The Blog

A place for me witterings

I'm a keen writer and love to talk about the web and the things that interest me. Even better when people engage with me on the topics.

I want to blog more

6th January 2019

I decided in the New Year to revisit writing the blog as once upon a time, I really used to enjoy writing about what I do and what I wanted to do and as part of that was to look back at old posts and see how things have gone in the years since. In […]

2018, the year that was

13th December 2018

Another year is coming to an end. 2018 has been an up and down year. It’s the year I turned 40 which at that time was such a big thing but looking back now, it was a non event and I feel no different to 39. Like most years, some events stand out for me. […]

The Good Old Days

28th November 2018

If you are of a certain age, you’ll know the struggle of the early days with table layouts and awful browsers. However things were a bit easier as there was no responsive and certainly no debates about CSS in JS. Ah great days. I started out as a web designer and my focus was very […]

.Net and a design problem – Part 1

14th September 2018

A few months back, I was asked by .Net to take part in their design challenge. I was massively stoked to be asked but I decided that it wasn’t a good thing for me as I’d not really done much design at that time due to being solely just a front-end dev and I felt […]

The state of frontend development and where will it end

16th August 2018

"Hello, what do you do Dan?" "I'm a front-end developer" "What's that?" "I don't know anymore." I've had that conversation a few times over the past couple of years or so. I tend to just say that I make websites look pretty or that I do the colouring in and people accept that and we […]

40 year old developer

25th May 2018

I turn 40 in a few months. I’m not happy about it if truth be told. I still see myself as a 20’ish lad just finding his feet in life yet here I am, mid life crisis well in motion and more wrinkles than copies of .Net magazine. I work in an industry that I […]

A face lift

27th April 2018

It’s a common joke amongst those close to me that I like to change this site more often than my underwear. But anyway I’ve not posted in such a long time and thought I should say hello once again after the 55th redesign. It might be more or less than that. Who’s to say. As […]

Website Optimisation Tip : Typekit

30th May 2017

I recently did an overhaul of the website and one of the issues I was getting from Google Page Insights was that I needed to prioritise visible content. Which was confusing as I could see a lot of the content (in this case, a blog post). So I set about trying to find out what […]

Me, Myself and Magento

18th July 2016

I’ve been working with Magento now for the best part of 11 months or to some, nearly a year. I was under no illusion it would be a tough move from working with WordPress and brochure sites to full on e-commerce websites but even now, I have to admit, the effort required with an e-commerce […]

Talking helps

1st July 2016

I don’t write technical posts. I try to pass on thought and opinion in the hope that someone takes something from them. And this one is no different. We work in an age now where we have tools for this and tools for that. We’ve automated a lot of what we do and have a […]

Ownership

19th May 2016

We’ve established in the past I’m probably a workaholic. I’ll never change. It’s part of my DNA I can’t shift. I take what I do very seriously. It matters and often at a personal cost. Now not for one second am I bigging it up or saying I’m better because I’m really not but I […]

Changing the logo on Magento invoices

10th February 2016

This is my first proper blog post on Magento. And to be fair, it’s not really a big thing but it might be something that helps someone starting out with Magento as it was something that took me a time to figure out. I was tasked with adding a logo to the invoice template that […]

2015 Year Review

31st December 2015

Another year is coming to a close. My kids are growing up fast, I have 4 white hairs in my beard and I still don’t have the sports car I dream of. I look back on this year with a tinge of sadness but a lot of excitement going forward into 2016. The last year […]

MageTitans 2015

9th November 2015

This weekend just gone, I found myself breaking my no conference rule as I visited Manchester for the MageTitans Magento conference. You could argue that because my employer was behind the event, I should really go but I actually did want to get involved as Magento is becoming a very important part of my life […]

One giant leap for this developer

19th September 2015

Two weeks ago, I started a new role at Space 48 as Senior Front-end Developer. I’m so excited. I love working in a team full of devs. You can bounce ideas off and learn a shed load of new things as well as hopefully teach a few too. So moving to Space just outside Warrington […]

Be more Frank

25th August 2015

Everyone must remember this guy right? You don’t want to do it like that, you want to do it like this! Well you would think that quote could have been said by most developers over the past ten years as we strive to find the best way of working and then telling people how awesome […]

It’s fun to learn

18th August 2015

I’m a self taught developer. I didn’t go to college or university and have pretty much learnt all my skills at home. It’s not uncommon of course so I’m not some sort of hero. Most of what we do as web devs and designers is learnt from tinkering or making side projects and like so […]

18 days and counting

14th August 2015

18 days ago, I stopped using Twitter. Big deal I hear you say. Yes it was. You see, Twitter has been a huge influence on my life over the past few years. I’ve made friendships, lost friendships and maintained friendships. I’ve got work, helped others find work. I’ve laughed and cried in equal measures. It’s […]

Here’s to the clever people

21st July 2015

Today, I was able to integrate Instagram and Twitter to my latest project. Ok, so not a massive deal you think but I only got it done thanks to some helpful people. People far more intelligent than I. Without these people, I probably would still be sat at my desk crying into my Nescafe. These […]

Let’s talk about workflow

14th July 2015

Workflow is old hat apparently, we sorted it all back in 2014 but I can tell you now, I don’t think we have. I spent a lot of last year talking to a lot of people on iaskyouanswer about it and listening to a lot of people at conferences talk about it. The common thing […]

