Latest Entries

Lanyards. What Are They Good For?

Lanyards – the piece of fabric that allows you to hang a conference badge from your neck – have a lifespan of just a few hours. How can we change that?

Better CSS with Sass by Cole Henley

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For those looking for a quick and succinct introduction to Sass, the popular CSS pre-processor, my friend Cole Henley has written a pocket guide:

Sass is a tool that takes a lot of the legwork out of writing good CSS. This pocket guide will provide an overview of how Sass can dramatically improve your workflow and make your CSS more flexible, robust and reusable.

This guide only takes 30 to 45 minutes to read, but on turning the last page you’ll be up to speed on all the features of Sass, know why you may want to use them and be thinking about building upon these features to take your Sass usage to the next level – careful now! The book is available now from Five Simple Steps for just £3.

Rotterdam Reflections

Some thoughts after spending a few days in the Netherlands second city.

Two Years Hence

For the last few years I’ve employed a little life hack: signing up my future self to things I would ordinarily avoid.

Apple: it’s not you, it’s me

I tuned in for just a few seconds, but had to turn it off. That’s not enough time to make a reasoned judgement about the content of Apple’s latest keynote of course, but I just couldn’t continue watching.

UpFront Conference

Earlier this month I attended UpFront Conference, an event organised by Dan Donald and other members of Manchester’s digital community.

TTIP and the Near-stateless Global Giants

The feedback loops and network effects permitted by the internet have allowed companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon to become near-monopolies within their chosen fields.

100 Days

I’ve returned to 68 Middle Street just in time for the start of 100 days, a collaborative project where the aim is to complete a creative process every day for one hundred days.

The Billionaire’s Typewriter

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Matthew Butterick’s scrutiny of Medium reveals it to be “a form of hu­man frack­ing”:

In “Death to Type­writ­ers,” Medium in­sists that the type­writer is its “sworn enemy.” In cer­tain ty­po­graphic de­tails, maybe so. But as a de­vice that im­poses ho­mo­ge­neous de­sign, Medium still has a lot in com­mon with the typewriter.

In fact, its ethics are ac­tu­ally worse than the tra­di­tional type­writer. Why? Be­cause Medium’s ho­mo­ge­neous de­sign has noth­ing to do with lim­i­ta­tions of the un­der­ly­ing tech­nol­ogy (in this case, the web)… it’s a de­lib­er­ate choice that lets Medium ex­tract value from the tal­ent and la­bor of others.

Convenience always has a cost.

Jake Archibald: Building SVGO’s Missing GUI

SVGOMG is a wonderful example of how to build a web app in a responsible and accessible way. I asked its creator, Jake Archibald, a few questions about how he designed and developed this native-feeling SVG optimisation application.

Briefly Berlin

Before going freelance, I decided to take some time off during February. Part of this included spending a few days in Berlin.

Creative Direction

For the last year I’ve been working at the Guardian under the leadership of a creative director. I’ve never worked with a creative director before – at least not in the traditional sense – and have found this to be a fascinating yet also frustrating experience; for the first time in my career I’ve not the been the arbiter of good taste.

(Even More) Responsive Answers

Each month net Magazine run a section called Exchange, where four industry experts each answer three questions on a particular topic, asked by their readers and followers on Twitter. I was asked to be the responsive expert in their March issue, which is on sale now.