Categories

Web

Crisis

A two-week stay in Berlin not only gave me time to explore the city, but also space to question the direction of my career and address a growing sense of disillusionment with my profession.

Microblogging

Twitter is a place I visit to get annoyed. I need an alternative. That alternative could be my very own website.

Beyond the Style Guide

I run my finger along the seam between interface patterns and design systems, exploring how a visual design language can underpin and inform a web style guide, with judicious use of CSS preprocessing. Like a good Christmas jumper, sometimes you need to get creative with the rules.

Responsive Answers Revisited

Justin Avery, who curates Responsive Design Weekly, asked me to revisit the four questions I answered as part of an interview series in 2013. Here are my answers.

Thinking Responsively: A Framework for Future Learning

Responsive web design changed everything about how we think and work on the web. Five years on, we’re still exploring the best ways to approach our practice. If we want a web that is truly universal, we must consider our users, our medium, and our teams in new, adaptable ways. Looking at where we’ve come from and where we’re going, I propose a philosophical framework for our work on the responsive web.

Shipped!

In what has become a familiar pattern, having decided to embark on a redesign last February, I then spent the following 18 months iterating and iterating. Now, after many missed deadlines, I have finally launched my new site.

At IndieWebCamp, Playing With Webmentions

I’m attending my second IndieWebCamp this weekend, with the sole aim of implementing webmentions. This has meant prematurely launching my new Jekyll-based website. That this has been in development since last February, many would say this moment is long overdue.

UpFront Conference

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

Naming Things

I perch my partridge in the CSS pear tree to discuss naming methodologies, ontologies and semantics. What’s in a name? That which we call a cherub by any other name would smell as sweet.

Landmark Olympic Websites, Where Art Thou?

Whereas the world’s foremost architects, graphic artists, typographers, iconographers and illustrators are asked to create their best work to celebrate each Olympic Games, still we wait for the Olympic movement to give equal consideration to the design of its websites.

net Awards 2014

The net Awards return for their fifteenth year, and I’m more than a little surprised to be nominated for Designer of the Year.

Redesigning 24 ways

The tail end of this year has been rather hectic. If moving house and changing jobs weren’t enough to be getting on with, I was also busy redesigning 24 ways.

What I Want from a Web Font

Bradshaw’s Guide brings George Bradshaw’s 1866 descriptive railway handbook to the web. Today I’ll cover some of the typographic decisions I made, and how they lead me to believe that we still lack the necessary tools for web typography.

Visual Design Explorations

Since Mikey joined us in February, the number of designers working at Clearleft is at an all time high. As the company grows, we want to maintain the same level of knowledge sharing and collaboration that happened more spontaneously with a smaller team.

Trimming Even More Fat

The Christmas break provides the time to tie up loose ends and make much needed progress on personal projects. At least, that was the plan. Once again I find myself distracted by the task of making this website just that little bit faster.

A Field of Ponies

Earlier today, 24 Ways published an article in which I outlined five reasons why I believe two current proposed markup patterns for responsive images are largely redundant. Here I provide some follow-up, and hopefully clarification around the points I raised.

More Responsive Answers

Justin Avery, who curates the Responsive Design Weekly newsletter, asked me four questions as part of his December Interview Series. Here are my answers.

Exploring the Causeway Coast

After attending Build in Belfast last month, Chris Armstrong gave Ethan Marcotte, Chris Shifflet and myself a tour of the Causeway Coast which, as the name suggests, is home to the famed Giant’s Causeway.

Trimming the Fat

Website optimisation can be a cruel game; everything has a number that begs to be reduced, but doing so requires a lot of experimentation, research and testing. And when you’re playing with the last hundred or so kilobytes, there’s little reward for your effort.

The Web Aesthetic

At the beginning of this year I was struck by a realisation, prompted in part by the discussions around responsive images but also the artistic ingenuity of the image optimisation techniques being used by Jeremy. How might the visual aesthetic of the web change if we were to acknowledge its nature and embrace its constraints?

Thoughts on Adobe Edge

Adobe recently announced a new suite a products and services for web developers, called Adobe Edge. .net Magazine asked me to provide some thoughts.

The Web Aesthetic

When every device begs to be connected, it has become easier — almost necessary — to accept the adaptable nature of the web. Responsive web design is an emerging best practice, and our layouts are becoming more flexible. But often, innovation is focused on technical implementations while the visual aesthetic remains ignored. To put it another way, we’re embracing “responsive” but neglecting the second part: “design.” Now is the time to seek out an aesthetic that is truer to the medium.

Material Thinking

Earlier this month, Team Clearleft headed up to London for a day of design related exhibitions: Bauhaus: Art as Life at the Barbican and (after a ride across the city on a ‘Boris Bike’) British Design 1948-2012 and Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary at the V&A.

Kiwibank: Standing Up for Something New

Banks aren’t the most likeable organisations, but I’m developing a soft spot for Kiwibank, a New Zealand-based bank competing against larger Australian-based rivals. Their latest advertising campaign suggests they’re willing to stand up for something new “and even a bit crazy”, and in the world of banking, a responsive website is just that.

Inspiring Nobody

Rather than showcase British interactive design talent, the biggest cultural event of our generation has been represented online by an uninspired mess that flies the flag for the status quo.

Build a Responsive Website in a Week

Since returning from San Francisco, much of my spare time has been spent writing a tutorial for .net magazine. Published as part of their Responsive Week, this is for developers who want to learn about responsive web design but don’t know where to start.

Nip/Tuck

Following on from last July’s extensive redesign of this site, the last few weeks have seen me revisit the design and implementation. In light of today’s Responsive Summit, and with a few people asking about the changes, I thought I should provide a little more detail.

Facebook and the Future of the Web

.net Magazine asked a group of experts what they find most delightful and most despicable about the social networking giant Facebook. This was my full response. An excerpt can be found in the March 2012 issue.

Responsive Answers

Back in October, Ethan Marcotte asked me some questions about the design of my site. He was writing a round up of his twenty favourite responsive websites for .net Magazine and wanted quotes from each creator. In the spirit of blogging more I thought I’d share my answers here.

New & Improved

Unless you’re viewing this in your RSS reader, you may have noticed a few changes to the site. It’s been well over two years since the last redesign, but I’ve been working on this update on-and-off for the last 12 months. I could probably continue tweaking and refining, but as a wise man once said, “real artists ship”.

Two Years

Two years ago I joined Clearleft. Now with the responsive design movement in full swing, I look back over the last two years to see how much my approach to web design has changed.

Design Principles

I’ve been thinking about redesigning this website for the last six months, but haven’t been able to find a strategy for making these changes happen. To keep this project on course, I’ve defined a set of design principles.

A New Visual Design Language for BBC Online

I’m a huge supporter of the BBC, yet for many years I was unimpressed with much of it’s online output, where inconsistent design and poor implementation reflected badly upon one of our country’s greatest institutions.

The Multipack Presents…

Every year the Multipack — a community of web developers based in the Midlands — seems to undergo a renewal, finding confidence to try new things. This year is no different.