Pay dem bills and relax

8th July 2015

The web industry/community/sector/business is a pretty unique place. Some good reasons and some bad. I don’t know many that cause so much discussion and generate so many side products. Side what? By side products, I’m talking books, conferences, blogs, magazines, podcasts, side projects, frameworks and even rapping. It seems there is always something new conjured […]

Better CSS with Sass

7th July 2015

Cole Henley has written a book on Sass for Five Simple Steps, called Better CSS with Sass. Now I like Cole so decided to buy it because we’ve met a few times and we seem to get along. My Sass knowledge is pretty good but you never know what you might pick up so I […]

UX’ers don’t kill websites, people do

10th June 2015

There seems to be a bit of disgruntlement in the camp. Websites are apparently boring and lack imagination due to excessive use of ‘UX’. What is UX? Well according to Wikipedia… User Experience (UX) involves a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about using a particular product, system or service. UX means different things to different […]

WordPress Security

4th June 2015

Why are you using WordPress Dan? It’s shit Dan. Always being hacked. Use [insert popular CMS] They are right of course, it’s alway being hacked, or it seems to be. I guess with popularity though, it’s part of the territory. I’m pretty green with WordPress. I’ve been using it for a good few years now […]

Getting fit with tech

30th May 2015

I’m not the world’s healthiest man. I’m lazy and eat too much bread and pasta. By no means do I eat a lot of junk food or processed meals but yeah, I’m not healthy. The problem for me with getting fit and losing weight is the being strict element. I can be really disciplined and […]

Weekly Roundup: May 25 – 29

29th May 2015

Last week, I started a new thing where I rounded up stuff I had liked. Here we are with the second weekly roundup of blog posts and things that caught my eye but maybe not caught yours. Enjoy.. and if you want to add anything to the list, just shout next week. 22 Rules of […]

Removing spam from Google analytics and your website

23rd May 2015

If like me, you check your Analytics a lot and see stuff like best-seo-offer.com and semalt.com on there, it get’s a bit annoying when you think how much it is polluting your stats. Granted, it’s only a personal site in my case but I’ve seen it with clients. So how do you stop it? Within […]

Weekly roundup

22nd May 2015

I see a lot of stuff posted over the week and thought it would be nice to share incase people have missed it. I’ll try and do this weekly so if you see anything you’d like to share, drop us a line and I’ll be sure to mention it. Website optimisation Blurring your images might […]

My website deconstructed

21st May 2015

I’ve recently redone my website.. Nobody cares Dan. No, I’m sure. I’m just wanting to talk about the process I went through as I changed direction a bit and really had a lot of fun…and learnt a it too. Design To begin, I really wanted to bring some character to the site, plus recently, I’d […]

We’re all webcelebs

20th May 2015

I’ve not been home long and I spotted a blog post from a good friend Scott Parsloe where he talks about Web Celebs. I thought I would put into words what I think. Web celebs? Are you kidding? Scott talks about how some people think they are some form of celebrity when in reality they […]

Ignorance in the web

19th May 2015

I’ve been doing this a while now this web thing. I’ve worked with people who had various levels of web knowledge but one thing that has been consistent over the years seems to be the odd statements and facts people come out with. Here’s a few hot topics. I’d love to hear your pearls. The […]

The Net Awards

17th May 2015

It’s always a topic of discussion. Some love them, some loathe them. Do we really need such a thing, do we need more? It’s all up for grabs. Last year, I had a vested interest in them. I’d appeared on a podcast a couple of times that was up for Podcast of the year and […]

Is your site mobile friendly?

5th May 2015

Recently, two weeks ago in fact, google announced some changes to their search algorithm for mobile phones. Put simply, if you have a non mobile friendly website, you are going to suffer in the rankings. If your site is responsive or at least mobile friendly, you are fine. And don’t worry, it won’t affect your […]

Fast and furious websites

24th April 2015

I’ve recently redone my website. I wanted to try and strip a lot of stuff out of it as well as trying my hand at some new stuff like animations which I think I’ve pulled off alright. Along with all that, I wanted to make it as modern in terms of tech as I could […]

Prototyping – It’s pretty important

4th April 2015

In my opinion of course… I got really into prototyping a year or so ago. I was using software rather than making HTML versions but I saw the value early on as we tried to plan. I eventually moved on to working with HTML prototypes to demonstrate ideas and a bit later on after that, […]

So you want to design a responsive site

24th March 2015

…or build one. First off, I don’t mean to sound patronising. I’m not teaching people to suck eggs here, well I hope not but I do think it’s important to share wisdom, pass on that bit of advice you were once given. It’s giving back. Responsive web design is still new to many, it’s still […]

Silent designer

23rd March 2015

We’ve all done it. You show your work to friends, colleagues, potential employers and clients. They pull a funny face and you can see they don’t like it. This is where the line “The design was nothing to do with me!” gets used. First thing people see is the design, they don’t care what went […]

Listening whilst I work

9th March 2015

A strange topic maybe for a blog post this March but it’s a big part of how I perform my job. Today’s topic is about what I listen to as I work. I’m a big music fan. I love the eighties and will listen until the cows come home but my big love is Jean […]

Automation rekindled my love affair

14th February 2015

Last year, I wrote about how automation was killing my love affair. At the time of writing, I was about to move jobs and hadn’t really been doing much Front End Development due to the switch to UX. Looking back at that period, I probably owe automation an apology. I was under the assumption that […]

