Ashley Fennell | Web Designer


A New Project & Designing In The Open

I’m redesigning my website, I’ve been saying for ages how I’ve wanted to redesign my website from the ground up teaching myself code along the way but that project seems to always take the back burner to other work. Well not anymore! I’m excited to say that I’m finally digging in and that I will be designing it in the open. I will be posting the progress to this blog on a regular basis as a way to keep myself accountable as well as to post about my overall design process for the website.

why design in the open?

Accountability — First and foremost I’m hoping for some accountability. Designers have a tendency to struggle when it comes to designing for oneself and I for one am no exception. I’m writing this post as a way to light a fire under my own ass and finally stop talking and start doing. I’m also counting on you (yes, you reading this right now) to keep me on my toes.

Feedback — Designing in the open is a great way to gather a communities reaction before a design goes live. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen articles bashing redesigns of brands. Having a transparent design process could have helped identify issues or miscommunications long before the final brand was shipped.

Gain Tips & Advice From The Community — This is a big part in choosing to design my own website in the open. As I get more into the guts of the project and move beyond my skills in HTML and CSS I know I will need the help of others with more experience.

Contributing To The Community — I love that I work in a field that is constantly changing and evolving, and even more so I love the openness that comes within the web community. In order to stay up to date on the latest tricks it's important to write about our own experiences, failures and successes so that those who come after us can learn.

If you want to learn more about designing in the open check out Brad Frost’s blog about redesigning the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s website in the open or read about what the Guardian gained by designing their website in the open.

I'm really looking forward to finally starting this project and I will be posting the first phase within the coming weeks so stay tuned! Follow me on twitter to stay up to date on the project or if you enjoy really bad jokes.

Ashley Fennell