Design thinking blog posts

  • The importance of putting your champions on a pedestal

    A champion is the person in your client’s organisation who can pinpoint the barriers to a great solution going live. Champions are obstacle clearers, problem insulators and praise singers. Find them and treat them with the reverence they deserve.

  • The Scourge of Helvetica Neue Light

    I’m no lover of Helvetica but neither do I hate it. That said I really do have an aversion to Helvetica Neue Light, or rather an aversion to when Helvetica Neue Light is used without due thought and attention, and particularly within user interfaces.

  • A new year, a new design

    To my surprise, Clagnut.com was last redesigned in September 2008. Well, it’s all change, with a new redesign launched today. It’s been created from the typography outwards, responsive from the beginning and elegant on huge as well as tiny screens.

  • It’s time to stop teaching web skills like it’s still 1999

    Design Week had an editorial highlighting the demise of craft skills and typography in college curricula. It reminded me that courses teaching web design in the UK rarely include such skills in the first place. So where are the good courses?

  • Why designers should and shouldn’t code

    At Clearleft, our designers do not mark up their own designs. We require that they can all code well, but they never touch a line of production HTML. Why should our designers be able to code but not be required to do so?

  • Ten design tenets of Dieter Rams

    Earlier this month, Clearleft went on a company outing to the Design Museum in London. There we spent some quality time perusing the work of the influential former Braun industrial designer, Dieter Rams. These are his ten guidelines to good design.

  • Mac apps Xmas bonanza

    Christmas bargains are upon us, with indie Mac application bundles galore. Also, 24 ways is back for a third year and dConstruct t-shirts are now just a fiver!

  • Variable fixed width layout

    There’s a different approach to web page layout which is gradually getting some traction. The idea is that the layout is changed to best accommodate the window size.

  • Glaucoma and photography

    Sorry not some wonderful cure, but instead a few sites that might be of interest: an great looking, accessible charity site and some approachs to presenting photos on web pages.

  • Colour blindness on the Web

    Colour blindness on the Web isn’t a big deal. You do have to bear it mind, but there is no need to let it dominate any design decisions.

  • Far Heath Studios

    It is with great pleasure I introduce the new website for Far Heath Studios.

  • Browse Happ(il)y

    WaSP have just released a minisite, designed by Ethan Marcotte. The purpose of Browse Happy is to spread the message to all and sundry that there are alternative browsers to Internet Explorer.

  • Collaborative Design

    Keith Robinson starts a collaborative project with his Asterisk readers to ‘show that it’s possible to make a killer band site that looks cool and is very easy to use as well’.

  • Fear the Pie!

    I love this current poster campaign from the British Heart Foundation.

  • Ten questions for Andy

    Brighton blogger and Web designer Andy Budd answers ten questions on topics including standards fascism and the success of Skillswap. Andy also echoing my own feelings on blogging.

  • New MySQL.com

    Anyone care to deconstruct the redesign of MySQL.com? Here?s a few starters.

  • CSS from the BBC

    BBC Broadcast has just released a classy new site with valid XHTML and CSS underneath the hood. Check out the transparent sliding menus built on lists.

  • Web Standards Awards

    The Web Standards Awards have just launched tp celebrate and encourage CSS-based design. The emphasis will be on commercial sites which is definitely a good thing as the Web design world as a whole has a lot of catching up to do.

  • On Lomography

    The Lomographic Society website has much to admire from a design and marketing perspective, and it encourages a great photographic philosophy. But is a 35mm camera really the right medium for a snap-happy ethos, or does digital win hands down?

  • More on fixed widths

    Fixed versus liquid design is an emotive debate. Liquid layout seems more intuitive, appropriate and elegant but is not without issues. However many concerns can be addressed with little or no compromise.

  • Fixed width

    Interesting that recently Stopdesign and Simplebits have both subtly redesigned to be fixed width – moving away form their previous liquid designs. I’d love to know why.

  • The new typography

    Why and how Web designers should be using font-family in a more adventurous manner: there are some great typefaces out there – let’s use them. The Visibone survey is an invaluable aid in typeface selection.

  • CSS Vault

    Paul ‘Scrivs’ Scrivens of Whitespace and 9rules has created the CSS Vault, an elegant twin bladed portal comprising beautiful CSS-based sites and CSS resources. One for your bookmarks.

  • A List Apart returns

    Every Web designer’s favourite online magazine is back! Yep, A List Apart has returned and it’s looking lush with three top new articles from Dave Shea, Joe Clark and Dan Benjamin.

  • More Gardening

    Andy Budd has created a lovely design for the Zen Garden. I’m giving a SkillSwap talk this Monday on Design Process – Evolution of the Wireframe. Dave Shea has reinvigorated discussion on designing with colour deficient folks in mind and points us to Pixy’s…

  • In the Box

    “It’s not because he’s American and it’s not because the British are evil. Fundamentally, simply, basically, finally he’s just hated because he’s a twat.” On an unrelated note, get yerself over to Whitespace, a great new blog focussing…

  • Fixing this, sliding that

    Redesigned si-blog uses some cool position-fixed tricks to selectively scroll text over or under an banner. Also, a nifty child-selector sends a gif to IE and a superior PNG to better browsers.

  • Crease

    Under the Iron interviews Web designers. You can even ask your own questions.

  • Transparently brilliant

    There’s a fabulous new design in the CSS Zen Garden which makes use of a clever transparent PNG effect.

  • Colour palettes

    The Sherwin-Williams company has published some beautiful historically accurate colour schemes.

