Dylan Smith

Redesigning my website in the open

There’s been a bit of a wave lately of designers redesigning their websites in the open. I’ve noticed this from Jonnie Hallman and Frank Chimero, among others, and have enjoyed reading about their processes. I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring.

My current website design was thrown together quite quickly. The version before it was much less suitable as a portfolio when applying for jobs and, while the Projects section on here is sparse, it was enough to get my foot in some doors and ultimately land me at Litmus.

My goals at the time were:

  1. Be content-first with background about myself and how I like to work
  2. Show my work history (in a CV-like format)
  3. Give enough of an overview of some design work to pique potential employers’ interest

The blog article list that used to be pretty much the whole site a few versions ago got tacked on at the bottom for lack of a better place to put it.

A screenshot of my website right before publishing this article

I don’t hate this design. The single font size was a stupid decision and the whole thing is a bit “brutalish” but it’s okay enough that I’m not embarrassed of it. Now that the dust has settled and I have some new objectives, I’d like to start making some improvements and inch toward something I can be really proud of.

Here are some things I’d like a new design to achieve:

  1. Emphasise things I have done outside of my day job and would like to do more of moving forward (speaking, podcasts, media coverage)
  2. Provide a better experience for people who might find my writing, both browsing article lists and actually reading articles
  3. Add some personality back to the my little corner of the web

Content hierarchy will be a challenge. People will visit this site with a few different goals (or no goals but from a few different paths) so I’ll need to accommodate for that. And creating something unique that I don’t get sick of in three months is always hard. But let’s see how it goes, shall we?

Newer New content hierarchy Older These People Again