After taking a break this weekend from all things website (well, I did tweak my image post format to do some cool custom stuff :) I’m hitting this marketing challenge with fresh eyes. Today’s morning 15 minutes was spent as follows:
- 30 seconds – rereading Day 5’s raw notes (see bottom of page for the raw text)
- 2 minutes of sketching
- 1 minute of being aghast at how difficult this was
- Doing a second sketch until the timer alarm went off
I’d started by first sketching the three main things that I thought needed to be present:
- DAVE SEAH + HEADSHOT
- CREATIVE INDEPENDENCE SECTION
- MAKER SECTION
When I tried sketching these into place like blocks, I quickly ran into a feeling of “wrongness”. What seemed clear in the abstract seemed very difficult to express. In the photo to the right, which is a half-sheet of paper, I wrote my name at the top and immediately hated it. I drew an oval to represent my head and hated it more! Then I started drawing rectangles below as smaller thumbnails, and realized I was hitting a major unexpected barrier. This was all in the space of about two minutes.
Stepping back, I analyzed the negative feelings.
- I didn’t like the idea of just starting with my identity and head, and them proclaiming CREATIVE INDEPENDENCE and MAKER. This seemed too forward, too much like TELL instead of SHOW. And I tend to not like to draw the limelight to myself; creating a more Dave-focused home page is something I am forcing myself to do. I like to SHARE information, but I don’t really like putting myself forward as a GURU or EXPERT. At the same time, I need to promote myself.
Furthermore, I hadn’t really thought-through how the Dave identity (name, headshot) and CREATIVE INDEPENDENCE are related in a page-narrative sense. MAKER is more relatable to Dave Identity, but as I’m a noobie maker I am a little embarrassed to proclaim this as a major section.
p>My immediate negative reaction, it seemed, was just about proclaiming myself to be more than I thought I really was. The desire was to hide. Which actually suggested an approach!
In the second sketch (shown above) I stacked the sections. The top section is an IMAGE HEADER (which I like anyway) with a side menu of some sort that lists important cues to the site. Immediately below it is my tag, and the below that is a “content slider” of four different aspects: creative independence, process, making, and recent posts. Below that is the footer. I can optionally create an ABOUT DAVE between the footer and the content slider.
What I like about this is that I get to hide under the content. If I were to rationalize this, it feels better because the content is first, and then I am second. The image area can establish the tone and purpose of the website before my name/photo appears, which is probably the way it should be. This serves the audience first and helps them orient. I’m still visible on the site, but more like a host than the central attraction. Which is fine with me.
So the next step is to spend some time doing a Photoshop mockup in the main areas, then back that into InDesign or Illustration for the typography work. That’ll probably be the focus for this week.