Returning from a hiatus

So what do I write about when it’s been over three months since my last entry? When I intentionally haven’t opened up my feed reader in over two months. When casual readers start to notice a lack of updates, and add comments or send emails asking, “is everything is OK?” When Aussies are still asking if I need more Tim Tams?

Well, I can start by ensuring anyone still reading that everything is indeed OK, and has mostly been so over the past 3.something months. Possibly a little hectic, and at times, stressful. But overall, good things have been (and are) happening.

First, to answer a recurring question, or maybe an assumption some of you made about the excuse for my absence in writing here: No, there is no book being written. Sorry. Maybe at some point. But nothing in print is coming from me in the immediate future. Other things, projects, and people have been occupying my time.

I spent much of last fall occupied with one project, of which we (client’s team and I) completed the bulk of design work in November. I may never be able to fully address nor write about what that project was/is, or who it was for, even though many of you may end up using the product or at least trying it sometime this year. However, there were some new techniques devised specifically for this project, and insights gained about managing complex style sheets in team environments, which I’ll be sharing in generic forms during upcoming speaking engagements.

Possibly the single biggest change in my life which may have partially attributed to the hiatus from this blog is my engagement to the love of my life. We were dating for just over one year when I proposed to her in San Diego last November. The excitement and busyness of planning for a summer wedding began soon after (if not before in her mind!) I rarely write about topics of personal nature here. But this one is so big, and so life-changing, it at least deserves mention for those of you who know me.

Soon after that, the holidays hit full force. Parties to attend. Long-lost friends to see. Then, unluckily for me, a week before Christmas, I re-injured my back, this time at SFO as I was about to get on a flight to Ohio to spend Christmas with family. Reason for injury was stupid: I was pulling my overly-burdened gift-laden suitcase up some stairs instead of taking the ramp. Must have twisted the wrong way as I was pulling. Mom ended up flying to San Francisco instead, and helped my fiancée nurse me back to good health. Fortunately for all of us, the recovery was much speedier this time.

Anyway, no excuses for not writing. I don’t regret the break. Nor did I ever feel pressure or worry about the lack of updates when friends and family members kept warning me about losing readership. It’s been a good break. One that was certainly needed. And good things happened in the interim.

Lots of ideas for topics I’d like to write about fill my head and the text files on my desktop. Even if I’m the only one who ends up reading these words, so be it. It’s kind of nice to take a long enough break that I feel like I’m starting over.


  1. Sean Madden

    Glad to have you back. Congrats on everything and amen to raising a proverbial middle finger to the obligation of blog-updating.

  2. Phil Dokas

    Congrats on the engagement, now to go play with iWeb! :D

  3. Bruce Clark

    Doug great to have you back, your site still sits proudly in my RSS reader. I look forward to the upcoming topics.

  4. Oliver Zheng

    Now that you are back, keep publishing design-related articles :)

  5. Dave Ferrick

    “and insights gained about managing complex style sheets in team environments, which I’ll be sharing in generic forms during upcoming speaking engagements”

    Consider my appetite whetted.

  6. kazu

    It’s so nice to hear from you Doug, and … congrats!!!

  7. beto

    Pauses are good, even neccesary. It’s great to hear back from you though.

    And congratulations! Looks like you’re on to a very interesting year. Best of luck!

  8. Ben Esteban

    And as you can see from the comments that will keep coming, your readers haven’t left. Look forward to more things coming from you.

  9. Rodrigo

    Wow … congrats Doug, to you and to your future wife :)

  10. Brian Sweeting

    Glad you’re back. Looking forward to hearing about the new techniques devised regarding managing complex style sheets in a team environment.

  11. Bernie Zimmermann

    Congratulations on the engagement!

  12. Adam Schilling

    Congrats Doug – and don’t sweat the break.

  13. Miko

    Congrats on the engagement.

  14. Shayne

    Your site never left my rss reader.
    Congrats on everything, except the back pain.

    I can’t wait to read what you have in store for us.

  15. Jay Allen

    Holy crap. I bet no one told you… Yahoo bought the internet. We’ve all been taking a sabbatical too…

  16. Jonathan Kahn

    Even if I’m the only one who ends up reading these words, so be it.

    That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all morning. You and a thousand other people …

  17. blextar

    Congrats on the engagement and welcome back!

