Cascading memories

A friend of mine complimented me on my tiny ‘rebrand’ on twitter (it actually began on Slack), which was very nice. So I decided to align the branding of this site with that.

I took my chosen letterform for “V” (after trying to remember what it was) and converted it into an SVG shape, which was not exactly easy. Nonetheless, part one done.

Next I had to fire up terminal and locate my local site repository. It had been awhile, but I could still just about remember my basic git commands to make sure I had a fresh copy.

Next I opened up Brackets, and I had to locate where the relevant CSS file was. Turns out my WordPress theme had remnants of my old Jekyll .scss files. Not those. Okay styles.css, here we go.

Luckily my file was nicely indexed and commented, so finding the right part was pretty easy. On a basic level, all I had to do was swap the background image reference to my new SVG file. But I also had to take out some pointless resizing effects, resize the background, remove the border and few other things.

Turns out I couldn’t quite get it right as a single background declaration, so I had to split it out (I was in a slight rush). No biggie, works now. A few commits and pushes, tweaks, and the site was updated. Lovely.

My real point here is, I suddenly realised now how truly long it is since I’d written any CSS, let alone production code. I felt like I had unearthed an ancient manuscript, and made some slight tweaks. It felt familiar, but also kind of alien now. The sense of total control and mastery was gone, I felt a little shaky.

Staring at that file, I think I made the right decision to change lanes and go fulltime into UX. I had so much fun learning CSS and HTML as well as I possibly could, but I had to try something new for awhile. My past experience is really valuable: I know why great HTML and CSS are the solid foundation of a good experience on the World Wide Web. But now it’s time for the younger frontend coders to master that space, and learn new tools and techniques.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the scale of things I need to master in the UX space, but at the same time that’s good. It fits with my overall goal of wanting to create things, wanting to become a better designer, and learning new disciplines that can help me design better products. That was always my goal – HTML and CSS was a craft and a medium for doing it that I loved. Now I’m just operating with different materials to influence the product.