Tags: ala

6

sparkline

Separated at death

September 13th, 2007:

Jeremy Keith looks a bit like Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape in Harry Potter.

February 25th, 2009:

I have to start off by saying—and maybe this will come as no surprise—but you look a lot to me like the guy who plays Snape on Harry Potter. Do you get that? Do you get that a lot?

January 24th, 2013:

I just figured out who @adactio looks exactly like. Try and guess.

— Amber Weinberg (@amberweinberg)

@amberweinberg Please don’t say Severus Snape.

— Jeremy Keith (@adactio)

@adactio lololol I admit, last night when you were bundled up in a scarf you looked SO like him that’s exactly why I thought

— Amber Weinberg (@amberweinberg)

April 24th, 2013:

January 14th, 2016:

100 words 086

It’s summertime. Suddenly everything green seems to be growing with amazing fecundity. It’s quite something to see so much life blooming all at once.

Jessica and I have two little patches of earth in raised beds in our back garden. Right now they’re positively overflowing with lettuces: mustard greens, rocket, and a lovely variety called “marvel of four seasons”. Collectively they are the gift that keeps on giving. I can go out in the evening and harvest a great big bowlful of salad, and by the time I go out the next evening, there’s a whole new green feast waiting.

100 words 016

A Dao of Web Design by John Allsopp is a document that stands outside of time. It was a perfectly crafted message for its own era, and amazingly it’s even more relevant now, a full fathom fifteen years later.

We once took on the tropes of print design and tried to apply them to the web. I fear that today we run the risk of treating web development no different to other kinds of software development, ignoring the strengths of the web that John highlighted for us. Flexibility, ubiquity, and uncertainty: don’t fight them as bugs; embrace them as features.

Alasgone

This is the second briefest visit I’ve ever paid to Seattle. I arrived last night and I’ll be leaving in just a couple of hours to head for home.

The briefest visit I’ve ever paid to Seattle was just over a week ago. That lasted just long enough for me to grab a few hour’s sleep in a hotel near the airport — in room 404, no less — before heading north to Anchorage, Alaska.

In the following week I saw plenty of sights. I certainly had no lack of daylight in which to see them. With just a few weeks to go until the Summer solstice, night time doesn’t last very long.

I spent three days on The Spirit of Columbia cruising around the glaciers of Prince William Sound and the rest of the time was divided between Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali National Park.

The three-day cruise offered up plenty of wildlife sightings: one bear, a drove of mountain goats, a bevy of otters, a bob of seals, a convocation of eagles and a gam of whales. The sight of a young humpback whale lunge-feeding near the shoreline was eclipsed only by the unusual sight—to my eyes, at least—of an eagle swimming. I thought that maybe the eagle was in distress but no, apparently when an eagle catches a really big fish, it will try to swim to the shore with it rather than let the prize go.

The landscape was, needless to say, spectacular. I took plenty of pictures but the only ones that really get the scale across are the panoramas I stiched together (Photoshop CS3 makes this a breeze using FileAutomatePhotomerge).

Peruse these at full size to get all the detail. I’m particularly fond of the panoramas created from pictures taken on a crisp clear day atop a glacier at Denali after an exhilarating helicopter ride.

  • Water
  • Clear
  • Ice ahead
  • Glacier
  • Snowy landscape
  • Helicopter on ice
  • Glacier landing

Icebound

Three years ago, Jessica and I went on a cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage. Now we’re going back. This time we’re going to Prince William Sound to see some glaciers …y’know, before they’re all gone.

I’ll be hastening the glacial melting by flying across the Atlantic to Seattle before heading onto Anchorage to start the four-day excursion out on the water. After that, the plan is to spend a little time in Denali.

I expect to be completely incommunicado the whole time, barring the occasional Twitter update. If you send me any email over the next week or so, don’t expect a response. Then again, that’s true anyway whether I’m traveling or not.

Redesigns a go-go

Redesigns are like buses: you need to wear clean underwear in case you get hit by one. No, hang on: You wait for one for ages, then loads come along at once… yeah, that’s what I meant.

