In late-2015, my now-wife and I decided to move away from the city we’d lived our whole lives in. I applied for tons of development jobs in London before the move but hardly heard back from any of them. I figured it was because I had nothing to show online and was 7000km away.
So I went to WordPress and grabbed the first decent WordPress theme that I could find. I then published a handful of articles, including Using boost::bind and boost::signals2 to Automatically Propagate Signals. These early posts were a great exhibit of my technical knowledge. They also lulled all readers into a deep, restful slumber.
Not long after those two posts, I found a job. Coincidence? Yes. Because that was also around the time that I actually made the 7000km move to London. But my online presence couldn’t have hurt!
Since then I’ve written fifty more articles. These articles have shifted, along with my career, from engineering to design.
But I haven’t changed the design of this site at all.
A designer’s site should be designed
It’s bugging me more and more lately. C++ experts are almost expected to have hideous, unusable blogs. But a professional user experience designer? No. This will not suffice.
So now I’m going to commit to improving it… Actually “I” am not committing to it. “Future Shanes” are.
July Shane: Information Architecture
July Shane, you’re going to hate me for this, but you’re not here to defend yourself. I’m volunteering you to fix the Information Architecture (IA) of this site. If someone comes to ShaneG.ca and reads an interesting article, it’s difficult for them to explore. That’s a problem because there’s over fifty great articles that they might like.
Look at this main menu.
So get out the post-it notes. Wrap your head around our content. Group it, tag it, categorize it. Then update this menu. By the end of the month, I want a coherent, usable hierarchy of content. It should highlight your recent work as well as the early stuff. And I want you to blog about it.
If anyone is reading this beyond July 2019 and the menu hasn’t changed, please shame July Shane. Use a tweet or get creative.
Update: July Shane did his job, just in time! See Fixing the Information Architecture of my Site.
August Shane: Usability
I don’t know about you August Shane, but I don’t hate the hamburger menu. In certain cases, it can fine. This site is not one of those cases. Especially when you’re viewing on a big desktop web browser or even a tablet. Why bury July Shane’s beautiful categories of content under three boring lines?
What I DO hate, though, is the align-right symbol floating opposite of the hamburger menu. Can you guess what’s under there? Align all the words on the page to the right for some reason? No. It’s to “follow” this blog.
Anyway, August Shane, all I want you to do is get rid of the hamburger and the right-align buttons. Use words instead. Then blog about it.
If anyone is reading this beyond August 2019 and the banner hasn’t changed, shame August Shane. Here’s a template tweet you can use.
Update: August Shane did his job too! See My lazy redesign.
September Shane: Have fun
I’m not always a jerk to my future self. September Shane, your job is to have fun improving this site. Maybe get into the code and make it so ShaneG.ca is the actual domain of the blog instead of a redirect. Maybe use IFTTT to post all articles to Twitter and LinkedIn automatically. Maybe add alt text to all images to make the content more accessible.
Whatever you choose to do, have fun and don’t forget to blog about it! Oh, and update this article with a nice happy ending for this three-month-mini-makeover.
Hey reader, are you from October 2019 or later? Is there a happy ending to this article? If not, shame that slacker September Shane s’il vous plaît.
Update: September Shane did not have fun but did blog about it! See What did I just do?