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Accessibility For Everyone

After three years of work, I can finally tell you that I’ve written an book for A Book Apart about web accessibility called Accessibility For Everyone. In case you’ve not heard of web accessibility (you wouldn’t be the first!), web accessibility is the degree to which a website is usable by as many people as… Read more

Site adjustments

My site is looking a little different, I’m now using the lovely Recia for the type. Fontdeck recently retired, and while they gave loads of notice about the service stopping, I still didn’t update my fonts in time. This left my site looking a little sad and Helvetica-y. I have a redesign in the works. But I’ve… Read more

Bereaved

Last night I had a dream, or maybe a nightmare. I was in a ballet class in a church hall, learning all kinds of complicated and not-really-ballet dance sequences. The class was busy, we were all in clumsy rows. We were a diverse group of dancers in our everyday clothes. It was the same church hall… Read more

Diary, 29th June 2016

It’s not even been a week since 51.9% UK citizens voted to leave the EU, and it’s already a mess for any business operating from, or with, British Pounds. I’ve spent today working through our finances to see how best for us to proceed in terms of currencies and bank accounts. Despite living in Sweden,… Read more

Diary, 13th June 2016

Time rolls by and it’s about time I did another diary entry. I’m going to try to get Aral and me to write more frequently now what we’re working on (Better) is out in the open. (No more talk of the hush-hush project! ;-) Since the launch of Better, we’ve been keeping development going, whilst… Read more

Diary, 22nd April 2016

Always busy here! Aral and I have been doing a good job of getting out to events in our new home city of Malmö. Last week we went to see A Good American at DocLounge, and this week we’ve been to a few events right here in Media Evolution City. We’re really lucky to have an amazing… Read more

Diary, 29th March 2016

Back in the office today and we’re working hard and getting a lot done. We can’t wait to share what we’re working on with you all. (Soon, I promise!) Friday and today, I’ve been getting our Labs and source.ind.ie in tip-top shape. Now with our own logo in the corner, it feels more like home, and Aral has added… Read more

Diary, 21st March 2016

It’s been a busy few weeks. Ethical Design Manifesto refresh Last week we launched a refresh of the Ethical Design Manifesto, along with a video. As it was a short-ish video, I felt like I had no excuse but to do the captioning for it too. I couldn’t get Subtitle Horse (my usual favourite web… Read more

Diary, 1st March 2016

Well… we’re here! In Malmö, sitting in our new office at Media Evolution City. It’s been a busy and exhausting week. Oskar and I made our 800 mile trip in one day, thanks to the wonderful “courier” and took another day to recover. Then it was straight into the office. The last week has been… Read more

What advice do you give to aspiring designers or typographers?

I was just asked, amongst a couple of other questions, what advice I would give to aspiring designers or typographers. With my mind focused on the aspiration part, I started writing an answer based on finding your own way of working through studying others, not copying… And then I realised it was a bit superficial.… Read more

Diary, 16th February 2016

It’s nearly time! We’re moving to Sweden next Tuesday, and it’s currently at equal parts exciting and stressful. The storage locker in Brighton is almost empty, and we’ve stashed all our sentimental stuff—the things you want to keep, but probably aren’t worth putting in a suitcase to a foreign land—at my family’s house. We’re only… Read more

Diary, 5th February 2016

Note: I’ve been writing diary entries on the Ind.ie forum for a while now. I’ve decided to start sharing these on my site now too, as I’ve not been posting much else! (They have bonus dog photos.) I’ve been meaning to write a diary entry for ages, and 8am on a Friday morning is the… Read more

Office Furniture (and other nice things) for sale

So we’re finally moving to Sweden at the end of the month. You might remember that we sold a lot of our stuff last summer when we left Brighton. We kept a lot of good stuff, thinking we’d relocate it with us. But now we’re moving to a small apartment in Malmö, and a beautiful… Read more

My 2015

I’m not even sure how to write about 2015… 2015 can die in a fire, go away and never come back. My mother died in August, three months after her mother, my grandmother, died in April. Missing them both has really done me over. Grieving is not what I expected, it just makes everything exhausting.… Read more

Flexboxing the Universal Video Player

I added a flexbox layout to our Universal Video Player (accessible HTML5 video player) and wrote a blog post on Ind.ie Labs about using flexbox with progressive enhancement.

The Sticky, Pocked Underbelly Of The Web

This week’s roundup covers Swiss Cheese Internet vs The Database Of Ruin, The Right To Be Forgotten, and Diversity. Lots of variety!  

Windows To Your Soul

In this week’s Ind.ie roundup, I wrote about privacy, politics, tracking, Timelines, and a little thing called “corporate nullification.”

Is there potential for “ethical analytics”?

We have Piwik analytics on the Ind.ie site, and I use Gauges and GoSquared on my own site (I was indecisive at the time…) But I use Ghostery so I actually block analytics like this for my own use. As someone who is a big web fan, and used to work in client services, I understand the value of particular types… Read more

Tethered Beings

This week the Ind.ie roundup returns with a big one. Great news on the UK surveillance legislation front, and lots of corporation news. Read the Ind.ie roundup: Tethered Beings.

Farewell Caspar

We didn’t have an Ind.ie roundup the previous week because we were moving, though Aral wrote a quick update on what’s happening with our move. Last week we were roundup-less again, as we heard the sad news that Caspar Bowden had died. We decided that, instead of the usual roundup, we’d take a look at Caspar’s privacy advocacy in tribute… Read more

Book Bundles for Sale

3rd July: NEW BOOKS ADDED! We’re moving. And because we’re moving abroad, we’re getting rid of all of our stuff. Just take me to the books already Aral and I have a lot of books between us. We’re sad to lose them. Many have been gifts from friends, written by people we know, and helped… Read more

Photography on manual: 10 – Miscellaneous

The last few days have brought a very miscellaneous collection of photos. The next photo is part of our overlaying exercise set by Ashley. I did it in post-processing, before I discovered that my camera has a multiple exposure setting. It’s pretty cheesy, but an okay first try.

The Destiny Machine

Last Friday’s roundup was back to business as usual, after a couple of weeks of re:publica-related work. We’ve got the latest in the world of Spyware 2.0, and some fun ways that people are challenging the system.

Photography on manual: 9 – Oskar in the grey

This week we’ve been looking more at natural light, and portraits with foreground detail. I took my trusty (actually incredibly unreliable) model, Oskar, out for a walk and hounded him with the camera. It was a very grey day, but with a lot of light.