Paul has been busy since leaving Oxford for his new job in London. He’s been marking up the new design for the front page of The Guardian website. This is a nice refreshing change for the paper’s site, making really good use of colour and typography in a pleasing grid. It’s a bit wide for my taste but at least most of the content that gets cut off at 800 pixels is mostly marketing guff (with the exception of the search at the top of the page: shame that the header couldn’t be liquid even if the rest of the page stays fixed).

Don’t worry: I’m not that much of a zealot that I’m going to judge designs purely based on whether they’re fixed width or liquid. But if you want to see a great example of a hybrid design, check out what Patrick has been doing with the ongoing design of his site: the third column drops below the second when the window width gets narrow—a smooth adaptive technique I first saw pioneered in a previous incarnation of Colly’s site.

Speaking of kick-ass Brit designers hailing from North of the Watford gap, Malarkey has redesigned his site. Actually, he’s done more than that. He’s condensed his two sites—business and personal—into one. You can read all about the ins and outs of the redesign but I recommend having a little poke around the site first to see how many delightful little Easter eggs you can spot.

There’s a ton of really nice little touches. Obviously the superb illustrations by Kevin really stand out but did you also notice that all the borders between columns are hand-drawn in pencil? Needless to say, the typography is uniformly excellent. Oh, and see if you can figure out how he managed to get two columns of text to flow around a single image on the front page.

Design is more than just visual appearance and Andy has pulled out all the stops in making sure that his personality comes across not just in the graphical elements but also in the copy. My favourite little touch is down in the footer:

If you need help using this site, please consult our help page. If you need help using our help page, download our How to use help PDF (what’s a download?)

That last link leads to a page that includes this great piece of advice:

Advisory notice: When you download something from the internet, don’t forget to put it back.

I haven’t been immune to the redesign bug. I finally got ‘round to making a long-overdue overhaul of the Salter Cane site.

Salter Cane on screen The old Flash site served its purpose well. It was atmospheric and mysterious—mostly because we didn’t have anything much to say so atmosphere and mystery were all we wanted to communicate. Times have changed though. There’s a lot happening with the band: concerts, an album release, songs on iTunes and a general increase in activity. Time for the band members to get blogging.

That doesn’t mean I’ve ditched the atmosphere but I felt it was time to remove some of the mystery. The design itself came together very, very quickly—just a couple of days—and it isn’t finished yet. I still need to create pages for the individual band members, add an archive of past concerts and work on expanding the individual blog post pages. But the overall look and feel is all in place and I’m quite pleased with how it has turned out. It has a lighter touch than the previous design but still has a lot of that olde-worlde feeling.

It all works pretty nicely on my mobile phone which is a nice bonus. The front page is also a mini mashup, pulling in the latest posts from the band’s MySpace page and the latest pictures on Flickr tagged with “saltercane”. And, of course, there are microformats a-plenty.

I spent most of my efforts on getting the typography right, paying a lot of attention to Richard’s ideas about baselines and vertical rhythm. I’ve added a couple of touches using CSS selectors that not all browsers support—transcending CSS and all that malarkey. Safari users will get the nice :first-line and :first-letter styles (though I did have to shoot off a bug report to Dave Hyatt pointing out that the letter styled with the :first-letter pseudo-class doesn’t scale when the user resizes the text size—but this might well be already fixed in the nightly builds of WebKit).

So all in all, it’s a busy time for redesigns. But wait, there’s more…

Keep your eye on the d.Constuct website over the next couple of days. Much as I love the current holding page, what’s coming is even better. Paul has been slaving away in the Clearleft office to make a site that really fits the theme of this year’s conference: designing the user experience. You can expect a fun-filled redesign.

When the d.Constuct site launches, you’ll be able to see for yourself what a great line-up we’ve got for the conference this year. I’m looking forward to it already. Don’t worry: tickets won’t be going on sale for quite a while yet but be sure to mark the date in your calendar: September 7th, 2007. On that day, Brighton is most definitely the place to be.