Website redesign: How I evolved my website

My personal website used to be on the matejlatin.co.uk domain and consisted of mostly personal articles. I had only written a few of those in the past few years so it didn’t get a lot of traffic. Long gone were the days when I published an article every week. So the website was updated only every now and then. It was running on Jekyll and was hosted on GitHub Pages. That made a lot of sense when I designed and built it because I wanted to improve my Front-End developing skills, as well as Git.

New era, new website!

After more than 10 years of living in flats and paying a rent, after spending six years living abroad, and after saving every Euro through all these years, we finally have our own home. I wrote how I needed a break in the last blog post because I had to many things in my life at the time. Building a house, a full-time job, personal projects, new pets… it was all too much.

Why I decided to sell my book on Lulu.com

Going to a bookshop is a magical experience. Book prices are even higher there, I know, but there’s a magical feeling when you walk out with a new book in your hands. I can recollect most of such moments from the past, the one when I bought Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport in Edinburgh is the most memorable. It turned out to be the last book that I bought there before moving back to Slovenia so it’s a bittersweet memory. That’s what makes it even more special. Unlike an eBook, a physical book is an object that can be admired. It’s tangible, you open it up and it has a gentle smell no matter if it’s new or old. The smell changes as the book ages, but it’s always a lovely smell.

Why I don’t do Black Friday sales

Black Friday is often referred to as the “consumerism holiday” and I can’t help myself but this sounds so wrong to me. The level of consumerism that we got to in the world today is absurd. Maybe I think that because of my minimalist mentality and lifestyle. Minimalism is something that has attracted me for years now and it became a fundamental part of my life. This doesn’t mean that I never buy anything on Black Friday sales, I do. But it’s usually something that I have been thinking about buying for a while. When you adopt the minimalist mentality, a buying decision is never an impulsive one. I think 10 times whether I really need something before I buy it. This is the complete opposite of what the whole Black Friday thing promotes and what it means to most people.

Faster horses

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” is a quote attributed to Henry Ford. It’s a quote that many people use as an excuse not to do user testing. Because designers and product managers are supposed to be these geniuses that pull ideas out of thin air. Steve Jobs was one of those design/product gurus. All the designer and product manager wannabes have a quote or two from Steve that they hold close to their heart so they feel more secure about themselves. But neither Steve or Henry became famous for their ideas because they would be original. They weren’t. Steve didn’t make the first computer and Henry didn’t make the first car (he made the first car assembly line).

Kebab shop UX

The owner of the shop is very friendly. He speaks a dozen of languages but always greets me in English as soon as I walk in (he already knows that I don’t speak either French or German — both used in Luxembourg). He offered to shake my hand as he always does and asked how I was doing. I replied with my usual: “I’m OK”, and smiled. At this moment he noticed my book. He must have read the title because he asked me what is it that I do.