New Adventures in web design

Had an absolutely amazing day at the #naconf – felt inspired and had to write custom post about it all here, please have a look :)

23/01/2011 blogComments Off on New Adventures in web design

’tis the season…

It’s that time of year again :) lots of wonderful little presents given away online — so I thought I’d share 3 of my favourites.

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01/12/2010 blogComments Off on ’tis the season…

KISS & keep your clients happy

a quick guide to a good online presence

Just wanted to share these slides for a talk I am giving tonight at the ‘Women’s Business Club @44‘ and give everyone the download link to the slides as PDF:
KISS – slides [PDF, 8.2MB]

04/11/2010 blogcomments (1)

ALA web survey time again :)

Once again – the ‘A List Apart’ team are back with their Web Design Survey. Make sure to fill it in and have a look at the detailed findings from last year :)

to quote the site:

[…] each year since 2007, we’ve asked you, the members of the web design community, a few dozen questions about your professional life, and compared your answers to those of your colleagues. Each time we’ve asked, over 30,000 of you have kindly obliged with details about your salary, location, background, and more. The data that you provide and we analyze is the only significant information about our profession as a profession to be published anywhere, by anyone. → continue reading…

19/10/2010 blogComments Off on ALA web survey time again :)

customising google forms

Forms… well, we all know what a pain they can be to get right, to keep accessible and secure and to style nicely. With the continued expansion of Google apps and their brilliant record in regards to spam filtering – I was very happy to find the forms making an appearance in the google docs :)

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26/05/2010 blog,handcoding — Tags: comments (1)

jQuery for Designers

Another brilliant day courtesy of  “for a beautiful web” [#fabw] :)

I had been playing around with various bits of jQuery on several sites – and really seeing the potential of enhancing my designs with it. My problem was not being able to troubleshoot errors and not being able to edit the effects properly to suit my designs. I was starting to gain more understanding and was able to do much more than I thought – but I kept hitting walls… So this workshop with the lovely Remy Sharp was just the ticket to get me going :) → continue reading…

16/05/2010 blog,workshopscomments (14)

The Art of Hermann Zapf

Not much to say apart from — enjoy :)

When I saw this video via @ilovetypography on Twitter – it was such a treat :) I wanted to just abandon any work there and then and sit down to draw out some lettering. Alas, there was no time for play. I wanted to keep this easily accessible to share and pass on – so here it is. Do enjoy :)
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03/05/2010 blog,thoughtscomments (5)

THC student work gallery

With the funding situation for adult students being in the sad state that it is – the only thing we as tutors can do is to carry on promotion. And the best way to promote our courses is to show off ;) literally :) by showing what fantastic work our students produce.
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01/02/2010 blog,coursesComments Off on THC student work gallery

my top 3 online browser testing tools

Everyone has their favourite browser – be it the default installed on the home computer or one of the newer and more modern browsers like Firefox. As webdesigners – we have no influence over how our sites will be accessed (no matter how much we wish we had…). And of course, we work towards ensuring our sites not only work across all required browsers but also look professional. We have no choice but to take into consideration the different viewing platforms. This could be any of the different browsers on a desktop or laptop computer, or one of the mobile browsers and now also other browsers found on games platforms. In addition – the screensize, resolution and functionality needs to be planned for as well.
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18/01/2010 blog,handcodingComments Off on my top 3 online browser testing tools

best wishes for 2010

another busy year is coming to an end… and a new decade upon us…
Time keeps flying … & this year brought some fantastic projects my way. I really enjoyed working with some new people, being pushed way past my comfort zone but ended up learning a hell of a lot (thanks, Ash :*). Now I just hope the new year will bring more of the same :)

So I just want to wish everyone happy holidays and all the very, very best for 2010 :)

21/12/2009 blog,thoughtscomments (2)

ALA web survey

i-took-the-2009-surveyOnce again – it’s that time of year again, time for the ALA survey. None of us like forms and surveys, I imagine ~ but this one is a must :) → continue reading…

15/12/2009 blogcomments (2)

to what end…?

