Looking back at my recent thinking about fonts as well as my general desire to poke and prod at the design of this site is making me realise that design overall something that I’m rather interested in. I mean, this is something that I’ve known to some degree before and I do already lurk on places like r/web_design so it feels somewhat obvious, but it is interesting to note how interested I actually am in making this experience and that of other projects as good as I personally can.
At the same time, I don’t really think I could do work as a designer, the idea of taking someone else’s wants and vision and turning that into a ready and useable product seems a foreign concept to me and not really something I would like to spend my days doing.
This desire to constantly iterate on the design of my personal projects was actually something of an early stumbling block when starting to test out WordPress, since I was quite used to the quick iteration cycle afforded by static site generators: since you have all the source locally and can consequently edit and then re-generate the site locally it was really easy to iterate on the design. With a CMS like WordPress in contrast, if I wanted to experiment with the design I had to set up a staging version of the site in order to do that; this problem is solved now though there is still some funkiness going on with how my staging and live environment are linked occasionally causing problems when testing things out.
At the same time, I do have experience of refining the designs of others, the current design of this website being a prime example. It’s based off of an old fansite kit provided by Blizzard, just updated a bit and brought up to a bit more modern standards with responsive elements added so that it works decently on mobile devices as well. There are some parts of it that I’m not quite sure about still, like the seemingly somewhat low contrast on the article pages themselves as well as some of the link colours, but overall it has served me well in the past year or so. So maybe working with design wouldn’t be that hopeless of a proposition after all, especially since it wouldn’t necessarily be implementing someone else’s vision but creating my own of how to use something.
Design is also overall a very interesting field, especially since it does not just compass how things look but how they work and how they are to use, these two last elements getting a lot more attention recently than they have in the past at least as far as the web is concerned. Simultaneously, there is also a lot of pretty designs going on that have poor usability and it always makes me want to improve those things and make them nicer to use; it’s also one of the main problems I tend to have when dabbling in other MMOs outside of World of Warcraft, the UI gets in the way. Honestly, one of the things I like the most about WoW, is being able to customise the UI so freely and bring the information that is important to me to the fore while blending the rest out. This also always makes it so difficult for me to understand when people hate on addons in WoW and think they are somehow cheating, all they are doing is displaying the information provided by the game in a more sensible manner—well, most of the time, and when that isn’t the case steps are generally taken to remedy that. It just seems silly to hate on a feature that is there to make the game better for the players.
Circling back to my initial point, I think I need to start poking a bit more on the site again to fix those small annoyances I have with it—hopefully with the side-effect of making it more readable in the process.