I decided to build this website, and now it’s live!

But why does dav-idc.com exist? And now that it’s launched, what comes next?

How it started

Up until November 2023, I had been working in the UK on the GOV.UK Design System team as a senior accessibility specialist. I chose to leave that incredible role and return to Toronto, Canada.

I wrote a bit about my decision on LinkedIn, but the main points are:

  • I really loved the team and the role
  • My visa was coming up for renewal
  • I wanted to move back to Canada to be closer to my partner
  • I had tried working remotely from Canada for 7 weeks, but keeping UK hours was rough

So I returned to Canada in November, satisfied that I had completed my dream to live and work abroad. Final counts: 1 incredible job, 2 London flats, 3 prime ministers, 8 UK cities explored, 11 European countries visited, and countless wonderful friends made. 💜

Planning my next steps

Once back in Toronto, I decided to take this opportunity to think through my career. I wanted to resist jumping for the first new role I came across.

I gathered the thoughts and wisdom of those around me by speaking to a few past coworkers, people in the web development industry that I look up to, and to a career coach.

All those chats seemed to point to a set of compounding factors:

  • I wanted to continue working on improving web accessibility
  • there aren’t many senior web accessibility role postings right now in Toronto and Canada
  • I hadn’t previously considered freelance and contract work, but I could now

And so, I chose a path. In order to continue doing the web accessibility work that I was so passionate about, I would take the risk and try freelancing.

And then I thought, hey, a website sure would help with freelancing.

’Tis the season for self-doubt

I spent a large portion of December second-guessing whether I was ready to try any kind of consulting, contracting or freelancing. Evidently, I didn’t even know what the precise term should be.

I had an interview lined up for a promising senior product design role, but the description didn’t include web accessibility. I had this idea in the back of my mind that I should pursue it anyhow, because a job is a job. Being picky in a job market with few roles would be unwise.

I asked for a few days to think it over. And after the time came, I declined the interview.

Will I regret turning down an interview? Well yes, I already do. But I also believe it was an honest choice that respected the hiring team’s time. I knew I didn’t want to move away from the web accessibility space.

This decision gave me the opportunity to focus my efforts on preparing my website. And so that’s what I did. I shut out the self-doubt, at least temporarily, and started building.

How it’s going

It’s going pretty well now, thanks!

This little website is finally live, after many weeks of writing, deleting, re-writing, editing, designing, re-designing, coding, drinking tea and second-guessing.

There’s still a lot of content I have planned out, but haven’t written yet. I guess that’s the constant state of having a blog, though. Instead of dwelling on the content that exists, it’s about what might be added next.

I’m especially proud of my accessibility statement and privacy policy. They’re not the most exciting reading material, but they’re exactly the kind of documentation I enjoy. Tiny text-based machines that reveal the inner-workings of a somewhat complex system.

My hopes

Well, hopefully I can keep this website alive and thriving. Based on how much I’ve enjoyed this process so far though, I’m excited to keep going.

I hope this website helps me to:

  • make the web accessible
  • connect more with people across the web accessibility and design systems landscape
  • get comfortable writing in my own voice

I hope that trying out freelancing will enable me to:

  • meet lovely new people and teams 
  • explore a broader landscape of accessibility and design systems work
  • work with groups in Canada, the UK, the US and further afield

I hope that people who visit my website get to:

  • learn something they couldn’t learn somewhere else
  • feel my presence and craftsmanship (both the professional and the personal)
  • leave with something of value

What’s next

There’s more to do, but I’m glad I’ve launched the site as it is currently. Future iterations can now build upon a solid foundation of content, information architecture, web accessibility, and good intentions.

My goal is to prioritize “publish over polish” and embrace an iterative writing process. Perfectionism has never aided me in launching a successful project. Even when it comes to critical details, I have found it more helpful to find a ‘right’ answer than to worry about a ‘perfect’ answer.

I’ll be writing more blogs, publishing more case studies, and refining other elements over the coming months.

I’ll also be doing more extensive accessibility testing of the website. It’s in good shape at the moment, but I want to make sure it’s not just technically accessible, but usably accessible.

This is a standard section I plan to add to my blog posts. I don’t have any links for this specific post though.

For now, check out my page dedicated to links that I personally like.

Publication info

Version number
First published date
January 25, 2024
Last updated date
January 25, 2024
Appreciation and special thanks
  • To Dayi L for setting up the server (thank you!)
  • To Ariana C for the productive hangouts while building the darn thing
  • Also to Steve M, Amy H, Stefan P, Kate K, Davis W and many more for chats, for sharing your experiences, and for words of encouragement while I figured out what to do next in my career.