Unbuilding the blog
My website hasn't gone through any revisions since I left college about four years ago. Chris Coyer finally convinced me to start blogging again and not having a blog is not an excuse for not writing. I have high expectations for my new website and have a fairly concrete vision for it at this point. Every time I started with the CMS or blogging service which always left me frustrated and feeling I was miles down the wrong path in terms of what I wanted out of the design and functionality. So, I threw up this site which is just a collection of flat files displaied by Apache. The HTML is a straight markdown conversion with no
<head> or any wrapping tags. This site literally took two minutes to put up and is as bare bones as it can possibly be. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
Rob Giampietro gave a lecture on unbuilding about how deconstruction and retrospection can create clarity and purpose in design. What does not exist or what is done differently can critique what exists. This unbuilt blog is by no means perfect but it exposes just how many problems we create for ourselves. The reason why websites break is because we build somthing that is broken, not because a particular browser is broken. This is the baseline where progressive enhancement starts and while it might not be pretty it works just fine on any browser. This site couldn't be any lighter or faster either as performance is a hot topic today. These issues of performance, compatibility, and UX are problems we create for ourselves and should all be considered from the start so they can be avoided in the first place. Jen Simmons gave a fantastic lecture in which she said her design starts in writing the markup and I nodded in approval then. It wasn't until now that I realized just how good the raw hirearchies of starting in markup are for fully understanding the content structures and design needs of websites. What people think of as design comes so far twards the end of the process like color choices, shape, and all the fussing with drop shadows and bevels. Starting from markup forces the major issues of legibility, hirearchy and UX forward while the details that designers get caught up in too often are pushed back.
This site is both intended to troll the web design community with it's bare-bones nature as well as be the foundation for my future site. This is a retrospective that takes a step back not to stay back but to get a better picture of the way forward.