And all that Malarkey

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Next week is Geek Mental Help Week 2015

Last year’s Geek Mental Help Week was, by all accounts, well received and a terrific success. Despite the fact that we pulled it together with sticky tape and string, people told their stories about how mental health issues had affected them and the people who care for them. Those stories were honest and humbling to everyone who read them. I hope that next week, Geek Mental Help Week 2015 can do something similar.

Hardboiled Web Design Shots

Hot on the heels of announcing the new Hardboiled Web Design Fifth Anniversary Edition, I’m also incredibly excited and nervous to let you know about three new Hardboiled Web Design books that will be published throughout the course of next year. We’re calling them ‘Hardboiled Web Design Shots.’

Workshopping down under in March 2015

I have more than a soft spot for Australia. It’s where I’d live if that were possible and where I can see myself retiring to in, you know, twenty or so years. Luckily, I’m going back to Australia long before that, this March in fact, to speak at the fabulous Respond conference and to take my CSS For Responsive Web Design workshop on the road to Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, as well as Sydney itself.

CSS3 For Responsive Web Design workshops in 2015 (and a reminder about Oslo next week)

I’ve been very pleased with reactions to my latest ‘CSS3 For Responsive Web Design’ full-day workshop. Attendees at ‘The Web Is…’ in Cardiff and ‘Beyond Tellerrand’ in Berlin really seemed to like its mixture of design and technical content. I’ll be hosting this workshop again in several cities in various countries throughout 2015 and there’s still one more opportunity to join me in Oslo next week.

Join me at The Web Is… for a new ‘CSS3 For Responsive Web Design’ workshop

Last years’ Handheld Conference in Cardiff was an incredible event. A bearded me even got to push a dalek with my friend Jon, as well as deliver a talk and host a sell-out workshop. This November I’ll be back in Cardiff for Handheld’s successor, The Web Is… I’m a last minute addition to the speaker line-up (again) and back workshopping with a new ‘CSS3 For Responsive Web Design’ workshop.

Five Simple Steps now has a physical book store

I knew from the moment I heard the news that Craig and Amie Lockwood taking over at the helm of Five Simple Steps was a good idea. They have exciting plans for the brand, the first of which is a physical book store at their Foundershub in Cardiff City Centre.

Next time you’re in Cardiff, pop in. The book to buy is second from the right on the bottom row. And as of now, you can get the fabulous paperback and ebook for only £12.80.

Talking about Rock Hammer

People seem to like Rock Hammer, our little “curated project library for Hammer For Mac” We designed Rock Hammer to help us here at Stuff and Nonsense design faster using HTML and CSS and we use it every day to do just that. Talking about Rock Hammer, some news:

Complete Madness

I like to think that at Stuff and Nonsense, our house isn’t so much a place to work as it is a house of fun and although we take the work we do very seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously at all. We hope that sense of fun comes across on our site and today we’re putting aside our embarrassment, putting on our baggy trousers and unveiling a new header on our home page.

Fashionably flexible responsive web design workshops — Japan 2013

Back in 2009, I took what I thought would be a trip of a lifetime to Japan to speak and host a workshop at Web Directions East. I spent a hectic few days in Tokyo then set off for a place I never thought I visit, Hiroshima. I’ll never forget standing, in tears in front of the A-Bomb dome, or visiting the shrines on Miyajima Island. I met new friends and went home with stories to tell.

CSS3 for Responsive Web Design workshop at Handheld Conference 2013

Handheld is “the conference for all things mobile” that’s happening in Cardiff, Wales on 27th – 28th November 2013 at the Wales Millennium Centre. Handheld has a fabulous line-up of speakers and tickets go on sale on March 1st, St. David’s Day. (You can get get 10% off your ticket with the offer code unfinishedbz.)

If you needed another reason to head to beautiful Cardiff Bay, I’m hosting a new workshop, “CSS3 for Responsive Web Design.”

Don’ worry, be ’appy

With the help of TapbotsNetbot client, it looks like might be gathering steam. If’s your thing, you’ll now find me there too although I guess I’m not alone in being unsure when I’ll use instead of Twitter.

Follow me on (Damn that name isn’t getting any easier to say.)

Changes to Stuff and Nonsense RSS

I know RSS isn’t perhaps what it was for a lot of people, but it’s still as important to me as Twitter as a source of good content, and well, you know what they say about eggs and baskets. Today I’m making some changes to Stuff and Nonsense’s RSS.

Designing for the Hillsborough Independent Panel

It was January, 2011 and an email arrived from a name I recognised.

Would you be available for me to phone you to discuss a potential project? I’ve attached an NDA. Could you sign a printed copy, scan and send it back to me?

John Jones
Jones Olson

New Adventures and me

Some conferences just have ‘that’ special feeling. @media was the first for me in 2005. The An Event Apart in Seattle in 2010 where Ethan Marcotte first talked about responsive design, another. Most recently, the first New Adventures also in 2010.