Photoshop and the world wide web

12th November 2014

I along with many others have felt that Photoshop was no longer the leading tool for web design for quite a while. Now this isn’t a typical I hate Photoshop blog post. It comes on the back of me reading Why we skip Photoshop by Jason Fried. The post really resonated with me and my […]

I’m Dan and I’m not an expert

22nd October 2014

On the back of a good day at the office, I stood at Crewe station and thought about what me and the team had decided to do. The topic for today was workflow. It made me realise that I’ve been doing this for ten years now and I still don’t really feel like an expert. […]

Make it memorable

15th October 2014

Recently, @Malarkey aka Andrew Clarke tweeted “Why are so few websites memorable? Could the reason be our current preoccupation with user experience? I believe it could be.” Now, I agree to a point to be fair, hopefully I’ll explain why. I never remember websites and the ones I tend to use are all about the […]

Pastures new

11th September 2014

I recently handed in my resignation at the agency. It was the single hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long, long while. I’ve been at McCann now for just over two years, two very good years. I’ve learnt a lot in that time and made some true friends. I’ll miss the place terribly, […]

Automation is killing my love affair

2nd September 2014

I’ve talked about this before and I expect I’ll get the same reaction as I did last time when it comes to the topic of tools and automation. For me, the thrill of the project is sculpting something out of HTML, CSS and JS. Getting deep down and dirty and watching something grow before me. […]

Conference equality

26th August 2014

I told myself to not get involved. He did you know But here I am, about to embark on a writing journey about sexes and web. On a tuesday. I’ve not kept up with the latest talking point (maybe I should before I start blogging about it) but I kind of got the jist about […]

My one bit of advice

30th July 2014

I’m feeling generous today and wanted to share some advice I gave myself over a year ago. If you are new to this web industry or not so new, question everything. Speak up and make sure your point is heard. Make sure you get all you need to do your job right. Information is power […]

Play nice

20th July 2014

I’m sat here at a kids party as I write this. It’s noisy and chaotic. Every child demanding attention shouting “look at me, look at me”. By the end of the party, there will be some smiles and some tears. It reminds me a bit of the web community. We’re not sliding down slides or […]

Not everyone is creative

7th July 2014

Wrong! I was reading Twitter today as you do when a tweet from Sean Johnson caught my eye. I *am* a creative. The Oxford English Dictionary says so. creative (noun) A person whose job involves creative work http://t.co/Sx2ZWMqEwo — Sean Johnson (@seanuk) July 7, 2014 It reminded me of a few months back, probably last year when […]

Self promotion

3rd July 2014

I’m really bad at it. I’ve never really been good at talking about myself in a positive manner. I tend to let my actions speak for themselves. But in the world of social media, it’s very much a case of he who shouts loudest will always be heard. I’m always conscious of advertising my stuff. […]

Trying to live longer

1st July 2014

An off topic post from me today. I’m talking about fitness, diet and trying to see 60 onwards. Last year, I got the shock of my life when I was told I had high blood pressure and the operation I needed was to be cancelled until I sorted it. I won’t go into details to […]

Back in the game

20th June 2014

I write this post on a the back of a successful week for myself. I say successful, to many others, it will be a normal week. As you probably know, I’m not someone who is scared of saying how it is so I have no problem is being honest and open about the reasoning for […]

Work / Life Balance

10th June 2014

I recently asked a few people a question about work / life balance and how they try to achieve it. I then put it out there to the world of social media. I always planned to follow it up with some sort of summary / blog post based on feedback from others who read and […]

Ten years ago, I started a journey.

7th June 2014

June 2004 saw me land my first ever web design role. I’d been doing websites for a few years before as a hobby but this was to be my first proper job. I remember it well. I worked in a business centre where lots of small business were based. I worked at one place but […]

Moaning old goat

29th May 2014

I like a moan. I won’t lie. Things annoy me so I say so. Better to speak up than sit in silence stewing. Do I try and fix it? I try. Some moans are probably for moaning sake but I’m pretty keen to fix issues if I can. I also moan because I care about […]

For the sake of everyone else, say why

24th May 2014

A trend I see these days is people not liking a new site or thing but not really offering any reasons why. I’ve been thinking for a while now that isn’t really constructive for everyone reading or the industry itself. First off, the said owner of the site might be reading and wants to know […]

A day in the life: Shane Prendergast

21st May 2014

“Am I alive?” he wonders He checks all limbs, he checks his groin. All still there. No new tattoos, “Good!” he thinks. The room smells of booze and sweat. £10 notes cover the bed and floor. Empty bottles of wine and beer dotted around the room. The sun creeping peeping through the curtains like a […]

jQuery UK

17th May 2014

I’ve finally got some time to talk about a conference I’ve just got back from. jQueryUK Conference in Oxford. A few months back, we saw the event advertised in the office and thought, it might be nice for some of us to go. At the time, I was a Front-End dev so it seemed a […]

Treasure your colleagues

19th April 2014

I’ve wanted to touch on this topic for a good while now but this week kind of prompted me to get it done. It’s also my 100th blog post. I never knew I had it in me. It’s a pretty wishy washy topic but I make no apologies. Anyway, colleagues. 2 years ago, I was […]

Working smarter

29th March 2014

If you’ve read my blog or my tweets, you’ll know I’m quite keen on workflow. I have this vision in my head and I’m slowly starting to refine how I work or at least want to work either by myself or with others. I’ve spoken to a lot of people about how they go about […]

