What’s next? Some goals for 2015

Every new year is traditionally a time for self-reflection and examination, goal-setting and generally looking forward. It has been a habit over the last several years now to get together at this time of year with a dear friend just across the border in the USA to do just that.

We began simply meeting around this time out of scheduling convenience, but over time we noticed that the simple act of discussing our goals and writing them down (even if we forgot we did so later on) had the effect of subconsciously setting the tone for the coming year. Many goals were achieved and exceeded. Once notice was taken, we began intentionally meeting for goal-setting, and writing down (and keeping) our goals, as well as keeping in regular contact throughout the year with these goals in mind.

Going further – Career Goals

Typically these goals have been personal in nature – i.e., travel or savings, getting some kind of certification or another, quitting bad habits, etc. Adding to that, I have some goals over here at mikelaroy.ca that I am happy to share with y’all.

1. Site Redesign

I may not get to it right away, as I have a few projects on the go already at the moment, so I’m anticipating late spring or early summer for this endeavour. I designed this site in the browser and launched it just about a year ago now (!) which was a great learning experience.

In the year since, I know that I have made some strides as a designer and as a front-end developer, and I can now look happily on this design and see what I like, what I did well, and where I can make some changes and improvements. Hopefully with a redesign I will be able to make a full evaluation of this process, and write an article or two detailing the process.

Aside from smaller client projects, I also got to spend a good deal of time developing for a pretty large WordPress site at my job, so I’m much more familiar with and comfortable developing WordPress sites then I was when I built this one.

2. Client Projects

One great project that I launched this last year was a new WordPress site for Margot Richards, who designs lighting for a variety of both indoor and outdoor spaces. Her site now features photography of the spaces she has lit, and sports a minimalist design to highlight the beauty of her work.

2014 didn’t see quite as many projects as I might have hoped for, but it was a busy year for myself personally. As the busyness doesn’t seem to be letting up, I’m aiming to complete at least the same number of projects as in 2014, plus one, besides my own site redesign (I also have some other fun projects in the works). If you’d like to be one of those, please contact me.

3. Improve Design and Coding Chops

This last year working at a small agency really pushed me to quickly level-up on some PHP, particularly in the worlds of Drupal and WordPress. It is the front-end technologies where I have my sights set on really getting a leg up, particularly in JavaScript.

Some say it’s a mistake to try and learn jQuery first before trying out pure JavaScript, but I’m not so sure I agree. In a world where frameworks are built using jQuery and many CMS platforms come with it built it, taking advantage of it can be a good decision, particularly when trying to deliver a working product quickly. It’s well and good to be a code purist, but for the sake of getting things done without the steep learning curve (for some) and learning time, the advantage of jQuery is not something to ignore. Well, that’s exactly the position in which I find myself, and it’s time to take it to the next level.

Opportunities to take on design projects keep coming, and I will feature them here as they are released. I’m looking forward to spending even more time thinking about design, usability, brand, colours, and type as I continue with new projects!

What professional goals do you have for 2015? Try writing them down, and see what happens. You may surprise yourself.