24th January, 2019

A certain sense of inevitability

This editorial was written for the New Adventures magazine, January 2019.

The first New Adventures took place in 2011, sparking a trilogy of events that helped push digital design forward with bold ideas and honest opinion. The whole thing was a blast. Some seasoned conference-goers considered it their favourite, and for many it was their first event.

1st June, 2018

Living with a conversational object

I feel awkward talking to machines, and I always will. My comfort zone ends at the ATM or self-service checkout, where I’ll conclude transactions with a whispered ‘Thank you’ (my wife will attest to this). It’s a simple courtesy born of a generalized fear of machines; specifically, their inevitable rise. When that day comes, I hope my long appreciation of their servitude will be recognized, and that I’ll be spared.

22nd January, 2012

New Adventures newspaper 2012

Right now, I’m resting hard after a very successful second New Adventures in Web Design conference, and I’ll write an overview of this overwhelming experience soon. For now, I just wanted to say a little about this year’s newspaper.

21st December, 2011

Taming Complexity

This article was commissioned for 24 Ways.

I’m going to step into my UX trousers for this one. I wouldn’t usually wear them in public, but it’s Christmas, so there’s nothing wrong with looking silly.

19th August, 2011

Maturity and the Weight of Learning

This article was commissioned for the first edition of The Manual.

As the web matures, great designers are distinguished not by conviction but by the ability to look beyond the tools at hand, to inquire deeply, and to define a lexicon for the field.

19th August, 2011

Lesson

This article was commissioned for the first edition of The Manual.

Marked by intense focus and mutual understanding, a conversation with artist Ian Breakwell yields a necessary breakthrough and sets the foundation for a creative path.

18th August, 2011

The Manual

I have been fortunate enough to contribute to numerous publications in my time, but without doubt the contribution I’m most proud of kicks off the beautiful and important first edition of The Manual.

25th January, 2011

The New Adventures paper

Following on from New Adventures, which finally happened last week, I want to write a series of short posts about the nuts and bolts. Firstly, I’d like to explain a little about the name, the newspaper, and the inspiration for the cover artwork.

16th December, 2010

The Articulate Web Designer of Tomorrow

This article was commissioned for 24 Ways.

You could say that we design to communicate, and that we seek emotive responses. It sounds straightforward, and it can be, but leaving it to chance isn’t wise. Many wander into web design without formal training, and whilst that certainly isn’t essential, we owe it to ourselves to draw on wider influences, learn from the past, and think smarter.

31st August, 2010

Preface for Hardboiled Web Design

I was commissioned to write this preface for the book Hardboiled Web Design, published by Five Simple Steps.

Every web designer harbours tales of frustration, limitation and despair. Ours is a visually creative discipline, yet it requires skills or knowledge beyond mere manipulation of form, shape, language, colour, message and meaning.

17th October, 2009

CSS Mastery Second Edition

In early 2006, a book called CSS Mastery was published. Written expertly by Andy, it also featured case studies from Cameron and myself, plus a foreword from Dan.

4th August, 2009

Erskine Design redesign

This article was commissioned for A List Apart.

In just two years, Erskine Design grew from two people working at home into a full-fledged agency of eight, working with some major clients. Our website needed to better reflect our achievements, abilities, team strengths, and to get better information from client inquiries to help grow the business. I’ll explore our thought processes and share the decisions we made as our own client.

6th January, 2008

Two years on, here's another rant about the state of blogging

Have you noticed how many of us who have been blogging for a long time are gradually doing a whole lot less of it? I have, and I totally understand.

31st October, 2007

Foreword for Beginning HTML with CSS and XHTML

I was commissioned to write this foreword by Apress, for the book Beginning HTML with CSS and XHTML.

In 1999, I bought a book about the web. This brave and still relatively new world had caught my interest, and the pocket-sized Rough Guide to the Internet featured four or so pages of rudimentary HTML. After about three hours I’d built a web page, and linked to another one. This first web page looked awful, but I was excited.

2nd April, 2007

Web Standards Creativity has arrived

My copies of Web Standards Creativity have just landed on the doormat, and mighty-fine they are too. Chock-full of wondrous colour (one for the coffee table), ingenuity and inspiration. Here are a few ropey photos…