Mission statement: strip it down
When making this new site, the starting point was simple. It was a blog post that confirmed the idea I had for a while. When I read it, it was like a weight dropping off my shoulders. The issues I had been having, working as a front-ender for some time, all of a sudden became more clear. And I wasn't alone.
The longer I look at boilerplates, build tools, frameworks and ways to make my life as a developer easier, the more I long for the basics. - @bastianallgeier
The web and all things front-end are constantely evolving. So one of the requirements is to constantely keep an eye for what's new and what's coming. That's also what I tell students as a major requirement: know how to keep an eye on things and never stop learning. But does that mean you should jump to every wagon?
I'm not a sucker for new frameworks, new tools, new design trends... I like to keep things simple. Like in design, like in code, like in workflow. I do my best to find a balance in trying out new stuff and filtering out what I can use and what not.
This way of thinking and working has sometimes given me the feeling that my 'keeping it simple' might be considered as just being lazy, as if I don't want to make the effort to try out every new thing. It even got me thinking I might be getting too old for the job. Discovering that more people have the need to take things back to basics, to take it simple on all levels, made me realise that I'm not alone, I'm not lazy, I'm not getting too old. Instead, that's what experience gives you. I know why I do something the way I do it. It has grown over many years and has proven it's efficiency and is still evolving every day. 'Keeping it simple' helps me keep focus on what is really important; a user finding what he/she might be looking for, in a direct and comfortable way, whithout losing sight on esthetics. And me having my fitting way to make these experiences with the same joy I've had since the very start.
The core of every project is to always strip things down. I decided to make a minor statement and see how far I could go in making this redesign. Frank Chimero once jokingly tweeted "next time I make a site only in Times New Roman and 1 column." as a response to the struggling that responsive design sometimes brings. This tweet had struck a fine chord with me and I decided to take it on. I used no external assets or as little as possible to create something that's still 'me'.