Around Easter I wrote a post about cuts to my animation course. This was a very difficult time for our students as well as us as tutors. I did not write this post to cause trouble or to put Tower Hamlets College down – but it was rather a cry for help, a story about our wonderful courses and the worrying developments which will eventually bring on their closure.
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04/09/2009 blog,thoughtscomments (32)

Adult courses — enrolling now :)

courses courses

→ Design for the Web

→ Digital Animation

as the new academic year is about to begin – I would just like to promote the 2 courses I run at TowerHamletsCollege (London, Poplar) – enrolment will start the first week of september so if you’re interested – be quick and get in touch :)


if webdesign or animation are not your thing – you should have a look at Zak’s website and the courses he runs: Commercial Graphics and Digital Illustration and Digital Motion Graphics

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26/08/2009 blog,coursesComments Off on Adult courses — enrolling now :)—HTML5

A few weeks ago – I went to the meetup which was absolutely fantastic :) The event was organised by Bruce Lawson and Henny Swan, who evangelise Open Web Standards for Opera. It was one of the best geek meetups I’ve been to in ages… I couldn’t believe how great the speakers were and how much solid information was shared… I learnt a ton and really enjoyed it.

I had intended to write this post straight after the event and sum up a few bits of content. Unfortunately I’d been so busy that I did not have the time. So rather than delaying this further I’d like to show you a clip of Bruce Lawson and his talk on HTML5 instead.

Bruce Lawson from Opera: The HTML 5 Experiments from Sigurd Magnusson on Vimeo.
Bruce Lawson from Opera talks at O’Reilly’s OSCON 2009 conference about HTML 5.

“Presented by Bruce Lawson (Opera Software ASA). A pragmatic look at HTML 5 by experimenting with converting a real site to HTML 5 – how does it work? Where it useful and where is it annoying? How is support in current browsers?”

30/07/2009 blog,handcodingcomments (2)

css switch (php only)

mainvisPersonally, I am very fond of Style Sheet Switchers (I’ve been meaning to put one on this site for ages now, oh to have more hours in the day! I will find the time – one day). For me – they add a certain playful touch to the site if done creatively. They are however much more important functions to consider so a style sheet switch function is not only a little bit of eye candy or simply a superficial feature but can also add to the accessibility of a website. It is good to offer an alternative colour scheme which would switch the page from light coloured text on a dark background to a dark coloured text on a light background, for example. → continue reading…

22/06/2009 blog,handcodingcomments (4)

EOY show @ the Foundry

it’s that time again – the end of another academic year and time for another exhibition to show off this year’s creative masterpieces.

digital arts exhibition, 23/6/09 @ The Foundry

Courses participating:

Everyone is welcome – the more the merrier ;-) hope to see you there :-)
→ download flyer

It was a great evening – lots of visitors – good atmosphere – and a great end to the year. Thanks to Laura for the photos :-)

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15/06/2009 blog,eventsComments Off on EOY show @ the Foundry

FOWD – a grand day out

This year I finally made it to the FOWD conference – along with Laura and Brooke. We had a fantastic day listening to the speaker and mingling. The speakers were brilliant overall – and I felt both inspired and entertained. I will not go into detail about the talks as I would not be able to do them justice. Also, luckily the guys from Carsonified are amazingly quick and efficient :) you can listen to the talks yourself as the audio files are already online – with slides and videos to follow soon. → continue reading…

03/05/2009 blog,eventsComments Off on FOWD – a grand day out

competition time

competitionsThough I am usually too busy to enter competitions generally – I always love looking through the entries and see the different takes, interpretations, artistic styles and creative ideas. I often feel tempted to enter – but never seem to find the time.
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30/03/2009 blog,thoughtscomments (3)

getting inspired – Ada Lovelace Day

Today is Ada Lovelace Day – a day to celebrate women in technology – women who inspire. Dedicated to Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace who is now understood to have been the first programmer – today is the day to pay tribute to all those women who now inspire us.
To quote the site:

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

Even though in the field of webdesign and development women still seem to be in the minority – there are now lots of us. As you know by now – I’m not a writer so I will merely name three here ;) → continue reading…

24/03/2009 blog,thoughtscomments (4)

singing & crying

Got home today after a busy day with my webstudents – thought I’d do a little bit of catching up on some online news. Reading some tweets – I could not quite believe it…. Molly once again managed to blow my mind, in a good and a bad way… → continue reading…

14/02/2009 blog,IE thoughtscomments (3)

the right/light lightbox

Looking for a suitable script for the popular lightbox presentation to show my web students – I went online to do some research and was quite taken back with the number of different techniques now used.  With jQuery being such a light and apparently designer-friendly script – it was no surprise to find it in use extensively. I came across this great post: 10+ promising jQuery Lightbox-Clones Plugins by insicDesigns. This list shows various different techniques and makes for interesting experimenting :)
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09/02/2009 blog,handcodingcomments (8)

Styling blockquotes

For ages now I’ve been meaning to write up a brief tutorial on styling quotes. There are many articles out there, many great resources which talk of the different ways of styling quotes – worth a read. My aim here is to give you a bit of info on handling this popular typographical feature, hoping to inspire you to give quotes the attention they deserve.

let’s take this quote from one of my favourite web gurus
(as published on Twitter, 5/5/08):

Jeffrey Zeldman

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.