Interview on the Subjective podcast

At the beginning of the week, I had fun talking to Victor Johnson on Episode 9 of the Subjective podcast, ‘Free As In Liberty.’ I ranted a lot, and we talked about Ind.ie, diversity, my upbringing, and how I got into design and the web. Subjective is also a great podcast in its infancy, with… Read more

Accessibility By Design

On Thursday morning I gave a talk online for Inclusive Design 24, a free 24-hour event celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD.) I wanted to share my talk in a more readable way, so here it is: In the last two years, I’ve given eleven accessibility-related talks, almost entirely on an introductory level. I want to go into a… Read more

Photography on manual: 6 – Walk

When I started doing this course, I knew I’d probably end up with a lot of dog walking photos. Oskar and I are out every day, and so there’s lots of photo opportunities. After exploring the self-timer in my last photo, I thought I’d try it again. Dog photos are obviously great, but I wanted… Read more

Photography on manual: 5 – Levitation

Another photo post so soon? Yes! It’s the weekend, and Ashley gave us a really cool new exercise to try levitation, so I thought I had to try it.

Photography on manual: 4 – Post-processing

On my last day in Berlin, I took a lot more photos. Last night I started post-processing them, following Ashley’s email and video tutorials. Post-processing is an area where I have more experience, I’ve done a lot of Photoshopping in the past, but now I’m trying to achieve new effects using Lightroom, which is a… Read more

Photography on manual: 1

I’ve had a DSLR for nearly a year now. And I still only ever use it on the Auto modes. I studied photography (with film cameras) during my Art Foundation course ~10 years ago, but I think any decent photos were mostly luck, and I can’t remember much of it. So when Ashley set up… Read more

What do web experts think of BBC Taster?

In the spirit of catching up on slightly older news, in January I was part of a panel commenting on BBC Taster on Creative Bloq. Looking through, I liked the content and the concept interested me, but there were implications for accessibility that concerned me. Overall, I came across as a lot more cynical that… Read more

Europe fights back

Last Friday’s Ind.ie roundup had more on corporate surveillance, a couple of great videos with Edward Snowden, and Europe fighting back against Google and Facebook. It took me a long time to pull it all together. I’m going to have to start writing my Friday roundups on Thursday! If you know of any interesting or… Read more

130 words on getting creative in Offscreen Magazine

I’m slightly behind on my posts, but I wanted to share my contribution in the latest edition of Offscreen Magazine. Offscreen is a beautiful, printed, independent magazine about the “People behind Bits and Pixels.” I contributed 130 words to Issue 10 on getting into a creative mindset. You can buy a copy, or get a… Read more

Speaking at 418:conf web meetup

I’m speaking at the very first 418:conf web meetup on 16th June 2015 in Nutfield (near Redhill) in Surrey. It’s exciting for me because it’s near where I used to live, and it’s a cool new meetup with a lot of potential. If you’re local, you should get your ticket now. They’re free!

My Friday Roundup for Ind.ie

Every Friday I write a roundup of great links we at Ind.ie have seen over the last week. I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot of fun. I finally have an excuse to sit and properly read articles that are related to independence, privacy, human rights, democracy, diversity and more. I feel more well-informed as… Read more

The Illusion Of Free on A List Apart

Last week, my column on The Illusion Of Free was published on A List Apart. I took a lot of time writing it, as I think it’s an incredibly important issue, and it reflects my thinking around Ind.ie. As ever, a massive thank you to the wonderful editor Rose Weisburd who helped me round things out,… Read more

A realign for 2015

Almost a year after last year’s realign, I’ve made some more tweaks to my site. There were a few reasons behind it: I’m not freelance anymore, so I don’t need the focus on my portfolio As I’m now working with Ind.ie, I needed to update my about page The navigation needed some accessibility work The… Read more

Speaking at the Sherpa Summit

Last October, Web Standards Sherpa published my mini series on Getting Started With Sass. It was a whole new experience as I’d never written a technical tutorial as in-depth as this, let alone doing so with a proper editor and technical editor. Web Standards Sherpa is like that; all about the quality. So it was… Read more

Digital Arts: Web fonts: what designers need to know in 2015

Another fab and in-depth article from Craig Grannell on Digital Arts, this time on Web fonts: what designers need to know in 2015. Craig asked a load of smart designers (and me) about web fonts, web font services, and how to choose web fonts. My full answers to Craig’s original questions are below: What do you… Read more

For Sale: Mid 2013 MacBook Air

In October, I found myself doing a lot more in Terminal than I’d done before, and I needed a computer with a faster processor, so I upgraded to a MacBook Pro. This means that my pimped-out Mid 2013 MacBook Air that I bought in December 2013 is now for sale. It’s in nearly-new condition, as it’s been kept… Read more

Do your skip links work with keyboard navigation?

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of research in web accessibility, and it’s lead me to testing web pages more thoroughly. I’ve been testing keyboard-only navigation a lot. Keyboard-only input is how most screen reader users interact with the web, as well as many alternative input and mouse-less users. This afternoon I was testing a new… Read more

My 2014

Well, things didn’t slow down in 2014! So much so that I didn’t manage to write this post yesterday. In 2014 I spoke at 8 events in 4 countries, and worked with 11 clients on 15 projects before starting work full time with Ind.ie in August. I wrote a lot more, with regular slots on… Read more

Unfinished Business 97: Made in Scotland from girders

This week’s episode of Unfinished Business was great fun to record. Both Ashley Baxter and I were Andy’s guests, and we talked about unhealthy food, being a podcast guest, Christmas decorations, and everything that’s in store for the three of us over the next year.

What I’m doing now and why

I’d been a freelance web designer/developer full-time, working for myself, for six years. I love working with clients, and working with small businesses is a very sustainable business model. You can make a big difference to a small business. You can get paid fairly well. And you can forge long-term relationships with people whose businesses… Read more

Unfinished Business 89: Burger in donut

Last week’s episode of Unfinished Business was a very different discussion from the usual. Andy and I talked about his fantastic idea for Geek Mental Help week (October 27th onwards) and how so many people in our industry are affected by mental health issues. I’ll definitely be writing a post for Geek Mental Help Week,… Read more

Breaking Stuff on A List Apart

Last week my latest column, Breaking Stuff, was published on A List Apart. I’m in a strange transitional period, moving from client work to fulltime at ind.ie, so I think I’ll be writing more about situations like these as time goes on. I’ve also finally updated that terrible avatar to something much better. I look… Read more

ind.ie Project Stratosphere announcement

After a few months of being pretty quiet, and working towards our crowdfunding campaign, we’re finally able to reveal some big stuff about ind.ie. We’re not just designing a phone. A crowdfunding campaign for a phone that you’ll get in two years is not a risk worth taking. We need to build a network and… Read more

Speaking at Web Day at Bath Digital Festival

I’m speaking at Web Day at Bath Digital Festival on the 28th of October. Bath is great, I went to university there, and it’s full of lovely people. I’m looking forward to going back and giving a talk about accessibility. Tickets are a very reasonable £15, and it looks like it’ll be a very interesting… Read more

5 reasons why you should get an office dog

Last week I wrote my Pastry Box thought on 5 reasons why you should get an office dog. It’s not just silly photos of Oskar, but actually five reasons why having Oskar for company has helped keep me sane. Through living and working by myself, to living and working with other people, he’s still incredibly… Read more

