Stuff & Nonsense product and website design

Blogging and all that malarkey

Kerfuffle on the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is out and I decided to update one of my responsive easter egg headers—Kerfuffle on the Planet of the Apes—with more efficient, modern code.

CSS Specisithity

Originally published in 2005 and updated in 2024, CSS Specisithity explains how to master specificity using Star Wars metaphors. It’s been credited with helping web designers and developers understand what’s often considered a complex subject.

The popular Contract Killer template

Clarify what’s expected on both sides to help build great relationships between you and your clients. Contract Killer is plain and simple and there’s no legal jargon. It’s customisable to suit your business and has been used on countless web projects since 2008.

Layout Love

I wanted a simple set of layout modules I could call on for design projects, so I developed my own. I call them Layout Love and rather than keep them to myself, I’m offering them to everyone to use which I hope will encourage people to make layouts which are more interesting.

Transcending CSS Revisited

I wrote my first book, Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web design, way back in 2006. It became a success and since then I’ve had countless people tell me it was influential in their careers. Transcending CSS Revisited is available to read online for free, with a new foreword by Rachel Andrew.

The story behind Art Direction for the Web

It took much, much longer to produce, and is itself much, much longer than I’d planned, but my fourth book, Art Direction for the Web was published by my friends at Smashing Magazine. Here’s the story behind how it happened.

(Data) Protection Racket

Updated: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) templates can cost hundreds of Pounds, so I thought I’d turn my hand to writing a GDPR data protection and privacy policy in the spirit of my Contract Killer. This GDPR template is available to buy.

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Work I’d like to do in the year ahead

This time last year, I wrapped up my Director of Product Design contract at Nozomi Networks. That was a big change but also an opportunity to evaluate what I’d enjoyed about the role and what I missed from more varied design projects.

Podcast: One Footer in the Grave Episode 15: Vote for me or the baby gets it

It’s UK General Election time and the chaps have gathered to discuss it, but without mentioning politics. What would their top policies be if they were running for office? What do they think of novelty candidates like Count Binface? Plus, why are political party websites so terrible? Andy tells his story about being in the audience for BBC Question Time and the strange tale of designing for an intergalactic space warrior.

Labour’s 1997 election website is lost to history, so I imagined how it might’ve looked

The 2024 General Election is just days away, and opinion polls suggest Labour will win with a majority bigger than 1997. Even though I’m not as excited about Labour’s vision as I was then, I still keep my fingers tightly crossed. As I found a few weeks ago, there’s barely anything left of Labour’s campaign website from its victory in 1997 under Tony Blair. It wasn’t archived by the Wayback Machine, so I imagined what it might’ve looked like.

The Green Party website could be better at promoting their policies, so I imagined how that could be done

There are less than two weeks before election day, and most of the headlines have come about from things the party leaders have said on the various TV debates. Out of nowhere, Prime Minister Rish! told young people he might take away their driving licences if they refused his national service. Keir Starmer was pushed on his supporting Jeremy Corbyn but not Arsenal, which is an even bigger character flaw. Ed Davey said, well, actually, I can’t remember anything Ed Davey said. But the person I’ve been most impressed with is Carla Denyer, the teeny-tiny confident co-leader of the Green Party.

How I designed a new website for comedy candidate Count Binface

“All water company bosses to take a dip in British rivers to see how they like it.” “National service to be introduced for all former prime ministers.” “European countries to be invited to join the UK, creating a new ‘Union of Europe.’” Who would disagree with policies like these?

I was in the audience for BBC Question Time

A few weeks ago, BBC Question Time’s Fiona Bruce announced the programme was coming to nearby Chester, so I filled in the online form and applied to be in the audience. I completely forgot about applying until a researcher phoned me the day before the show and asked if I were still available. I was.

The Labour Party’s website could do better at promoting their policies, so I imagined how that could be done

So far, Rishi’s announced the general election to the soundtrack of Things Can Only Get BWetter, spoke to reporters outside the Titanic exhibition (spoiler: It sank,) was photographed under an Exit sign, and accidentally grew big ears after announcing a crackdown on Mickey Mouse university degrees. Yes, it’s all going very well. But, even with all these mishaps, Labour can’t take victory for granted. Sadly, their website design sucks. So, I imagined what I’d make if Labour came calling.

Comedy candidate Count Binface’s website needed a design which matched his personality, so I imagined how that could look

In this week’s General Election campaigning, Reform’s Nigel Farage announced he’s standing for a seat in Clacton after promising everyone he wouldn’t stand as a candidate. Farage popped up on BBC Question Time, which, in fairness, promised they’d invite politicians from other parties. Speaking of novelty candidates, I hope the BBC will stand by their promise and invite someone with real common sense policies like Count Binface. The Count has obviously been too busy conquering the galaxy to get his website ready for the election, so I imagined what I’d make if Count Binface came calling.

With the 2024 election looming, how do the parties’ websites fair? I took a look.

Finally, the UK general election campaigns are underway, and the parties are pushing their messages to voters. With the Conservatives desperate to cling to power, Labour anxious to seize it, the Liberal Democrats hoping for more MPs, and Reform looking to claim the far-right vote from the Tories, how do I think their website designs are fairing?

Podcast: One Footer in the Grave Episode 14: Scarlett Johansson is in the room

Andy, Jon, Marcus, and Paul are back—sooner than expected—for another fun-packed episode. They talk about who’s voice they’d each like as an AI companion, Apple,Apple’s new iPads and why devices are now so thin that they crack when Andy sits on them. Then, inevitably, they discuss what they think about the new Dr Who.

My new (old) blog roll and RSS

I’m tending and posting to my blog a little more since the recent redesign and as part of that effort, I’ve brought back two very old-fashioned things: A blog roll and an RSS feed.

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Andy Clarke portrait

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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