This blog has been an important part of my life since I started it back in October 2008. Originally, I was drawn to it just as I am drawn to photography. A blog is like an art form at the surface. It’s a canvas for my thoughts and ideas. However, this seemingly simple and flat medium is held up by an incredibly complex system of hardware and software. It’s staggering how much technology is needed just to host a vanilla HTML page. So, what drew me in is this dichotomy between right brain activities like writing, photography and design and left brain activities like programming and infrastructure management.

For the first two years, this blog was in a constant state of flux. I frequently changed blog themes, post formats, and writing styles. It was a phase of experimentation lacking any true vision or goals. As time went on though, my ideals started to crystallize. Through analytics and feedback from friends I started to understand the type of content that my loved ones truly appreciate.

I was also shaped by other blogs and publications. I adapted the photo-rich life blogging style from Danny Choo, the discreetly placed links within posts from LA PINK ONE, historical explanations from Randomwire and borderless photo tiling from VSCO’s journal.

I became more deliberate with the way I crafted posts. The whole process started taking longer, but I was having more fun, and most importantly the results were much better. Sometime last year, I realized that the design of the blog lacked this focus that the content has. I myself didn’t fully understand the rationale behind many design decisions. That’s a bad state to be in.

Before and After

About six months ago, I changed everything. The redesign went live, but I never announced it. There were so many loose ends to tie up that I wanted to wait for perfection before officially talking about the redesign. Well, it has been months and I’ve realized that this blog will never be perfect. There will always be things for me to change and improve (I already have a long list on my desk). That’s why this post now exists. Look at the side-by-side comparison below of the earlier look to the left and the newer look to the right.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 6.47.26 PM copyScreen Shot 2014-08-05 at 2.11.31 PM


Just like any design or engineering exercise, the answers, the results and the decisions aren’t what is important. Rationale is. It’s the philosophy and intent behind these answers, results and decisions that is important. So, as I list out the many changes I made, focus on the rationale behind them.

  1. Comments are gone: 99% of the comments I used to get on this blog were spam. I have a decent filter that catches them, but occasionally one would get through. I also found that most useful conversation about my posts happens on Facebook, Hackernews and Reddit. I couldn’t justify a comments system anymore. So, I cut it out.
  2. Social media links are gone: I used to have share buttons and links to my social media accounts. They barely got any attention. So, I cut them out.
  3. Color: I wanted my blog to have a clearer identity. Everything was some shade of grey. It didn’t communicate my taste or my vision. So, I decided to run with a theme I had been mulling over for ages. Black+Yellow.
  4. Header menu: It wasn’t always clear how to get back to my blog from other pages. So, I added a “Blog” link to the menu. The RSS logo to the right didn’t communicate its purpose. I replaced it with a “Subscribe” link. The links were a combination of center and right justified, it didn’t make any sense. I left justified everything but the subscribe, which is prominently displayed to the right. This blog was originally going to be a portfolio in addition to a place for my thoughts and stories. It never happened. I cut out the projects section of the site.
  5. Prominent buttons: The navigation and search buttons are more prominent since they were lost in the previous design.
  6. New about page: My old about page was verbose and self-aggrandizing and didn’t really talk about the blog much. I put up a new picture of myself and rewrote the blurb.

Going Forward

This blog has been more than I could ever have imagined. It has helped me improve my writing, my photography, my storytelling and the way I think. I still have big plans for it.

First, I need fix the mobile and tablet experience. More and more of my readership is coming from mobile these days and the experience isn’t up to par.

After that, expect to see new storytelling methods and new mediums that I haven’t tried before. I want to better tell my life’s story to you and improve the way we connect through this blog.