Speaking at border:none

Next month I’m speaking and running a “creator unit” at border:none in Nuremberg. This is incredibly exciting as it’s an event focused around the decentralisation of the web, a topic that I care about a great deal. I’ll be talking about using considerate design and great user experiences to create genuine alternatives to the products… Read more

dConstruct 2014

Jeremy Keith is a master curator of brilliant talks from wonderful speakers, and Friday’s dConstruct was a great event. Gone are the days where I write long connected writeups on conference themes. I wish I had the time, and venues like the Brighton Dome are far too dark to take notes. However, I really wanted… Read more

Building a diverse speaker lineup

This post is so good, and so incredibly valuable, that it’s deserving of more than just a passing tweet. Julie Pagano has written about ‘Building a Diverse Speaker Lineup.’ This should be the go-to post for conference organisers, and it should be read as soon as you’re even thinking about organising an event. Julie’s post… Read more

Unfinished Business 83: Slightly sticky bottoms

Andy is back this week and so we did a handover episode of Unfinished Business. This week we talked about our different approaches to the podcast and what’s relevant to “business”. Andy found an interesting article on the BBC website about smartphone stress, so we talked about how we handle disconnecting when we go on… Read more

Give and Tell Challenge

When Andy Clarke challenged me to the “Give and Tell Challenge”, I was very happy to comply. Dan James, inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, came up with the challenge: You donate to a cause, or causes, that have meaning to you and you say why. You then challenge 3 other people to do… Read more

Indie Tech Summit videos and my talk on Universal Design

Yesterday we finally published all the videos from the Indie Tech Summit on the ind.ie site. It was a fantastic event, with two days of talking about how we can create sustainable and ethical alternatives to corporate surveillance. The first day was talks and panels, with everyone discussing the problems and their own free and… Read more

Unfinished Business 81 and 82

I was so busy last week that I forgot to post about Unfinished Business episode 81: Do you have a dinosaur onesie? This week, Ashley and I recorded episode 82: Love a good pep talk. It’s been a fun few weeks. It’s been interesting how a lot of people have said that Ashley and I… Read more

Workplaces of Web Professionals

This morning Martin Wolf published an interesting blog post with photos of the “workplaces of web professionals”. I always wonder if people really are that tidy, or if they spent a while clearing up before they took the photo. The featured photo of my workplace (in our ind.ie home office) shows the fairly typical mess on… Read more

Digital Arts: Designing for the unknown

Last week, Craig Grannell asked me some questions about designing for the unknown. The result was a really fantastic article called Designing for the unknown: how to design templates and frameworks, and has contributions from some really smart people. The title image is from my writeup of the Default Perch Theme project I did with… Read more

Desert.fm Playlist

A few weeks ago I was asked to create a playlist of ten songs for Desert.fm. Nate, Bobby and Jamie sent me an email with the premise: Our idea is to to add value to digital playlists through personal stories and inspirational music. We’re totally genre agnostic and we don’t judge (honest!), we can find… Read more

Unfinished Business 80: I wonder why he trusts us?

Andy Clarke is on holiday for three weeks and has handed over the Unfinished Business reins to Ashley Baxter and I. This week’s episode is all about business insurance for freelancers and small businesses. We talked about public liability, professional indemnity, business contents and copyright infringement. It was great because I got to ask Ashley… Read more

Digital Arts: The future of web design

Over the next few days I’m catching up on things I failed to share in recent months. It’s been a very busy few months, but I still like to have a record of what I did and where I’ve been! In April, I spoke to Neil Bennett about the future of web design, and the… Read more

I Don’t Like It on A List Apart

Heh. That’s a misleading title! I’ve been on holiday, so I’m late to posting this update. Just over a week ago, my most recent column, I Don’t Like It, was posted on A List Apart. I’d heard some designers discussing their clients in less-than-favourable terms. This kind of behaviour makes me cross. It’s the Clients… Read more

Discount code for WXG 2014 in Guildford

You might have seen that I’m speaking at WXG in Guildford in September. If you didn’t already get a ticket, you might want to use my discount code of kalbagWXG to get £10 off the (already very affordable £99) ticket price. There’s some great speakers in the lineup, and it’s sure to be a fun… Read more

Accessibility en France

Yesterday I gave a talk at KiwiParty in Strasbourg. KiwiParty is a lovely conference, but all of the speakers spoke in French, to the French audience. Except me. I speak a little bit of (A-Level) French, but I certainly couldn’t give a talk in French. Designing for accessibility My talk was about Designing for accessibility.… Read more

Unfinished Business 72: Big Bad Boy Breakfast Bap

This week’s episode of Unfinished Business was great fun to record. After my recent move to working on Indie Phone, alongside my boyfriend Aral Balkan, I was curious to know how Andy and Sue have worked so well together since the beginning of Stuff and Nonsense. I sent Sue some questions, which she answered and… Read more

And I accidentally became a control freak…

Following on from my post yesterday about working with Indie Phone for 50% of my time, my thought on the Pastry Box today is about how I accidentally became a control freak. It’s hard to admit the flaws you find in yourself, but I’m so determined to do a good job that I think it’s… Read more

Becoming part of Indie Phone

There’s some big changes around here. As of Monday, I am now working with Indie Phone for 50% of my working time. What is Indie Phone? Indie Phone is a huge, and very ambitious, project. We’re building a smart phone that allows you to own your own data. The majority of companies on the web… Read more

How to get started with public speaking

Last week, the wonderful Ashley Baxter asked me about how I got into public speaking. Ashley asked a few cool people, and published their public speaking stories on the Insurance By Jack blog. By the way, if you want business insurance, you really should get a quote from Insurance By Jack.

Why accessibility matters to me #GAAD

The reason I fell in love with the web was the democratisation of information. I love that so many people can access, learn, and share such a huge variety of resources. That’s why I’ve always considered accessibility so important. To me, access for all is an essential part of the nature of the web. How I learned… Read more

A look inside a designer’s sketchbook

A couple of months ago, Ian from logogeek.co.uk, asked if I’d share some of my sketchbook pages on his site. Ian wanted to emphasise the rough, imperfect nature of the way we plan logo designs, and show real work done by real people. Last week, Ian added some pages from my sketchbook to his post,… Read more

April’s Pastry Box thought on writing

I was slow to post about my April Pastry Box post as my realign got in the way. It was really a little insecure thought about how my writing and thinking is improving, but I’m finding it hard.

