Friday, 25 March 2011

A Website for Website Artists: Part 1

I've been trying to plan, wireframe, design, build, write copy and deploy the new Si Davies Web Marketing website for around six months now. In-between moving houses, making (and breaking) friendships, bands and girlfriends (believe it or not I'm actually fairly easy to get on with!), it's been tough to find the time needed to carry out this mammoth task. Although frustrating, the situation has afforded me time to step back and analyse the aesthetic relevance, message impact and 'timeless test' of the new design.

Against all odds (I can hear Phil Collins now) I've found the design has actually grown on me over time. For this reason I've persisted and strived to make no shortcuts or compromises. If there's been a minor user experience issue which entailed development or even a more global site issue such as the user journey not being as clear as it could be, I've found myself taking the time to read up on effective breadcrumb design (for instance) and ensure I've done a thorough a job as possible. Have I finally reached work ethic maturity? Has anyone else experienced this seeming epiphany?

I'm now at a stage where the home page has been designed and I've a clear wireframe for the rest of the pages throughout the site. I have a taxonomy, a content map and lots of notes on the database structure. I've also developed the home page statically using a combination of XHTML, CSS and JQuery. The site is so direct in its message and suggested bespoke plugins that it feels like deploying the site on anything other than a bespoke CMS would be overkill. This is unlike me as I'm usually sensitive of the security, maintainability and flexibility benefits of deploying on a CMS such as Joomla, a CMS of which I also have over seven years experience developing with. For better or worse (and I may very well change my mind again) it feels like the best option for me is to spend hours delving back in to PHP and MySql and creating my own admin UI and code. I'm wondering whether this is due to my new found zest for understanding programming languages at a higher level. Time will tell I guess...

Si Davies

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