September 1, 2019

Went camping for three days. Ate a lot of food. My back hurts from sleeping on ground that is 900x more rigid than my bed.

I said in my last blog entry that I'll leave the website as it was, but I just couldn't do it. I had to make changes, because I was not satisfied with how it looked, so I designed the whole thing over again. Albeit it is a lot simpler, and it took me only around 2 hours which was alright.

Why did I do a redesign? I just found the old design to be too cluttered and messy. I had fun with the backgrounds and the webpage images and stuff, but as I soon found out my brain was going absolutely wild. I simply couldn't handle how messy it was. I can tolerate disorder to a certain extent, but there comes a point where I have to take action or else I go insane.

I love looking at those Neocities and Geocities websites where people have wacky backgrounds and slap random gifs all over the place and everything is simply a mess. However, I don't think I could personally bring myself to design something like that if I'll be seeing it on a daily basis. If I was doing a mock-up website? I could probably do it, but if I was maintaining a website long-term I wouldn't be able to stand looking at it after a while. I found that a more simpler design aesthetic would be more fitting for me than those which are often deemed as "old web" aesthetics. This redesign is more of a nod towards Web 1.0 and brutalist web design more than anything (not to be confused with anti-design. See this article for some background.)

Some people may have liked the old design better, and I'm very sorry if that is the case. But I was simply losing my mind just looking at it for too long. And plus, I was focusing more on how the website looked rather than the actual content, which parallels that of an artist obsessing more about the frame housing the painting rather than the painting itself. I guess a lot of people like looking at cool web designs and not much at actual content which is fine by me. However, I think I rather create something that has people coming back rather than something which people will see once and dismiss entirely.

Also, the old design was just a bit too high maintenance. So many images flying everywhere, too many CSS IDs and classes were just bogging down everything for no real reason other than to create self-inflicted clutter. My website was only ~2.5 MB before the redesign, but considering how little useful content I really had on there, it was quite the waste of both storage and bandwidth.

I learned a lesson regarding sticking with one's own personal design principles. It is very much a good thing to experiment and to try out new things, and that is exactly what I did: I experimented with a design that was outside my comfort zone. And after such experiences you learn something about yourself, and know how to conduct yourself in future endeavours.