Responsive web design 50/50

23rd March 2014

Some days I love responsive web design and some days I hate it. It’s weird as up until I moved into the UX side of the company, I was all for it. Now though having spent a while looking at content heirarchy, what clients want and what I have to work with, I’ve realised that […]

Impostor syndrome

25th February 2014

I’ve never really heard this much until just recently by two different people. I won’t name names but they are both freelancers I believe and two highly regarded people on social media circles. Also, two people I’ve met at least once. From what I understand, impostor syndrome is a belief that said person is not […]

Cheap as chips

17th February 2014

I listened to Unfinished Business today where Andy Clarke talked about the Year of Code and it’s director Lottie Dexter with Elliott Kember. The show touched on the fact that some comments made by Lottie about easily learning code in a day could potentially harm what we do for a living and the expectations of […]

PSDs killed the web design star

14th February 2014

Ok, maybe not killed but more hindered the web design star. I’ve thought about this for a long while going back a few years. I’ve touched on it before but it seems that it is still a problem worldwide. It’s entirely my own opinion and I’m up for thrashing it out and seeing how we […]

Workflow

13th February 2014

A while back, I ran a few interviews on workflow. I asked several people about how they go about doing what they do. The results were great. I got a lot from it and I understand that others did too. Now, as I have recently moved into UX, my workflow has changed obviously but it […]

Wireframing and Axure

11th February 2014

A while back, I asked if people were interested in what I had been doing with wireframing and Axure. Well, a few late nights ago, I redid my website to make it a bit more user friendly. And when doing it, I did some work in Axure. I have done 5 breakpoints for this. 320, […]

I’m not being ruled by tools anymore

8th February 2014

Sass, Compass, Grunt, Jekyll, Cuthert, Dibble and Grubb. Tools are everywhere these days. All designed to make our job easier. I’m all for it. If something can reduce time taken, then that is a good tool. However, the concern for me is that we might be becoming a bit too hung up on tools. The […]

Recognition

4th February 2014

The .Net award nominations have recently been released. A list of what many deem to be the best people at this moment on the internet. Yet, it seems not everyone buys into them or the list. Many see it as an ego trip or want of a better phrase a “wank fest”. Is it? An […]

Three weeks in – Site Maps

28th January 2014

Well I’ve got my own project now. From scratch. Very excited and already a few days in, I am quite precious about it. The first task was to deliver a site map. Easy peasy you say. I’ll be honest, I thought that a while back but a while back, I’d never really had to do […]

The Social Web

27th January 2014

Ok, this post is really just to get something down on paper just so I can start a ball of sorts rolling. I’ve wanted to be involved somehow with an event for a long while now and maybe this is the one? One of the things I hear a lot of around the time of […]

Milton Keynes Geek Night All Dayer Conference

26th January 2014

Oh look, a write up for a conference. I totally didn’t plan to do one either but I got thinking. Following on from the little article I wrote for Everyday Designer (i’m allowed to plug on my own site, someone has to eh), I went to a conference in Milton Keynes a few days back. […]

The difficult second week

17th January 2014

Well I made it. I managed a further week of UX. And what a week. To date, I’d looked at navicons, search components and a whole load of stuff from week one. This week was a mixed one with some great results. Labels One of my tasks this week was to look at buttons and […]

Don’t take things for granted

11th January 2014

I did my usual Saturday morning thing. The kids were in bed (they stay over at weekends) and I probably had 10-15 minutes before their usual routine of running in and grabbing my phone to play a game. I loaded up twitter as usual and read through a handful of tweets when one grabbed my […]

First week in UX

10th January 2014

As you know, I’m now working in the UX department at the agency. I came in Monday like a kid on his first day in school. Packed lunch under my arm and a head full of wonder, excitement and doubt. What the hell was I thinking! I’d spent time over Christmas reading up but I […]

Waffling Welshman

5th January 2014

If you fancy listening to me mumble my way through a podcast, you can catch me on the Unfinished Business podcast with my good friend Andy Clarke. We talk about films, petrol strikes and doing things our own way. Thanks to Andy for the invite to do it. I actually really enjoyed chatting even if […]

New Year, New Man

4th January 2014

Happy New Year all! Hope you all had a good Christmas. Mine was uneventful but a great chance to kick back, enjoy some lovely cheeses and watch lots of eighties films. Bliss. So it’s out with the old and in with the new which for me this year is quite exciting. I start a new […]

That was the year that was

20th December 2013

2013 has been an interesting year I guess. Infact this very update could have been written with two completely different tones and endings. Alas, the good ending is the one included. I’ve seen people come and go. Some old faces and some new have said hello. I got to work with some great characters and […]

Earn it

12th December 2013

I’m a big believer in that if you put the effort in, you get something good back in return. You will make mistakes in life, everyone does, but God loves a trier. If I can offer anyone some advice, it’s put the effort in. Don’t hide behind others. Don’t wait to be told. Don’t make […]

Dan the UX man

3rd December 2013

It’s all change for me in the coming months. After a fantastic offer by the agency and a lot of trust, I will be switching disciplines and working with the UX team. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I’ve had a real interest in UX for a while now and chatting with the UX […]

Be inspired

24th November 2013

As I’ve got older, I’ve been thinking of what I have achieved and what I have given back to the companies and individuals I have worked with whether they are clients or colleagues. It has made me think that before I jack it all in and retire to Cornwall, I’d like to think I’ve helped […]

Are content management systems a waste of time?

