Case Study: Changing, Growing, And Re-focusing With The Times

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The original version of this site was the first that I ever created in 1997, one page in raw HTML, a single photo of myself, and links to several essays I had written on topics ranging like John Locke to jazz drummer Paul Motian. Believe it or not, back then that “design” received a lot of compliments!

In 1999 I used Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft FrontPage software to create a greatly expanded version of it, which you could say was "state of the art" at the time. It was divided then into the three areas of focus in my life: my music, my writing, my graphic design skills.

It wasn't until 2013 that I begin completely restructuring and redesigning the site using Adobe Muse. I got a good amount of the way along but stopped short of finishing adding all of the content I had in mind and updating it from a static desktop site to a fully responsive site. The basic design, however, I was still quite pleased with. It was simple, clear, and unique. That is the basis of site as it stands today. 

In March of 2018 Adobe announced that they were discontinuing development of Muse, and I had to find a new web development platform. This was a stroke of luck disguised as a disaster. It led me to my current web design platform, Webflow, which is radically better than Muse in every regard and is a pure joy to learn and use.

Recreating, and finishing, the site on a new platform also gave me an opportunity to reconsider the purpose of the site. Twenty years ago, it was the only site I had. I packed it full of everything. That worked well then. Not now.

Now I already have a dedicated site for graphic design (this one, New York Multimedia). That left my music and my writing. Those too, are separate markets and separate audiences, and so are best separated today. My writing on philosophy, politics, economics and current events, which has a wide audience, got moved to a new home on the blogging platform Wordpress (it is good for some things), Individualist Ideas.

Similarly, I already have a site for my music (New York Jazz Bands), but it is an overtly commercial site focused on the relatively high-paying private event markets and optimized for Google searchers, right down to its name. I needed another music site, a more personal one, for my fans as well as for programers of jazz clubs and concerts.

And so I took the basic design from 2013 that I still like very much, and limited the focus to only one thing: my music. I couldn’t be happier with the final result, which, like all my designs, is focused on simplicity and clarity. I realize now that this is what a site under my name was meant to be all along.