  18. Dariusz Guzik

    It’s so nice to hear back from you. Look forward to hearing more from you soon. And:
    Congratulations on the engagement!

  19. kimblim

    Welcome back! I was wondering where you had gone – I even mentioned it on my blog – it’s in Danish, so you probably won’t understand it, so here’s a quick translation:
    [brownnose on]It’s not only technical glitches that can cause concern. Take Douglas Bowman, who is an incredible designer, who knows a lot about web-dev and has made some fantastic things. He hasn’t updated his website for more than three months, which is unusual. Where is Douglas?[brownnose off]

    Anyways, Congrats on the engagement!

  20. trovster

    Welcome back Doug. Quite bizarre, I typed this URL in today and said this wouldn’t be a regular occurance again, because of the lack of updates. I’d still check, but not so often.

    But “you’re back”. Congratulations on the engadgement. And looking forward to the large-scale CSS management and other topics you’ve got ideas for.

  21. nvictor

    welcome back Douglas.

  22. Paul

    Congratulations on your engagement and welcome back!

    I’m looking forward to reading (and hopefully hearing) your insights into managing CSS and other great comment during the months to come.

  23. angelday true

    I have been manually reloading the site since October on a daily basis. Because I do care.

    Now Wayne’s World style: NOT!!

    Welcome back!

  24. Zach Inglis

    Congratulations on the engagement.

    As for the design project, who knows. If you’ve left your mark on it, we may be able to spot it :)

    Well, welcome back anyway.

  25. Fernando Lins

    Welcome Back Douglas, congratulations to you and your fianceé! Don’t worry about losing readership, our feeds will always warn us when you’re ready for another round ;-)

  26. Eoghan O’Brien

    Congrats on the engagement, welcome back and I’m lovin this site, RSS Feed Added!

  27. Paul Hooper

    Not for one moment tempted to unsubscribe – a pleasure to read an update from you, and looking forward to more (whatever the timeframe). All the best with everything, and consider yourself congratulated once again. Cheers!

  28. Jason Beaird

    What’s this? Stopdesign is again bold in bloglines? :) It’s good to have you back and congrats on the engagement.

  29. Chris Gwynne

    Congrats on the engagement, happy for you both!

    Looking forward to seeing some more stuff written.

  30. Steven Garrity

    As Matt Haughey once said, marriage is the new black. Respect.

  31. Julian Schrader

    Hey, welcome back! Your feed never left my Feedreader ;-)

  32. Hey Doug. Congratulations on you recovery and the upcoming marriage. It’s good to see that you prioritize love above blogging. More people could benefit from that!

  33. Terry Tolleson

    Glad to see you back. And in good health.

    Looking forward to seeing what’s next. Good luck and congratulations with your upcoming marriage. It really is a wonderful thing, regardless what the singles might think ~.^

  34. Jonathan

    I would think that the majority of your readership is still in tact – that’s the beauty of RSS!

    Congratulations on your engagement and all the best this year!

  35. Ed Knittel

    Congratulations on the engagement – now the fun part of planning the wedding. I got married last October and so we (my wife and I) have accumulated a TON of magazines, clippings, and information on this topic. So, I was thinking I could dump – errr, I mean give – these boxes and boxes of useful information to you. It’s a win-win situation Doug – I can finally rid my house of these space hogging impediments and you get months and months of research for free!

    So, where should I ship them to? ;)

    Oh, and it’s good to have you back and in good (better?) health. Best wishes to you and the future Mrs. Bowman.

  36. Dane

    I was beginning to worry that you had fallen victim to an awful BASE jumping accident of some sort, after bungee jumping whetted your appetite for the extreme.

    Glad to hear that the truth is far finer than the fiction. Congratulations!

  37. Alex Leonard

    Love life and personal health win hands down in importance every time.

    The quality of your writing has meant that you were always in my feed though, even if you went a bit quiet. And sure, if you lost some readers – they’re the feckless ones!

    Congratulations on the engagement and here’s to a wonderful wedding.

    Regards, Alex.

  38. Joshwa

    Congratulations on your engagement! Good to hear things are going so good for you. Breaks are needed in all aspects of life so I’m glad yours could went well. I gotta tell ya though, I’m glad you’re back. It seemed really strange to have to have an empty news feed from Stopdesign. I really doubt you’ve lost any readership.

