A step-by-step guide to implementing drag’n’drop, and image previews with the Filereader API. No libraries or frameworks were harmed in the making of this article.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
Thursday, December 21st, 2017
Well, that escalated quickly! Service workers are now available in Safari’s Technology Preview, which means it won’t be long before it lands in Safari proper.
Everything offline’s coming up Milhouse!
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Susan reviews Alla’s superb book on design systems:
If you’re interested in or wanting to create a design system or improve the one you have or get buy in to take your side project at work and make it part of the normal work flow, read this book. And even better, get your colleagues to do the same, so you’ll have a shared understanding before you begin the hard work to build your own system.
Susan also published her highlights from the book. I really like that!
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
This is definitely the best review of any of my books.
Monday, April 10th, 2017
A jolly nice review of Resilient Web Design.
After just a few pages in, I could see why so many have read Resilient Web Design all in one go. It lives up to all the excellent reviews.
Friday, March 24th, 2017
Mind you, the real issue is not finding the right words to describe what I do, but rather figuring out just what the heck it is that I actually do in the first place.
Instead, I try to make sure that the people doing the actual coding—Mark, Graham, and Danielle—are happy and have everything they need to get on with their work. From outside, it might look like my role is managerial, but I see it as the complete opposite. They’re not in service to me; I’m in service to them. If they’re not happy, I’m not doing my job.
There’s another aspect to this role of technical director, and it’s similar to the role of a creative director. Just as a creative director is responsible for the overall direction and quality of designs being produced, I have an oversight over the quality of front-end output. I don’t want to be a bottleneck in the process though, and to be honest, most of the time I don’t do much checking on the details of what’s being produced because I completely trust Mark, Graham, and Danielle to produce top quality code.
But I feel I should be doing more. Again, it’s not that I want to be a bottleneck where everything needs my approval before it gets delivered, but I hope that I could help improve everyone’s output.
Now the obvious way to do this is with code reviews. I do it a bit, but not nearly as much as I should. And even when I do, I always feel it’s a bit late to be spotting any issues. After all, the code has already been written. Also, who am I to try to review the code produced by people who are demonstrably better at coding than I am?
Instead I think it will be more useful for me to stick my oar in before a line of code has been written; to sit down with someone and talk through how they’re going to approach solving a particular problem, creating a particular pattern, or implementing a particular user story.
I suppose it’s really not that different to rubber ducking. Having someone to talk out loud with about potential solutions can be really valuable in my experience.
So I’m going to start doing more code previews. I think it will also incentivise me to do more code reviews—being involved in the initial discussion of a solution means I’m going to want to see the final result.
But I don’t think this should just apply to front-end code. I’d also like to exercise this role as technical director with the designers on a project.
All too often, decisions are made in the design phase that prove problematic in development. It usually works out okay, but it often means revisiting the designs in light of some technical considerations. I’d like to catch those issues sooner. That means sticking my nose in much earlier in the process, talking through what the designers are planning to do, and keeping an eye out for any potential issues.
So, as technical director, I won’t be giving feedback like “the colour’s not working for me” or “not sure about those type choices” (I’ll leave that to the creative director), but instead I can ask questions like “how will this work without hover?” or “what happens when the user does this?” as well as pointing out solutions that might be tricky or time-consuming to implement from a technical perspective.
What I want to avoid is the swoop’n’poop, when someone seagulls in after something has been designed or built and points out all the problems. The earlier in the process any potential issues can be spotted, the better.
And I think that’s my job.
I know it’s just a landing page for YouTube channel of movie reviews but I really like the art direction and responsiveness of this.
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
Sunday, January 1st, 2017
When I took a look at back at 2015, it was to remark on how nicely uneventful it was. I wish I could say the same about 2016. Instead, this was the year that too damned much kept happening.
The big picture was dominated by Brexit and Trump, disasters that are sure to shape events for years to come. I try to keep the even bigger picture in perspective and remind myself that our species is doing well, and that we’re successfully battling poverty, illiteracy, violence, pollution, and disease. But it’s so hard sometimes. I still think the overall trend for this decade will be two steps forward, but the closing half is almost certain to be one step back.
Some people close to me have had a really shitty year. More than anything, I wish I could do more to help them.
Right now I’m thinking that one of the best things I could wish for 2017 is for it to be an uneventful year. I’d really like it if the end-of-year round-up in 365 days time had no world-changing events.
But for me personally? 2016 was fine. I didn’t accomplish any big goals—although I’m very proud to have published Resilient Web Design—but I’ve had fun at work, and as always, I’m very grateful for all the opportunities that came my way.
I ate some delicious food…
I went to beautiful places…
And I got to hang out with some lovely doggies…
Have a happy—and uneventful—new year!
Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
Reviews of twentieth century science fiction novels and anthologies by women writers.
Sunday, February 14th, 2016
Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
Codebar had a very good 2015.
Of the 137 workshops run, “100 of those workshops were organised by our two busiest chapters, London and Brighton”—50 each.
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015
‘Sfunny, I was just discussing this with Clare and Charlotte at work: how our office space (and culture) lends itself well to spontaneous exchanges of feedback and opinions.
Thursday, June 4th, 2015
100 words 074
We had an epic front-end pow-wow today. With plenty of Beerleft Goldenrods on hand we ploughed through discussing current client work and then turned to our guests. Today we were joined by Tracy Osborn, who told us all about her lovely new self-published book, Hello Web App. Then we got a demo from our friends at the confusingly named Ind.ie—no relation to the indie web—who gave us a demo of what they’ve been working on. We gave our feedback, including a heartfelt plea to dial down the rhetoric in their public pronouncements.
Monday, June 1st, 2015
Oh, what a spray! What a lovely spray!
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
100 words 032
We have a regular gathering at Clearleft every Thursday at 4pm. It’s our front-end pow-wow (there’s a corresponding “UX Laundromat” on Thursdays at 3pm, and every Friday at 4pm there’s a “Design …Thing”).
It’s basically like a design crit, but for code. People show what they’ve been working, whether it’s client work or personal projects. It leads to some great cross-pollination of ideas and solutions.
I wrap it up by going through links I’ve tagged with “frontend”.
Everyone’s welcome to come along, whether they’re a front-end developer or not. If any clients are in the office, they’re invited along too.
Sunday, December 7th, 2014
Sounds like a cute idea, right?
In fact it’s the best thing you’re ever likely to read on Peruvian ursine immigration.
Monday, March 24th, 2014
Some sensible thoughts from Addy on how Web Components might be peer-reviewed.
Friday, August 16th, 2013
Paris Review – “One Murder Is Statistically Utterly Unimportant”: A Conversation with Warren Ellis, Molly Crabapple
Molly Crabapple interviews Warren Ellis. Fun and interesting …much like Molly Crabapple and Warren Ellis.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
This slipped past me somehow: a review of Huffduffer by Jason Snell for Macworld.
Thanks, Jason! Glad you like it.