After years of neglecting it, of putting it aside for client work, of never finding the time to really focus on cobbling one together, I have finally relaunched my online portfolio of work. While people launch their own sites every day, this marks an important transition in my life.
A few months ago I embarked on an adventure of change. After nearly 8 years of running a web production company and focusing on advertising, I found myself somewhere I hadn’t planned to be: directing designers, leading the engineering on some amazing projects for some great clients, and running a company. Over that time, I enjoyed many of the design challenges that come with launching an online ad campaign, making seemingly impossible technical things possible, getting people to take notice of brands and products, and strategizing how your team will build the next great microsite, among other things. I helped create a company that continues to have a great reputation among it’s clients and peers as a solid design parter and technical master.
But in the last few years, I started to notice some things. I was working a lot of hours and doing less and less design. While I built projects that saw millions of people interact with them, they were ad campaign pieces – by nature they have a limited life span and, a temporary connection with people. I missed having a different kind of connection with those that use my work. I craved building more practical things; connecting with people through their use of tools and utilities that they value and use day to day. I longed to design experiences on personal gadgets again, playing with technology to find ways of improving people’s experiences, maybe bettering their lives. I missed fiddling with pixels and discovering those magical accidents along the design journey, of getting in the flow and inventing things. I began to hide behind my technical and directing skills and forgot that I got into this digital business to actually design. For people. One day I woke up and realized I was no longer myself.
It’s a difficult thing to realize the business you’ve built with some great people, great clients and great work, may not be right for you anymore. In recent years, I worked harder and harder to get that feeling of fulfillment I had in the early days, yet I was no longer achieving it. I noticed that I had lost touch with a community of people, of friends, that provided inspiration and creative support. I was no longer enjoying what my company was allowing me to do. This company I helped to build gave me many gifts over the years, many great projects, many great lessons, but the signs were there, change was needed.
So, I began the process of relaunching myself. I wanted to reconnect with my community and peers that inspire my conviction. I wanted to reconnect with my work, I wanted to reconnect with the process of designing and building things that I enjoy building and create moments of delight for people using them, connecting with people again on a deeper level both in my personal life and with my work.
A few months ago, I left the company I helped build to go on a journey of discovery. To redefine myself as a designer of experiences for personal devices. To build products that people use and love. I’m returning to this place that feels good, that connects with me, and hopefully allows me to connect with people through the products I design. I am truly amazed at the great support I’ve received from friends, peers, and clients in this transformation – it encourages and excites me about what lies ahead in my journey.
Thanks everyone, and I hope to reconnect with you along the way.