    I’m looking forward to reading about your new ideas and methods.

  39. Loren Segal

    Congratulations Douglas Bowman on your engagement! add me to the list of people who think you’re awesome

  40. lisa

    Congratulations, Doug! Being married to the love of your life is the best possible way to live, so much so that the actual day of the wedding becomes the least important day of the marriage. (At least, it has seemed so to us.)

    Good to see your phosphors again.

  41. Congrats, and hope to read a lot of good posts about design… as you can see you still to have a lot of readers…


  42. Richard Rutter

    Welcome back – it’s good to hear you’ve got your priorities right :-) And the great thing about RSS feeds is that can sit there dormant for months and suddenly spring back into life. Hope that back holds together.

  43. angelday true

    [since this post has been classified as “Personal” I’d like to get a little bit personal as well]

    Steven (Garrity), I know you’ve been recently undergone the process. I also know most bloggers tend to communicate their “acquisitions” (sic) with much fanfare. Their life from this side seem like filled with joy and happiness. We’ve seen Jason Santa Maria’s wedding pictures and read about Zeldman’s too. And now it’s the new black.

    I wonder what this gives for the rest of us.

    Like, I mean, has anyone ever communicated about how badly a relationship has gotten or personal problems? Never. Yeah, there is Dooce too with baby stories and diapers IN ALL CAPS.

    There are the A-types of blogs where people start to cheer about their wedding, kids etc. Josh Davis started it (in my point of view, anyway). I’m not saying this is bad for the blogosphere, to me, well, I would like to see someone ever announce the opposite or bring something refreshing of the other.

    As I figured Kottke has had some shit going on with Hourihan, but we never got the real thing figured. I mean, it’s my daily blog! (I almost wrote soap opera.)

    Point is: break the superficial, get blogs down to the real.

    PS: I want Doug to be a happy person, cause he’s so cool right now. Hope you got the message. *tsk* *tsk*

  44. Stefan Hayden

    congrats on getting engaged. It’s definitely a condition that’s been going around a lot of big name designers. I’m engaged my self and I’ve been bothering everyone with techy wedding questions.

    Are you making a wedding web site?
    What kind of features are you including on it?
    Have you seen other wedding websites that have inspired you?

    I have kept a short list of good one that I have scene and am always looking to expand that list.

  45. Ross Easton

    Congrats on getting married buddy! Glad to have you back – but glad you enjoyed the break :)

  46. Tanny O’Haley

    Congratulations on your engagement and welcome back! I never removed your RSS feed, though a few weeks back I was wondering what happened to you.

    I got married August 7, 2004 and I’d like to recommend Getting to “Really Know” Your Life-Mate-to-Be. It asks questions that we’d never asked each other like were do guests stay when visiting, at your home or a hotel? This combined with pre-marital counseling should help my marriage last.

  47. Francis Storr

    Welcome back! It was only the other day that I was going through my RSS feeds and realised that you hadn’t posted in ages. I thought you’d probably br working on something top-secret-and-cool, and I was half right. Congrats on the engagement and I hope that you have a great 2006.

  48. Patrick Taylor

    The two most important things to protect in life (not especially in priority order):

    (1) Your back.

    (2) Your partner.

    I did pretty much the same to my back when I was hauling a bag to the check-in for Paris last November. Without my partner being there I could not have re-tied my loose shoelaces.

    Congratulations on the forthcoming marriage.

  49. Allan Reyes

    Congratulations for making one of the most important decision in life – marriage. Looking forward to your fresh articles and ideas to share. More power and happiness!

  50. David McDonald

    Congratulations Doug.

    Glad to hear that you’re well, and getting married!

    All the best inthe new year for you and your wife-to-be.

  51. Dan Cederholm

    Big congrats on the engagement! Was awesome to see Stopdesign lit up bold today :-)

  52. Dan Jallits

    Welcome back Doug, you were sorely missed!
    And congrats to you on your engagement.

  53. Andy Peatling

    Congrats Doug, and welcome back!

  54. Vicki from Perth

    What wonderful news! Congratulations Doug! If you make it back to WE06, I hope to see both you and your wife there. :-)

  55. Vito Tardia

    Welcome back and congratulations Doug!

