The Story of Ramayana

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The Story of Ramayana

A truly gorgeous case study from Fi about a project they worked on for Google: a browser-based retelling of the asian epic Ramayana. It really breaks down the technology and, more importantly, the process that was used to make something pretty amazing.

Beware of blind elitism

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Beware of blind elitism

The design/development bubble is easy to get stuck in and dangerous as a result. It’s not easy to maintain an ideal and unbiased, user-focused perspective, but at least remind from time to time that it is out there somewhere.

SMACSS

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SMACSS

Over the past few weeks I’ve been putting the basics of a responsive HTML framework together. I’ve been thinking a lot about an object-oriented, modular approach and SMACSS, a short, free-on-the-web book by Jonathan Snook, has been a major influence on my thinking.

If you want your HTML and CSS to be cleaner, simpler and more scalable and reusable I’d definitely suggest you give it a read.

dConstruct Optimisation

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dConstruct Optimisation

Jeremy Keith details some of the optimisation techniques used in the creation of the dConstruct 2012 conference website. The fuzzy jpeg trick is particularly cool, as is adding images directly into the stylesheet as Base64-encoded data.

The general message is timely too. The old problems of bandwidth are new again, thanks to mobile and mobile-mediated browsing. And  solving them is your responsibility if you want to be considered a professional web designer/developer.

My last day at Equator

Nearly 4 and a half years ago, I arrived at the Equator offices with a huge sense of stepping into the unknown. I’d been a professional web developer for three years before that day, working in a relatively low-pressure environment on in-house projects, as the only web developer in an office of health researchers, teaching myself Web Standards-based front-end development in the process. But I’d decided I need a step up and I wanted to see if I could work in an agency setting, with the attendant pressures. I wanted a challenge, but I was very uncertain if I was up to it.

It turns out the greatest challenge and the greatest reward I’ve had at Equator is learning all the stuff beyond HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Planning and scoping projects, reviewing and breaking down designs, communicating with others, managing a heavy workload. All the things that you can only learn by doing, and by doing within a group of experts. So much of what I do now is entirely due to the generosity and passion of my colleagues who were always willing to explain and share. I wonder if I’d known how little I was prepared for it, whether I would have stepped through the door in the first place. But I did and it turned out pretty well.

But, the time has come for me to take that step again, and find a new challenge to work on. So today is my last day at Equator Towers. I’m not moving far, but I’ll miss being part of this team enormously.

All the best for the future, guys. Can’t wait to see the things you’ll make and the successes you’ll have. And I’m looking forward to shooting the development breeze over a pint in the pub for a long time to come.

Most web design agencies suck

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Most web design agencies suck

90% of everything is rubbish, and, as Andy Budd spells out in no uncertain terms, that includes web design agencies. If you find this uncomfortably familiar, do yourself a favour and do something about it. Life’s too short for mediocre bollocks.