Hosting a second responsive design workshop at Smashing Conference

Sorry to break into your Diamond Jubilee celebrations, but my Flexible Responsive Web Design workshop on the 19th September in Freiburg in Germany sold out so fast that Smashing Conference and I are hosting a second day. That’s right. We didn’t want disappointed Germans. Especially after Engerlaaand will be beating them in Euro 2012.

This one’s the day before the conference, on the 16th September.

You know the drill.

Come and have a look at what you would have won

I’ve given Vitaly and his Smashing Magazine team some (good natured) stick over the years, but (to their credit) they ignored me completely and have built a fabulous business that publishes the website and books including Smashing Book #3 that I was proud to write the closing chapter for.

Now they’re organising what I predict with be one of the best web conferences anywhere this year. The Smashing Conference will be held in beautiful, historic FreibergFreiburg in Germany on 17th and 18th September and the speaker line up is tremendous. Heck. It has three of my CSS heroes, two of my favourite people in the whole world, AND more. What a show it’s going to be!

As you probably heard, I’m taking a break from speaking this year (apart from Austin (see what I did there?)), but I will be hosting a Fashionably Flexible Responsive Web Design workshop on the 19th. It’s an updated version of the workshop that was so well received in Australia earlier in the year. (You can grab the slide deck from that from Speaker Deck to give you a taste.

You know the drill.

I’m looking forward to the Smashing Conference so much. So much! It’s going to be super, smashing, great.

Down under and fashionably flexible

It’s only three weeks until I’ll be flying down under to Australia to escape the British winter. While I’m there I’m hosting four Fashionably Flexible Responsive Web Design workshops — one in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

  • Perth: February 14th
  • Melbourne: February 17th
  • Sydney: February 24th
  • Brisbane: February 28th

This Fashionably Flexible Responsive Web Design workshop’s completely new and I’m excited because as well as talking about hot responsive topics, I’m putting the focus of this workshop onto design. In particular we’ll cover how to make the design decisions that designers (and developers) need to make everyday in the responsive workflow:

  • Designing from the content out
  • Responsive typography
  • Content or navigation first
  • Adapting navigation
  • When to apply layout
  • Content inspired breakpoints
Slide deck. (Work in progress)

I’ve been evolving the format over the last few months at private events for NRK and, both in Oslo, and if the reaction of those folks is anything to go by, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be a blast.

“Thank you for a great day. It really inspired our developers and we’ve just rolled out the first of our responsive pages already. If our developers get this excited every time you’re, here I think we’ll need to have you come over every other month.”

Espen DalløkkenFinn, Oslo, Norway.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be refining the workshop’s content some more and building some brand new boilerplates for attendees to take away. I hope I’ll see you there.

There’s No Formula for Great Designs

I can’t quite believe that it’s been six years since Drew MacLellan first published 24 ways. Now ably assisted by a talented team of volunteers, Drew’s made his magazine a web designer’s stable read.

I’ve had the honour of writing a little something for it every year. My contribution, There’s No Formula for Great Designs is out today.

Andy Clarke re-examines the formula used to convert static to fluid grids, and describes how he adapts it within his own custom grids to maintain connectedness in designs across devices. Like great design, there’s a perfect Christmas out there somewhere, but there’s no formula for it.

Every year, I agonise over what I write for 24 ways, because the overall quality of articles just keeps on getting better. My top pick of this year has to be Front-end Style Guides by Anna Debenham.

24 ways is a shining example of people volunteering their knowledge and time, giving back to our industry to help others. I’m proud to have contributed again.

(I’ve gathered links to all my articles, including past writing for 24 ways, onto one new page.)

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I’ve just come off stage at An Event Apart San Francisco where I delivered ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’, my talk about CSS3 animations, for the last time. The talk uses a a mad, mad, mad, mad manimation as vehicle to explain CSS3 animations and encourage people to use them (and other emerging CSS properties) for more than for cool, edge case demonstrations. For everyone not at An Event Apart this year, I’ve uploaded my slides on Speaker Deck.

Five Simple Steps holiday sale

Five Simple Steps are holding a Christmas sale, with 30% of all their books in all formats. There’s plenty of gifts for all the family, but you know what everyone wants, don’t you? That’s right. Hardboiled Web Design.

The Hardboiled Web Design Digital Edition (PDF, ePub & mobi) is only £12:00, but there’s nothing quite like the smell of print on Christmas morning. So get the one you love the Paperback & Digital Edition for only £29:00.

Ho, ho, ho.

Fashionably flexible responsive web design workshops — Australia 2012

There’s been much written about responsive design, but so much of it has focussed on aspects of technical implementation rather than about the design decisions that responsive design demands. So next February (2012), I’ll be travelling down-under to Australia to host four, yes four, ‘Fashionably flexible responsive web design’ workshops.

Seriously Hardboiled workshop partners

When we created our Hardboiled Web Design workshops, we wanted to work with partners who give our customers something extra. So we can’t be more pleased to have three amazing partners for our workshops in the UK — Microsoft, VPS.NET and Campaign Monitor.

