Tags: art

From Pages to Patterns: An Exercise for Everyone · An A List Apart Article

I’m so proud of Charlotte right now: last week she gave a conference talk and today she has an article published in A List Apart. Superb work on both fronts!

She does a great job of talking through a collaborative exercise to help teams move from thinking in pages to thinking in patterns.

The Radiation Threat to “The Martian” (PDF)

This is something that has been bugging me ever since reading the book:

While Andy Weir does a good job of representing the risks faced by Mark Watney, stranded on Mars and confronting one life-threatening challenge after another, he is silent on the threat of radiation, not just to Mark but particularly to the crew of the Hermes as they contemplate executing a daring rescue mission that more than doubles their time in deep space.

Well, this paper answers all my questions.

An Event Apart News: Enhance! by Jeremy Keith—An Event Apart video

Here’s the video of the talk I gave at An Event Apart last year.

Guess what it’s about. Go on, guess!

No! It’s about progressive enha… oh.

Clearleft 10th birthday party | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

We celebrated ten years of Clearleft’s existence this weekend. A splendid time was had by all!


Making Charts with CSS | CSS-Tricks

What a lovely bit of progressive enhancement—styling data tables to display as charts.

The Language of Modular Design · An A List Apart Article

Alla has taken the ideas she presented in her superb talk at Responsive Day Out and published them as a great article in A List Apart.


This is so nifty! Mikey has made a site where you can order his interactive artwork.

Interactive? That’s right! Each framed picture comes with a pen so you can doodle over the picture (and wipe it clean again).

Check out The Fett and The Falcon!

PDF: Designing For Deep Time: How Art History Is Used To Mark Nuclear Waste

Kelli Anderson’s thesis on the Human Interference Task Force project set up to mark nuclear waste sites for future generations (a project I’ve referenced in some of my talks).

Deep Time : A History of the Earth

This infographic offers a visual way to explore the various stages of the Earth’s history using a 12 hour clock analogy.

Web Typography – a handbook by Richard Rutter — Kickstarter

You’ll want to back this—you’ll want to back the hell out of this!

Interface Experience Maps, From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson

This sounds like it could be a very useful tool to introduce early in projects to get a shared understanding of progressive enhancement.

Here Comes the Airplane

Paradigm-busting disruption!

Mentorship for the Novice Expert · An A List Apart Column

Every single word that Lyza has written here speaks to me so, so much.

I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m nervous about messing up, but I keep doing this week after week because it feels important.

Get out of my head, Lyza!

Mutant Materials and Video Spaces: 20 years of MoMA on the web

Much of the web’s early cultural and design history is at risk, despite efforts by the Internet Archive and renegade archivists. One of our realizations after 20 years on the web is that our responsibility isn’t just to the new; we also need to preserve what’s been built in the past.

Instant Web · An A List Apart Column

More thoughts on the lack of a performance culture, prompted by the existence of Facebook Instant:

In my experience, the biggest barrier to a high-performance web is this: the means of production are far removed from the means of delivery. It’s hard to feel the performance impact of your decisions when you’re sitting on a T3 line in front of a 30 inch monitor. And even if you test on real devices (as you should), you’re probably doing it on a fast wifi network, not a spotty 3G connection. For most of us, even the ones I would describe as pro-performance, everything in the contemporary web design production pipeline works against the very focus required to keep the web fast.

15 Years Ago in ALA: Much Ado About 5K · An A List Apart Blog Post

Zeldman looks back at Stewart Butterfield’s brilliant 5K contest. We need more of that kind of thinking today:

As one group of web makers embraces performance budgets and the eternal principles of progressive enhancement, while another (the majority) worships at the altar of bigger, fatter, slower, the 5K contest reminds us that a byte saved is a follower earned.

Everyone has JavaScript, right?

And that’s why you always use progressive enhancement!

screen shot from the TV series Arrested Development, showing a character whose catchphrase began 'And that's why...'

15 Years of Dao · An A List Apart Blog Post

On the fifteenth anniversary of A Dao Of Web Design people who make websites share their thoughts.

Paul Ford’s is a zinger:

I don’t know if the issues raised in “A Dao of Web Design” can ever be resolved, which is why the article seems so prescient. After all, the Tao Te Ching is 2500 years old and we’re still working out what it all means. What I do believe is that the web will remain the fastest path to experimenting with culture for people of any stripe. It will still be here, alive and kicking and deployed across billions of computing machines, in 2030, and people will still be using it to do weird, wholly unexpected things.

Let Links Be Links · An A List Apart Article

A superb piece by Ross Penman on the importance of being true to the spirit of the web.


Mark Rothko paintings recreated with CSS gradients.

