it. I’m still with both.

What did you use?

I don’t want to get into too much detail, maybe in another post, but I’ll give you brief rundown. I used Jekyll to build it, Netlify to host and deploy it. I used Sass, which I love. It makes things so much easier, especially with BEM and the 7-1 pattern. Working with one CSS file seems archaic to me now. I used Gulp to make a custom build process: run Jekyll, Browsersync, SCSS processing… all with one command: gulp. It’s not perfect, but it works well for me. Sure, there’s things out there that do all that, but I like making my own simple tools. I mainly built it to include the Sass source maps, which Jekyll 4.0 is able to do now.

For analytics, I’m conflicted. I’d like to know if people are coming here, where they came from, and what they’re looking at. Basic things. I want, and respect others’, privacy. Unfortunately, I can’t afford the more privacy-friendly analytics services right now, so I have to use the big one that doesn’t cost money, just yours and my data.

Anything Else?

The design and layout will change often. Like I said, this is not production-ready work. I have a lot of work to do on here. Things may be wonky or downright broken. If you see something, feel free to say something. Please, just don’t mansplain or be jerk. And don’t make “jokes” like, “it doesn’t work on my [old device no one will or can use]”. That’s just lazy, boring, and a waste of everyone’s time. That’s why I won’t have the ability to post comments on here. I’ll go to twitter for that noise. If people go through the effort to contact me they’re less likely to make obnoxious comments. I hope. I will probably regret saying that.

If you’ve read this far, you are amazing and probably bored at work.