20th November 2013

Ok, I know the answer to that question but play along for now. I recently asked on Twitter, Are CMS overused now and causing more hassle than good? Half the time, the client never uses it getting you to do the amends. I was expecting a few replies along the lines of “daft question” and […]

Learning the hard / easy / whatever way

15th November 2013

I’m not great at learning. Things often take a while to sink in. When I was working with table layout, the thought of learning divs and CSS was scary and seemed a different language that I’d never pick up. Some would say I still haven’t mastered that. But not being one to shy away, I […]

Sass

6th November 2013

Ok, so most of you will know what Sass is. I’m sure most of you have used it at some point. Some of you may still use it, some may think, what the hell was the fuss. First up, this isn’t a technical post about Sass. I’m old and experienced enough to realise that there […]

Inbox Zero

5th November 2013

Inbox Zero or for some the Holy Grail. Me? It just means nobody has been in touch recently. I recently listened to Unfinished Business with guest Harry Roberts (great show by the way). The discussion… email and how much it gets in the way. Along with emails, notifications from various social media outlets like Twitter […]

A bit late to the tablet party I guess

4th November 2013

I recently treated myself to a Nexus 7, well it was my birthday after all. I’m not really sure why I bought it. I’ve toyed with the idea of an iPad for ages now but something was stopping me. You’d think as a developer who works with responsive web design that it would be something […]

Senior Front-Ender Wanted

31st October 2013

A few days back, I posted about a midweight front-end developer job going at our place. We’re still on the look out so you know. However this is a shout out for a senior person to join McCann Manchester ranks. This person is basically going to have a massive influence on 3/4 people’s careers including […]

Communication is key

24th October 2013

A big part of working on a project in a team whether it be 3 people or 13 is communication. You can have the best designers and devs working on something but if communication breaks down or is none existent from the start, that project is set to struggle often failing. As a front-ender, I’m […]

Should I blog?

22nd October 2013

Today, a fellow twitterer Alex Jegtnes ‏aka @jegtnes tweeted this… At the risk of sounding really, utterly daft—am I the only person who’s avoided blogging because they’re ashamed at the state of their site? — Alex Jegtnes (@jegtnes) October 22, 2013 Taking the site design to the side for now, I think if you want […]

Work is hiring

21st October 2013

McCann Manchester…where I work is looking for a front-end developer to join the team. All the usual skills are needed. HTML, CSS and javascript. The reward for working here is a great office with some fantastic facilities as well as being able to work with me every day. Facilities include, a bistro, pool, gym, if […]

Not knowing something isn’t a sign of weakness

18th October 2013

Anyone who knows me well enough and reads my blog (all 3 of you) know that me and javascript have a love hate relationship. I’m honest about the journey I’m on with it. I don’t know enough to work with it. I’m trying, some of it makes sense and I think if I carry on […]

85% of work we do is rubbish

12th October 2013

Is the title link bait? Nah, I don’t think so. It’s what I believe. It’s what I say to lots of people I know who say that working in the web is the coolest thing ever and that they only ever work on cool stuff and that they love what they do and amazeballs and […]

Stress

27th September 2013

I’m quite a stressful person. It’s fair to say, two years or so ago, it possibly may have been close to killing me. I’ve been full time with the agency for over a year now and life is different to what it was when I was a freelancer. There are the usual differences with regards […]

All grown up

19th September 2013

I wrote back in April about planning for the future and what I wanted to be doing in a few years time. A few months on and I’ve had a taste of leading, being the go to guy and generally being more involved and I have to say I loved it. It gave me a […]

Social media

10th July 2013

Social media is boring me. There I said it. For a good while now, I’ve been questioning the amount of time I spend using social media to the point where I’ve tried limiting what I do. Of course, I still keep coming back. I love talking to people, finding out what they are doing, getting […]

Stop, look and do something about it

8th July 2013

Web Celebs It’s a phrase I hear a lot and once upon a time, I felt the same way like so many do now. There are web designers who are put on pedastals, I agree that it happens. Often though it’s not their choice. Some, yeah love the attention but that’s human nature right? Everyone […]

The Freelance Web

6th June 2013

Yesterday saw the launch of a new podcast aimed at the freelance market called The Freelance Web, hosted by Liz Elcoate and Sean Johnson. The show is in their own words, ‘A new weekly podcast for creative freelancers working on the web, discussing the everyday ups and downs of freelancing, plus web industry news, reviews […]

unfinished.bz

12th May 2013

Just a quick post to mention that the iaskyouanswer site got a mention on the unfinished.bz podcast, episode 18 hosted by Andy Clarke and Anna Debenham this evening. If you havent listened before to the series of podcast’s I urge you to do so. It’s full of useful advice and information about business but done […]

I Ask You Answer

7th May 2013

Just a quick one. I’ve finally resurrected the project I started 3 years ago and moved all the workflow interviews I did recently to there. The plan is to grow this a lot as I think a lot of people have a lot to say and also enjoy reading about others. So yeah, iaskyouanswer.co.uk is […]

Responsive Design Weekly email

3rd May 2013

Just a quick note and thank you to both Responsive Design Weekly for featuring the workflow articles in their weekly round up and also a big thank you to those that have taken part. Some truly brilliant answers in there and some food for thought. Good news is that the series hasn’t ended, there will […]

