Moving forward ~ summer 2018
I opted to start again from scratch, but maintain what I had learned from the previous version(view it here). At this point, I had more experience and entered this version with an organizational strategy.
I used Figma and Sketch for digital prototyping in the past and since this was just a personal site, I figured it wouldn’t be necessary. In hindsight, I wish I did make a prototype because it would have been helpful to fully visualize the site as a system before I jumped in. Thankfully, Adobe Brackets has a preview feature for html documents, a feature that I now use religiously.
Because I decided that I was going to be organized and plan out my code, the first thing I needed to completely figure out was brand consistency. I wanted to be consistent with my color schemes as well as icons to maintain a cohesive look.
When it came to making visuals for the site, I looked into what graphics were important to me, for example my heritage.
Growing up, it was not always clear what role I was meant to assume in society especially with my skin color and gender. Therefore, when I thought about what image I wanted to present through my portfolio, my culture came instantly to mind. As an Asian American, I found myself struggling and continuing to struggle with identity, thus I found it appropriate to recreate the “chinese takeout box look” in my name to essentially reclaim my Asian American heritage.
Though I really liked the previous logo, as I moved onward with my site, I realized I could pay homage to my roots through layout and implication rather than a blatant visual.
As I mentioned before, identity has always played a critical, yet a conflicting role in my life.
Designer or engineer? Coding or painting? Asian or american?
As I grow older, I have decided that whatever varying context in which I find myself, it’s alright to operate as none of them or even all of them.
Therefore, the reason I decided to brand as SAHO is twofold:
- saho.studio was a more affordable and available url than any other dumb alternative I thought of.
- It allows me a sheer shroud of anonymity that I can operate behind and embrace all facets of my identity.
Moving on and once I developed my brand identity, I could move forward with layout and whatever ambitious JS effects I had planned.
Naturally I started with a normal HTML page framework with a sidebar, header and footer. My task was just to figure out all of those building blocks before I got carried away with layout.
Also, concurrently while I’m developing this site, I was personally also taking on quite the variety of design jobs, front-end developer included. With this project on my mind, I figured developing professionally could be nothing but good and additional experience. However after this summer, I know one thing for certain: I have no intention of ever becoming a web developer.
What I did learn is that I enjoy prototyping and watching the iterative process progress over time. While this was a rather painful experience for me, needing me to deal with identity and organization, I learned about myself and what aspects of design excite me.
Thus moving forward, if you ask me to make a website for you, I’ll likely try my best to help but in the hacky, DIY way that I made my own site. Is that what you really want?