Hardboiling it (the example files)

A large part of writing a book about website design, markup and CSS is designing and producing the example files that accompany the book. For Hardboiled Web Design, this meant several months of designing, coding, redesigning, recoding and testing.

The CSS3 Online Conference

In other conference news, this time of the online kind, I will be broadcasting from my orbiting space-station for The CSS3 Online Conference,  organised by Carsonified on March 22nd.

Web Directions @media is back in London in June

The conference that got it all started for me as a speaker comes back to London on June 10th and 11th for a sixth year, this time with a new face —  Web Directions @media.

Announcing jQuery for Designers with Remy Sharp

A month ago I tweeted about my own frustrations with learning jQuery. If you’re a designer or developer and you feel the same way, I’m over the moon to announce a new For A Beautiful Web workshop: jQuery for Designers with Remy Sharp.

Why For A Beautiful Web DVDs are missing from

If you’ve been looking to buy any (or all) of my three new For A Beautiful Web DVDs (Designing With CSS, Designing Web Accessibility and Designing With Microformats) from, you’ll have noticed that they are not listed. Here’s why.

A little post-holiday reading

I’m back from two-weeks hard-earned holiday in the south of France. What have I missed? Over five-hundred unread RSS posts for starters. I’m not usually one for best of entries, but here, in no particular order, are some things that have caught my attention — too many for a deluge of elsewhere entries.

Advanced CSS Styling workshop schedule

If you’re planning to attend, or thinking about attending, one of our Advanced CSS Styling workshops in either Birmingham on September 25th 2009 or Newcastle Upon Tyne on October 30th 2009, here is the schedule for the event workshop to whet your appetite.

Announcing Advanced CSS Styling workshop dates in Birmingham and Newcastle Upon Tyne

We had such a great time presenting our master-classes in London last year and in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, we decided to host more. ‘Advanced CSS Styling’ will be a one-day workshop in Birmingham on September 25th 2009 and Newcastle Upon Tyne on October 30th 2009. Ten early-bird tickets are available per event at only £275.00+VAT per person, but get in quick, these are sure to be snapped up quickly.

Reading room

You might have noticed already, things are looking a little different around here. Over the Easter weekend, I took some time away from the pressing matter of eating chocolate to work on a redesign, specifically to address (justifiable) concerns over the previous design’s readability but also to prepare bringing For A Beautiful Web visually in line with a coming redesign of the Transcending CSS book site.

tweetCC is Wired

I’m sorry for posting twice on the same day about tweetCC, but it’s not everyday that something that I have worked on and feel super passionate about is picked up by, and hits the homepage of Wired.

FABW masterclasses Australia 2009

As the title suggests, we’re spreading our wings and taking our For A Beautiful Web Visual Web Design Masterclass to Australia this April, with dates in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Speaking at @media2009

I’m really pleased that I can announce that, along with a formidable cast of old pros, I’ll be speaking at @media2009 in London on 25th and 26th of June. This will, incredibly, be the sixth time that I’ve spoken at @media (2005, 2006, 2007 (twice), 2008 and now 2009) and this year I’ll be talking about something a little different.


Stuff and Nonsense is ten years old today.

Guerilla venue switching

What would you do if with only minutes until your guests arrive for your first workshop event, your venue suddenly becomes unavailable? Would you panic?

Have a beer with Karl Marx

Well not exactly. Herr Marx has been dead for 125 years, and anyway, I hear that he was often too poor to buy a round. Still, we think that we're showing solidarity to hold our Visual Web Design Master Class evening social in the beardy geezer's local boozer.

Win a copy of Inspired Design (DVD) and Transcending CSS

I am really, really pleased that places on our Visual Web Design Master Class are selling fast. Book your place before 10th October 2008 and you could win a copy of Inspired Design (DVD) and Transcending CSS (book), together worth £68.00*.

The best conference schwag?

Having spoken at almost twenty major conferences in the last few years, I've picked up a fair selection of schwag items and giveaways. Now that we are busy organizing our first For A Beautiful Web events, I'd love to know what the best shwag items you've received are.

Introducing For A Beautiful Web

It's been on my mind for a while. In the last few years I've been one of the luckiest web designers on this planet (and probably others) because I've been asked to travel all over the world to talk about web design, CSS and even comic books. I love every minute of it.

Heading for Web Directions

Tomorrow will see me making the long journey south to Sydney, Australia to speak at what will be my third Web Directions conference. Although the prospect of so many hours confined to an aircraft seat is again a little daunting, I’m looking forward to what (if previous years are anything to go by) will be an amazing event.

Spotted the difference?

This is the all new Stuff and Nonsense web site. Things have changed a great deal around here since the last time you may have stopped by. This site is a merger of two domains, the Stuff and Nonsense company portfolio plus the archives from And All That Malarkey.


What happens when the wasp woman calls?

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Call 01745 851848, tweet or email us.

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