It’s a matter of workflow

26th April 2013

Something a bit different this time around. I’m taking a big interest in how people work. I find it interesting and educational. It also shows that there are many ways to work and we shouldn’t get hung up on whether we are doing it right or wrong. We’ve heard a lot about workflow, responsive web […]

Page Speeds – Work In Progress

25th April 2013

As a front-ender, I should be aware of how quick things are loading on any site I have built / worked on. If I’m openly honest, up until this week, I didn’t take it that seriously unless something major stood out. I work with a chap called Colin who is an advocate of reducing your […]

Planning for the future

20th April 2013

I’m 35 this year, I know, I know, I look so much younger but this year has made me realise that I’m not getting any younger and I’ve been thinking a lot about what I see myself doing in a few years. Recently I’ve taken an interest in how things are planned. Workflow has become […]

Google Maps – Pin positioning tip

16th April 2013

I might be very new to the party on this but it is something that has been a pain in the arse for me for a good while now and that is the position of a google map pin and the bubble with the contact information in it. Too many times when you load up […]

A friend’s rebrand

16th April 2013

My fellow front-ender at McCanns, Shane Prendergast has recently relaunched his blog with a new look and feel. I love Shane’s photography throughout, it really adds a nice personal touch. Shane is up for a .net award for best online portfolio which you can see here. You can follow him on Twitter too

Adding an active class to a menu

6th April 2013

If you have ever wanted to have an active state on a menu item and you don’t know how to do it and your platform doesn’t do it by default (Like WordPress), here is some javascript that works. function scriptInit() { if (!document.getElementById) { return; } } function addEvent(elm, evType, fn, useCapture) { if (elm.addEventListener) […]

Email build tips you may not know

5th April 2013

Building an email can be a tricky task. You have to undo all knowledge you know of the web and go back 10 years or so to working with tables. And with it, all the fun of the email clients and their little quirks. Now some of these you’ll probably know, some you may not […]

You have a choice.

5th April 2013

A lot has been written about how we do things on the web. How we should do this, how we should do that. It would work better if we did it this way or it would be quicker if we did it that way. Browser led design is a hot topic and I think many […]

We need to freshen it up

22nd March 2013

I think we need to freshen it up a bit. By that, I’d like to start reading what the lesser known people are doing. What problems they are facing, the tools they use, how they approach responsive web design, what they tell their clients and so on. Why? Because most of them go through the […]

Jumping on the bandwagon

19th March 2013

Just a quick one. I’ve finally got to using Git Hub and as of today, I’ve put my HTML framework / templates up for all to mock, suggest improvements and so on. I’m doing this as a personal project but want to try and include a few people who might be able to help out. […]

Goodbye 320 and Up, Hello Rock Hammer

18th March 2013

Today saw the launch of Andy Clarke’s new boilerplate Rock Hammer which replace the 320 and Up which so many used in their responsive web builds. Rock Hammer is a “curated project library for Hammer for Mac”, but also available for people not using Hammer. You can read about it here on Andy’s site or […]

Is feedback a thing of the past?

18th March 2013

Ok, so link bait alert, well sort of. Been thinking of this a while now and have touched upon it a few times on Twitter but I wonder if giving feedback has become almost habit and meaning very little. Let me explain a bit more as I know a few will pull me up on […]

I made a website

9th March 2013

It’s not a serious website I must stress but I wanted to look at doing something with data and graphs so I came up with the idea of tracking my mood and seeing how my mood changes over time. If you don’t know me, I’m a proper grumpy fucker. I’ve not worked out the data […]

Speaking achievement unlocked

4th March 2013

You’ll no doubt know that I’ve been up for doing a web talk for a while. It’s part getting over my fear of public speaking and also part of a “talk about your job/ideas in the office” that we’ve all been doing. Anyway today was my time to shine. I spoke about “Browser Led Design” […]

Beefcheeks* in Brighton

2nd March 2013

Ok, so I’ve just got home from my first trip to Brighton and the Responsive Conference hosted by Jeremy Keith of Clearleft. I’d been to New Adventures back in January and felt nothing could better that conference but I have to say that ResponsiveConf has bettered it. I woke up after New Adventures, something stirred […]

Browser led design or designing in the browser?

26th January 2013

Myself and some good friends were stood in the reception area waiting to get into the New Adventures conference when we got chatting about designing and building a website and we got onto talking about “designing in the browser”. We’d already talked about it on twitter so we knew the camp was divided. Myself, I’m […]

New Adventures Conference 2013

25th January 2013

As we reflect on a great conference put on by the New Adventures team, I come back with some great memories, new ideas, some drive and lots of opinion. This year’s lineup was full of people that I knew little about so was quite open minded beforehand. The one speaker that I knew pretty well […]

Twitter archive and looking back in time

19th January 2013

I’m sure you all know by now that Twitter have been giving access to users of all their tweets from day 1. Well this Saturday I got mine. It’s pretty interesting reading to be fair. Some things I remember saying, some I have no recollection of. What is interesting for me is the topics I […]

The week that was

18th January 2013

So what happened this week? A new podcast by Andy Clarke and Anna Debenham launched and around the same time everyone else announced they would be doing a podcast too. Some good ideas floating about. The gender row continued. It’s all new to me in this industry I’ll be honest but reading up on comments […]

Facing my fears

14th January 2013

Ok, so not really web related but may hit a chord with some. This is a big year for me hopefully as I plan to finally get on a plane for the first time. Basically I am shit scared of heights although it’s an odd kind of fear of heights that I have. Hard to […]

