At First You Don’t Succeed…

This month marks my one year blog-iversary.

When my blog first launched it did not look like this at all. I have actually had a lot of websites; none of which are at the domain SamanthaWarren.com. No, rather a super-classy 1992 styled “Under Construction” warning has taken up a permanent residence on that page. It has been there since 1999 which is why I decided to pick the corniest, longest, most ridiculous joke URL I could possibly think of for my first domain. SamanthaRocksYourWorld.freeservers.com in all of it’s blazing college glory didn’t last very long, but I can tell you that it could have put a lot of today’s myspace profiles to shame.

Once the need to use my website as a place to send a shout out to all of “my dawgs” wore off the quest to experiment with online media began. People have asked me how I learned to build websites, and besides the help I got from some fantastic coworkers, my personal website really is what taught me how things works. It is a continuous experimentation. Now I am going to show you what a lot of other designers probably wouldn’t… the evolution of my personal web site. Keep in mind “at first you don’t succeed, try try again”.

2002 SamanthaWarren.net
I muddled my way through dreamweaver using a book and dumb luck to come up with my first real portfolio site. I had no idea what the hell I was doing, but looking back on the code, I am surprised to find it in pretty good shape. The entire motif was crude and simple; revolving around a concept piece I created for my final college portfolio. The idea was to hand a possible employer a file from a mental ward stating I was “crazy about design”. Probably not something I would go with again.

Crazy about design

June 2005 SamanthaWarren.net v2 & v 2.5
After completing a few sites for the Army web team I felt confident to bust out some CSS of my own and experiment with flash. The flower on the left hand side grew when you first came to the page. While a happy dance was done over an achievement as that,it wasn’t long before I realized there weremajor issues that needed to be addressed. For instance…. It took forever and a day to load my portfolio. So I went back and rebuilt the entire site again from the ground up and launched a sleeker version 2.5 of my website. As soon as that was up I quickly saw the potential to improve and redesign.

SamanthaWarren.net Design
January 2006 SWarrenDesign.com
So the flash bug then bit me. This site provided me the perfect challenge to learn the basics of flash but not without some headache. Early on I settled on a Victorian Phrenolgy concept hat looked 90% awesome but had this interactive bald-headed me on the front page. Killer concept but visualy rode the boarder between genius and really friggen’ weird looking. So loving the design otherwise I concocted an animated version of my cat to fill the void. Funny… but still a little friggen’ weird. This would be an example of when a concept running off on a tangent. I keep this site live for kicks… go check it out.

Old Flash site

January 2007 BadAssIdeas.com
After my first trip to SXSW in 2006 I was not only inspired to crack open some WordPress CSS but to start blogging. When I told people i was going to blog their first reaction was “What about?” and as you can see that probelm worked itself out fairly well. The inspiration for the name came partly from a joking remark made by a colleague referring to my “Bad Ass Ideas” and visually from my love for Janis Joplin. Janis had a relationship with the San Fransisco Hells Angels who she gives a shout out to on her “Cheap Thrills Album”. Inspired by the no-bullshit attitude of Miss Joplin, this version of Bad Ass Ideas was born. Between this redesign and this final version I did over 32 unique comps.

BadAssIdeas V1

June 2007 BadAssIdeas.com v2
Rejuvenated by my second trip to SXSW and my growing obsession with social media I decided to redesign and realign many visual and structural elements of the site. I also surprised myself with my dedication to blogging and decided that should come to the forefront of the site. Visually I wanted the content to be the spotlight enhancing my audience’s usability. Hoping to reference the patterns found in the 1960s art-nouveau poster that advertised Janis’s tour I added a faded Victorian pattern into the background of the site. It is reminiscent of her many costumes that now seem to be available at any local Urban Outfitters.

Blog

Expect a redesign before June 2008.

4 Comments

  1. Rhiannon

    — January 22, 2008

  2. Chris

    — January 22, 2008

  3. — February 25, 2009

  4. — March 23, 2009

  5. — April 21, 2009

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