I survived

I survived Career Day.I just got back from a long morning over at Evans High School, and things went better than I had expected. I spoke with three classes – primarily 9th and 10th graders. It was weird to talk to people about the kind of work that I do. Quite a few seemed uninterested in what I had to say. (I know I would have been, too.) But there were a couple of students that asked some really great questions. One asked about whether they needed to have Vista if they were going to do design work. I told them that we’re avoiding Vista like the plague… it wasn’t necessary. XP would suffice. Another asked whether college was necessary. I answered honestly, by saying it was absolutely necessary, but even I would benefit from a more formal design education.All in all, I had a great time. It was nice to know that at least a handful of kids thought my presentations were worthwhile.Can’t wait to do it again next year.

Sneak Peek

Here’s a little preview of the upcoming design for cdharrison.com:

cdharrison.com sneek peak

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into the UI design, trying to make the site easier to use. I don’t have a timeframe for roll-out, but you’ll start to see bits and pieces of the new design starting to appear soon. My site has long been about stuff, and that’s why I’m calling this release “Effercio” (Latin for, you guessed it, “stuff”). This will be the 14th major iteration of the site, and the third since migrating over to WordPress. (In case you’re wondering, I called v13 “Nanideska”. “Nani deska” is a little Japanese phrase I picked up from watching too much anime in my younger years… it literally means “what” or “what is it?” That’s what I kept asking myself about the direction I was heading with the site and the design…)

Redesigning, or realigning, a site is one of the more rewarding aspects of what I do. You take what works and you make it better. You take what doesn’t work and you throw it out the window.

“The desire to redesign is aesthetic-driven, while the desire to realign is purpose-driven.” – Cameron Moll

With every iteration of this site, and pretty much every site I work on, there is a strong desire for me to push my skills a little bit further. Design, in general, should be fun. It isn’t when you’re doing the same thing over and over again.

So… here’s what you’ll be able to expect with v14:

  • Full Sandbox integration. Sandbox supports microformats like hAtom and hCard right out of the box. It’s a great theme upon which to build a site.
  • Better navigation. Browsing through the ‘stuff’ on my site will be a bit easier than before. Navigation will be more apparent throughout the site.
  • Better organization of content. Categories should be easier to use. Older content should be easier to browse through.
  • Better accessibility. An alternate stylesheet will be available for High Contrast. (I’m hoping to accomodate text-resizing a bit better as well.)
  • Better design. v13 evolved from a theme called Qwilm! … but it’s never been exactly what I wanted. v14 changes all of that.

I’ll post something in the next few days detailing more of my process of taking an idea, mocking it up in Photoshop, and then turning it into a design…