  • Pixelsurgeon cured

    So taken was I with Pixelsurgeon’s invalid plight (as mentioned in the previous post) that I decided to rebuild the interview page using meaningful XHTML and CSS for all layout and presentation. The markup now validates to XHTML 1.0 and is much more useful, employing…

  • I’ve been away

    Why I haven’t been blogging much recently and what I’ve missed over the past few weeks. Highlights include Todd Dominey’s PGA Open Championship and Phantom Power, the new album from Super Furry Animals. Also a brief critique of the new Pixelsurgeon site.

  • Spectacular calendar

    Mishoo has created a quite spectacular Web site. Using structural XHTML 1.1 (not quite valid, but the intention is clear) and CSS, the end result is visually very rich. But the most impressive bits (to me) are all his DHTML work, from some sleek animations, through mouseovers…

  • Swiss cheese?

    I enjoy minimal design, and I also believe that, for the majority of commercial and otherwise meaningful sites on the Web, that is exactly what is required. But minimal design to me, does not mean no graphics, no Flash, etc. If these elements are seen to add to the experience…

  • The user-centred aesthetic

    So far this year, my regular reads on the Web have covered techniques in all the disciplines required to create quality web sites. All the disciplines bar one, that is. What’s missing? The visual design; the look; the skin; the surface. While the folks I’ve been…

  • CSS tabs

    Mark Pilgrim recently published his version of tabs build with HTML lists and CSS. So I thought I’d publish my version of as well.

  • Remix results

    Entries for the WThRemix competition are in. Many of the entries stuck quite closely with the current W3C feel, but a few pushed the boat out a bit (as I believe was the idea of the contest). In no particular order, my favourites came from Ben Darlow, Rene Grassegger, Tom…

  • Colours

    EasyRGB has got a great tool for determining colour harmonies, perfect for someone with my eyes. Centricle has a brilliant table of CSS filters (hacks); note the smart column/row mouseovers. And I forgot last Friday’s HMHB. I’ll make up for it this week.

  • A matter of style

    Eric Meyer has created a rather nifty colour blending widget which calculates a palette between any two given colours. Fun (and funky JavaScript) and if nothing else, it’s useful for calculating the midpoint between two colours. Matt has posted a list of online style…

  • Yahoogle II

    A while ago I pointed that more and more, Yahoo is relying on Google for it’s search results. Tim Parkin pointed out that a Yahoo listing will give a higher Google ranking, so from that point of view being on Yahoo does still have some importance. In fact, the reason a…

  • Brown is the new grey

    Interconnected has been redesigned. It’s a neat non-table, 100% CSS design in brown (definitely the new grey). Note how the whitespace of the indented paragraphs describes a square. Nice. While I was there I spotted this: Patterns for Personal Web Sites, a compendium…

  • In accord

    It makes for really dull conversation when everyone agrees, but right now a number of people are talking sense and I feel better for it….

  • Out of Season

    Beth Gibbons, of Portishead fame, has teamed up with Rustin’ Man (Talk Talk) to create a gorgeous sounding album, out today. The album is called Out of Season and has a great website which makes good use of frames† to keep a Flash 6 jukebox ever present and looping…

  • Yahoogle!

    Yahoo! is becoming less and less relevant by the day, as it relies more and more on Google. From the Yahoo! Help pages: You may have noticed that the Yahoo! Search results look a little different. As part of our ongoing efforts to offer you the easiest and most rewarding…

  • Liquid lunch

    The new issue of Digital Web mag sees Peter-Paul Koch extolling the fine virtues of graceful degradation. That is the honourable action of building web sites that work† on all browsers without worrying if they are pixel perfect. With care, attention & experience this…

  • Why oh why?

    Scene 360 asks the question of twenty three top zines and design portals: Why do you do it? A beautifully put together piece with some fascinating insight into how the likes of K10K and Design is Kinky think. The Evolution of Type, a fine introduction to the origins, evolution…

  • Simplicity itself

    I love the work that goes on over at 37signals; they are all about focussing on the task at hand. And guess what: form does indeed follow function – I firmly believe that easy-to-use things are inherently good looking. For proof, check out the make-over of FedEx’s…

  • Girls, girls, girls

    In the Guardian, a discussion of the disturbing lack of women in New Media: The rarity of women in the field of technology makes it hard to establish good networking opportunities. “It’s a great shame, because women are particularly good when it comes to the…

  • bright blog

    Adactio is a beautiful blog from fellow Brighton resident, Jeremy Keith. Try changing themes – impressive stuff. Dive Into Accessibility is an excellent guide to making your website more accessible in thirty days. With tips cross-referenced by disability, browser, design…

  • Stand back

    A quick review of the amazing Public Lettering walk website.

  • TT

    Latest issue of Boxes and Arrows, the redesign of Audi.com. The process explored workgroup software, utilized technology to support the brand ideals and challenged the status quo of current web navigation thinking by proposing a right handed navigation system. Hillman…

  • small

    For all you lovers of minimalism: guimp.

  • textualization

    Just been finishing off a contract left over from before my move to Multimap (going very well thank you). I’m building a site for a client (thanks Carbon) with a traditional heirarchical navigation, however the client insists that all their navigation be images. Top level…

  • CSS

    Zeldman has updated his CSS links and pointed us in the direction of youngpup.net and his disturbingly cool DHTML news scroller.

  • Minimalism

    The 5k competition is back! So go enter those tiny sites. (Super Letraset-stylee design btw Caterina.) Oh and super-duper photos are now online here at clagnut. There’s a rndom sample for you just there. You can see more of them at clagnut.com/photos. (Yes I will get…