Not Quite Dead Yet!

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drewprops_redesign_001I wonder how long it takes for a blog to go without being updated before it becomes labelled as being dead, because 16 months have passed since my last post and just in case there’s some sort of Internet neighborhood association out there who drive over to your house on a random Tuesday afternoon to evict you from the blogosphere, I’d just like to announce to all four of my readers right now that I am in fact Not Quite Dead Yet.

Back before so many of my friends were on Facebook this blog provided me with a great creative outlet, but like a lot of former bloggers I’ve found that Facebook’s style of micro-blogging is really hard to resist. The instant gratification of LIKES and replies from people I actually know is impossible to resist and the continuous connection with so many people I know has carried me through some of my darkest hours. But I still love my blog. It’s been running in one form or another since the early 2000s and while I couldn’t bear to let it slip away entirely it’s become clear to me over the last few years that I needed to move it to the side domain blog.drewprops.com (which is where you are now) and use www.drewprops.com to promote myself and my work.

In late summer of 2012 I felt that it was finally time for me to take the big leap and so I began the redesign of my website from the ground up. I started by visiting the websites of designers who have inspired me over the years. I created org charts to help me understand the manner in which they’d structured their websites and I tried to understand the rationale behind each site’s structure because I believe that easy site navigation is derived from well-organized information and that the most important thing a web designer can provide to their visitor is clarity of thought.

drewprops_redesign_002

By October I’d started designing the look of the site in Adobe Illustrator and by December I’d started teaching myself technologies that would allow the site to be easily updated over time. It was a pretty enormous task that I’d bitten off and I learn programming concepts (and how girls work) very slowly, so I had to be patient while it all soaked in. In mid-February, nearly a year since my last blog post about cupcakes and boobies, I found myself needing to escape from the world entirely and that’s when I actually began coding the site. Caring for a sick family member over the course of the next four months provided a significant block of time and so I devoted a tremendous amount of effort to making it all work.

I designed the front page to load content dynamically, at random, meaning that you never get the same show twice. The front page is designed to act as a “portal” to me and my work, and intentionally provides multiple ways to discover information. For instance, each project profile page provides 3 different ways to advance to other projects within any given category:

  • a drop-down menu to select projects from a list, for people who are looking for something specific
  • as a slideshow, using backward/forward buttons, for people who “go with the flow”
  • as a series of thumbnails, for people who click first and think later

A few days ago I quietly took the site live and began ironing out the remaining kinks. At this point I’m in “soft opening” mode and will be looking to squash any remaining bugs. The fact that I’ve gone to such effort to save this blog during the transition should ease the minds of all four of my dedicated readers.

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