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19/01/2009 blog,handcodingcomments (4)

wishes for the new year

best wishes for 2009

→ a doodle for 2009
… just to wish everyone all the very, very best for the new year.

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01/01/2009 blog,thoughtscomments (2)

W3C Validator worries & WCAG2 out

Molly Holzschlag wrote a quite worrying post a few days ago – outlining the problems the W3C Validators are facing. These tools we all rely on are in trouble and we all need to get involved to make sure that we will not lose such essential service.
Please do read Molly’s blog post W3C Validators in Jeopardy.

I heart ValidatorFor more detailed information about the W3C validator services and the current situation, or to become involved, please visit the W3C Validator Donation Program page.

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13/12/2008 blog,news,thoughtscomments (2)

geeky sweetness – 24 ways

It’s this time of the year again – time is flying and the days are counting down to christmas and Drew McLellan is back with his advent calendar for geeks :)

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Andy on visual design

Yesterday was the “Visual Web Design Master Class” with Andy Clarke – if you don’t know it already – have a look at the website ‘for a beautiful web‘ (to see it in its full glory – view the site in Safari :). I had been looking forward to this workshop as its focus was on design rather than coding. Though I love learning more new techniques and clever methods for the technical aspects – I feel I don’t have the time to delve on the design aspect of my work, though I always wish I had.

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02/12/2008 blog,workshopsComments Off on Andy on visual design

after the <head> conference

photo of Sean

While I’m waiting for the last session of the <head> conference to start and just wanted to record my thoughts. It’s been a very interesting and fun experience :-) thank you, Aral :)
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27/10/2008 blog,eventscomments (2)

poverty does not define (Tom Hurley)

Just as the BlogActionDay 2008 against poverty is on its way I receive an email from Tom. His photography has taken Tom to streets, taking photos of homeless people. These photos are striking and so I felt they should be shown – they will say more than my post for this day could say. So I hope they will have an impact on you.

photo of Seanphoto of Mike photo of Mike

Asked for permission to show his photos here – Tom wrote:

“We tend to think of poverty in the sense of the major areas of deprivation … but personal poverty exists adjacent to great wealth, as the images that I have sent you are of people whose poverty does not define them, it is their present state and that state is so easily changeable with only a little effort from those around them, I have come to know these chaps, Sean and Mike and I tried to make portraits that depicted them and not their condition. Sean sits on the floor and looks at the camera and says this is me Sean, a person not an object.

Sean and his mates are the responsibility of us all, we ignore the poor at our peril … please use these images in anyway that you see fit, write what you feel is appropriate, I’m not interested in the credit for these images only in the chance that in seeing them it may spark some acts to release them from their condition.”

(14/10/08, Tom Hurley)

15/10/2008 blog,thoughtscomments (3)

action against poverty – today & every day!

to support the Blog Action Day this year to raise awareness on the topic of poverty I wanted to make sure to write a really inspiring blog post. However, I am finding this quite difficult.

The fact that we live in a world where materialism rules and the funds are so unevenly spread is a very sad reality – this idea is depressing. It gets me in the deepest part of my being – mankind is still at war, still allows its own to starve – while the rich get richer and the despair of those in need grows. The injustice is just too much. Why is it not possible to solve this issue once and for all and establish a just balance?

[source photo © Diane Ehrhart, via]

blog,thoughtsComments Off on action against poverty – today & every day!

CSS Edit – a coder’s joy :)

If you are lucky enough to start learning webdesign at the moment – ideally on a mac – then you do have the perfect tools at your fingertips. The ‘Web Developer’ toolbar (Firefox extension by Chris Pederick) alone can be a great help to learning about page elements, their positioning and properties.

One of the best applications out there however must be MacRabbit’s CSS Edit. Unfortunately for mac only – this code editor can make learning CSS a little bit easier. Luckily there is now an alternative for you PC users – Rapid CSS.
I will focus on CSS Edit here as it’s one of my favourite apps ;) CSS Edit colour codes and tidies up your code – it allows instant preview of applied rules – and even enables you to override the CSS of any given site.

To get you started a quick introduction to its features… → continue reading…

29/09/2008 blog,handcodingcomments (6)

graphiceyedea prisca schmarsow – portfolio