The short of it
I’m Jaclyn, a designer and front end developer based in Perth, Australia.
I have a certified background in art and graphic design, and have been self taught in web development since I was 14. I officially fell down the web dev rabbit hole over three years ago after many breaks in between, and am now stuck in the endless black hole of learning new technologies and keeping up with the web. I currently build and design websites professionally at a little studio whilst doing the odd design job here and there. In between sketching and illustrating, and a game of Civilization IV, Sims, or Cities Skylines of course.
Click here if you want to check out my personal art/design blog where I rant about all sorts of other things non web-dev related.
unicorntears.dev is my attempt at writing about web development from a designer’s point of view. I personally know a fair few people who have forayed into web development, but have gotten stuck because of the higher barriers of entry and lacklustre/jargon-filled online resources. I strongly believe in a web that is accessible to as many people as possible, so I want to create a space that will hopefully help people like me, who around four years ago, was pretty much clueless and pretty lost trying to get a grip with modern web development.
The long of it
This site was born from an in-joke I have at work - we have codenames for our boilerplate themes/tools and I thought unicorn tears seemed appropriate, because I find I am often learning professional web development skills at an exponential pace and realising there are better ways of doing things than what I was previously doing.
When I say designer stuck in web development hell I of course, say that with the utmost love and respect for the craft. Despite my varied critiques of the industry and its nuances (which happen often), the art of solving each little problem to solve the bigger problem of creating a gloriously interactive and tangible website simply makes me happy and excited. Digital design and development is my happy place.
Being a self taught developer is often challenging, surprising, and satisfying, but mostly for me, incites a need to solve a particular problem, in a particular way. Understanding how to solve a particular problem often feels like one step closer to unlocking the secrets of the universe, and achieving something you didn’t think was possible before is an indescribably powerful feeling.
I’ve worn a lot of hats over the years, which has exposed me to different ways of thinking and informed me on how to solve problems in different ways. I discovered a love for simple, elegant, and readable code, and the ever-changing pursuit of the perfect workflow.
The most interesting part about my journey so far is learning how similar design is to development. They are both extremely creative disciplines that often involve abstract ways of solving problems, and to succeed requires not just problem solving skills, but patience, empathy, communication, and resiliency.
I used to think I would be doing branding and packaging when I “was a grown up” because it was actually something I excelled in- I even won the corporate branding award at my graduation. To be quite honest, I’m still pretty confident in my design-for-print skills, and I don’t think that’ll change because most of my work now is digital. My priorities have just shifted a lot simply because I think it’s such an exciting time to be a web developer. Being completely immersed in the digital world has made me realise I have less of an interest in a single brand, and more of an interest in understanding humanity through the combination of art, design, and code.
User experience, interfaces, and most of all, keeping things simple, is my mantra. Simplicity especially, is a lot harder than it sounds (if you’re a developer you know what I mean).
- Overpass for text
- Space Mono for code
- Hugo (based on the Atlas boilerplate)