A scratchpad for notes on my goals and process, without worrying too much about prose.
  • Nov 19, 2015

    Yesterday was ambitious and snaked towards the correct path.

    It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to build. That was the first step, even though I had previously identified wireframing as the first step (turns out wireframing is hard when you don’t know what you want to build).

    Then, when wireframing was the step, I ended up fiddling with some pages, post layouts, and css instead.

    Working on a project is very similar to meditation. Your mind gets sidetracked by a lot of things that could need doing, while you constantly pull it back to what you decided was most important for the day. That’s why it’s important to take a few minutes out of the work day to figure out your priorities.

    Today I plan to:

    • [ ] Research blog designs
    • [ ] Look into using framework for Jekyll
    • [ ] Prepare a “kitchen sink” of design elements in Sketch
    • [ ] Draft wireframes for blog according to product spec


    • There are so many approaches to blog layout! It makes me want to alter my blog plan.
    • The main index can either be a list (archive style), excerpts in post order, or full-post with navigation back and forth.
    • What about a main index dedicated to full-text posts, with an archive that lists all articles by category? This only works for shorter-form blog posts.
  • Nov 18, 2015

    Today I am Scribbling about my blog remodeling project.

    I’ve been wanting to write and recollect more during my visit to Hong Kong and Japan, and decided it was a good time to remodel the blog.

    As part of this, I added a “Scribbles” section so that as I work, I can take a few notes on my goals and process that day, while not worrying too much about prose.


    • [x] set up Jekyll bootstrap to help create new posts (this one was created with a rake command! that’s a Ruby script thing…right?)


    • [x] Create scribble section for daily breakdown of project tasks and completion
    • [x] Write spec for blog
    • [ ] Learn Sketch basics for web design
    • [ ] Wireframe blog


    • Getting waylaid by formatting this scribble! Base saas removes margin-bottom from lists and makes things look weird. Adding margin-bottom makes nested lists look weird. What to do?

    Product Spec

    Note: this is weird because while my audience is the readers of this blog, the “user” of this product is me, the writer. User stories are about what I want readers to see me as:

    1. Interested in solving technical problems
    2. A professional programmer
    3. Intellectually curious about life and how we feel about things

    In that order.

    To that effect:

    • A reader’s first impression should be my technical blogs.
    • A reader should be able to browse posts by technical versus nontechnical posts.

    That much suggests that I should separate my posts by coding/non-coding. It is possible that I want non-coding to be further subdivided into separate sections.

    The type of presentation also depends on what type of readers I expect to have. I’ll name them for fun.

    1. People who know me (Jenn): This is the type of reader that will go to my blog once in a while to see if there are any new posts. I think they can bookmark or remember a particular URL (www.eskimona.com/life) for this.
    2. People who find my technical posts through Googling efforts: (Joe Googler): These users are looking for a solution to a particular problem, or a tutorial on how to do something. They should already be directed to the right post. These users might be interested in a RSS feed if the content helps them.
    3. People who are looking at my professional profile (Mr. Headhunterson): redirected from LinkedIn. These users are interested in seeing the type of work I have produced, and maybe in the non-coding stuff to see what kind of person I am. I don’t think displaying recent work is necessarily important. An excerpt is useful to showcase your writing, but maybe I can focus on having descriptive, interesting titles on all blog posts.


    1. Main index should be about coding, with links to posts and their titles (no excerpts)
      1. next: implement pagination
      2. maybe: display recommended posts and an index of all other posts (I’m on the fence)
    2. Navigation bar should include non-coding categories.
    3. Non-coding categories should have indices that list whole posts (for Jenns, to save a click)
      1. Non-coding categories should be paginated
    4. Navigation between posts in the same category should be easy (for Mr. Headhunterson)
    5. Related posts (Joe Googler)
    6. RSS feed (Joe Googler)