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Emerson Dameron: A Man, a Plan, a Brand, a Website
Over the last two weeks, this boy became a brand.
 
It began with blind comments from my classmates about what they saw in me, using the format “Emerson is [BLANK] but never [BLANK].”
 
Some were confusing. Some were flattering. All were helpful.
 
I meshed these outside perspectives with my own notions of what I have to offer the design world. I am interested in Alternative Reality Games and other projects that inspire users to question their assumptions and surroundings with a sense of delight, specifically in the context of the Los Angeles entertainment world.
 
I became engrossed with communicating that sense of play and adventure through a personal website. Would I add magical flourishes and stash Easter Eggs all over the joint?
 
Overwhelmed by what Sartre calls “the vertigo of possibility” and the very real danger of assigning myself way too much work or simply confusing my users, I reflected on some qualities that my peers assigned to me that I don't always see so clearly. Although I do have an omnipresent sense of humor and adventure, I am also quite hard-working and disciplined, as some observed. I am serious about levity.
 
I have adored the Futura font since my time in the '90s zine scene and my first walk through McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. After searching palette databases for “Sunset Boulevard,” the year of my birth, and various other cues that have meaning for me, I settled on a style both stylish and a bit more reserved and disciplined than what I initially imagined.
VALUES
I rethought my values a bit as well. My first loves are comedy and mystery, but what has gotten me where I am in life, more than anything else, is my background in journalism and storytelling. Those, I decided, were essential ingredients in any recipe true to who I really am.
 
Vision - I'm a writer and comedian exploring the possibilities of UX design, especially in the new digital showbiz sphere. I create better living through narrative.
 
Mission - I will enrich lives through storytelling, levity, and delight.
 
Values - Creativity, risk, immersion, humor, imagination, compassion
 
Objectives - To spark users’ imaginations and guide them on unusual, memorable journeys
 
Audience(s) -
Networking/Job-Hunting Level: Creative people at the nexus of technology and entertainment, or in the storytelling business;
Consumer level - Imaginative users who crave adventure and delight and reach better understanding through stories and immersive experiences
 
Positioning - I would like to create captivating adventures for imaginative audiences by weaving surprise and delight into practical, entertaining interfaces
 
Personality – Imaginative, creative, curious, modern, open, hard-working, adventurous 
ITERATIONS
Before week one was out, I had produced some wireframes in my beloved Balsamiq. Looking back at these now, I can see the value in sketching by hand before cranking up any software program. Like all design software, Balsamiq has certain engrained predilections and eccentricities. It can't give you what you're not ready to ask for.
 
Before sketching, I made what was perhaps a mistake and looked at some portfolio sites representing established designers. There's some swanky stuff out there! With an urge to compete, I produced this. (Note the 2ve-pointed star that became an “X.” As in “UX!” Brilliant!) 
This seemed less brilliant when I learned that I would need to code it by hand. When I realized this, my fancy, cutting-edge site that users would get lost in suddenly seemed further away than ever.
 
Because I have used Wordpress personally and professionally for years, I came into hand- coding with an advantageous, albeit basic, knowledge of HTML/CSS.
 
I put my dreams and my Big Ideas on ice long enough to hammer out some basic code. I added my “About” copy, my resume, and links to my Behance and age and some design- and business-related articles I've written. I monkeyed with the CSS long enough to make it re-ect my chosen style. And then, I took a look. 
I was surprised. It was... quite lovely, really! A bit minimalist, but I liked it the way it was, and I had time to iterate to my heart's content.
 
Yeah. About that...
 
The more I struggled to add some bells, whistles, and “delight” to my site, the more I yearned for a simpler, tidier home. The more I experimented with my site, the more I liked it the way it was. 
It is not terribly fancy. It is simple. It is clean. It is timeless.
 
Perhaps that's not the perfect word.
 
When all things are temporary, everything is a placeholder. This clean, zen-in-uenced site is a place I can start from, return to, and track my progress. This is my home. 
Emerson Dameron: A Man, a Plan, a Brand, a Website
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Emerson Dameron: A Man, a Plan, a Brand, a Website

Creating a personal website from scratch.
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Published: