data + design in Austin, TX
Our first design project was to reorganize the content, and redesign the website for a restaurant that we drew out of a hat. I was fortunate enough to draw Dominican Joe, a coffee shop about 40 feet from my apartment where I’ve spend many a rainy sunday morning.
Here is the current website. It has so many problems, from the illegible logo typeface, to the nav bar being wayy too complicated, to the lines and lines of body copy, outdated social links, the address as a jpeg…
I visited Dojo with a more critical eye & did a SWOT analysis.
The challenge with this was removing myself from what I already knew about dojo, and letting new thoughts trickle in. My main takeaway from that is that people come to dojo for the quiet – not the coffee, not the service.
Okay, so this was my first time sketching a website from my head, as opposed to sketching up an existing site. I’m really glad we did that exercize a couple weeks back, becuase it made me very careful, and confident in my ability to do this.
The biggest challenge with this assignment was content strategy for me. Cutting 8 nav items down to 4, and paring down the text so that the homepage wasn’t a mile long. Fortunately for the text-heavy sections there was a long version and a short version - so I just used the short version.
Style tiles are the fun part. We were really encouraged to push ourselves on this part, so I ended up playing with typefaces I’d never used before, and colors that were outside of dojo’s color scheme.
The biggest challenge was finding the balance between “pushing it” and staying on-message. I ended up going with a sort of safe / neutral tile becuase all of my other ones were a little too far, but in hindsight, one or two more style tiles could have probably been beneficial.
Coding with Jekyll
The coding part felt so much easier than it has at any point during this program, which felt like a breakthrough for me.
The biggest challenge was (re-)learning how to work within the Jekyll file structure. We mostly used it for the local server aspect, so it’s not like we were writing loops or getting into the layour craziness. Still, it’s a bit intimidating with how many files and new types of characters like — front matter — and are happening, but the way the html and css play together is the basically the same as regular html and sass.
This was also the first time I had to decide what finished means. In design, you’re never really “finished” - and I learned that the hard way. To me, especially in bootcamp, finished means minimum viable product, meeting requirements, and coming up with a prioritized. list of incremental improvements.
Really excited for next week’s project!