The first post of 2010 has me working on a brand new project. Since I don't have customers coming to me with requests and wants for there web site that challenge me and make me dig into the books to learn new skills, I challenged myself to come up with a whole new idea. This idea is not suppose to be my day job, or make me a millionaire, it's about taking an idea from start to finish giving it a life on the web and learning the whole way.
Take an artistic idea develop it into something tangible, name it, buy the domain name, make a web site, get a twitter name, develop logo's, all while pushing my limits in everything. This has had me sketching, thinking, designing and really thinking about so many different things than when I was making cliff538.com, all in all it has been a lot of fun.
I wanted to do something artistic that would put me into Photoshop but not to complex because I have zero artistic ability... and it needed to be something that I knew about. I have seen these simple graphs all around the web and they are really funny so I thought why not take my career as a pilot and make fun of aviation and the life of a crew-member. So the idea was born. Now I got to work sketching ideas, names, logos, and web page designs, this part of it I really enjoyed, working with a blank canvas and playing with designs until I hit on something that I really liked. I then searched the web to make sure I could get the domain name, twitter name, and wasn't stealing some idea that was already out there and locked up the account names. I knew I wanted clean and simple, these are small simple funny graphs that speak entirely for themselves so I kept going back to a basic black and white design, single column, with a light-box effect for the graphs.
I'm very happy with where things are now and will continue to come up with new graphs when inspiration hits. I still have to work to do, the basic web design is there, but I want some hidden, pop-out navigation that won't interfere at all with the clean feel. The footer needs work. I need to do a custom twitter background and many others are on the list. Bottom line it's a lot of work and if your doing this for a living I respect the heck out of you! It's a huge job and I can't even imagine doing it on a big scale for a large company. It also becomes very clear why many people are involved in this kind of project, it's really hard to be a jack-of-all-trades and do a really good job in every area that is required in a project like this. We have become very specialized in our skills, you have the front-end folks, back-end folks, design teams, user-interface experts, it's amazing when it all comes together. I'm in awe when I look at a beautiful web site that is clean, easy to navigate and is focused.
Check out PilotGraphs and let me know what you think, then push yourself to come up with an idea and make a life for it. You might have fun and learn something in the process... it sure beats watching T.V.!
Never Stop Learning.