  56. Mikhail Bozgounov

    I agree with all! (Especially with Dan and angelday true;-)

    Congratulations, first!

    Nice to hear from you, again! :-)

    We do care!

    And… yes, I was very happy, too, to see “Stopdesign lit up bold today” ;-)

    Now just waiting to read more… :-)

  57. Bill Abel

    I’m one those ‘casual readers’ who thought about asking around if you were ok.

    Getting married is a huge life-changing event. Take some more breaks when you need them.

    And, thanks for all the ideas and knowledge you share.

  58. Paul

    I need more Tim Tams. Please. Oh for one more joyous Tim Tam Slam. Mmmmmm.

  59. Lee

    Welcome back!

  60. jason cook


    Just a quick congrats to you (and your fiance) on your engagement. Enjoy!

    (me & mine are glad to see you’re writing again, too)

  61. Brade

    Doug, congrats and welcome back! That’s great news, dude. (The engagament, not the back injury, natch.) That’s one of the things I hate about “blogs” — you feel obligated to update them rather than just waiting for true inspiration to strike. Sometimes less is more.

  62. Ed


    Glad to hear everything is okay. Actually, they’re much better than okay, aren’t they? Congratulations to you and your finacee.

    I’m (selfishly) happy that you’re back because I always learn something from my visits to Stopdesign. I will admit to going through withdrawals at one point.

    But enough about me — glad you’re back and happy.


  63. Colleen

    You can purchase Tim Tams at the Real Canadian Superstore in Canada

  64. Peter Asquith

    Congratulations and fantastic to have you back!

  65. Faruk Ates

    Big congratulations on the engagement! That’s fantastic news, I’m very happy for both of you, and I’m glad your back recovery was much speedier this time around.

    Welcome back. :-)

  66. Mani Sheriar

    Congratulations on the engagement! I too recently became engaged and I knkow what a happy time it is. =)

    I just wanted to say a quick hello. I have read your blog for years and have never commented. I wanted to tell you that yours was the first web-design related blog I ever started reading. You were the first web-designer I ever came to view as a “celebrity.” You were the first beacon of this new fangled “web standards” thing that shone my way. Yours was the first CSS Zen Garnden entry that I ever truly fell in love with.

    When I first read you I was inifinitely envious of your design capabilities and couldn’t even wrap my little mind around something like css sliding doors. Now I am a full-time freelance web designer considered an expert at css by my clients with my own blog and four entries to The Garden. Wow. How far we have come together.

    I’m so glad that you are back. When I first started reading you I had a stupid question about image replacement and you took the time to answer me personally. I even naively asked if I could see your stylesheets … just for personal study, I promised! You had to explain to me that I could view the source of your site and look at the css links at the top of your pages and follow the paths and get the style sheets myself. You were very kind.

    Thanks for everything, Doug!

  67. Ben Buchanan

    Heh, let’s see: congratulations; exporting Tim Tams is a major cottage industry here; all creative endeavor can benefit from a break; and as for readership… well, isn’t this what RSS is for?! :)

  68. Noel Hurtley

    Welcome back, Mr. Bowman!

  69. Nice to read your again! :)

  70. Lucian

    Hey Doug, doubt you’ll ever lose your readership. We come here often to pay homage to your colour palette and steal whatever CSS we need.

    Congrats on the engagement! Just don’t spend too much time on the wedding website.

  71. KG

    Congratulations and Welcome Back!

  72. Ian Lloyd

    Congrats Doug! You’ll understand my months of radio silence and general inactivity then :-) But that’s me done and married now, so I can get on and do things *other* than wedding plans! Hurrah! Look forward to raising a glass with you in a few weeks

  73. motherduce

    Congratulations on the engagement. Best of luck to you both. Glad to see you back here. Let us read a few of those text files, at least, if not all! :-)

  74. M.

    Congratulations on the engagement Doug! Good to see you’re back, and hope to see more blog entries from you this year ;-)

  75. fwolf

    well … you always heal much faster if your beloved one is around/with you :)

    At least thats my personal experience.
    I’ve tended to format my very personal entries differently than my normal posts, so maybe you’d like to do this too.

    Or just do some MT hacking and create a seperate blog frontend for your very own personal thoughts. ;)

    Just my .02 cents,
    cu, w0lf.

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