When I began work on this site more than a year ago my goal was to build something other than a web designer’s personal website. I’ll start off by saying I failed at that. I had ideas, grand in their understatement, that led to struggles and then indecision. Those struggles made way for what was natural—a web designer’s website, because of course, that’s my job.
The site would need to be fast, inclusive, easy to manage, with minimal friction to deploy. I did not want to spend all my time tinkering and never get around to the content. Simplicity would be of the upmost importance and would be my guiding principle. This goal was successful and has allowed me to focus on some content and learning new things. I have allowed the process to be slow and ongoing. Even in small bursts I have learned a lot and have had a chance to experiment. These skills have translated to the real world where I’ve added build tools to my workflow. The focus and work for this site has been different than I had hoped for but valuable none-the-less.
Although I’ve had personal and portfolio sites in the past I was ready to begin anew. Over the last several years I lost interest in all the work. It was no longer attractive to have the limitations of someone else’s platform, all for the sake of maintaining my personal brand. All that to say—it’s been a few years. Much of the content I have to draw from is not the direction of this site (not very good). Limited content has lent itself to a slow, evolving design process.
I keep weeknotes most weeks, publishing what I write on my phone during the moments between things. It’s all I can do some months and that’s better than nothing. It has also been an interesting exercise during the pandemic.
The domain name, joshcrain.io, is a new one. Another, more common domain, has remained unavailable for years. I chose use Eleventy for publishing because of it’s simplicity. The documentation was not complicated and well written with helpful examples. An article from Filament Group got me started. The initial build took a few hours and I was up and running.
Though the site went live on January 15, 2020, I’ve avoided any sort of acknowledgment of it existence. There is still plenty to do. Much left unfinished. I may never get to where it’s done, so why wait. It’s live.