This Site has a History
I have been working on this website for a decade and possibly more, depending on how far back I count. If my memory serves me correctly, the domain was first registered in late 2006, at the suggestion of a clever professor at Humber College.
The teacher insisted I get the domain for my full name while it was still available. I didn't really think that anyone would “steal” the domain name, but luckily I listened and bought it when I still could. It really is a satisfying thing to have a small corner of the web all to yourself.
Previous to that, I had hosted my site under various other domains, other people's hosting accounts and even under Geocities at one point (with a hit counter and poorly tiled background as you may expect). By my best estimate this website redesign is probably version six, if I only look at the major redesigns.
Ideas behind the Redesign
This site is built from ground up with my own backend and frontend code. I tend to obsess over trying to do as much “from scratch” as I can when working on web projects.
This is an increasingly ridiculous philosophy, given the number of different languages, technologies and techniques that go into a modern web site or app. However, I find that if an opportunity to make something by hand presents itself, I like to take it simply because that is the way to learn the most in doing it.
In terms of design and functionality, my main goals were:
- A consistent brand that can transfer over into print and the physical world
- A site that lets me write content directly in HTML5
- A ui that uses some of the established ideas, but also adds something new to the mix
- At least the existing functionality for lessons/teaching to help enhance what I do in the classroom
- Day/night modes, so that the site is highly readable and displays well on screens and projectors
Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others. Orson Welles
I went through many sketches, mockups and functioning prototypes before settling on what you see in front of you.