Stuff & Nonsense product and website design

All That Malarkey

Early archives

In 2007 I deleted blog entries from my original MovableType CMS. It’s a decision I’ve regretted ever since. Fortunately, MovableType output static HTML, so at least I had a folder containing those posts and the comments people left on them. Over the years I used find and replace to reformat their HTML. Here are those posts, un-styled, but preserved for posterity.



Wearing badges is not enough

Way back in 2004, a discussion at the now defunct Accessify got me thinking about the usefulness of compliance badges or icons. What purpose they serve and how can we better use these badges to help promote awareness of standards and accessibility?

Business of design

Getting client sign-off

An eagerness to please should always push a designer to do the best for a client. But there are times where just when you thought the job was finished, a client will say, “Can we just add…” The four stage sign-off sheet can be our best friend.


A tribute to selectors

I wanted to learn more about CSS attribute selectors, which at the time were not supported by the most commonly used browser, Internet Explorer 6.

CSS Specificity Wars

This entry was published in October 2005 and, incredibly, is still one of the most visited pages on my website, so twelve years later I decided to update it.


Trimming form fields

Wouldn’t it be a cool idea to give users the option to hide these optional fields at their own discretion? With a clever use of Javascript and CSS we can.

Web Standards Trifle

In a post that was typical of mine at the time, I shared The Web Standards Trifle. A way to describe the concept and importance of web standards to non-technical people.



Creating colour palettes

When I’m designing a colour scheme, I am often lead by the colours used in existing logos or publicity materials. But when the client only uses one or two colours, I use a favourite technique for creating complimentary ‘tones.’ In 2004 I used Macromedia Fireworks and my main design tool, but the technique works just as well in Sketch in 2018.


Arno Zimmerman in Adactio Pour Domme

Arno Zimmerman was a fictitious character who wrote to prominent web designers and asked to buy their domain names. I’ve always been very fond of these posts and they typify how friendly the web industry was in the mid-naughties.

Loose talk

Fred’s wartime tin

Every now and again I pull out the tin and sift through its contents, photographs and other small treasures which my Grandad thought important.

Cartoon classics: Mr. Benn

Somehow, in Malarkey World, conversations often take an unexpected turn down memory lane. I was trying to explain to (a slightly bewildered) person about one of my favourite animated cartoon classics, Mr. Benn.


Legacy projects

WWF UK online store

It took eight weeks, 1,600 cups of coffee, 1,920 cigarettes, 16 pork sausages and one instant BBQ, then I could officially talk about my 2004 design for the WWF UK online store.

The Web Standards Project

The Web Standards Project was a grassroots coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all. In this post I talk about the decisions I made during the redesign of the Project’s website in 2006.