My Top Ten Web Designer Resources

If your a seasoned web developer your going to want to follow some great resource sites. I myself have quite a large list of RSS feeds in my Outlook but here are my top ten with plenty of resources, freebies and tips…I will however feature 5 “biggies” and 5 “smallies” if that makes any sense to anyone who speaks the English language…

Here we go with the biggies…

1. SmashingMagazine.com

Smashing Magazine

Packed full of daily web resources from desktop calendars to tips on learning CSS. They have also recently had a redesign massively cleaning up the content (which was pretty bad on my opinion) and also aggregating content from websites such as spyrestudios.com, buildinternet.com and webdesignerwall.com. All of which are also great resources…

2. WebDesignerDepot.com

rss
Not specific in it’s content, Web Designer Depot seems to feature everything from Illustrator spotlights (like the recent one on the amazing Archan Nair) all the way to freebies such as the nice RSS icon set. I do however recommend they remove the horrible “I WAS a fat slob” adverts on the right as it’s pretty dire to see (see screenshot to the right)…

3. Spyrestudios.com

Is very good at eyeing up great web designs and showcasing them on their site. They are a small design agency in Canada but have a great blog. They also recently showcased my website because of it’s use of cufon, the amazing javascript text replacement (towards the bottom of the list).

4. BestWebGallery.com

Not a brilliant resource per se but it does feature some amazing modern designs. Not to be used as a starting point for designs but rather as “subliminal inspiration”.

5. BuildInternet.com

Build Internet is managed by twins Sam and Zach Dunn and is a great place to read more about the business side of website design. It’s packed full of jQuery tutorials, graphic design resources, CSS information and HTML tips. Give it a look.

Now for the smallies, generally sole developers who blog about their industry, not necessarily “small”…

6. Adii Rockstar

Adii Rockstar

Now Adii is quite a little celebrity online. He’s known well for his work on the WooThemes project which sells premium wordpress themes but makes for a very interesting read.

7. Fabio Sasso

He’s the guy behind abduzeedo.com and seems to be in deep in the website design world. He has some great work to check out and is involved in a large number of successful websites packed full of resources and inspiration.

8. Veerle Pieters

A graphic/web designer from Belgium, Veerle has tons of posts from over the years covering stuff from html to illiustrations. It makes for an interesting read if you dig deep into the older content. You’ll also see just how much a great designer knows about their industry when you read Veerle’s blog.

9. Collis

Probably should reside in the biggies list but because we aren’t talking about his amazing success story, Envato, he slots into the smallies. He’s the CEO of one of the largest and greatest design marketplaces on the web. He has his own blog called the Netsetter which covers mainly covers the business side of the design industry. (he also features a lot of guest writers too)

10. Chris Spooner

Because he’s a local boy! Chris was born and raised in Sheffield, UK, and runs his blog over at Spoon Graphics. He posts some great content covering mainly graphic design but it a great source of inspiration.

There are many more people to check out in the web design world, you just have a dig, and when you find them either subscribe to their RSS feed or follow them on Twitter like a stalker. Either way you’ll get great resources and good reads!

Also see @liammckay @kevinrose @shauninman @jasonfried

New Result Group Website Launch

rentalresult

So it’s 4 months in on my new job and I’ve finally just launched the brand new Result Group website. It’s three solid months of development, hundreds and hundreds of tweaks, 1500+ lines of CSS and thousands more of XHTML programming and PHP. It’s built entirely by hand, no cheap CMS systems and no limitations on scalability. It also runs part of the site on WordPress (see the Rental News section).

Result Group develop world leading Rental Management Software and they needed a world class website to go along with that. The site was redesigned from the ground up by myself and there has been a lot of work chucked into a very fast moving three months. We finally went live last week and as of now, all hiccups seem to have been rubbed out.

It also uses GeoIP technology to direct you to the correct regional site (United States visit us.rentalresult.com while UK visit www.rentalresult.com).

It really was a mammoth task and one in which I’m very proud to have built solely.

Go check out Result Groups rentalresult website for their rental software and check out the design and jQuery loveliness.

University is over! (for a year anyway)

Stamps

So University is done and dusted for 2009. I won’t be returning until September 2010 which makes for a nice break. In the end I got my grades (A,A,B,B,B,C) which I was very happy with. To top all this off I thought I’d showcase some of the work I did to receive these grades.

Visual Design (B Grade)

Plugs
I’ll start with a Module I didn’t thoroughly enjoy this year due to boring briefs, however, I did a little bit of illustration for it which included some postage stamps, posters and even included some Video in After Effects. You can see the video, the illustrations and the posters over at http://turnitoff.info/ (the posters reside in the footer of the page)
The site was built using the latest in Javascript and jQuery technology so check it out, hover over the elements, play with the buttons. Your probably better off using FireFox too, as IE couldn’t really handle it’s superior web modernness. Make sure you check out the video at the bottom of the website too (yes that is me speaking sounding common as muck).

For Visual design I also illustrated the stamps shown in the header image. It’s based on Music Technology over the years and I think I captured the best four from the past century or so. You can see them in all their vector glory too.

WebsiteMultimedia Product (C Grade)

This was a complex one, which also means I can’t demonstrate it online. The idea was simple, Unique Bidding auctions.

The site featured a worlds first in online bidding. Live real time bidding in auctions. You could actually watch LIVE bidders placing their respective amounts on the page as it went along. This meant users could bid against each other based on other users’ bids. Clever eh! It was all jQuery and PHP grabbing the data from a database. It was awfully complex and also included a 10,000 word document explaing the process and research behind it. There was also a very fancy presentation which explains the fundementals if anyone wants to watch it. Its the branding, the functionality and the UI all rolled into a short few slides.

It also had it’s own iPhone web application which tied into the whole site shwoing live bids from anywhere in the world at any time.

Web Programming (A grade)

Another interesting one. And one which I actually really enjoyed.

guestAssignment one involved building a file based Guestbook with full admin features, the ability to edit posts and delete them, a swear word filter to stip out those naughty words and a slick simple UI. It also had AJAX editing of comments right in the page. No loading, no navigating, just click and change! I think you can guess what Lady Part and Ping Pongs were supposed to say! It maybe available as a free download if anyone is interested in the future.

Assignment two was a dog database website. Very similar to Battersea dogs homes website. It needed full admin controls and the ability to save dogs as favourites and have the ability to search the dogs too. The brief was very extensive, and I covered everything. Check it out online right now. I ended up building a commercial site based on this for Cliffe Kennels.

Authoring (B Grade)

It was basically Actionscript 3.0 work. For assignment 1 I had to develop an interface which included an animation, using the drawing API and the components within Flash 8. I ended up building a Spirograph kind of application which allowed you to colour it yourself and watch the application build it for you. Very nice! Have a look at it. I also built a flash gallery using XML and class files. But it’s not something I have online at the moment.

Multimedia Design & Production (A Grade)

This is a group project, and something which is a real challenge working with four different creative minds. My University chum Chris Kovalenko was part of our A grade group which created a chairty website and CDROM called the West Yorkshire Autistic Society (completely fake). Check out the site.

Intro to Video (B Grade)

My mate Adam Fisher helped me out with this one as I couldn’t star, edit and film the whole video. He rode the bike, I edited it, The Chemists supplied the music. It actually works quite well for my first every video. So I’m quite happy with it as a 2nd year project.

That’s it! I hope this gives someone some kind of inspiration either for university or for their next project. If it did help you in any way shape or form, drop me a comment!

New Showcase page for you to play with!

The portfolio page looked a little drab. Afterall I am working SOLID completing work left right and center. Not all of this can go into my portfolio page as it’s more University work and stuff built on a personal basis. This then spawned the “Showcase” page. Have a play with the few flash and javascript games on there as well as reading about some of the smaller projects I have been completing to get me through University.

In the next few weeks it’s going to be developed a little more to display more images and information on each project. But for now it’s a start ;-)