If you’re a web developer who builds custom systems, why didn’t you build a custom system for your own website?
Oh man, for like, so many reasons, y’all.
Building a design system to represent myself is such a siren song to resist. What a dream project, right? No clients, no limits, no budget! So, no timeline or defined scope either. It’s a rabbit hole. The cobbler’s children remain unshod.
I started down that path, but realized what I really needed was a quick way to publish case studies and format old blog articles in an editorial way. Emphasis on quick. I could have built a design system and library and integrated it into a custom WordPress theme myself, in my spare time, in a few months. This clunky, fragile setup allowed me to stand up a portfolio in a day.
The vanilla theme, plus a few strategic plugins, allowed me to layer my own “design system lite” over its click-and-drag page builder platform. I could focus on content and basic front end styles. I’ve only had to write like, 20 lines of php. I haven’t decided if that’s good or not.
But for now, here we are. It’s littered with detached, systemless things that make me want to claw my eyeballs out. But it’s here.