Changelog

Version 2.0

September 25, 2020

I've been working on a lot of small touches over the last few months that all sum up to what is now the 2.0 version of this website.

Here are some of the new features.

Case Studies

Launched my first design case study, the first step to transforming this site into a portfolio of my design work. Check out the case study for Monograph Communications, a recent brand and website project I completed (all remote, while in quarantine I might add. I've also been posting about this project recently on my Dribbble and Instagram pages.

Grid Experiments

Grid Experiments is a set of projects on this website where I've recreated iconic pieces of grid-based graphic design using web layout technologies like CSS Grid and Flexbox. This is how I describe the project:

But, up until now I didn't really have a way to spend as much time with these designs as I wanted to. You can only learn so much from saving things to a folder and looking at them from time to time. I wanted a way to spend more time with these designs, recreate them (to the best of my ability), and maybe even learn from them to make my own designs more creative. Each of the designs featured on this page was built responsively using web layout technologies like CSS Grid and typography from Google Fonts.

Cosmetic changes

I've also made a fair amount of cosmetic changes.

  • Inspired by Grid Experiements, I started aligning my website elements along a six-coloumn grid, which you can see in the header and footer.
  • I removed my headshot from the homepage, and redesigned the About page. I wanted to be a little more lowkey with the homepage and have it focus on my work. Then when the visitor wants to learn more about me, then they get to see my happy face on the About page. I also illustrated my 3 values, which you can see in the screenshot above: Gratefulness, Optimism, and Growth.
  • I added quite a bit to the site footer to make it feel more fleshed out. I developed a quotes feature using Webflow's CMS database. So each time the user visits a new page, it pulls a random quote from a special quotes database I built, along with a link to the quote source (if there is one). I intend to add more quotes to the database as time goes on.
  • I'm being more active in my search for work and new clients, so I also added a blinking green light to the homepage hero section, with a tag that says "Currently accepting new clients". Along with the new Monograph case study, I intend to launch more case studies soon to show off more of the work I do in my day to day as a web designer.

1.9

May 24, 2020

  • Added icons to the categories bar on the left. When active they show a blue filled active state
  • Removed stroke from tag design

1.8

May 23, 2020

Pretty big design update today with lots of small changes that add up to something much more refined than previous versions. I switched my fonts up as well! Before, I was using Archivo as the display font and Poppins as the body font. Today I switched the body font to IBM's Plex font family. So now, I'm using Plex Sans as body, Plex Mono for buttons and forms, and Plex Serif for article subtitles. I love how this font looks. Then for the title I chose Marmelad.

I also added white to the buttons, and gave them a far livelier hover state by making the background turn blue. Added pressdown states to all the buttons and links as well. Changed the styling of the garycolwell.net logo in the header by making the .net render in a lighter weight version of its font. I also added an email signup form to the newsletter section of the homepage and embedded some links to recent articles I've written on my Substack account.

1.7

May 20, 2020

Quick update today with a redesigned mini library and restyled version marker in the footer.

1.6

April 9, 2020

Big design update today!

  • Tried out some new lighting effects withe the website's elements, like buttons and menus
  • Created new mini library module for the homepage
  • Stopped using too much blue, it's mostly used for hover states now

1.5

March 28, 2020

Made some mostly under-the-hood changes to The Library today:

  • Changed rating system from 0–5 stars to a simpler thumbs up/thumbs down system. I found I was arbitrarily giving things star ratings, and not taking it seriously. I believe a thumbs up/thumbs down system is much easier for me to assign ratings to media I consume when I ask myself "did I enjoy this?"
  • Changed how the CMS organizes media types. I gave Media Types its own collection, the benefit of doing it this way is I no longer have to make design changes multiple times because each Media Type's page shares a design template.

1.4

January 23, 2020

A couple more additions to the Library today on the site:

  • Added position: sticky to the category menu
  • Removed left padding on mobile from the section containing the category menu, making it so that the blue active tab selector sits right against the edge of the display

1.3

January 22, 2020

Souped up the Library.

  • Added media category sorting controls
  • Added Images

The layout for this page was built using Webflow's CSS Grid functionality.

1.2

January 23, 2020

Improved the spacing between elements. In previous versions, there was 16 pixels of bottom padding on paragraphs and headlines. I lowered paragraphs bottom padding to only 8 pixels, gave buttons 32 pixels of top padding which didn't exist before and now I think everything looks a lot better proportionally.

1.1

January 22, 2020

  • Each update to the changelog now has it's own permalink. Simply click the version number to view the version's page.
  • Added date tag to changelog posts

1.0

January 22, 2020

Welcome to the garycolwell.net changelog! Version 1.0 of the site launches today, and I'm so excited.

Though the site is a bit barebones for launch, I'm so excited to finally launch the new version of the site. There are a few things of note in this initial release:

  • This changelog you're reading now will act as a historical reference of changes made to the site each time I tweak the design
  • The Library, will be the canonical view of all the media that I consume from now on. I did build the backend database for it back in 2018, so it looks odd that there's such a gap between entries, but that's why. I have ideas for more advanced features to add in the future but for now this fine for launch. Perhaps I can add more filtering and view optinos in the future.
  • A simple and no fluff design. I wanted the design to just be simple, memorable, and insanely easy to understand. There's no hamburger button in the nav so you can see exactly what pages exist on the site. I wanted everything is extremely high contrast, legible, and straight forward.
  • The Newsletter and Blog buttons in the nav currently link out to separate services I use for those things. Substack handles my Newsletter, and my blog is running on Svbtle. I prefer both of these service's writing experience over Webflow's, but perhaps in the future there could be value in bringing the blog over to this site, as it would get more people onto the site itself when linking to blog posts from Twitter.

That's about it for version 1.0. Like I said, there's not much to talk about. But that's ok. because we launched. If you're reading this, thank you!