scattered hopes for the future
time 6 minutes
tl;dr The site is usable! Please send feedback.
Maybe you’ve looked around Tempo Immaterial a bit before now. I’ve linked it in my social bios for a while, but I’ve never made a post about it.
But now I’m officially launching. So, what’s new?
I started this site in Summer 2022, after hitting the creative limitations of a heavily Frankensteined Squarespace template. It had custom components and styling just glued willy nilly and was looking way too similar to my brain.
I’d been custom-coding client sites for a while, and I wanted to give myself a similar fresh start. I made a huge wishlist, died of overwhelm, and resurrected myself by circling the 10% of things on the wishlist that actually needed to happen for a functional site.
This site is made entirely with SvelteKit deployed to Vercel. You can visit my Github to see the code and quickly realize that everything is held together by sheer willpower. The
changelog will give you a better picture of my technical hopes.
So, I wrote the 1000s of lines of code sometime between navigating a move to the UK from Egypt and starting a new job as a Content Engineer at Vercel. Now I’ve finally used enough weekends and espresso to call it ready for visitors.
That doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, mean you won’t find bugs. I’d really appreciate any feedback on broken shit; you tech folks can log an issue on Github, and the rest of you can spam my various inboxes.
Please make the issue sound like the end of the world, as this increases developer velocity.
I want a site that makes people smile.
I love a clean-looking application, but boy am I tired of Apple derivative. I think I can count on one hand the fonts I encounter in a day.
And I’m not saying that’s bad, but I definitely want something that lets folks take a break from the rest of the Internet, even if some of those risky designs don’t always work out at first.
The biggest departure from the norm was combining my homepage and menu into one. When you land on the site you have five options. This is risky from a UX perspective: will users bounce off the site because of choice paralysis? But I also come at it from a games philosophy background: when you offer someone a simple choice, they become more invested in the journey to follow.
The real trick, then, is to make sure the choice feels as clear as possible:
“Studio” is the option I struggled with. I knew I wanted my own creative work to have a dedicated section, but since my work doesn’t fit into one medium or genre, I needed a word to encapsulate it. I still think it’s more confusing than the others, so if you have any suggestions, I’m open.
The rest of the design, then, needs to tell the user that the choice is super low stakes:
clip-path might know). I need to find more efficient ways to translate weird shapes to all screen sizes.
Luckily, in all of this, I have so many great inspirations to look to. I’m constantly on tech Twitter and Awwwards harvesting new techniques. Despite what I’ve said above about sites feeling stale, we live in a wealth of ideas, if you know where to look. I’ll write more about inspirations in the near future.
I’ve been even quieter than usual the past two years on socials, besides the occasional illustration. While there’s a lot of personal reasons for that I hope to write about later, I can safely say now that I’m going to be breaking that silence.
For me, the blog is a space for less edited content than my studio work, which tends to ferment for literal years. It’s a place for me to be me in a very unpolished way, which enables me to engage with my communities without so much pretense.
And I have a lot of communities. I’m passionate about the worlds of web technology, gaming, literary fiction and fantasy, music productions, digital art, poetry, movies, and so much more. Despite all the best advice telling me to pick a niche, I don’t feel the need.
I will, however, develop a categorization system for the blog, so you can easily find content that interests you and skip the rest. That also will help me to write specifically to each audience.
Finally, I’ll be using the blog to keep you posted about studio releases, website updates, and other life changes. I’ve also played with the idea of a newsletter, but maybe that’s too 2010s. Let me know what you prefer!
For those of you who were readers of my old site, you may be asking, “Why did you take down all your writing?”
To which I honestly answer, I haven’t coded that part of the site yet.
But it’s also given me a chance to think, deeply, about what I’ve created and where I want to focus my efforts moving forward. About how I want to draw attention to the content I’ve worked so hard on.
While more formal publication has been (and will still be) in the cards for much of my work, I’m also motivated to create my own distribution method to best serve the content.
What do I mean by this? My poems often have long lines or tricky formatting. I’ve sometimes photoshopped stories to creatively destroy the text [link to the Tinker]. While journals have graciously accepted these experimental pieces, I have seen a lot of compromises made to fit the works in print or on the web.
Also, I don’t want to share work when it feels stale to me. Writers often wait years before seeing work accepted, and longer before it’s actually published. Often many years. By the time the readers engages, the author has moved on.
I want to engage with you on work that’s coming from where I am now. Yeah, that’s way more vulnerable, but it also allows me to learn and better my art.
I’m planning to take this a step further in my studio, too: I’m going to publish both finished and unfinished work here, gaining valuable feedback from my very digital community. I’ll mark clearly which is which, so you can decide how you wish to engage.
All this to say that right now you can head over to my studio and see, well, a whole lot of teasers. If you’re interested—great, go read! If you want the tl;dr—lots o’ content coming very soon.
More than anything, I want to convey how much of this—the site, the content, the very act of creation—is a process with which I’m going to be more transparent. I’m so tired of writing things and not sharing. Of learning and not teaching. My professional life has taught me how to work more in public, how to worry less about perfection and care a lot more about spreading knowledge. How to accept feedback earlier and save a whole bunch of time and effort.
But also expect some great things. I’ve always loved rising to a challenge.
So, expect jank. Expect broken web pages. Expect creative work that has its spark buried under too much text.