2010 was a busy but fun year when it came to the wonderful world of web design.
I still consider myself a novice designer but I’m proud of the knowledge I’ve gained and the way my sites have evolved.
I have a lot left to learn but the 17 West Network of web sites have never looked or functioned better.
At the end of the day, the sites HAVE to promote our films and I think the new designs reflect that. There is no point to introducing a flashy new design if it doesn’t accomplish what it’s supposed to.
Each site has a specific purpose. At the beginning of 2010, I set out to define that purpose and the sites grew from there.
It started with the redesign of ERICGAMACHE.COM
The simple design is meant to highlight Eric’s directing and producing skills. His site was never meant to be based on daily content so I was free to design something simple.
While I built the design in Dreamweaver, I learned a lot about organization and coding. I got better at planning my designs so I could build them efficiently.
This was an eye opening lesson because my next project would be a massive amount of work.
The New 17WEST.CA!
It was bound to happen sooner or later. I avoided it as long as I could but I knew that 17west.ca was going to have to be rebuilt from scratch.
I had spent more than a year updating the graphical look but never stopped to consider what I REALLY needed the site to be. Originally, it was going to be the home of our films and my own personal blog.
This was before I knew how incredible content management systems were. (Like I said, I’m still new to this.)
I made the decision late in 2009 to separate my blog from the site and The Athletic Nerd was born.
While this was a fantastic decision, I was left with a broken 17 West Home page that didn’t fully integrate with our other sites. It lacked functionality. It lacked updates.
So I started over and now, 17WEST.CA is better looking, loads faster and most importantly, it promotes our movies better.
When you reach our home page you have no other option than to dig deeper and learn more about our projects. (I hope.)
Not only that, I’ve added in countless ways to learn more through this blog. They compliment each other nicely now.
I was left with a problem…
My own portfolio site suffered from the same problems…
The New JAYMCKINNON.COM
My final mission of the year was to finish updating our third site with blog integration and all the other lessons I learned throughout the year.
You Learn By Trying
The result is 3 brand new websites that work together to provide as much information as possible to those who seek us out.
It’s insane to think about all the design work I had to do in addition to updating this blog everyday WHILE writing new projects AND editing our latest short film…
It was a lot to balance but thankfully, 2011 will be a quiet one when it comes to web design.
My focus is now completely on creating new films so these new sites have something to promote.
The infrastructure is complete. It’s time to see this network in action.
Bring on 2011!