Stuff & Nonsense product and website design

Posts about development

Disallowing Disallow

My earliest blog posts date back to 2004. There’s very little in them which is relevant today, and they’re full of dead links, which, I’m told, is bad for my site’s SEO. So recently, I’ve done two things to hide these posts from search engines.

Text substitutions and aText

Dan Cederholm has been designing a stylish interrobang (‽) for his next new typeface and tweeted that he needs to learn how to type one. John Gruber replied with his suggestion using text replacement in MacOS. I use a similar solution using aText to make typing these unusual characters easier.

52 weeks of Inspired Design Decisions

For the past six months, I’ve been designing, writing, and presenting a series of Inspired Design Decisions articles and webinars for Smashing Magazine. These have been brilliantly well received and I wanted a regular project to experiment with new designs.

Ghostlab for Windows

I know I’ve talked about Ghostlab a lot on Unfinished Business and mentioned it a fair few times on Twitter. This isn’t just because its makers Vanamco have sponsored the show. No, I use Ghostlab almost everyday and it’s really made my designing responsive websites much more convenient.

As Ghostlab is an app for the Mac, often when I tweet about it I see people complaining that it’s not available for Windows. Well quit your whining Windows users, because today Vanamco have launched Ghostlab for Windows!

Ghostlab for Windows has a new interface and is available in both 32 and 64 bit versions. There’s even a free seven day trial and a licence costs just $49 US.

Ghostlab for Windows may be just what you were ho, ho, hoping for.

This could be most essential CSS3 media query you’ll need today

We know that it’s only web designers who habitually resize a browser window to see if a site’s responsive. But why not reward their dedication with a little something special? Add this to your stylesheet:

@media only screen and (min-width: 960px) and (max-width: 970px) {

body {
-webkit-transform : rotate(180deg);
-moz-transform : rotate(180deg);
-o-transform : rotate(180deg);
transform : rotate(180deg); }

}

This could be the most essential CSS3 media query you’ll need today.

CodeKit and The Kit Language

You should know by now that I’m a huge fan of Hammer For Mac. I couldn’t and wouldn’t start a project without it as I’d miss its variables and partials and includes too much. I like Hammer so much I moved from LESS to Sass because of it.

If you’re a CodeKit user — and many are — you can get some of Hammer’s functionality in that too. I haven’t had the need to try CodeKit and The Kit Language myself yet, so I’d be keen to know if you have and what you think? Let me know on Twitter @malarkey.

modern.IE

Testing on all versions of Internet Explorer will be much easier from now on thanks to their new suite of testing tools, modern.ie.

The included tools look impressive on their own, but the website is also full of helpful information. Scanning this site revealed not only that I’m running an outdated version of jQuery but that I can help Windows 8 touch users simply by adding canvas { -ms-touch-action: double-tap-zoom;}. Handy.

If you don’t develop on Windows (I don’t) Microsoft are offering three months BrowserStack virtual testing free. I’m baffled by the fact that to get the free offer I have to login using a Facebook account (that I don’t have,) but BrowserStack have their own (shorter, I think) free trial.

Hats off to Microsoft. modern.IE may just let me ditch the 63Gb of virtual machines I use just to test Internet Explorer.

Seven

You might think — because all the talk at the moment is about seven inch tablets, in particular the iPad mini vs Google’s Nexus 7 vs Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD — that a seven inch tablet was a seven inch tablet was a… Right? Wrong.

Mobitest

Brad Frost mentioned Mobitest during his talk last week at Smashing Conference. I’ve becoming more aware of performance issues these last few months, and tools like Mobitest can only help me do better. (This site’s home page, crammed full of retina quality bitmaps, weighs in at 649.36kb and 10.22s average load time. I need to halve that. At least.

About those long line lengths

Thank-you to everyone who tweeted and emailed about the site. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. More than I’d hoped for. And I’d hoped for a lot. Some of the comments came with bugs I need to fix and suggestions for improving the site and its performance overall. I’m really grateful for that. A little bit of follow up from yesterday’s site launch.


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About Andy

Hello. I’m Andy Clarke, an internationally recognised product and website designer and writer on art direction for products the web. I help product and website owners captivate customers by delivering distinctive digital designs.


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