Redesigning my Website

As a web designer and developer, my portfolio is the best representation of my skills and talents.

More than my resume, GitHub profile, or work bio, my portfolio represents me as a designer, developer, and human being. Because of this, it’s important for me to feel that my portfolio is designed and developed with the same thought and care that I put into my work with Cloud Four.

Because of this I’ve redesigned my portfolio a few times over the years. The latest iteration was from 2016 (about 4 years old at the time of this writing). Reviewing the site now, there are a handful of areas where there are clear opportunities for improvement.


Injecting More Personality

When I built the current version of my portfolio I was getting ready to graduate college, freelancing, and looking for a professional gig. I was doing everything I could to look more like “professional” and looking back at my portfolio now it shows. There’s a lot I still like about my portfolio but I’m not sure how well it represents me as a person.

I’d like to inject more personality into the site through illustration, typography, animation, and interaction.

Adding Another Layer of Polish

I’ve learned a lot about design since I built my previous site. In addition to injecting more of my personality into the site, I hope that this redesign can take the site to the next level in terms of design: from good to great!

Adding a Blog

At Cloud Four I’ve had the opportunity to start blogging professionally and I’ve found that I really enjoyed it. With my old site I had published a [couple](link to web colors) [articles](link to logo post) but they were always 1-offs, and there wasn’t a good structure for regular writing.

One of my priorities in redesigning my site was to add a place where I could easily write and share my thoughts. I wanted these blog posts to shine with pure text content but also allow custom visualizations and interactions to complement my writing.

Highlighting Open Source Contributions

At Cloud Four I’ve also had the opportunity to contribute to a variety of open source projects. It’s important to me to give back to the open source community that has helped me to learn and grow, and I’d like to highlight how I’ve been able to contribute over the years.

Adding a Place for Art

When I was a teen I wanted to be a professional artist. This is what got me into design which snowballed into an interest in web development. I still enjoy making art, though I don’t have as much time for it as I once did. I wanted a place to showcase this art and hoped that it would encourage me to draw more!

Moving to a New Tech Stack

I could technically achieve the goals described above without a full redesign of my current site. However, over the last 4 years the tools I enjoy using and feel comfortable with have changed a lot.

At the time I was writing a lot of PHP back-ends, while these days I write almost exclusively Node apps. The last few years have also seen a huge rise in quality tooling for building static sites. I wanted to move to static site generation with Node, and hoped that switching to a tech stack I preferred would make it more likely that I would make regular updates instead of letting my portfolio stagnate for years at a time.

The Next Steps

As I work through the process of redesigning and rebuilding my portfolio I’ll be writing blog posts to document the process.

Hopefully these will be links soon ;)