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New Year New Blog.

3 January 2019

At the end of last year I promised myself that I'd create a place that I could keep all the snippets of knowledge that I accumulate. I do write some things down, but never in a single place. And I tend to rely on things being 'in my mind' which to be honest never really works out in the long term.

Today I asked the question on Twitter about whether I was doing the right thing putting an unfinished blog live, rather than using my Medium account or another publishing platform like LinkedIn. I like likes and claps, but I don't do it for that reason.

Depends where you see the value. If you saw the value in writing you could have just shared an open Google Doc or Evernote note or some such. Simon Wilson.

It's a really good point, for me I've never been that good at simply writing things in an engaging way. I certainly don't see myself as the next Redjotter.

I've decided to build my own blog for multiple reasons:

  • This is a Jekyll blog running on Github pages. Building my own thing has allowed me to learn Jekyll from the ground up, and coupled with SCSS and Livereload has given me a really solid workflow.
  • My front page uses CSS grid. I've been watching lots of Jen Simmons videos over the holidays on the subject.
  • I installed the latest version of Emmet. I love Emmet – it allows me to write blog posts quickly, because, whilst I see some value in Markdown for content editors and those not familiar with code, as a designer I want full HTML flexibility but at the writing pace that Markdown provides.
  • I'm constantly testing this site with VoiceOver on iOS and NVDA on Windows to build and learn with accessibility best practices. As a designer, I've always found that having a portfolio/playground website is a perfect way to test out the things you can't always do at work.
  • I've nicked some design thinking and code from Heydon Pickering and also my superb colleagues working on the brilliant NHS front end library. Being able to put into practice lessons from others in a way that makes sense to you at your own pace can help build knowledge in a way that you'll learn and remember. Mistakes that don't hurt anyone are the best ones to learn from.

So, onwards. Lots to do, lots to learn and lots to record. I will keep my posts short and sweet and you never know, I might even start spelling things correctly.

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