Category Archives: design

Responsive Web Design

I am a real fan of responsive web design, however there are many more sites (and books) that can explain the topic far better than I can (I’ll list a few at the end of the post).

In short, if you don’t know what it means, it is the idea of a site design that changes its layout depending on the device screen size that is viewing it.

With smartphones and tablets being so popular in the last few years, many more people are browsing the web on these devices, and providing an optimum design for these devices makes sites more engaging, easier to read and better suited to the device.

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Don’t just consume, create!

It’s a believe I have had for a while now, which it seems is widely shared. I read this post today by Jim Mitchem called “Consumption vs Creation” which echoes my belief:

In the end, you are what you consume. And if you’re not doing your share of creating, you’re like a vegetable soaking up the sun in preparation of one day being harvested. By advertisers.

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Don’t think, Feel!

Fellow designer at HigherSites and Creative Director, Tom Wittlin recently launched his online personal site Take the Flight and the copy really struck a cord with me, as it is always something I have believed in to:

It’s about what feels right… design was always something I felt I wanted to do.
To this day I tend to go with what feels right, as opposed to going with current trends, especially within design.

There is a lot to be said for going with your gut instinct, although having reasons to back up your decisions always help when you are showing a client, because when they say ‘it doesn’t feel right’ it usually means back to the drawing board for you!

Explain Yourself

Verbalising an idea is something that Don Draper does exceedingly well. He sets the scene and gets the client immersed in his story. It’s his self-assured confidence and belief that makes the pitch so compelling. Watch this clip from of Mad Men if you haven’t seen it before.

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Centre Aligned List Items

This post has come from a quick bit of experimentation, trying to centre align list items.

The design called for centerally aligned list item links, and there could be 3, 4, 5 or more links. Initially I was stumped as to how to create this effect. I had considered a left margin to create the illusion of centre aligning for each possible number, but I knew there was a better way. I’m always aiming for a solution that works in the older browsers too, and this includes IE6. I don’t know why I do it to myself, especially as it apparently only has less than a 5% market share nowadays.

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On ‘Magpie Designers’

In an ever-changing web world, new technologies are constantly evolving. With the emergence of alternative font display systems, new CSS effects and the increased uptake on modern browsers, designers are using these new techniques more and more. Add this to a sprinkling of current design ‘trends’ such as the noise filter, and pixel perfect line details and it makes for some very similar looking websites.

It is inevitable then that these new and shiny capabilities will catch a web designer’s eye (especially after years of browser constraints) but are we turning our eagerness to use the latest styling techniques into a world of monotonous and similar designs?

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Site Refresh

So, things look a little different here!

After a long period of inactivity, due to a new job, and other things the site has sat a little dorment. I thought it was time for a change, and after many, many revisions I decided to finally design something. So, after a few hours of work this weekend – here it is.

I’m hoping to tidy a few things up over the next week, and I will follow that up with a more indepth blog on the designs that didn’t make it.

If you do notice something weird, feel free to post a comment. It hasn’t been browser tested, but bear in mind that things may look a little funky for the next few days.