I'm pretty excited about the new website design that's being prepared right now, and which you can see in more detail by clicking on the thumbnail below.
The people doing it are called b-side and they're based in Annandale, in Sydney's inner west. I had met one of the duo while working at the job I held prior to starting out as a freelance journalist, so there was already something like a connection to develop ideas around. More importantly, she had already met me, which would give her an idea of my personality and work style.
My brief was pretty simple and in return they gave me two alternatives, and I immediately saw the potential in this one, which I asked them to convert into HTML. What you see above is not yet written in HTML, so it's still just a flat design at this stage. The finished web page should be ready before the end of next week, or so I'm hoping. I'm already preparing for delivery and today spent some time organising the 'About this website' pages on the site so that those, at least, would be finished prior to the day.
From my point of view there's a lot of work still to do before I'd consider the website complete, especially in terms of the timeline. My plan is to engage more deeply with those pages. Currently, they're just almost simple lists of events and objects, mostly photographs, drawings and other artwork, and poetry. The idea is to flesh them out with more structure in a narrative sense, so that there are themes which can help the viewer to understand my life, and the lives of my forbears.
The timeline extends back in time to the Renaissance, which is the point at which my earliest documented forbear, Thomas Caldicott, was born and lived. So the timeline is fat and detailed at one end (near the present) and thins out and becomes more schematic as you retreat in time.
I'm not sure how to handle, say, the 17th and 18th centuries. From about 1850 things get easier because that's when most of these people arrived by ship in Australia. The number of linked pages increases significantly in the decades starting with Federation, which makes it easier to construct a meaningful story for those years out of the scraps that remain today.
Of course, there's no rush. The immediate concern in my mind is to establish a credible web presence. For this reason a profesionally designed and built home page is necessary. I hope you can find a moment to give me your comments.