Zeke Binion

“The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes”

What is it about “craftsmen” that makes it impossible for us to design our own sites?

These days I spend the majority of my time helping clients figure out exactly what it is that they should be building but I still find it difficult to do so for myself. Should I be crafting my own CMS in Ruby on Rails? Should I launch an MVP version of my site? What content would appeal most to my audience? Whom would I like my audience to be? Would Jekyll be a better solution?

Those are great questions to consider when building a project for a client but they can also be the source of anxiety that prevents you from releasing your design out into the world. I’ve redesigned my own site probably about a half-dozen times since the old design, and I’ve never released a single one of those concept designs out into the world. It turns out that even some of the biggest names in the web have had the same problem.

I started building a new site many, many months ago. Well, honestly it’s been a couple years now. I have a 2011 version, a 2012 version… but tonight, about four hours ago, I said that’s it. I’m deleting every half-built thing I have. I’m starting from scratch, and I’m shipping TONIGHT.

— Jen Simmons, “Minimum Shippable”

I finally got a couple of hours free, enabling me to do something I’ve been itching to try since I first saw the web on a modern mobile device: redesign this website.

— Jeffrey Zeldman, “Redesigning in Public Again”

Inspired by both of Jen and Jeffrey, I’ve decided to focus on shipping my site instead of waiting for perfection. The first step happened tonight, I took a lot of styles from some of my favorite orphaned designs and cobbled together a site that I could live with. It’s not perfect. Despite having a one column layout, it’s not even responsive. What is it? Hopefully, it’s a great start.

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About the author

Zeke is a digital product strategist, designer, and developer with over 15 years of experience creating websites and applications across a wide-range of industries. As part of the design enablement team at Cisco Duo he creates design systems, architects and builds frontend applications, and creates tools to support product designers.