Project Diary: Building a Website
All semester long I have been working on a fairly large project, and it's the website you're on right now! For our largest project of this semester we were tasked with building a website that would house our design and illustration work and serve as an introduction to our personal brand. I was excited to start on this project because I had always wanted to try building a website. I'm aware that knowing how to create a website is a valuable skill for a designer to have. Furthermore, I was eager to have a professional looking source for all of my work to be presented on.
I was surprised how easy it was to start building the website. By using Wix I was able to choose a template and customize it however I wanted. I think the biggest drawback ended up being that I had too many choices, as I really struggled to separate what my site actually needed from what I just thought looked interesting and fun. The first site I started to build ended up looking cluttered for exactly this reason and I didn't feel like it reflected me as a designer so I ended up scrapping the whole thing.
So I started again! And this time I found the template you see now. I was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the black and white colour palette, the minimal sans serif typefaces, and the sleek gallery display I could use as my portfolio. I started to compile all the pieces from this year that I was most proud of and it was actually very gratifying to see how much I've learned since September. Once I chose my favourites it was easy to add them into the gallery and all the work of organizing them was done for me by the program. I added a page for each project that would expand when the picture was clicked on that would show the project name and the medium I used to create it.
Once my gallery was done, I decided to add a separate home page to greet people who came to my site. I chose a slideshow and added three of my favourite pieces to serve as a quick introduction to my work. I also worked on my "about me" page, where I included a headshot, my artist video, and a short bio about myself. This was a lot more difficult to write than I expected. I found it challenging to summarize myself as a designer and to properly introduce myself whilst avoiding creating an unreadable wall of text. Eventually I was able to create something I was happy with and represented me well. I then added a contact page that would allow potential clients to reach out to me easily and efficiently. Then to complete the site I made some final adjustments like changing the hover cover on my menu items to pink and adjusting some of the fonts to be exactly how I wanted them so that everything was more personalized.
Designing my first website was a very rewarding experience and it made me feel empowered as a designer to know that I'm able to properly market my work all by myself. It was gratifying to be able to translate my design aesthetic to web format and it's something I would love to do for future clients. I'm eager to learn more about web design in the future and take the skills that I've acquired during this project into my career.