Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Elliott James @ the Living Room – Oxford

Whilst *midly* intoxicated on Saturday afternoon I agreed to join Elliott in Oxford on Sunday night, not that I wouldn’t normally agree to see Elliott play, but Oxford is a fair trek for a Sunday Evening. I regretted this decision on Sunday morning when I woke up hungover with a 3ish hour round trip to drive in the evening. Still, that’ll teach me.

Elliott played well and I enjoyed the evening but the venue was a little on the quiet side – where were you all?

Anyway as I’m such a jolly nice chap I thought I’d share a couple of videos I took on the night.

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Be yourself

If there’s one thing I’ve learn’t since I’ve matured*, my career developed, taken risks, worked for ‘myself’ – it’s this:

Be yourself

Show your personality through your approach, your work, in your website, your stationary, your dress code and manner in meetings, proposals and all things to do with your business – be relaxed and be yourself.

Don’t pretend to be a big company if you’re a one man band, be honest and have confidence in what you do. Present yourself in a way in which you feel comfortable.

Some clients won’t even notice, some might not like you, others will really appreciate you. One things for sure – the average company, freelancer, contractor are a thousand a penny. Who wants to be average? not me.

Present your personality, present your ideas and what you are passionate about. If the client doesn’t like it, that’s cool – joe blogs design is just around the corner.

Below is a scan of the front of my business card:

Just this evening I met a new client – had a great meeting, passed him my card – I was still talking when I realised he was half listening though a little busy looking at my card. I shut up, he looked up, smiled and said:

That’s brave, I like that.

I designed those business cards roughly 2 years ago and think nothing of them really, but guess I am making a bit of a statement. It doesn’t matter that I’m a designer, a developer  - I’d want to work with a nice bloke.

People do business with people.

* Still working on that.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Animated transitions with Media Queries

I discovered something cool!  ( demo | video )

At least I didn’t know about it until now – maybe you all knew already and no-one told me – why the secrets?

I was thinking about CSS transitions and wondered if they would work within the media-queries in your stylesheet. So I tried it out and guess what. It worked!

Now in our responsive web designs we can also animate the layout changes when a user resizes the browser window, no more rezise, snap, resize, snap.

I tested in Chrome, Firefox 4, Safari 5 and Opera 11 – it worked in all but best in Chrome.

All we need to do is add the appropriate CSS to the elements which change width, height etc in each declaration of that property (anywhere the width & height change in the media-queries).

/* webkit */
-webkit-animation-property: -webkit-width;
-webkit-animation-property: -webkit-height;
-webkit-transition-duration: 1s;

/* firefox 4+ */
-moz-animation-property: -webkit-width;
-moz-animation-property: -webkit-height;
-moz-transition-duration: 1s; 

/* Opera */
-o-animation-property: -webkit-width;
-o-animation-property: -webkit-height;
 -o-transition-duration: 1s;

I uploaded a demo and a video of it in action (just incase you’re unlucky enough to use a non supporting browser).

In my haste I had used : -webkit-width  &  -webkit-height in my CSS for Firefox and Opera which is incorrect. However, it still worked:

… this is because you can literally just have a transition duration and it will transition everything (colour etc) automatically.

Thanks for pointing that out Harry!

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

You should attend the next Web Meet Guildford.

A week ago today I attended the bi-monthly Web Meet Guildford.

Web Meet Guildford Website

For those of you who don’t know:

Web Meet Guildford, aka WMG, aka #WMG was started by Kyanmedia back in November 2010 to bring together people in the web industry in Guildford and surrounding areas for an informal get together to discuss all things ‘web’ over a beer or two.

Typically we meet every 8 weeks or so at the Three Pigeons pub at the top of Guildford High Street, we take over the top floor and there’s a tab behind the bar – so there’s an excuse to come and say hello.

Although I’d intended to visit the previous two meets this was my first. I must admit I was a little apprehensive not knowing anyone – bar a few people I *kind-of* knew through twitter – but hey, there’s only one way to get to know people right?

Within a few minutes of arriving both conversation and real ale were flowing which continued throughout the evening.

I found everyone welcoming, met some very cool fellow ‘web folk’ and enjoyed the evening very much.

If you work in the interweb around the Guildford area you should definitely pop along next time, which I imagine will be late August*. See you there!

* Keep an eye on Web Meet Guildford for the date – or follow the lot of us on twitter.

Friday, June 10th, 2011

xheight blog

What seems like yesterday but is actually now 3 months ago David Bushell dropped me an email to ask if I’d like to contribute to a new blog he was preparing to launch called xheight.

Simply put:

xheight is a blog about ideas and thoughts.

David’s idea was for a selection of professional designers to contribute their thoughts on design, share their day-to-day theories, experiences and ideas.

Brief #1 was “what design means to you” after a few nights waking up at 3am with inspiration I felt that I had some interesting opinions and thoughts to share.

My first and (so far) only article “Design is not art” was published on May 3rd.

I’ve been extremely impressed with the articles submitted to x-height so far and humbled to sit alongside such a talented group of designers as a contributor.

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Website updates May 2011

If you’ve visited my website before you may notice it looks somewhat different today.

For months (literally) I’ve been trying to make the time to redesign and re-code my site. As other designers and developers will already know trying to balance an already busy work schedule, keep up personal projects and have a life at the same time can be extreamly difficult.

Today I’ve made the redesign live all be it in an incomplete form – but with a view to finishing things within the next few weeks.

My main tasks at the moment are:

  1. To get the templates built for the profile/about section of my site (which I’ve currently removed from the navigation).
  2. Fix a few disagreements internet explorer is having.
  3. Finish work on the media queries.

I also used the recode as a chance to experiment  with inuit.css which is a new CSS framework from the CSS Wizard Harry Roberts on the whole I’ve found the framework really helpful – after taking me a while to figure a few things out – I’m pretty sure it could speed up development time on future projects – perhaps a post on that later.

For those of you who haven’t visited my site before here’s what it looked like previously:

The main aim of this redesign is to:

  1. make the site lighter and easier on the eye to read
  2. make use of media queries to resize the site for various screens and devices (not really there just yet)
  3. make better use of html 5 elements
  4. Bring the site more inline with my current work

Hopefully I’ll have finished working on it soon.. in the meantime feel free to drop me a comment with your thoughts or tweet me @tbwcf.