A little realign

Things are looking a bit different around here. It’s not a redesign so much as a realign. I’ve been tinkering for a few months, and finally got to the point where I’m happy to push it live (even though there’s more I could do.) There were a few particular goals for this redesign: Rewrite the… Read more

Unfinished Business #64

On Friday I was a guest on the Unfinished Business podcast again. It was a special episode as Rachel Andrew was also a guest (yeah, I designed her site!) I don’t like to go on about stuff like this too often, but if you’d told 21 year old me (7 years ago) that I’d be… Read more

Me and My Big Fat Ego on A List Apart

Today my column on Me and My Big Fat Ego was published on A List Apart. It’s not that I’d say I have a huge ego, but it’s definitely something that’s easily bruised when I feel like things aren’t going my way.

Speaking at KiwiParty in Strasbourg

On the 13th of June, I’m speaking at KiwiParty in Strasbourg. I’ll be speaking about web accessibility. It’ll be my first conference in France and I’ll be trying to remember my French from AS Level ten years ago! I won’t be giving my talk in my terrible French, but if you’re coming along, please find… Read more

Unfinished Business #61

Last weekend I was a guest on the Unfinished Business podcast again. I had a lovely time chatting to Andy about speaking at conferences, working for free and I even managed to squeeze in a rant about accessibility.

Inspiration on A List Apart

Last week my column on Inspiration was published on A List Apart. It follows roughly the same structure as the talk I gave at Design + Banter a few weeks ago.

Video interview for Interlink conference

Sadly, Interlink conference has been cancelled. I’m gutted that I won’t be visiting Canada this year, but I totally understand how difficult it is to run a conference, especially if you’re trying to put on the best possible event for your attendees and speakers. Last week I had a chat with my friend Steve Fisher… Read more

March’s Pastry Box thought on purpose

Today my thought for March was posted on The Pastry Box. It was inspired by First Things First 2014, talks by Cole Peters and Nicklas de León Persson at Design and Banter, and Fictive Kin‘s slashpurpose.org. I’ve started formulating a draft of my “purpose” for this site, but it’s not quite ready yet.

Speaking at WXG 2014 in Guildford

I’m speaking at WXG 2014 in Guildford in September. This is exciting for me because I attended the first ever WXG a couple of years ago, and it’s about as local as a conference is going to get to my hometown, Reigate. The tickets are a bargain at just £69 for early birds, and there’s… Read more

Guest on A Bit More Backendy podcast

Yesterday the fourth episode of the Backendy podcast was released, and I was the guest. It was lovely talking to Darren, partly because he’s been a great client for a while now, partly because I’ve been working on the podcast logo and site, and also because I think a podcast focusing on back-end development is… Read more

Design theory for the web workshop at Interlink conference

Sadly, Interlink conference has been cancelled. I’m gutted that I won’t be visiting Canada this year, but I totally understand how difficult it is to run a conference, especially if you’re trying to put on the best possible event for your attendees and speakers. I’m running my ‘Design theory for the web’ workshop at Interlink… Read more

Delivery Logistics on A List Apart

There’s nothing wrong with sending a client a rough sketch if that’s all that’s needed to communicate your idea. In my latest column on A List Apart, I’ve written about deliverables and why what the client expects isn’t always the right thing to do…

Speaking at Design + Banter

I’m speaking at Design + Banter on Monday in London. It’s already sold out, but there’s a waiting list available for the free tickets. Nicklas Persson and Cole Peters are also speaking so I’m really chuffed to be part of a great lineup!

Interview about web fonts on Type Quest

A few months ago Tyler Sanguinette sent me some questions about design and web typography as part of his thesis on web fonts. Recently I found that he’d published the interview, and interviews with a load of very smart people, on the Type Quest website. Type Quest also has some really useful information on the… Read more

Speaking at Interlink conference in Toronto

Sadly, Interlink conference has been cancelled. I’m gutted that I won’t be visiting Canada this year, but I totally understand how difficult it is to run a conference, especially if you’re trying to put on the best possible event for your attendees and speakers. This is very very exciting. In June, I’m going to speak… Read more

Sketch of the day

A strange thing has happened in the last week. I’ve been a bit blue, but I’ve really got into my One Sketch A Day book. This was a lovely little book that Rachel Shillcock sent me. I started on the 12th December last year, with a quick sketch. I tried really hard and 9 days… Read more

Unfinished Business #54

The latest Unfinished Business podcast has just been published, and I’m on it again! I had a lovely time talking to Andy about scheduling projects, invoicing, rates and people who don’t understand copyright. A very big thank you to my friend Jo who let me take over her internet and bedroom for the recording, as… Read more

Industry mentoring on Creative Bloq

Craig Grannell has written a fantastic article on Creative Bloq about mentoring, looking at loads of different ways the web industry can do mentoring well. Including interviews with Clare Sutcliffe, Greg Hoy, Jeffery Zeldman, Andy Budd, Josh Emerson, Andy Budd, Anna Debenham and me! It’s well-worth a read if you want to mentor somebody, or… Read more

Speaking at DotYork

I’m speaking at DotYork conference in York on the 1st of May. My friend Jonic is one of the organisers, and with the thought and love that they’re putting into the event, it’s got to be fantastic. It’ll be my first time in York, so I’m looking forward to seeing the sights and feeling incredibly… Read more

Interview with Heart Internet

Yesterday, Heart Internet posted an interview with me on their site. They start off saying some very kind things about me, and then it covers accessibility, design, speaking at conferences and a bit of client work. As a bonus, it’s interspersed with photos of me pulling weird faces at conferences (and being business on the… Read more

Writing on The Pastry Box and my first post on ethics

Today is the day my first “thought” of the year is published on The Pastry Box. When Alex asked me if I wanted to be a part of The Pastry Box project, I leapt at the chance. There are some fantastic people who have contributed such interesting thoughts and ideas over there in the last… Read more

I love this pen

It’s a J Herbin metal pen. It’s a rollerball but it takes any standard ink cartridge. I use it with the J Herbin ink cartridges as they come in loads of different colours and packaged in cute little tins. It’s taken me years to find my ideal pen. I have small hands so I need… Read more

Speaking at 12 Devs of Winter

I’m speaking at 12 Devs of Winter on the 22nd January in Shoreditch. Because I’ve clearly lost my mind, I’m going to be doing another new talk. This time on ‘Freelancing for the reluctant businessperson.’ I’m that reluctant businessperson, and I’m hoping to share some silly stories about all the daft things I’ve done and… Read more

My 2013

My 2013 has been another big year. Oskar and I moved down to Brighton to live with Aral, I spoke at 13 events in 3 countries and worked with 13 clients on 20 projects. 2013 was the year of the podcast and I was a guest on 12 podcasts, most frequently with the lovely Andy… Read more

Interview on Workspiration

A few weeks ago I answered some questions for Workspiration on my hardware and software setup, inspiration and dreams. Workspiration seems to have collected interviews from a huge variety of people working in and around tech, and with everybody answering the same questions, it makes for a really interesting read. Bonus is that they also… Read more

Why Bother With Accessibility? on 24ways

My article for this year’s 24ways has been published today. I wrote “Why Bother With Accessibility?” after giving my Designing For Accessibility talks, and still coming up against the same excuses. I wanted to write something that could be a go-to for people trying to understand why designing for accessibility was worthwhile. Fingers crossed that… Read more

Guest on Beyond Ink podcast

Yesterday the first episode of the Beyond Ink podcast went live. This was a podcast that Rachel had in the works for a while, and we first recorded together a few months ago. Last week we re-recorded that episode, so everything was up-to-date, and I had a fancy new microphone so I didn’t sound as… Read more

Speaking at MKGN this Thursday

This Thursday I’m speaking at Milton Keynes Geek Night. Tickets sold out terrifyingly quickly, but I put that down to MKGN always being a great event. I’m going to talk about self-discipline, it’s a new talk and so that makes me even more nervous than usual!