The Brighton Makerlab - where technology meets awesome! by Simon Riley — Kickstarter

Still a few days left to back this great project for Brighton:

Build, tinker, make and play! For anyone with imagination, The Brighton Makerlab lets ages 8 to 80 create cool stuff with technology.

The Web’s Grain by Frank Chimero

Superb. Absolutely superb.

A magnificent tour-de-force by Frank on the web’s edgelessness.

Read. Absorb. Read again. This is the essence of responsive web design, distilled.

Quantity Queries for CSS · An A List Apart Article

A terrific bit of smart CSS thinking from Heydon Pickering.

You know he’s speaking at Responsive Day Out, right?

Space Probes Art Print by Ariel Waldman

Now you can get a 7” x 10” print of the cast of Ariel’s fantastic spaceprob.es site.

I think this would look quite fetching in the Clearleft office.


Unleash your inner Jackson Pollock.

Seasonal posts × Katy DeCorah

This is such a simple little adjustment, but I think it’s kinda brilliant: tweaking the display of your site’s maps to match the season.

Progressive Enhancement and Data Visualizations | CSS-Tricks

A nice little pattern for generating a swish timeline in SVG from a plain ol’ definition list in HTML.

The Long Web by Jeremy Keith – An Event Apart Video on Vimeo

This is a talk I gave at An Event Apart about eighteen months ago, all about irish music, the web, long-term thinking, and yes, you guessed it—progressive enhancement.

Adrian Roselli: All of This Has Happened Before and Will Happen Again

Everyone who calls for WebKit in Internet Explorer is exactly the same kind of developer who would have coded to Internet Explorer 15 years ago (and probably happily displayed the best viewed in badge).


It’s happening again, and every petulant, lazy developer who calls for a WebKit-only world is responsible.

The Brand Deck by Scott Thomas — Kickstarter

This Eno-esque deck of cards by Scott could prove very useful for a lot of Clearleft projects.

Windows 10 Technical Preview IE UA String

I love Lyza’s comment on the par-for-the-course user-agent string of Microsoft’s brand new Spartan browser:

There must be an entire field emerging: UA archaeologist and lore historian. It’s starting to read like the “begats” in the bible. All browsers much connect their lineage to Konqueror or face a lack-of-legitimacy crisis!

Competing on “Chrome”, From the Notebook of Aaron Gustafson

First, the browsers competed on having proprietary crap. Then, the browsers competed on standards support. Now, finally, the browsers are competing on what they can offer their users.

Netherlandish Proverbs – Pieter Bruegel the Elder – An Analog Project

A lovely Yuletide present from Brian and co.—an exploration of the proverbs embodied in Bruegel’s painting.

Asteroid Day

This is an awareness project I can get behind: a Clarke-like Project Spaceguard to protect the Earth from asteroid collisions. This campaign will focus awareness of this issue on one single day…

Now if only the front page of this website actually said when that day will be.

Update: And now it does.

Lunar Missions Ltd

We’re going back to the moon. With a robot. So we can take sublunarean samples.

You can help fund it on Kickstarter.


A collection of performance resources: articles, tools, talks, and books.

The Nor: A Paranoid Cartography

James walks the site of London’s old wall, documenting the instruments of London’s new wall.

He wrote about his experience in “All Cameras Are Police Cameras.” It is a history lesson, a present lesson, and a future lesson, all in one.

Overwhelmed by Code · An A List Apart Blog Post

Focus on what you want to learn; not what you think you should learn.

There is a lot of pressure out there: to learn new things, to spend all your time coding, to be the super developer. I now believe that to be impossible and unhealthy. It means you aren’t living a balanced life and it also means that you’re living under constant stress and pressure.

Responsive Images in Practice · An A List Apart Article

A great primer on using srcset and picture. I think I’ll be referring back to this a lot.

99 Cent: A Look at the Widespread Confusion Over a Photo Gursky DIDN’T Shoot

A fascinating tale of mistaken identity with one of Lyza’s photos.

Beautiful Maps

Cartography porn.

Axiomatic CSS and Lobotomized Owls · An A List Apart Article

I’m quite intrigued by the thinking behind this CSS selector of Heydon’s.

* + * {
    margin-top: 1.5em;

I should try it out and see how it feels.

Startups and Shit, HTML-first

The Android vs. iOS debate is one hinges around whether you think it makes more sense to target a (perceived) larger market, or target one that the technorati favor. But why choose? Building a good responsive web app has a series of benefits, the primary one being that you target users on every platform with one app. Every user. Every platform. All the time. Release whenever you want. A/B test with ease. Go, go go.

Tabletop Whale

Beautiful visualisations of science and nature.

Made with love by a designer with a molecular biology degree.

