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Case study :

Er, almost 20 years of my website.

There aren’t any embarrassing photographs of me on the web (as far as I know) but there have been a few websites with my name on them which prompt the reaction ‘what was I thinking?’ At least you can’t see the haircuts.

Flying Solo screengrab


Built in Adobe Flash, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Surprisingly abstract, but designed when nobody had much idea what a graphics-led web page should look like. Fewer conventions in those days. ‘Flying Solo’ was my original trading name.

Flying Solo screengrab


I’d obviously decided the earlier incarnation was a bit busy (ahem). And while I was working with fixed page sizes, clearly they were getting bigger as larger monitors became more affordable.

Flying Solo screengrab


I must have grown tired of animated colour blocks and rules. The eye blinked at you every now and again. Yes, it did look just as creepy as it sounds.

Flying Solo screengrab


Starting to look more like a website. Oh come on, it does a bit. Obviously I was, as ever, fond of a bit of ‘white space.’ This one marked the first appearance of ‘Hooper,’ the wee chap making a cursor jump through hoops (or something).

Flying Solo screengrab


Okay, the minimalist look has been replaced by the pebbles on the beach in Broughty Ferry (spot the hidden mouse). This was perhaps the first version of the site with more words than images. A lot of words. Times were changing, and SEO was becoming a lot more dependent on content.

Flying Solo screengrab


Hooper is alive and well, albeit with a change of typeface. This was the first incarnation of a site ditching Adobe Flash in favour of a new generation of JavaScript, which unlike Flash, worked on something fleetingly popular called the iPhone. I wonder what happened to those?

Flying Solo screengrab


Hooper’s pension plan was obviously in better shape than mine, since he could afford to retire. An evolution of the previous site, although I suddenly remembered where I was from. Interestingly it pulled in quite a lot of international business.

Miles-A screengrab


18 years down the line, I decided it was time to retire the ‘Flying Solo’ branding and just do it under my own name. My clients had long referred to me as ‘that bloody Miles Cruickshank,’ so why not?

This was a minimal content one page version to ‘hold the fort’ while I took a large part of the year off to complete my astronaut training programme.

Miles-A screengrab


Back to work and a truly comprehensive portfolio site. Another lie, it had just 3 pages and was, with hindsight, an exercise in seeing how far I could stretch the definition of ‘temporary.’ Almost 3 years as it turned out, right up to November 1st 2016.

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