Makings of a mistake, designing this site

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As a designer we’ve all been there. When was the last time you got bored with a design and decided to just scrap it and start from scratch? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Force feeding a CMS

For the last decade I’ve been fighting “the loop”, squeezing my words in and out of every major web content management system, trying to tame DIV-itus, and determining what voice and creative outlets to live in. Depending on which half of my brain you asked, you’d probably get a different answer about all this madness.

But you know what? I’m alright with that. I’ve always been alright with that. The first website I created that wasn’t some Geocities piece of mess was a personal project I called Faded Leaf Design.

Faded Leaf Design Splash Screen

November 2001: Splash screen for Faded Leaf design website that launched a popup window containing Flash documents. Looking back at this now I can’t help but see a huge usability nightmare for visitors.

Is it a portfolio or is it a blog?

Over time I shifted focus and came up with Made Mistakes as a concept to wrap my online portfolio in. Originally I planned to create it in Macromedia Adobe Flash with a simple XML backend. I quickly dropped that idea, inspired by the momentum gaining in the web standards movement around HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

After creating some static HTML pages to use as a framework, I settled on replicating the look and feel into Movable Type. At the the time it was a popular CMS being used by other designers and made the most sense for realizing a gallery focused site with blog components.

Screenshots of Made Mistakes over the years

Made Mistakes started in 2001 with a Flash teaser page and later morphed into a portfolio gallery powered by Movable Type.

Now what?

Now I want to see what I can do to enrich my eye and skills as a designer. I’ve tired of all the constant reblogging of other’s content without attribution or added insight, and feel that I owe it to myself to do more. I suppose the only way to grow is to create often and document the process and inspirations along the way.

Splash screen for an early personal website

Circa 2001, my first home on the web looked like this.

Made Mistakes Website Sketch

Redesign sketch that never happened.

About the author

Hi I’m Michael Rose. Just another boring, bearded, tattooed, time traveling designer from Buffalo New York. I maintain several open source projects and occassionally blog.

Glitched photo of Michael Rose with a long beard.