First Real CSS Design...Gulp

April 10, 2005

Alright. I'm going to do it. I have a mockup due on Monday and I've been dragging my feet for a week, browsing the web for neat design ideas, lurking in forums, reading tutorials, puttering away. I even cleaned my four year old's room today rather than start, so I must really be desperate. However, I finally figured out why I've been procrastinating.

I'm going to design the site in CSS. I've known it all along, but just wouldn't outright admit it. But you've done some CSS, you say. Well, yes. Emphasis on some. I don't count this blog, because it came with CSS templates and I just rearranged and built on them. And I don't count my last client because it was a redeisgn of an existing CSS site.

This site is different. This site is a CSS design from scratch.

The trouble is that I really, really want this design to be terrific. I'm still so new to the game. I want to wow the client, frankly. Leaving my comfort zone and trying something brand new right now seems like a really stupid idea. Especially because you know the client doesn't really know or care about whether their site was built with tables or divs. They just want it to look great.

But I know. And there's the rub.

I don't want to just slap something pretty together. If I'm going to design web sites, then I have to design the very best web sites I can. I have to.

That may sound type A and anal and all that. Maybe it is. But it's also self-protective. What I mean is, if I don't try to do my very best, then I know what will happen—I'll get bored and dissatisfied and unhappy eventually. It will become "just a job." Caring is what makes it more than a job. And caring is stressful. Caring makes you try harder—and trying harder frequently means living on the edge.

But man, if you ask me, it's the only way to live. Anything else is just using up oxygen.

So that's why I've been dragging my feet over this. Because once more I'm venturing into (for me) completely unfamiliar territory.

If you spend 99% of your time in unfamiliar territory, does that make unfamiliar teritory your familiar territory?