I had a newsletter-writing break for the first few weeks of 2023, but now the Dispatch is back in full swing and I'm excited to show up in your inbox weekly to bring you marketing design news, inspo and education!
In this issue we're covering:
- Personal/portfolio sites
- Design process documentation
- A marketing site design system
Is this the year you finally update your personal website?
If you need a sign or a motivational pep talk to get a new site for yourself finished in 2023, I hope this can be it!
Redesigning my website sat on my to-do list for ages before I finally took action last year and spent a few solid weeks designing and building a better online hub for myself.
I went from having a site I'd outgrown (that didn't express the value I was offering or make it easy for folks to find links to my products and services):
To a site with clear navigation, a clear value proposition, and plenty of room to grow and add to in the coming years:
If an up-to-date site you can be proud of is something you're dreaming of creating for yourself this year, let me share two tips of things that will allow you to make it happen:
Thing #1: Time-boxing
Your website will take the amount of time you give it! Decide right now when you want your site to be live by, and set aside a few weeks where you'll focus your free time on making it happen. Trust me: If you let it stretch on all year, you'll end up with a few beautifully designed elements in Figma and... not much else.
Push past perfectionism and procrastination by giving yourself a set amount of time that you have to ship something in and plan your design and build process accordingly.
I know if I hadn't time-boxed my site, you'd still be looking at that old design when you visit charlimarie.com today!
Thing #2: Webflow
I cannot say enough good things about Webflow for designers building a personal website or portfolio. There's a few reasons why I believe this no-code tool can help you get something shipped faster:
- You're not constrained by a drag and drop builder/template editor to bring your design to life exactly as you imagine it.
- There's a thriving community of designers sharing resources and help when you get stuck building.
- You don't have to worry about hosting and servers to get your site live.
- By setting up the Webflow CMS you can easily add content on an ongoing basis into whatever fields you choose - meaning it's easier to keep your site up-to-date!.
I'm a Webflow affiliate, but also a happy customer for several work and personal sites. If you're not using Webflow yet, it's a great skill to learn and a personal site is a perfect project to learn with (as long as you time-box that learning!).
You can get 20% off any Webflow site or workspace plan by using the code affiliate-charlimarie before the end of January 😱
Sign up here to try it out for free before you commit to it for your personal site, but I bet you'll love it as much as I do.
When you finish your new site (cos I know you can do it!) I hope you'll email me a link to show me you made it happen 💪 Remember: your site can only benefit you and your career when it's live online for folks to see! So get it finished and get it out there.
Finally updating you on our progress on the ConvertKit marketing site design system
There’s so much content about product design systems, but much less about building one for a marketing website that’s maintained by an inhouse design team. So I started a series back in May last year to take you along on the journey of building out a design system for convertkit.com.
You can watch that video here if you missed it to hear about our plans for the system and how we’re going to work on it as a small team of just two designers and one developer.
Progress has been much slower than we would have liked over the past seven months, but I finally sat down the other day to film an update on the things we've worked on, as well as the things that stopped us from getting more done (like, rewriting the code for every single page on our site!?). Watch that update below, and you can expect to see more regular updates this year as we get stuck into our plans.
This issue is being sent to you from sunny New Zealand. I've been enjoying my second summer (or technically first summer of the year I suppose!) with family and spending lots of quality time with them.
If you missed it, I vlogged my journey over to NZ in Business Class. Watch it here to see what special touches Emirates added for Christmas!
Later this week I'm flying to Mexico (sadly not in Business Class) for a ConvertKit team retreat which i'll share more about in both a future issue and in a vlog.
Have a great week,
PS: don't forget to use the code affiliate-charlimarie for 20% a Webflow site or workspace plan before the end of Jan! I rarely get codes like this, so please make use of it while it's around. Sign up for Webflow here to use the code.