New website: launched!

August 15, 2016

Hi & welcome! After putting it off for some time, I finished redesigning my small corner on the web. Portfolio websites that work with a WYSIWYG system are great and I’m thankful for them, but it was time to move forward. The past few weeks I worked on designing layouts and styles for a new website, and this past Thursday night went deep into code mode. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s functioning.

In other news, I am now officially finished with my undergraduate degrees in French (BA) and Graphic Design (BFA). The later means I am also just coming off finishing a year long thesis project, Print Dialogue. As a part of thesis, all students keep a blog on an internal website to document process. I was able to export this and bring it in here (because technology is great).

This summer I’m also working in a great/exceptional/lovely/brilliant design studio in Kingston, NY and can’t rave about it enough.

Most of these posts contain process, confusion, and occasional bursts of excitement. Though rifling through these posts, there is an update especially pertinent to current happenings. In April, I learned that this year I will be returning to Besançon, France to teach as a lectrice d’anglais at the Université de Franche-Comté. Earlier this month I went to the French Consulate to apply for my VISA, and things are coming together. So in about two weeks, I’ll be there. It still feels more or less abstract, but there will likely be more updates on that learning curve to come.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to populate this new website with work and improve my code. It’s still new, but I enjoy having it as a playground to try and learn new things. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about SEO, Analytics, and using parts of Chrome Dev Tools that I’m not accustomed to using. This week I discovered speed insights on Google Analytics as well as site audits in dev tools.

They’ve already helped move a few performance changes forward:

  • Moved jQuery from my head to after my body content because it was blocking other more essential resources from loading
  • Learned how to edit my .htaccess file to allow caching for images, css, and js files
  • Looking into structured data to help better organize my information

And beyond that, a few things on my ~personal~ to-do list:

  • Set up lazy loading for project page images
  • Figure out using src set for responsive images to reduce page load size on smaller devices
  • Continue refining web typography
  • Look into how I’m serving web typefaces
  • Honestly, just set up Git. My workflow rn, it’s bad tbh.

I also want to experiment with motion more on the new website. Right now I am using CSS property transitions on hover states to show interactivity, which I’m missing on the mobile experience. I’m looking to find a way to incorporate subtle / elegant uses of CSS transitions and animation properties to enhance this experience!

In the meantime, continuing to look / experience / learn. The past year has been a lot, but looking back with nostalgia at my BFA acceptance letter:

Rest on your laurels for a day, then begin to assess the challenge to make the most of your time here, and to launch a successful career. It is important that you continue to push yourself, never believe that if your work is among the strongest in the class that’s good enough — your real competition is talented, smart, and hard-working, and there are a lot of them. Take stock of your potential and move forward with conviction.

Alors juste comme toujours (en permanence, peut-être), on y va.