Wesleyingiversary: Our Designer, ehc™

“So where are these secular pagan spring ritual eggs”

coder

This is part of our series of Wesleyingiversary interviews. You can find the rest here.

It’s been quite a time since we got a facelift. Way back in the Winter of 2013, Wesleying got a handy dandy WordPress redesign. The architect was none other than ehc, who apparently does not remember doing this event post about PSafe and voyeurism. Three years later, we are desperately looking to resubscribe to internet beauty standards (click the link and CODE FOR US PLEASE WE WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER AND INTERVIEW YOU MAYBE FOR OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY IDK YET I WILL BE 30 THEN). 

I talked to ehc and he made me call the Wesleying hotline.

wilk: Can you say a bit about your role on the site?
ehc: My role was to keep the site up. Oh, and occasionally make it do more things, or stop it from being slow, or navigate the many many many opinions Wesleying writers have on fonts. Ok, I also wrote a few articles. But mainly event posts from friends who I couldn’t redirect to other people. Do you still have that craziness with everyone always trying to get their event posted?
wilk: Yes! And now they just tell you instead of using the handy dandy submit an event tab. But wait, I wanna hear more about these font opinions. How heated did people get about these fonts??
ehc: Well, the story is this:

Way back when the site looked like this. I’m afraid to post links to the archive for fear of re-initiating discussion of whether the current design is better or not and a few of us wanted to update the design. There were also some real functionality things to be gained by moving to a newer WordPress theme and I knew I could clean up a lot of performance issues in the redesign. But that meant we first had to settle on what the site should look like. And yeah, I’m not sure if “what’s your favorite font” is on the Wesleyan application these days, but most people had a different opinion.

Let’s do san serif, no serifs are pretty, no san serif is modern, no serif’s are more legible for reading, and we want people to actually read. Anyhow – trying to keep everyone happy was pretty tough. People don’t like change.
In the end, I really only cared about Zach‘s feedback, and as long as he was down to support me I moved ahead with the redesign. I think we swapped it out some break or something.

There’s a few fun Easter eggs on the site that were a part of that redesign. Are you aware of those?
wilk: I am not. What’s the story with those?
ehc: I was trying to be funny.
wilk: So where are these secular pagan spring ritual eggs
ehc: And then I got disappointed no one every found them – so I told people. And the reaction, was “meh.” It was like my typical dad joke.
***
Well, did you know there is a phone number on the site?
wilk: No omg I’m learning so much!! She’s quieted down, dame Wesleying. She doesn’t tell many of her old stories anymore. Is the phone number related to the Easter eggs?
ehc: Well, did you find it? (It’s under Social on the right side bar). How easy am I supposed to make this for you?
wilk: Hahaha hold on one sec
***
omfg
the phone number
I called it
Left the mysterious owners of said number a nice voicemail
still searching for the eggs though
***
ehc: Did the voicemail explain whose number it is?
wilk: Yes it did.
ehc: So I thought that was funny. There are two other things in the footer. If you hover over some of the commas in the “Wesleying is designed, powered…” line you’ll see something. And also hovering over the “Top” button.
wilk: *Investigates said footer items* I most certainly give a fuck about the oxford comma. Wish i could say the same about oxford though
***
All i can find about easter eggs is this post by A-Batte. Which, while wonderful, is not quite what you’re speaking of, amirite?
ehc: No, I don’t know if a post was ever written on them. Probably twitter at some point.
wilkstill nothing
ehc: Who knows…
wilk: We’ll find them eventually…
wilk: So you said your role was to make the site “do more things” was it cooperative and a fast-learner? Or were there a lot of behavioral issues?
ehc: The latter. Strong case of behavioral issues and trauma from previous relationships.
wilk: But it ended up all working out?
ehc: Not always – livestreams were sometimes difficult.
wilk: Anyway, anything you’d say to the site as it stands, before some hip young undergrad comes and brings Wesleying into an era of flat designs and large images (if that ever happens). Idk design speak but basically makes it “very 2016.”
ehc: Well, I think the bigger thing to understand is that Wesleying.org is (or it was back in my day) a big part of Wes culture. And if you change it and fuck it up, you can kill that. So keeping the site up is important to me, making sure it’s usable is important.
These are ideas and things that have continued with me into my career as an engineer. Zooming out and understanding what you’re doing always both a bit of meaning to the work of the “nerd in the basement” and also some gravitas.
***
I just googled “gravitas” to see if I was using it right.
wilk: Google.org is my favorite dictionary. Wesleying.org is my favorite campus blog. But word, it makes a lot of sense. We’ve got a good thing going. 10 years is a long time. Gotta keep it runnin’. Anything else you wanna mention?
ehc: I had a good time working with Wesleying and the crew who were a part of it back then. I’ve always sort of hoped that we’d do something together again. Maybe one of these days we will. Besides that, all I can add is that from my apartment in Portland, OR where I’m doing this interview I can hear someone practicing opera singing. Like going ahhhh up and down the scales. They’re not very good yet, I don’t think.
wilk: They clearly never joined “Wesleyan’s sassiest and most WordPress-savvy online singing group?”
ehc: Nope, and that’s a shame
wilk: tru

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Read ehc‘s posts here.