I’ve been working on Creative Minds little by little every day since the beginning of November. It’s admittedly a complex project. There are many parts to it, like the technical production process (how do we record the interviews, and how do we edit them), the organisational side (who can I speak to, when and how) and of course this website. All aspects interact with one another at all times, and each one requires some kind of start – however awkward it appears at any given time.
I don’t enjoy web design anymore, but I’m OK at throwing a website together, and Creative Minds needed one. I still have a good hosting infrastructure in place, so that’s easy for me to setup, but making it all look good enough for me to be happy with it, that’s another story.
I had registered this domain, put the hosting and the WordPress site together, used the (then default) TwentyNineteen theme, and it seemed like a good choice for the project. Some aspects required tweaking and of course it needed some words, perhaps a few pictures. None of that was there, and it is always a little frustrating for me to make a start with a completely clean slate. The last thing I wanted to do was design a website and deal with CSS, yet it was a necessary step in the process, and an important one too.
So I hung in there, dealt with the challenges this inevitably brings, but I also reaped the fun that can come with it. I wanted to share this process with you.
Over the last week I’ve adjusted the icon at the top left, the title size at the top of the site, the dark image effect on single posts and pages, tweaked the main accent colour tint and added the social links to the top menu. It took some time, but I finally arrived at a layout that I liked to build on. I’ll put it on GitHub when I get a chance.
Of course the site didn’t have any meaningful content yet, and content feeds into the design, so I added some rough outlines for the parts of the site we may need. An About page made sense, to tell people what I’m doing here. There should also be an area for this project diary, which will grow over time, and of course a section that shows the episodes to watch and listen to. But I haven’t got any episodes yet, nor an About page, nor any diary entires.
I took a quick break from web design and was just about to firm up dates with suitable interview candidates, when I realised that it would be super helpful if I could have a list of questions I’m likely to ask. It makes sense to have them on the website so I don’t have to copy/paste them into every email I send out. This would allow my candidates to get a feel for what we may talk about.
So before I continued my correspondence, I write more website content. One page is about the general format of the show, and the other contains a list of potential questions. I’m telling you this because it’s a nice example of how one aspect of the project influenced the other in a very positive way. You could argue that being forced to look at the bigger picture sometimes determines the next step in the process.
It was difficult for me to pick one direction over the other, and was glad to see the project itself steered me into a direction I would have perhaps not pursued by many own choice. I needed content to see the design, and I needed those pages for the correspondence. With content in place, I could finalise the design, and now I have something to build upon.
Web design is just one small piece in the puzzle, but an important one for this project to evolve. With the basics in place, let’s take a look at video editing challenges next.