MICHAELURAIH.COM

I‘M A_MEDIA & IT CONSULTANT_FILMMAKER_FATHER

In setting up this website, i wanted it to be quintessentially me. What i believe in, what I’m interested in and what’s important to me.

So here you will find lots my musings about my continent, Africa, tons of stuff, pictures and articles about the media industry, technology and politics across our vast and beautiful continent. I look forward to taking these ride with you.

So here goes;

Let me start with the design of the website. I wanted something that was clean and simple. Minimalist but also appealing (well, i hope you find it appealing).

You know the old adage “Your toughest client is yourself” or something like that. I’ve come to discover that that adage is so true. Designing your own website can be a difficult process. With clients, its much easier, you just sit down with them, find out the message they are trying to communicate and find ways that they can best communicate that message.

When I’ve worked on personal projects before it’s tended to be a messy, drawn-out, indecisive process. I’d struggle to produce anything I was happy with and/or I’d change my mind every 5 mins and lose interest.

To avoid this happening again, I set myself 4 rules;

1. Stick to the MVP – with yourself as the client, it’s too easy to change the scope as you get further into the project. I made a list of the site structure, and detailed every essential element that would be on the page.

2. Avoid trends – I deliberately ignored looking at any other blogs/personal sites or any source of inspiration. It’s easy to be influenced (consciously or subconsciously) by what you see only to find that 6 months later you want to rip it down.

3. Build it fast – I wanted to keep momentum to avoid backing out / changing my mind. I set out a realistic schedule (finish it in one day) and stuck to it.

4. Make it personal – probably the most important thing I wanted to remember. Not lose sight of why I was making the site in the first place – to do things my own way, be myself and communicate who I am.

Setting myself these rules made the decision making process so much simpler.

Design Decisions

Colour palette

In coding this website, i chose black and white as the principal colors because the contrast has always fascinated me. The way they reveal each other and bring out the best in each other has always inspired me.

Logo

My logo is simply my name written in Back to Black demo font. I love that font especially the name. I also chose that font because if you’ve ever seen anything I’ve written by hand, my handwriting comes very close to that font. So it very much represents me.

Comments or No comments

In my experience, comments can be a bit hit and miss. I didn’t want the task of sifting through lots of spam. So i decided not to allow comments.

I’m pleased to say it’s one of the best decisions I made. It seems that by not allowing comments directly on the site, responses are channeled to email. This means that only serious people share their thoughts, and they’re articulated in a more concise way, uninfluenced by a thread.