Unfinished Business #44

Last week I was on Unfinished Business again! Andy and I talked about hosting workshops, business names and how to make a good impression via email. My audio is pretty awful, and I’m sorry for that. I tried to be all clever with my headset, but ended up sounding very small and faraway… I’m also… Read more

Including “ask me anything” in my contract

At Dare conference in September, I saw a great talk by Kevin Hoffman on “How To Rebuild Amidst Crisis.” I loved this talk, there was so much in it, but one thing struck me as something I could carry over into my work: Kevin said he included “ask any question and I’ll answer it” in his… Read more

Interviewed by The Learning People

The Learning People have posted an interview they did with me about women in the technology sector, working for myself, and what inspires me.

Talking about building with Typecast

Last November at Build conference 2012, I had fun talking to some of the folks from Typecast about building, web design, responsive design and type. They recorded these videos (along with a load of lovely, smart and cool people!) and made a nice collection that you can watch on their website. Typecast are also giving… Read more

My Secret is Honesty talk video

The lovely people at Dare conference have released the video of my talk, My Secret is Honesty. It’s pretty much a longer, talk-version of my latest column on A List Apart, “Open for Business.” I’m not going to embed it here, because I want you to go to the website to watch it. The reason… Read more

Open for Business on A List Apart

My second column for A List Apart, “Open for Business,” is now up. I wrote Open for Business as a follow-up to my Dare conference talk about honesty. It’s not the same as the full talk (and has been edited into a far better shape by Rose Weisburd) but is the essence of why I feel… Read more

I also pledge to be better

This post was inspired by Faruk’s great post “I Pledge To Be Better (And I Hope You Do Too)” where he speaks about the continuing problems with discrimination and lack of diversity in tech, and how more people should speak up about these issues. Faruk rightly says we all have the power and responsibility to make… Read more

Speaking at MobX Conference in Berlin

Next Friday I’m speaking at MobX Conference in Berlin about designing for accessibility, covering problems that affect many different types of screens and devices. It will be my first time in Germany, so I’m very excited!  

A List Apart column and first post on Good Designers, Good Clients

This week the first post was published on my A List Apart column. It’s a very exciting thing for me. I’ve been reading A List Apart since I started learning about the web and loads of people I admire have written there. It’s good fun and a proper challenge having an editor working with me. I’ve… Read more

No more Red Bull

Using a Fitbit over the last year and a half has taught me that making your habits more visible in public makes you more likely to work harder. When you’re giving up a bad habit, often there’s not much stopping us from slipping back into the bad habits. So I am writing here, on Tuesday… Read more

Guest on Happy Monday Podcast

Last Friday I was a guest for today’s Happy Monday podcast. It was great fun chatting with Josh and Sarah about design, client work and inspiration.

Design theory for the web, a workshop

Here’s a slightly scary thing: I’m doing my first solo workshop on the 11th October 2013 in Barnsley. I often get asked about the best way to “learn design”, and I usually say that you learn by doing and you learn by watching how others do it. In this workshop, I want to give new… Read more

Podcast interview with Jonathan Kahn

Ahead of speaking at Dare conference this September, I was interviewed by Jonathan Kahn, one of Dare’s organisers, about being honest, client relationships and mentoring in the web industry. It was lovely chatting to Jonathan, and his podcast also has a proper transcript if you’re more of a reading person than a listening person :)… Read more

Browser windows and responsive language

In the same way that we continually evolve the processes we use when working with clients, I’ve now found myself evolving and refining the language I use with clients when discussing responsive web design. “Devices” It started out with talking about devices. “This design will use X on a mobile phone, Y on a tablet… Read more

Sass for designers — the talk and the case study

Yesterday I gave a talk at the fantastic online conference CSS Summit on ‘Sass for designers’. It uses my new site Web Talk Dog Walk as a case study, and explains the basics of Sass and how to get started using CodeKit. Usually I wouldn’t recommend checking out my slides, as they’re useless without me… Read more

Web talk dog walk, the site

I’ve finally made a site for the web talk dog walks! It may be a small site, and is probably very broken in places, but it was a fun mini project and worked well as a case study for my Sass for designers talk. It also makes use of Perch, that wonderful little content management… Read more

Speaking at Dare conference

I’m speaking as a ‘Breakout’ speaker at Dare conference in September. As soon as I saw the rumblings of this conference, I knew it was an event I wanted to attend. It’s focusing on risk, vulnerability, communication and trying to make the world a better place. Then I realised that I actually had an idea… Read more

Fonts.com mockup fonts

I do like the way that fonts.com do web fonts. (I also like all of the web font services for different reasons and different projects.) Mockup fonts Fonts.com have this new system that really works. It involves an app called SkyFonts. This allows you to try out different fonts in your desktop mockups as rentals.… Read more

Interview in Allan McAvoy’s Freelancers series

Last week Allan McAvoy posted up the interview he did with me as part of his Freelancers series. Some of the questions are fairly standard, but there’s also some unusual ones like “favourite colour for design” and “typical day in the life…”

Mentoring Q and A on .net magazine

After finishing the mentoring project last week, I had a chat with Craig Grannell about mentoring which he published on the .net website: “Laura Kalbag: web designers should mentor newcomers.” It’s a good summary of the mentoring project and has extracts from a couple of testimonials by Sibylle and Phil.

Web talk dog walk II

The last web talk dog walk was a success, with three of us (plus three dogs) taking in the slightly damp wilds of Sheepcote Valley. Now for the next one! I was originally planning on making them fortnightly but have already failed as I wasn’t organised enough to sort one out this week. This means… Read more

Mentoring: the evaluation

Previous posts on the mentoring project: Mentoring a project: the idea Mentoring a project: the right project Mentoring a project: finding the right people Mentoring a project: the project Mentoring a project: contract and kicking off It’s been four months since we started the mentoring project and now it’s drawing to a close. It’s been… Read more

The Critters 2013

After winning the .net award two weeks ago, I really wasn’t expecting to win another award. Last night at a fun black tie, storybook-themed ubelly Critters awards, I won Next Big Thing. Like before, I really wasn’t expecting it and made another bad speech, swore a little (I’m sorry!) and almost walked off without having… Read more

Fl*t design trend

I’m about to apply a mute filter to the word “flat” on Twitter. That or start unfollowing a lot of people. What’s flat? There’s an aesthetic “trend” that’s been around for a while. It involves fewer gradients and textures and has thus been described as “flat” design. It’s often described as the opposite of “skeuomorphism,”… Read more

Speaking at Untangle the Web

Nothing quite like a last-minute post… Tonight I’m speaking at Untangle the Web at Google Campus in London. I’m doing a talk on Design Theory for the Web where I do a whistle-stop tour through designing with typography, grids and colour on the web. I also have a stinking cold so I’m going to be… Read more

Web talk dog walk

I walk my dog Oskar every day, no matter what the weather. And usually it’s just him and me. So I’ve got this idea. A “web talk dog walk” where a group of us from the Brighton area can meet on a regular basis (probably fortnightly, maybe monthly) to walk dogs and chat about the… Read more

Speaking at LXJS in Portugal

I’m really looking forward to October, where I get to return to Portugal to speak at LXJS in Lisbon. One of the reasons I jumped at the chance to speak at LXJS was their fantastic Code of Conduct. After hearing some horror stories from other women speakers, I wish more conferences had this sort of… Read more

#define 2013

Next Saturday I’m speaking at #define 2013, a “diversity in computing festival” for 11-13 year old students who wouldn’t usually consider careers in computing. It’s an event aimed at improving diversity in computing and I’m really proud to be speaking. I’m going to talk about a day in the life of a web designer/developer in… Read more

.net awards 2013

Last Friday, this happened. I really didn’t expect it; I tripped over on the way up to the stage and mumbled through a thank you while the microphone was mostly switched off. Despite being clumsy and totally inarticulate, I was delighted. It didn’t just make my day, it made my year :)

Guest co-host on Unfinished Business II

Last Friday I was a guest co-host on Unfinished Business again. It was great fun, Andy and I spoke about clients, how location affects our businesses, how to find good subcontractors and Star Trek. I’m a massive fan of Unfinished Business and listen to every episode so it was a real treat to go back… Read more

Sass For Designers at CSS Summit 2013

I’m speaking at CSS Summit 2013 about Sass For Designers. CSS Summit is a great online conference, meaning you can attend from anywhere in the world (hooray!) There’s a huge amount of expert speakers across three days, with a day each dedicated to CSS3 Training, Advanced CSS and Preprocessors. I’m on the third day, covering… Read more

Mentoring a project: contract and kicking off

Previous posts on the mentoring project: Mentoring a project: the idea Mentoring a project: the right project Mentoring a project: finding the right people Mentoring a project: the project It’s been far too long since I wrote about the mentoring project. I’ve been incredibly busy and really needed to dedicate more time to make it… Read more

Psychology for designers

This week I went all out and bought all the currently-released Five Simple Steps Pocket Guide digital books. I say “went all out”, they’re an absolute bargain at £6 for a collection of four, or £2 per book. Reading this book thoroughly, following the links in the text, took me about an hour. I’m a… Read more

Learning to speak

Just over a year ago, I was in a country I’d never visited, about to give two talks I’d never given before to two large, paying audiences in the space of three days at Future Insights Live. I had only given a couple of talks to small audiences before. It was one of the scariest… Read more

Responsive Day Out

A month ago I spoke at Responsive Day Out, an “affordable, enjoyable gathering of UK designers and developers sharing their workflow strategies, techniques, and experiences with responsive web design.” As I said to Jeremy Keith when he first asked me if I wanted to do it, this would be a day I couldn’t possibly miss,… Read more

Guest co-host on Unfinished Business

Last week I was guest co-host on one of my most favourite podcasts, Unfinished Business. It was great to ramble and rant with Andy for 90 minutes as it’s not often I get to chat for so long to another designer whose main focus is client work. We talked about smoking chimps, mentoring and how… Read more

Alfred App v2 theme

Today I finally got around to playing with Alfred v2. This is the one OSX app I’ll allow to open on login, I use it to launch every app and find every file. I use it to work out maths for my CSS and double-check the meanings of words I’m about to write. And it… Read more

Speaking at Breaking Borders

Next month I’m speaking at Breaking Borders. Breaking Borders is a brand new, totally free, bi-monthly event in Reading organised by my good friend, Ben MacGowan. The inaugural Breaking Borders event will have the lovely Steve Workman speaking about Front-end web architectures that won’t bite you (in the ass) and me speaking about design systems.… Read more

Ladies In Tech

A while ago, Jeremy Keith introduced me to ladiesintech.com, suggesting that it might be something that’d interest me. After having a chat with the lovely Jenn Lukas over email, I had a story that I wanted to share about my adventures in speaking, and Jenn has now helped me share it on the site. This… Read more

Interviewed on The Industry

Last week I had a chat with the lovely Conor O’Driscoll and last night he published the interview on The Industry. We talking about design work, education and what I define as success, among other things.

Burnout

Burnout. Spending hours just staring into space when you’re supposed to be doing work, when you want to be doing work. Feeling foggy-headed and grey the whole time when you usually feel eager and excitable. Menial tasks are just about manageable, but anything requiring careful consideration or creative thinking feels impossible. I sleep but I… Read more

Mentoring a project: the project

Previous posts on the mentoring project: Mentoring a project: the idea Mentoring a project: the right project Mentoring a project: finding the right people In the previous posts, I mentioned that I was going to explain the details of the project later on. This was because I didn’t want to get bogged down by the… Read more

Nothing to display podcast

Last week I had a lovely chat with El for her Nothing To Display podcast. We talked about technology and how people get started with technology, accessibility, mentoring and dystopian futures! It was a real treat.

Why I love Unfinished Business

I know, this is a funny topic on which to base a blog post but I love the Unfinished Business podcast, and I’d like to elaborate why in something more than a few fawning tweets. Business, but not suits Business doesn’t feel like the right word to describe what I do. It’s a hobby that… Read more

WP Cycling Project

Something a bit different I do quite a bit of work with the lovely people at Code For The People. They do WordPress in a big way. And I love WordPress, I love that something open source has become so big, and I love how it’s not run by a big evil corporation (like most… Read more

Upfront Podcast

I was a guest on the Upfront podcast with the lovely Jack Franklin and Ben Howdle. They got me on to talk about accessibility, but we ended up chatting about the mentoring project too! You can listen on their website, or listen and subscribe on iTunes.

Design Feast Designer’s Quest(ionnaire)

Design Feast have my answers to their Designer’s Quest(ionnaire) on their site. Scroll past the scarily large photo of me quickly… their questions prompted me to think about some interesting points, especially challenges for designers: What are some of the challenges you encounter as a designer and how do you deal with them? I think… Read more

Mentoring a project: finding the right people

We’ve got a project! I’ll elaborate on the details of the project in a future post, but the importance of having a project was that it’s allowed me to choose the designers/developers who could get something out of being mentees. I didn’t want to do this before securing the right project as I needed to… Read more

Using emoji in Mail.app to make better visual indicators

After reading this brilliant Mac App Storm post on Turning Mail.app Into the Best Mac Email App, I was inspired to follow a lot of the tips to make my emails easier to handle. I made three Smart Mailboxes, following the tips I chose: ‘Follow Up’ which contains emails flagged with a green flag, using… Read more

The East Wing podcast

Yesterday I was a guest on Tim Smith‘s The East Wing podcast. It was a pre-recorded conversation and it was great fun. You can listen to it on the East Wing website, and it’ll be up on iTunes soon. We discussed how I got started in the industry (really sorry traditional Graphic Design people, I… Read more

Women and conferences

I used to not understand the fuss around women at conferences, I thought that we should all just carry on with what we were doing well already and not get caught up in needless controversy. I even wrote a blog post saying exactly that a couple of years ago. I’d never experienced (to my knowledge)… Read more

Live-designing WordPress Admin Icons

A while ago I wrote a post about how I was going to do a talk at WordPress London where I would try to design a WordPress admin icon live. Well, I did it, and it didn’t go too badly. In fact, I was very lucky as the first suggestion for what I should design… Read more

Mentoring a project: the right project

This post is an update on my mentoring project idea. Finding the right project If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen that I’m now looking for a different project to work on. Whilst the previous project I had in mind would have been great fun, the client had a very tight deadline.… Read more

Mentoring a project: the idea

A couple of days ago, a potential project turned up in my inbox. An old school friend wants a website, needs it soon and doesn’t have a huge budget. Me and freelancing I’m lucky, I get offered a lot of projects, and usually I don’t have any availability for a few months. Little projects like… Read more

The Sharers on The Branch

I’ve written a post over on The Branch. James Dinsdale emailed me about a new project he was starting out, called The Branch, a site collecting posts about what inspires people. I love these kinds of posts, so I was really keen to be involved. As a designer, inspiration is a much-discussed topic. Unfortunately, this… Read more

A loveletter

Note: I wrote this a while ago when I was thinking about the things that made me want to work on the web. Of course, it’s not exclusively women that inspire me, but as a girl who continually questions the value she is bringing to a project, I often find the women of the web… Read more

New To Design

Following my learning design post, I’ve started a little project called “new to design.” At the moment it just consists of a learn-design tag on my Pinboard bookmarks and a Twitter account @newtodesign so that I can share useful design resources (especially for those new to design.) In the future, I hope it can be… Read more

Grid Frameworks and why I’m not keen on them…

I’ve written a post for 12 Devs of Xmas on Grid Frameworks. After spending months whining about grid frameworks, 960.gs and Bootstrap, I’ve finally backed up my tweet-sized complaints with some context and examples. I knew it would be contentious and that some people would feel antagonised by my saying that developers who don’t consider… Read more

My 2012

2012 has been a massive year for me. It was a year of saying yes to things that scared me. It was the first time I spoke at a conference (and I went on to speak at a further seven events.) I found the first house I’ve lived in by myself. I travelled to as… Read more

Learning Design

Every now and again someone will email me asking how they should go about learning design. After reading Aral Balkan’s fantastic post on how design is not veneer, a few developers also expressed frustration at there not being many resources telling you how to get started with design. So I thought I’d post a few… Read more

12 Days of Podcasts — Day 3 with me

I was interviewed by Craig Lockwood for the Besquare 12 Days of Podcasts. If I remember rightly, we talked about all sorts of things from the tools I use to the stickers on my laptop.

Sass for Designers — The Setup

As an accompaniment to my post on Sass for Designers (why and how you should use Sass) I thought I’d better include a quick writeup on my setup for working with Sass in the hope that it’ll help you get started. I’m afraid I work on a OS X, so my instructions will only be… Read more

Sass for Designers

Despite saying that I wanted to avoid writing post about development, I wanted to write something about Sass. Excuse me, what is Sass? Sass is a CSS pre-processing language; it’s a slightly different way of writing CSS which can then be processed by a tool that spits out fully-working CSS. It’s like a kind of… Read more

We read with our own contexts

Oh Twitter. Yesterday was another day where I accidentally incited another riot with a poorly-worded tweet. Nobody is perfect, but it’s starting to happen with alarming frequency, and I wanted to understand why I keep doing this. The ever-present ego We read everything through our own ego filter. It’s how we apply new knowledge to… Read more

Speaking at the WordPress London January meetup

I’m speaking at the WordPress London January meetup on the 17th of January 2013. I’ve been using WordPress for years, for my own site and for client sites, and I really love it. I had absolutely no idea what to talk about though. I tend to create custom themes for clients, but these are very… Read more

24 Ways: Design Systems

I’ve been thinking a lot about the design in ‘responsive’ design lately. My post on 24ways is where I started to get some of my thoughts and ideas out. Here I talk about design systems and how thinking in this way, and basing our processes around this concept, can help us create more flexible future-proof… Read more

Bardowl: The Big One

For the last few years, I’ve been working with a great team of people on our iPhone app, Bardowl, an app for streaming unlimited audiobooks for £9.99 a month (think Spotify but for audiobooks.) It’s not been a quick and easy. Getting publishers to come round to the idea, and securing good audiobooks, has been… Read more

Reinvention and Building Ourselves — Build 2012

I’ve posted a writeup of Build conference 2012 on ubelly. Oddly, I’ve not found any other writeups from Build, which may be because (as I mention in my post) the talks weren’t those sound-bite talks that give quick take away tips. If anyone does come across any, please point me in the right direction as… Read more

Insites Xmas Special—Integrity and Polarity

Yesterday was Insites: The Xmas Special, a brilliant event put on by the lovely Keir Whitaker and Elliot Jay Stocks. After being well fed, everybody in the room gave a six minute(ish) talk about something they’ve learned in 2012. It was a personal, open and incredibly meaningful set of talks. There were no slides, and… Read more

display: none;

Or The things you think are common knowledge but really they aren’t. I was on the ShopTalk show a few weeks ago, and a few people have asked me what I meant when I said “display: none; naughties.” I foolishly thought that people would understand what I meant, (and I’ll come to that later) so I… Read more

SMACSS – Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS

I bought Jonathan Snook’s Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS five months ago and, embarrassingly, I’ve only just read it. As a “flexible guide to developing sites small and large”, it’s fantastic. Last month I was lucky enough to see Jonathan speak about State-Based Design (a concept which he covers in SMACSS) at the FromTheFront conference… Read more

My favourite apps—fit for purpose

After sitting and waiting for Photoshop to open for five minutes, just to edit an old file, I went off on a bit of a rant about Adobe software. ”https://twitter.com/laurakalbag/statuses/260750478453899264″ A few people asked what I thought the alternatives are, so I thought it might be time to write a post about it. Photoshop and… Read more

