Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Tagged: inspiration

Obsessive GIF Artist Al Boardman on the Importance of Personal Projects image/svg+xml

Al Boardman, prolific GIF-creator and expert animator, has created motion graphics for an impressive list of famous brands (including Nike, IBM, and Twitter). His signature style is simple yet sophisticated, with a color palette and a smoothness that sucks the viewer in.

Al Boardman’s GIFs are both wonderful and inspirational; after browsing his collection, I feel like I want to do less coding and more designing. I’m thinking that I might have another play with my site’s design soon. The current minimal design is nice, but not much fun.

At the start, I had no clients, no contacts and no work, but I eventually picked up a few low-paid bits and bobs from startups around the city. It didn’t lead to much, so, I decided to try a different approach, and one that I’d recommend highly. I stopped chasing low-paid work that I didn’t particularly want to do and focused on creating work for myself.

Oh, and the interview is a pretty good read too.

Just! Build! Websites! image/svg+xml

The hosts of Shop Talk show podcast (Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert) get asked a lot of questions about how to learn web development. Their mantra is “just build websites”; there’s even a soundbite for it. As a person who learns by doing, I agree that getting your hands dirty with some web projects and filling in the gaps in your knowledge along the way is a beautiful way of doing things.

What if you don’t know what kind of website to “just build”? The following is a brainstormed list of different projects you can give yourself to practice your web design and development chops.

Lots of good ideas here for when you’re lacking inspiration for what to work on. I don’t struggle with this sort of thing myself, most days there simply aren’t enough hours, but at work, the apprentices and work experience students often struggle for ideas as to what to practice on.

Really Good Emails image/svg+xml

The Best Email Designs in the Universe (that came into my inbox)

Occasionally, but not very often, I get involved in sending out marketing emails. I don’t like doing it, partly because it makes me feel dirty (even though the lists are qualified), and partly because designing HTML emails is a proper pain in the arse. So, any inspiration to help make the job easier has to be a good thing and this site contains 100’s of examples of good email design.