On Wednesdays, we look at artist statements or design philosophy statements and discuss the best vocabulary to describe an artwork or design. This week we’re looking at web designer Toby Powell’s site and focusing on the Who Am I section.

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This is the text from the Who Am I section of his site, which is like a design statement:

I’m Toby Powell, a front-end web designer and 3d Visualiser based in East Sussex. I’m into all things web, 3d and mobile. I’ve spent the last 4 years in Thailand, during which time i designed, built and maintained the Vogue Thailand website.

I spend my days crafting websites and creating 3d models. I work for all size of companies from small local businesses right up to huge international brands like Vogue. I’ve just spent 4 years living in Thailand. I speak, read and write very basic Thai. I moved back to the UK inSeptember 2015 and am now settled in Seaford, East Sussex.

I’m constantly learning web technologies and other design related topics, currently playing around with Javascript and JQuery. I’m a skilled in many areas of design and development

First, let’s take a look at the vocabulary he uses to describe his work. In the first paragraph, he says he’s into all things web, 3d and mobile. This is a catchy way to say he is interested in everything about those areas of design. He then says that he designed, built and maintained the Vogue Thailand website. These verbs are similar, but they mean very different things in this context. When you design a website, you decide how it should look and make a drawing or digital image of your plan. When you build a website, you write the code that makes the site do what you want it to do and look like the design. When you maintain a website, you check it regularly to be sure it is still working correctly and update it when needed.

In the second paragraph, he uses the verbs crafting and creating. What do you think the difference is between these words? Would the sentence feel any different if he’d written it this way? I spend my days making websites and 3d models. It’s not as interesting, is it? Even words with a similar meaning can feel very different to people. We call this small difference nuance, and it is an important part of choosing the best vocabulary.

In the third paragraph, he uses the phrase playing around with. This means he is beginning to learn Javascript and JQuery, but isn’t very skilled with them yet.

Next, let’s look at the structure of his statement. First, he talks about what he does and where he’s located. Then he mentions what he’s interested in and describes his last big project in Thailand. After that, he talks about his daily work and his clients. Then he talks about Thailand again and his current location. This is repetitive and a little difficult to follow. It would be better to structure his paragraphs with similar information together.

My final comment is that he has some small grammar mistakes that distract the reader from his message. It is even more important to check your spelling and grammar when you work in a medium with text because mistakes in your statement suggest poor attention to detail.

After his design statement, he goes on to list his skills and to explain his design process and his development process. This is useful information to share if you have enough space to include it.

What do you think of this design and the about page?  Do you agree with my comments?  Do you have questions about the vocabulary?  Do you want to suggest a piece for me to discuss next week?  Leave a comment below!

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today.  They are in bold.  If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To see the designer’s full site, click the link below: