Yesterday I launched the brand new homepage of my portfolio. It was a long time in the making trying to get everything looking good and now I’m going to explain the reasons behind the design, how I came to it and how you can apply the same techniques.
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…
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…
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)…
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”…
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.
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.
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)
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!
I know it’s unfortunately the “taboo” of modern website design, but many developers don’t want to simply leave their IE7 visitors and IE6 visitors in the dark. It’s fine for sites like this one, or for web applications but what about corporation websites? For sites that HAVE to support older/alternative browsers. This came to light ever more when I recently worked on a website which would mean that customers worth millions could possibly be using IE6. There’s 50% of employees there too who still run IE7 so not supporting them wasn’t an option. I needed (and used) a large set of tools to help me accomplish this task, and I’m going to tell you about them.
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.
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)
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)
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.
Assignment 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.
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!
Well, the 1st June saw me start my new job as Innovations Web Developer at Result Group in Elland. I decided that to mark the occasion I’d start by going crazy with my on-line development.
It has seen me redesign the Arctic Monkeys Fansite, build a brand new website for Cliffe Kennels, build a Twitter/Twitpic/img.ly/yfrog mashup called TwiPho and then finally redesigning Zero One Hundred (the site your on now). It’s been a hard slog of a month but one of great productivity. Next will be redeveloping Result Groups website to bring it up to modern standards. It’s something I’m really relishing and something which isn’t going to be easy. It involves a full redesign of structure, the actual look of the site and additionally it’s functionality. The aim is to bang out a perfect, intuitive design which will hopefully feature on some of the great web design galleries. That’s the aim, recognition.
Well, it seems I have more time on my hands than I need. Wednesday my on-line chum Matt decided he wanted to “build something”. Anything he said. He was open to suggestions. One of those was a Twitter photo search. To cut a long story short I stole by own suggestion and built it myself.
TwiPho was born out of two days coding (Thursday, 7th May and Friday 8th May) which accumulated to about 8 hours coding. Not bad to say I visited Alton Towers on Friday too.
Fancy riding 1,200 Miles across the UK starting from Lands End and finishing at John O Groats? No? Me neither!
These two guys are though (Adam Fisher and Oliver Frearson) and I felt obligated to build them a website promoting their journey. It’s in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and they are trying to raise £3000 (that’s only £2.50 per mile!).
The other day I realised I had loads of spare web stuff lying around on my hard drive which included canned designs, unused web pages, old university assignments and old website designs (PSD’s and XHTML/CSS).
Well, today I decided I’d start releasing this spare stuff online. If I’m not using it maybe someone else can get something out of it. That was the idea behind the WordPress Olivia template, it was an old design which morphed into a pretty popular free template.
Anyway, we start this new routine of free downloads with a free XHTML template complete with instructions on how to use and modify it.
You can view a demo of the free XHTML theme or even download it for yourself to dissect, prod and poke.
There is also a tutorial on how to edit the pages, adding paragraphs and headers and also how to edit the CSS. It’s a basic tutorial but it explains the beginner methods.
Unfortunately there won’t be much support for it. You’ll have to work it out for yourself. If you are really really stuck you can drop comments for this post below and I’ll try my damn hardest to answer. Honest.