Journal archive: 2021



2021 in numbers

My year on in numbers and sparklines.

Books I read in 2021

A mixture of fiction and non-fiction, each given a rating and a little review.

Even more writing on

Five more articles on modern responsive design to close out the course.

More writing on

Another five articles on modern responsive web design.

Getting back

Watching The Beatles.

Faulty logic

CSS logical properties here, they just aren’t evenly distributed yet.

Priority of design inputs

Can my favourite design principle be applied to the process of design?


It’s time to have the conversation. You’re old enough to know where stats come from.

4 + 3

A four-day work week and a three-day weekend.


Two JavaScript frameworks—Svelte and Astro—share a philosophy, but take subtly different approaches.

Ten episodes of the Web History podcast

From the birth of the web to the browser wars.

Memories of Ajax

A Netflix series today reminds me of something from 15 years ago.

Writing on

A new free course on responsive web design.

Publishing The State Of The Web

There’s a video and a transcript of the talk.

Four days

A balancing act.

BBC feedback

Trans women are women.

Season three of the Clearleft podcast

Six more episodes for your listening pleasure.

Design principles on the Clearleft podcast

The final episode of this season is mostly a case study.

Changing Situation

We’re all making risk assessments.

Measuring design on the Clearleft podcast

A deep dive into the McNamara fallacy.

Twenty years of writing on my website

This online journal is two decades old.

Innovation on the Clearleft podcast

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Halfway through season three of the Clearleft podcast

Three episodes down and three to go.

Design research on the Clearleft podcast

It’s like a murder mystery. But not sponsored by Mailkimp.

Writing the Clearleft newsletter

Want to see how the newsletter sausage is made?

Design engineering on the Clearleft podcast

If you like the sound of being a design engineer, come and join us at Clearleft.

Accessibility testing

It’s not just about finding the issues—it’s about finding the issues at the right time.

Stakeholders of styling

Are you writing instructions in CSS …or are you writing suggestions?

Accent all areas

A small but important addition to CSS.

Coaching on the Clearleft podcast

It’s a bit salesy but it’s also a really good discussion.

Season three of the Clearleft podcast

Rev your podcasting engines!

Airport time

A travel story.


On the move again.


Comparing browsers.

Upgrade paths

If you’re going to deprecate a feature on the web, at least give us an alternative.

Resigning from the AMP advisory committee

I gave it my best shot, but I gotta get out.


Something about a browser that grinds your gears? Share it!


This is for everyone.

Updating Safari

You can find the roadmap for new features and bug fixes on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of The Leopard.’

A Few Notes on A Few Notes on The Culture

Making a copy of a web page which is a copy of a newsgroup post by Iain M Banks. 1994::2001::2021

Facebook Container for Firefox

The browser extension is running amok.


How RSS feels.


Hyperlinks are the things with feathers.


Put a tree on it.

Hosting online events

How I prepared for UX Fest.

Safari 15

What’s coming in the next version of Safari …and what isn’t.


I’m all for web monetisation and micropayments …but without the stench of crypto, please.

An email to The Guardian

A complaint about normalising anti-trans sentiment


Doing what my phone tells me to.

Talking about sci-fi

I’ve published the transcript of my sci-fi talk.

Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons

Speak softly and carry a big Google stick.

The spirit of the staircase

Wishing, not for the first time, that I’d learn when to keep my mouth shut.

Deceptive dark patterns

A modest proposal for incrementally adjusting our terminology.

Weighing up UX

A focus on user experience is good …but if the cause be not good?

Two decades of

I’ve been running an online community for two fifths of my life.

Broad Band

A brilliant book by Claire L. Evans.

Summertime in England

Won’t you meet me in the country?

Speaking about sci-fi

Please join me and Steph Troeth for our Stay Curious event on June 16th.

The cage

Responding to a very bad take on surveillance capitalism.

Hosting UX Fest

Online interviews with super smart speakers.

Work at Clearleft

We’re hiring a design engineer. You should apply.

More talk

Even when the Clearleft podcast is on a break, I’m still yappin’ away.

Get the FLoC out

Google Chrome is prioritising third parties over end users.


“I am not a number, I am a free website!”

The State of the Web — the links

A collection of hyperlinks for a talk.

The state of UX

The death of a dream …or the dawning of a golden age?

Of the web

Baldur Bjarnason has written my mind.

Principles and the English language

Mashing up George Orwell with axioms of web architecture.

The principle of most availability

Reframing the principle of least power.

Season two of the Clearleft podcast

Another six episodes done and dusted.

Five decades

Mid-century moments.

Service worker weirdness in Chrome

Debugging an error message.

Good form

Science, the web, and user experience.

Remote work on the Clearleft podcast

Lola Oyelayo-Pearson, Emma Boulton, Holly Habstritt Gaal and others share their thoughts on working from home.


The bittersweet feeling of finishing something you’ve been working on for quite a while.

When service workers met framesets

The browser equivalent of a Roman legion showing up in a space opera.

Diversity and inclusion on the Clearleft podcast

Farai Madzima, Margaret Lee, Elaine dela Cruz and Rifa Thorpe-Tracey tell their stories.


Out of the ordinary.

Content buddy

Moving words around.

Preparing an online conference talk

Less like preparing to give a speech and more like making a short film.

Prototyping on the Clearleft podcast

Tales of duct-taped solutions from Benjamin, Lorenzo, Trys, and Adekunle.


That’s a lot of numbers.

Accessibility on the Clearleft podcast

Fifteen minutes of excellent audio from Laura, Cassie, and Léonie.

Ten down, one to go

Counting down to 02022-02-22.

Reading resonances

Sometimes books rhyme.

Design engineer

It’s snappier than front-of-the-front-end developer.

Employee experience design on the Clearleft podcast

Episode two of season two is a two-hander.

The moment after eclipse

Reading Brian Aldiss.

Associative trails

How I use my website.


What I’m hoping for in 2021.

Design leadership on the Clearleft podcast

The first episode of season two is here.

Sanguine nation

Some bloody good ideas.


Some ways of combining security and usability for two-factor authentication on the web.

In the zone

Lost in podcasting.

Letters of exclusion

Use your words.

Get safe

It should be safe to visit a web page.

My typical day

Welcome to the working week.

Speaking online

Publishing one talk and preparing the next.


A look back at a strange year.