An Event Apart News: AEA Resources: Articles, Links, and Tools From An Event Apart Chicago 2014

Hyperlinks relating to the talks delivered at An Event Apart in Chicago, including those connected to my rambling musings on progressive enhancement.

Jeremy Keith on the importance of creating products that last | netmag | Creative Bloq

I was interviewed for a feature in issue 257 of net magazine.

In this interview, I pause. And continue.

Radio-Controlled Web Design · An A List Apart Article

Turns out that the :checked pseudo-class selector allows you to do some clever interaction without JavaScript.

Improving Reality 2014 — Visibility Is A Trap

Lighthouse are putting on their Improving Reality conference again this year. It’s the day before dConstruct. Come to both!

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz by Brian Knappenberger

The Aaron Swartz film is available on the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license.

An Event Apart and The Picture Element (a Monkey Do blog post)

A look at how the website for An Event Apart is using the picture and Picturefill …featuring Jessica as the cover girl.

Known: taking a big bet on the #indieweb

When I’ve been banging on at conferences about digital preservation, personal publishing and the indie web, I’ve been at pains to point out that there are huge opportunities here for startups looking to build valet services to help people publish on their own domain.

Ben and Erin at Known are doing just that, with some backing from KQED, PRX and the Knight Foundation instead of the usual short-sighted Silicon Valley venture capitalism.

One of the jobs of a startup is to look at where the world is going, extrapolating from current trends and domain knowledge, and meet a future need with a product at exactly the right time. We think the time is right for an independent web that is owned by content creators and readers alike.

What Comes Next Is the Future by Matt Braun

This has the potential to be a terrific little documentary. What say we get it funded?

James Bridle — Where You Are

The GPS system is a monumental network that provides a permanent “YouAreHere” sign hanging in the sky, its signal a constant, synchronised timecode.

Creating Style Guides · An A List Apart Article

A great article by Susan on getting started with creating a styleguide for any project.

I’ve seen firsthand how style guides save development time, make communication regarding your front end smoother, and keep both code and design consistent throughout the site.

Google Night Walk

A nice stroll around Marseilles at night without any of the traditional danger.

Readmill Epilogue - Readmill

If your startup gets acquired and shut down by a larger company, this is the way to announce it—no “we’re excited to announce”; no “incredible journey”. Instead there’s an apology and regret (which is exactly what your users will be feeling).

Layout in Flipboard for Web and Windows — Flipboard Engineering

A fascinating look at how Flipboard combines art direction and algorithms to generate layouts.

Getting Started With Pattern Libraries ∙ An A List Apart Blog Post

A great post from Anna on the front-end styleguides she’s worked on for A List Apart and Code for America. ‘Twas a pleasure working with her on the Code for America project.

A-mer-ica! Fuck yeah!

A List Apart Pattern Library

Another front-end style guide for the collection. This time it’s from A List Apart. Lovely stuff!

Earth wind map

A beautiful real-time visualisation of winds on our planet.

Star Axis is a profound meditation on the sky – Ross Andersen – Aeon

A beautiful exploration of the Star Axis sculpture—an artwork of the Long Now.

The ancients had pyramids to tame the sky’s mystery. We have Star Axis, a masterpiece forty years in the making.

A Book Apart, New store discounts and bundle options

This is a great idea from A Book Apart—the more different books you buy at the same time, the more of a discount you get.

Got to get ‘em all!

The hits keep going… | MetaFilter

This gives me a warm fuzzy glow. The Mefites are using Radio Free Earth to find out which stars are receiving the number one hits from their birthdays.

68 Middle Street launch and Clearleft 8th birthday party - a set on Flickr

Some lovely pictures from the Clearleft office-warming party last weekend.

Clearleft families

Shinseungback Kimyonghun: Portrait

Beautiful amalgamations of film characters:

A custom software detects faces from every 24 frames of a movie, and creates an average face of all found faces. The composite image reflects the centric figure(s) and the visual mood of the movie.

WTF Visualizations

Data visualisations that make no sense.

Simon Stålenhag Art Gallery

Scenes from a future Sweden.

A Breathing Earth

Beautiful animated GIFs showing the lungs of our planet.

Reflections on An Event Apart DC 2013

Jason pulls together some of the themes that emerged at An Event Apart DC this week.

LukeW | An Event Apart: The Long Web

Luke’s notes from my talk at An Event Apart DC.

Sketchnotes: The Long Web

Jason Garber took some nicely-hyperlinked notes during my presentation at An Event Apart DC.

A few words on Doug Engelbart

A beautiful eulogy for Doug Engelbart by Bret Viktor, not celebrating the laundry list of his inventions, but celebrating his intent in making the world a better place.

