An update on what I’m doing

It’s that time again. I’ve decided to dive in and do a full redesign of this portfolio site. There are a few reasons why.


Over the last two years, the nature of the day job and freelance work I do changed significantly. After mulling over all kinds of descriptions, Web Producer seems the best fit title for what I do day-to-day. The new portfolio site will reflect this.

Learning in depth

At the start of 2010, I scribbled some New Year resolutions on paper (not brave enough to blog them and therefore make them real) about developing my web skills this year.

After flitting across many subjects, favouriting interesting tweets, starring tutorials in Google Reader, skimming blog posts, going to meetups and generally procrastinating, I reached the conclusion that I’ve tried to know about many web subjects without really understanding them.

(This isn’t a post bashing shallowness of social media, by the way. I love Twitter for new ideas, new subjects, helpful people, alternative views and curious minds.)

So, I committed to developing my skills in a smaller range of areas but learning about each one in greater depth:

  • Design – specifically photography, grids and type, and taking time to absorb design outside the web world
  • Web designHTML5, CSS, more creative WordPress use and optimisation
  • User experience design – I’m taking part in the Birmingham Interaction Design Association and the related User Experience Book Club
  • Open data – learning the standards, formats and techniques for sharing data in better ways designed for other people (and machines) to easily re-use in applications

Progress on portfolio redesign

I’ve completed the first two stages:

  1. A content plan for the portfolio
  2. Wireframes for key page templates (shared on flickr)
  • Heidi Blanton

    It’s great you blogged about this, I should do the same. It’s interesting to see the different approaches we’re taking. I did a more general wireframes (though I do have some design elements in mind for mine already), and I’m working on the content as I do some html mockups.

  • Thanks Heidi. The detailed wireframes approach is new for me. I usually do paper sketches, scan, start in Photoshop then get frustrated and jump straight to the HTML. This time round I’ve taken it slowly and planned out the grid structure in detail, after reading part five (layout) of Mark Boulton’s ‘A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web.’ Hope this will save some time at the HTML and CSS stage. I’m planning to do a separate blog post on the grid setup and wireframes.

    It’d be cool to see your wireframes. Could share some feedback while we’re both doing the new sites.