CreativeJS for non-coders workshop with Seb Lee-Delisle

Programming block I’m a bit scared of JavaScript. Since I started learning front-end development about seven years ago, I’ve pretty much stayed away from it. That aside from some pretty dodgy jQuery where I can usually bodge something together but would never rely on it. I’ve always said it’s because I wanted to be really… Read more

Grids, flexibility and responsiveness

First steps: choosing a typeface The first step in my grid design was to choose an appropriate typeface. I knew this would be everything on such a text-heavy site, and I really struggled because, as with all the elements on my personal site, I wanted it to reflect “me”. I wanted a typeface that felt… Read more

Really, a redesign? This can’t be real…

It’s about time… So finally I’ve redesigned my website. It’s been about three and a half years since the last version of laurakalbag.com (still around at http://2009.laurakalbag.com) and that’s a site I designed before I finished university, before I even started freelancing full time. To be fair, it took a while for me to hate… Read more

A Practical Guide to Designing with Data

Another ubelly post from me, this time a review. Much like my other reviews of books on this blog, just in another location! A Practical Guide to Designing with Data

Six months of the Fitbit (and the new Fitbit Aria)

Update: an important note on Fitbit (and other trackers) What do companies like Fitbit do with your data? The business model of the vast majority of fitness tracking is that they can use your data to acquire valuable insights about you and your behaviour, and then sell that information on to third parties. (Unfortunately this is… Read more

Typography and the web at Ampersand Conference

I’ve written a big old writeup for ubelly from my notes at Ampersand conference earlier in the month. This was an event I decided not to live-tweet, as the content is usually more involved and in-depth, making for a better big writeup and less tweetable quotes. Typography and the web at Ampersand conference

Will understanding the mainstream affect me as a designer?

I’ve been contemplating how designers can identify better with more mainstream users. I had a thought last week. What if, by rejecting Facebook, I’m actually missing out on design patterns that are so influential on the mainstream user that it affects their perception on the rest of the web? And the same goes for Google… Read more

Craft and Care: Future Of Web Design 2012

I’ve written up my digest of Future Of Web Design 2012 over at the ubelly blog. For those who want more of a blow-by-blow account of the day, I’ve compiled all of my live tweets (and retweets) from the day in a Storify feed. http://storify.com/laurakalbag/laura-kalbag-s-fowd-tweets

Critiques, giving and receiving useful feedback

Funnily enough, a couple of days before Mark Boulton said and wrote his piece on design critiques, I’d been thinking about that same topic. I’ve been struggling through an iPhone app icon design, and had asked Twitter for help. Knowing that the 160 character limit wasn’t going to help me much, I emailed everyone who… Read more

Solving problems with naïvety

Last week I was at the wonderful Future Insights Live conference in Las Vegas. Annoyingly as I was speaking twice (that bit wasn’t annoying, it was fun!) I missed a load of talks, but had some fantastic discussions around some particularly interesting topics. The topic of naïvety in user experience first came up in Aral… Read more

New Adventures in Web Design 2012

My digest post about New Adventures in Web Design conference – The Job, The Process and Creativity – NAConf 2012 is now up on uBelly. I’m now on board with uBelly to cover conferences and other webby stuff. This post is very much the same style as my previous digest posts, but on a different site.

Mobile First

Continuing on with my chapter-a-day, last week I finished reading the brilliant Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski. Mobile design and development has gained momentum over the last few years; with responsive design and designers regularly going giddy over iPhone app UIs, it’s surprising how little the industry discusses the design issues. We seem to prefer to… Read more

Designing For Emotion

I bought Designing For Emotion as part of the A Book Apart deal, alongside Mobile First. After listening to Jeffery Zeldman talking about the release of these books with Dan Benjamin on The Big Web Show, and hearing how they were perfect books to read before a redesign (my site is in a constant state… Read more

A Practical Guide to Designing the invisible

After reading Mark Boulton’s A Practical Guide to Designing For The Web and Andy Clarke’s Hardboiled Web Design, I was keen to read another Five Simple Steps’ design book. Robert Mills’ A Practical Guide to Designing the invisible definitely didn’t disappoint. It took me a few reads to start getting into it. I haven’t been dedicating… Read more

dConstruct 2011 — My Digest

It was another inspiring day at dConstruct, the best abstract thought-inducing conference around. The abstract nature of the conference is part of the appeal for most people. It’s hard to get enthusiastic about a talk that is teaching you more practical techniques, such as writing HTML, when you can so easily learn about it on… Read more

Insites Tour Brighton

Insites is a mini tour of four cities in the UK where Keir Whitaker and Elliot Jay Stocks present discussions with well-known people from the web/tech industry. I was lucky enough to go to the first evening in Brighton on Monday where Aral Balkan, Sarah Parmenter and Jeremy Keith were the guests. The Format The… Read more

Responsive Web Design

I had ordered Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte as soon as it came out, but being at Ampersand conference, and hearing so many people recommend it, really spurred me to take a few hours out to get on and read it. Responsive web design is a term summarising design that has a flexibility allowing it… Read more

Notes from Ampersand conference — My Digest

I’ve tried to condense my notes from Ampersand conference into a more useful digest. More than anything this, like my live-tweeting at past conferences, is really a selfish activity to help me absorb the ideas from Ampersand better by reflecting on the themes of the day. And of course in the spirit of the web… Read more

Notes from Ampersand conference — Actual Notes

For those who wanted my notes in an undigested, scatterbrained form, here’s images from my notebook. (My digest is available too.) I’m a mind-mapping fiend, so I try to link with arrows where I can. Where new points were begun I just moved to another space on the page, so forgive the random appearance! There’s… Read more

Labels in input fields aren’t such a good idea

There’s something that’s been bothering me lately. It seems to be some kind of form interface trend where the labels for text inputs are placed inside the fields themselves. Example: There might be some pros Admittedly, this makes an interface slicker. It saves space where you’d usually have a label, then some padding, then the… Read more

Future Of Web Design 2011 – The Summary – Day Two

Day Two Ethan Marcotte – Responsive Web Design ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70764623061729280″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70765105113088000″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70765603635470337″ ”http://twitter.com/aral/status/70765587453837312″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70766758608388096″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70767608542134272″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70768314661617664″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70768677590540288″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70769336872218624″ Femi T Adesina – Enhancing your Creativity I mis-hastagged the first tweet! ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70776083460534272″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70777226345451520″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70779952345268224″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70780597911564288″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70781453063036928″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70783293863362560″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70784592235335680″ Josh Clark – Buttons Are a Hack: The New Rules of Designing for Touch ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70796043628974081″ ”http://twitter.com/ubelly/status/70796280640704512″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70796934423642112″ ”http://twitter.com/laurakalbag/status/70797159473233920″ My… Read more