Engelbart had an intent, a goal, a mission. He stated it clearly and in depth. He intended to augment human intellect. He intended to boost collective intelligence and enable knowledge workers to think in powerful new ways, to collectively solve urgent global problems.

Improving Reality 2013

The line-up for this year’s Improving Reality conference looks great (as always).

It’s the day before dConstruct so why not come on down to Brighton a day early and double your fun?

The Internet of Actual Things on The Morning News

A vision of neurotic network-enabled objects, as prototyped by dConstruct speaker Simone Rebaudengo.

The New Aesthetic: James Bridle’s Drones and Our Invisible, Networked World in Vanity Fair

James gets profiled in Vanity Fair …which is, frankly, kind of weird.

It’s also so bizarre to read about his SXSW New Aesthetic panel as being such a pivotal moment: there weren’t that many of us in the room.

James Somers – Web developer money

A well-written piece on the nature of work and value on the web, particularly in the start-up economy.

2001: A Space Odyssey

A really nice piece on Robert McCall, who was artist-in-residence at NASA and worked as conceptual artist on Kubrick and Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Break the Page

A lovely site with thoughtful articles on the long-term future of the web.

There’s audio too, which is unfortunately locked up in the unhuffduffable roach motel that is Soundcloud, but I’m hoping that might change.

A Book Apart celebrates its third anniversary

Aw, my l’il ol’ book is three years old!

To celebrate, you can get 15% off any title from A Book Apart with this discount code for the next few days: HAPPY3RD.

Ten tips guaranteed to improve your startup success by Anil Dash

It’s a big ask, but if you can action these ten tips from Anil, your startup will crush it.

Our Incredible Journey

A collection of those appalling doublespeek announcements that sites and services give when they get acquired. You know the ones: they begin with “We’re excited to announce…” and end with people’s data being flushed down the toilet.

Instant artist statement: Arty Bollocks Generator

Don’t let James Bridle get a hold of this.

Map Projection Transitions

A lovely way of demonstrating the differences between map projections. Drag for extra fun.

A List Apart Issue № 371

This issue of A List Apart is a great double-whammy. Lara Swanson has a ton of practical tips for front-end performance enhancements, and Brian dives deep into making your own icon fonts.

The World Wide Web is moving to AOL! by Brian Bailey

Biting satire that hits its mark superbly. Ouch! Be careful — this is sharp …and funny.

The gradient chart by Cennydd Bowles

A very handy technique from Cennydd for answering the “it depends” question of when you might need a separate device-specific site (‘though I think that a separate can be a good option in addition to a responsive site, rather than instead of).

Write The Future by Tom Hunter — Kickstarter

Now this looks like my kind of event:

A new micro-conference on science, technology, communication and fiction, organised by the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Editorially: Write Better

A collaborative writing tool built by a dream team. I’ve been using it for a while now and it’s very nice indeed.

Brighton Science Festival Edo Wonderpark Hack Day

There’s going to be mini Science Hack Day at Lighthouse as part of this month’s Science Festival in Brighton. Come along — it’ll be fun.

Nick Cave Winning Competition Entries - a set on Flickr

Local music shop Resident Records ran a competition to win 20 pairs of tickets to an exclusive warm-up gig by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. To be in with a chance, you had to recreate an album cover. These are the winning entries.

You’ll spot Jessica’s creation in amongst them. We’re off to see Nick Cave tonight!

Debbie Hill - Grinderman

Submarine Cable Map

This year’s TeleGeography map of the undersea network looks beautiful—inspired by old maps. I love the way that latency between countries is shown as inset constellations.


Communal satellite eyes. A Mac screensaver is also available.

Mercator Puzzle!

This is fun. Drag the red country outlines around and slot them into place on the map. Sounds easy, right? But the distorting effect of the Mercator projection makes it a lot tougher than it looks.

The Last Pictures: Contemporary pessimism and hope for the future by Paul Glister

From the cave paintings at Lascaux to the Pioneer plaques and Voyager golden records to Trevor Paglen’s “The Last Pictures” project, Paul Glister examines the passage and preservation of art and information through time. Fascinating.

Or perhaps, as Paglen envisions, those who find a Pioneer Plaque, a Voyager Record, or one of our electromagnetic transmissions will be interested enough to search us out, coming upon a future Earth where all that is left of humanity are our terrestrial ruins and that artificial ring of geosynchronous satellites, with one of them having a particular golden artifact bolted to its pitted hull. In that scenario, about all that would be left for the visiting ETI to do in terms of learning about us would be grand-scale dumpster diving.

Form Follows Function

A gorgeous collection of experiments that showcase just how much is possible in browsers today.