In July after leaving my full time job at Sideways I decided that I was going to redesign my portfolio site. I gave myself one week. I would start at 8am on Monday morning and launch whatever I had done by 5pm on Friday of that week. Three months later the site is live.
Within the first day I had a hunch that it was going to take more than a week. As I started to sketch out some ideas the one that really stuck required a lot of illustration work.
For years I’m been trying to capture the essence of my hometown of Cleveland in a design. One of the coolest things about Cleveland is its architecture. While many cities tear down their old buildings to put up new glass skyscrapers Cleveland still retains a lot of old structures from its glory days. These beautifully ornate old building were the inspiration for the design.
After the content and inspiration were in place I knew that the design had to be responsive. Since it’s a pretty new design mentality for me I knew the learning curve would kill my initial deadline. There was a lot to learn. To start with my old way of designing a Photoshop mockup and then marking it up was incredibly inefficient. I also had no desire to mockup 4+ different layout sizes to accommodate for different screen resolutions.
At the end of this process I’ve come to love designing responsively for its challenges. I’ve also started to wonder when (if ever) it will take hold among mainstream web designers. The change in workflow that it requires from designers is as big of a shift as we’ve seen in our industry. Techniques like designing in the browser and requiring designers to code are going to have to become more mainstream before we see everyone designing this way, but that’s a subject of another blog post.