Unfinished Business

14th January 2013

My good friend Andy Clarke and Anna Debenham have launched a weekly podcast about the business side of our industry. The podcast titled Unfinished Business looks at the side of the web that so few talk about. You can find the podcast here and their twitter account here I have listened to the first one […]

ITV rebrand

14th January 2013

I’m sure many of you have seen the ITV rebrand. It’s collected a few comments on the way, the best being “It’s like a complicated sex toy”. It was announced before Christmas and to be honest I wasn’t really a fan. But having now seen the logo in action and a fresh outlook, I think […]

So this is 2013

1st January 2013

Happy New Year and all that jazz. Yes, I have redesigned my site again. Get over it. I just fancied a change. Must add, it is still in need of a few fixes and testing. So here we are eh, another January. Another month of people being all good as they try to follow their […]

Mr Unsociable

6th December 2012

For a while now, I’ve been annoyed at how much internet “noise” is going on in my life. I’ve found myself getting wound up by constantly getting notifications from Facebook about meaningless photos and comments, wound up by the constant oneupmanship on Twitter and the wankfest that is dribbble. In short, I need to cut […]

I know jQuery I do

12th November 2012

Up until the start of September, I would have said “I know jQuery well enough to get by”. Truth of the matter is I don’t and I think that is the same for so many other people out there. “I can do sliders and galleries and make things move” We can all do that with […]

End of an era, the beginning of a new one

1st November 2012

You’ll have to excuse this post. It’s more for me than you but I wanted to share with people who know me, have met me and who will meet me one day. I’ve been married ten years to someone I met in school, someone I bought a house with and someone I had children with. […]

Writing CSS the right way

28th October 2012

Of course, there isn’t a right way to write CSS. It’s all down to preference. Now this isn’t anything life changing or revolutionary so don’t get all upset once finished. It wasn’t until 2006 when I learnt of stylesheets. All I knew of was .style1 and .style2 at the top of every page that I’d […]

The thirty min routine that makes a massive difference

16th October 2012

I’ve started doing something that you probably already do but for me it’s been a revelation. I have been going over the code from the day before first thing in the morning, reviewing it and amending it, often condensing quite a bit. “Newsflash Dan, we’re already doing it!” Good for you. I’ve found that I […]

Change of lifestyle urgently needed

11th October 2012

You may or may not know but I am supposed to be having an operation soon. It’s only a minor one but an operation all the same. Anyway this week I had some tests and it turns out the op is off for now until I control my high blood pressure. It came as a […]

Change of scenary

30th September 2012

Right, I’m going to sound an odd fucker here but I don’t sleep in a bed. I sleep on the sofa. Have done for 2 years now with the odd stay somewhere else. Why? The bed I have is awful, the bed I had when married was awful. Basically I can never get comfy, added […]

Bitten by the design bug again

29th September 2012

Aside from this website, I’ve not designed a website for close to two years. I made a decision back then to concentrate on just building the buggers which I think has paid off. It gave me focus, a goal if you will and still does. I remember getting a freelance gig whilst working in Chester […]

Myspace back with a bang

25th September 2012

I’m sure you all remember Myspace? I never really used it but know so many that did. I remember it looking rather ugly though. So imagine my surprise when I saw the new redesign yesterday. Wow, it looks superb. But I wonder if it’s time has come and gone? So many other sites seem to […]

It’s good to talk…isn’t it?

22nd September 2012

I talked last year to a couple of friends about speaking at an event. I’m not particurly good at speaking, I’m shy and to be honest, not good at talking about the work I do. Passionate yes, technical, no. So why the hell would I want to do a talk? Overcoming a fear might be […]

A week in web 17-21 Sep

22nd September 2012

A quick roundup of what I have seen this week on the web. Big News I launched the new site. Comments so far encouraging, even the spammers seem to like it so that’s good. Still fixing bits as I go. My good friend Rachel Shillcock aka @missrachilli did her first speaking gig. Really happy for […]

I love my job

18th September 2012

It was 10.30pm last night. I was sat in the Chester services eating a Big Mac watching next week’s guests on Jeremy Kyle argue in the car park. I’d forgotten to get a straw and I had no clean clothes for tomorrow yet. I was tired and wanted to just lie down and sleep. I’d […]

Connecting Liverpool creatives

16th September 2012

www.kin2kin.co.uk is a website that allows Liverpool based professionals to interact whether it be someone needing a brochure designed, tickets for an event or a smoking hot front end dev. Designed by Splinter, this is a great idea for a community site. Nice job

A builder’s house is never finished

16th September 2012

We all get that moment where we decide to redo our website. It may be 3 years since the last redesign or it could even be 3 months…some maybe even 3 weeks 😉 I decided to redo mine a few weeks back as I wanted to blog more and wanted the site to reflect that […]

Is it better to be honest and realistic?

