Over the weekend, while I was sleeping under the stars at a Lehigh Valley farm, the new Tyler School of Art website went live. It’s the first project I was handed when I walked in the door at Bluecadet, so I’m glad to see it finally see the light of day. I worked with a small team on this: Rebecca Smith and Rebecca Sherman handled project management, Kim Quinn oversaw design, and Putra Roeung did most of the day-to-day coding (with an occasional detour into some design work as well). I led development, setting our technical goals and stepping in here and there to untie tricky knots in the Drupal/JS/SASS front.
I took copious technical notes that may yet turn into more focused posts, but this particular one is a bit more philosophical. In the past I’ve always been struck by acute sadness whenever a long-term project finally goes live. Is there post-partum depression for designers and developers? In those moments I tended to see only the ways in which a project fell short of my standards. I would run my hand along the rough edges and wish: for more time, for another flash of inspiration. I would assume that everyone who viewed my work had x-ray vision, able to see inside the walls to the tangled mass of spit and duct tape holding the whole thing together. I will tell you that it’s a terrible way to feel.
As makers we can be hard on our peers, and even harder on ourselves. We soft-pedal what should be a triumphant shout, pre-emptively reducing so much sweat and effort into an offhand remark: “So I made a little thing…”. But that kind of perfectionism is no fun. So in this case I’m going to stop myself from going down that road—the site lives and breathes, and that’s reason enough to celebrate. I helped make something, and it feels good.