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Walsall, England

Clearing the decks

As the page turns on another year, just enough time to close the book on a few personal projects and responsibilities. In doing so, I hope to free up some time (and mind space) for new projects to be unveiled in the new year.

Social media icons

Earlier this month I released a final update to my social media icon set. This set was created in 2009 as a means of scratching my own itch: I was often looking for a set of consistently designed – yet not over styled – icons to link to various social networks I was using.

Today, I find myself using social products less (most end up disappearing anyway), and I’ve long felt uncomfortable providing icons for services like Facebook and Google. When I do require such icons, I now use SVG or icon fonts. I’m not sure I would recommend using bitmap images for this purpose any more.

Still, many continue to find them useful, and I’m often asked to add new icons. With this in mind, this project is now hosted on GitHub. The source Fireworks file I’ve been working from is also included, allowing others to create their own icons and contribute to the set should they wish.

For the last nine months, I’ve been writing .net Magazine’s responsive gallery feature, reviewing three sites every month. While it was initially difficult to find sites to feature, I soon found myself spoilt for choice.

Only selecting sites that demonstrated interesting approaches, that didn’t simply linearise desktop orientated designs, even though the number of responsive sites increased, those deserving to be featured remained relatively small. As much as possible, I tried to make performance a feature of this gallery, if only to reiterate that universal design requires considerations beyond that of the visual aesthetic.

However, writing this feature has become a distraction from other work, and has often encouraged bouts of procrastination. As I look to focus more on speaking and other projects, responsibility for this column has now passed to Jordan Moore. Going by his writing on the topic of responsive design, the readers of .net Magazine are in for a treat.


I hoped GELLED, a blog which followed the rollout of the BBC’s Global Visual Language (GEL), would feature more insightful commentary and interviews, but initial attempts to acquire such content proved fruitless. That said, having reviewed the rollout of the programme across 77 websites, I believe a useful and fascinating resource has been created. The site has now been archived on this domain.

Beyond a successful hack day in 2010, this small initiative to reduce the web design industry’s impact on the environment soon whittled away. This was partly due to my founding concerns regarding the swag bags provided at SXSW all but disappearing. I’d like to thank Cole Henley for his valuable contribution to this project, regularly posting links to the blog and Twitter and creating the poster for the hack day. The site has now been archived on this domain.