8th September 2012

I’m a realist, some say pessimist, I guess I’m both then. A few of my friends have recently gone freelance whereas I have taken the opposite step of going back to a 9-5 style role. Now, I enjoyed the freedom and the doing it when I wanted BUT I didn’t enjoy a lot of the […]

Lord of the mods rebrands

4th September 2012

Today saw the launch of the new Stuff and Nonsense website which of course belongs to the Lord of the Mods himself, Andy Clarke aka @malarkey who I’ve got to know quite well over the last year or so. I’ve seen some of the site develop as he’s built it (I’ve been busy too you […]

New Adventures

1st September 2012

Now, this is a bit of a misleading title given the fact that yesterday saw the tickets for the New Adventures Conference go on sale, which I must add that although I announced I wasn’t going to go, I did end up buying a ticket 10 minutes later. But no, this is about MY New […]

Dan is available

26th June 2012

Tomorrow I finish a 6 month rolling contract with an agency in Manchester which means as of Thursday 28th, I will be available for freelance / contract work. So if you need a website or are an agency in need of a front-end developer, please get in contact. Thanks

A new hobby

22nd June 2012

A few weeks back, I posted about Instagram and why I loved using it. I still do, more than ever. But I finally bought a camera. The Olympus SZ-31MR. It was featured on The Gadget Show and looked a good deal so I bought it there and then. Within 3 days I was driving all […]

Lorem ipsum

2nd May 2012

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat […]

Instagram

16th April 2012

I’ve always liked taking photos of things but never really had the tools to do it. Sure I had a camera phone but it was slow and clunky and I never really got what I was after. Then the kids came along and I started to focus on pictures of them as a subject. Boring […]

Don’t be a div, use your devs

3rd April 2012

Something I have witnessed a lot of and to be honest, I have done for a few years now is account managers / project managers / tea ladies discussing briefs with designers talking about how it should look and how things function often resulting with the designer just nodding his head saying, “yeah we can […]

Health kick

24th March 2012

Something I have always struggled with in my adult life is my weight. Basically I eat all the wrong things and do naff all. Eating healthy to me was secondary to having fuel to function. I’ve done diets before and exercised but nothing really kept me hooked. I did the Atkins diet and lost a […]

Oi Dan! How’s that plan going?

24th March 2012

Around January, I said I had a plan in mind for 2012 and what I wanted to improve on as a front-end dev / web designer. We are now close to April so thought I would reflect on the last few months and how I have gone. First off, (While I type this, my little […]

Care in the community

25th January 2012

I’ve been doing web design now for nearly 10 years. Most of it was done from an office whilst working at a company. For 5 years, my web world was literally 10 people, all of whom worked at the same office. Then one day I joined Twitter. It took me a while to get into […]

New Adventures 2012

20th January 2012

Not long got back from Nottingham and the New Adventures Web Conference which was put on by Simon Collison aka @colly. This was really my first big web conference. It was a chance to a) listen to some inspiring speakers and b) finally get to say hello face to face with people I’ve got to […]

A plan of sorts

3rd January 2012

This year is all about improving what I have. I made the decision after looking at various jobs advertised online. Sure I can build templates and make them look good but I have holes I want to fill. Starting this week, I began getting to know Javascript. Being able to do some jQuery is fine […]

Year review

24th December 2011

The year is at an end. It’s my first full year as a freelancer and it’s been very eventful both work and personal wise. So what have I learnt, what are my standout moments? 1. Responsive design. This year I started to use media queries. I’d heard a bit about them and I’ll be honest, […]

A matter of courtesy

12th December 2011

I’ve been thinking about talking about this for a while. It’s not a big deal as such but I think its one of the factors why there is at times a few bad things said about people. Communication. Is it me or are people just really bad at it? Twitter, emails, you name it. People […]

Hide and show WordPress post categories

3rd December 2011

Of late, I’ve been doing this more than anything else in WordPress. It took me a while to figure it out as there seems to be various ways of doing it or it certainly looks that way. Some complicated and some long winded. But finally I have something that allows me to hide and show […]

I ask, you answer

2nd December 2011

iaskyouanswer This is a site I designed and built for myself as a side project. Basic premise is I ask designers / developers a set of questions and they answer them. And merge into one website. Goes live in a week or so once the CMS is complete.

Freelance – Love / Hate

28th November 2011

I saw a tweet today about how working freelance is the Holy Grail. This is how I feel about it. I’ve been freelance now for over a year. I love it and hate it at the same time. I’ve been lucky in that I have worked on some big projects so the need to be […]

Responsive BBC

21st November 2011

Nice to see today that BBC are going responsive (that clever stuff that happens when you resize your browser. Go on, try it!). They have set up a blog blog.responsivenews.co.uk/ and somebody out there on the interwebs spotted this responsivenews.co.uk/news. The BBC site is lovely and this is a great step forward added with the […]

What? No portfolio?

19th November 2011

Since launching the new site, I’ve had a few people question why there was no portfolio or links to work that I have done on the site. It is something I pondered for a while when doing the site. I planned to do something but felt it needed thinking through. There are two phases to […]

WordPress post excerpt on a static homepage?

18th November 2011

My homepage isn’t a blog but I wanted to display the most recent post to hook people in. After much searching, I came across the following code. Now I’m not a PHP developer, I know very little so if you can improve on the code, please comment. <?php $temp_query = $wp_query; ?> <?php query_posts(‘category_name=standard&showposts=1’); ?> […]

I ask, You answer

18th November 2011

Last year, I started a small project doing web designer interviews. The idea was simple. I drew up a list of questions, I asked a few mates and stuck them on my blog. A few weeks into doing it, I was getting some enquiries about doing an interview. Before I knew it, I had over […]

New site, New year, New me

18th November 2011

I’ve been freelance now for over one year. It was a forced move, but I think it’s been the making of me. Where I used to work, I had regular pay, I worked in a great team but for all the benefits, I was wasting away, not learning and not being listened to. I wasn’t […]