If you’re interested in accessibility, user experience design, and/or frontend development, you’re in the right place. You can also browse by category or year.
Windows high contrast mode and focus outlines or: My focus indicators were inaccessible
Article posted 22nd March 2023 in Accessibility, CSS and Development
In order to make my website’s keyboard focus outlines pretty in Safari, I inadvertently broke things for people who use Windows High Contrast Mode.
If you’re going to do a job, do it properly
Article posted 17th February 2023 in Accessibility
I often hear the phrase “forward fix” used when referring to accessibility. It sounds fancy, but what it really means is “We’ll come back to the accessibility bit later”.
Buttons, links, and focus
Article posted 16th February 2023 in Accessibility and Design
Knowing when to use a button or link is important, and there’s some great guidance out there. Here’s another way to work out when to use which.
If you need a link, don’t use a button
Article posted 23rd January 2023 in Accessibility, Design and Development
Links sometimes need to look like buttons, but what about the other way round? Spoiler alert: it’s a terrible idea!
Overlapping interactive areas
Article posted 30th December 2022 in Accessibility, Design and Development
When an interactive element like a button, link, and form field sits on top of another interactive element, accessibility (and usability) problems arise.
Images, illustrations, and contrast
Article posted 22nd December 2022 in Accessibility and Design
‘Alt’ text is vital for people who can’t see an image, but what about those who don’t use a screen reader but still struggle with low contrast images?
Which images need descriptive text?
Article posted 30th November 2022 in Accessibility and Content
Image alt text is extremely important to many users, but how do we know which images should be described, and which shouldn’t?
Buttons with icons and text
Article posted 29th November 2022 in Accessibility and Development
We can all agree that icon-only buttons are a bad idea, but how do we provide the most accessible experience when we pair an icon with visible text?
Complexity and caution
Article posted 31st October 2022 in Accessibility and Design
Whenever we design a non-standard but seemingly helpful behaviour, keep asking yourself if it’s the right thing to do for all users.
Accessibility beyond the ‘obvious’
Article posted 27th October 2022 in Accessibility and Design
Just as not all disabilities are visible, accessibility goes much further than the tools people use to access digital content on a practical level.
It’s good to make mistakes
Article posted 20th September 2022 in Accessibility and Design
As a designer and developer I’ve made countless mistakes, but that’s part of the reason I’m good at what I do.
Focus appearance explained
Article posted 2nd September 2022 in Accessibility
There’s some great stuff coming up in WCAG 2.2, but there’s one rule that’s particularly difficult to understand, so here it is in a bit more detail.
Here, here, and here
Article posted 10th August 2022 in Accessibility, Content and Design
Every now and again I read an article that links to multiple places, and each link is a separate word in a short phrase. I’m not a fan.
Abbreviations can be problematic
Article posted 18th July 2022 in Accessibility
We can all agree that abbreviations like acronyms usually need to be defined, but what if the HTML method we use isn’t accessible to all users?
Bag some AAA wins where you can
Article posted 13th July 2022 in Accessibility
Complying with WCAG AA is hard, and AAA seems a lot harder, but there are actually plenty of AAA rules that are relatively easy to meet.
Accessible animated content without the compromise
Article posted 27th June 2022 in Accessibility, Design and Development
Accessible animated GIFs are rubbish. Instead of compromising our animations in order to meet WCAG, we should be checking what our users prefer.
Accessibility doesn’t stop at WCAG compliance
Article posted 23rd June 2022 in Accessibility
While it’s true that WCAG represents a solid baseline, there’s a lot more we should be doing to make our work truly accessible.
Icon-only links fail WCAG
Article posted 20th June 2022 in Accessibility
Icon-only buttons don’t fail the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), even though I wish they did, but what about icon-only links?
What I wish was in WCAG: prohibit icon-only buttons
Article posted 16th June 2022 in Accessibility
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) ensure that buttons have a programmatical accessible name, but it doesn’t have to be visible.
WWDC 2022 roundup
Article posted 10th June 2022 in Apple
The opening keynote at Apple’s WWDC is one of my favourite events of the year, and I’ve written a list of the things that got me most excited.
XHTML syntax is still worth using
Article posted 11th May 2022 in Development and HTML
A few weeks ago I read an article on CSS-Tricks about writing HTML the HTML way, not the XHTML way, and it has been bothering me a bit.
Booleans in ARIA
Article posted 9th May 2022 in Development
HTML booleans are bit quirky but, as if just to complicate things, booleans in ARIA work slightly differently. It’s worth knowing how and why.
Sometimes when it’s false, it’s true
Article posted 6th May 2022 in Development and HTML
Boolean attributes in HTML are quirky, and it’s worth knowing how they work in case you end up setting one value and getting the opposite!
I deleted 1Password
Article posted 29th April 2022 in Apple
I’ve been dragging my heels a bit as it’s such a big job, but this week I deleted 1Password.
HTML isn’t quite accessible out of the box
Article posted 20th April 2022 in Accessibility
There’s a commonly held idea that HTML is accessible out of the box, before any CSS has been applied. Unfortunately, that isn’t quite the case.
CSS Naked Day
Article posted 9th April 2022 in Accessibility
CSS Naked Day is a day when all website owners should strip their site of CSS to expose the ‘naked’ HTML underneath.
Upgrading from iPhone XS to 13 Mini
Article posted 8th April 2022 in Apple
After three and a half years using an iPhone XS, I’ve upgraded to the 13 Mini. Here’s my take on jumping to the new model.
If one person is remote, everyone should be remote
Article posted 5th April 2022
Last time I went into the office, a colleague and I found a meeting room dialled into a remote meeting together. It was a bit of a bit of a disaster.
WCAG AAA in language I can understand
Article posted 23rd March 2022 in Accessibility
A follow-up to my post on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, level AA; this time covering the rules that make up the stricter level AAA.
Is ‘a11y’ exclusive?
Article posted 16th March 2022 in Accessibility
Is the term ‘a11y’ inherently inaccessible? Well, yes and no. It can come in very handy in some circumstances, but it should be used with care.
Article posted 15th March 2022 in Accessibility, Apple, CSS and HTML
macOS 12.3 and iOS 15.4 landed yesterday, and with them came Safari 15.4 and some exciting new features. Here are the five that stood out to me.
WCAG 2.2 in language I can understand
Article posted 21st February 2022 in Accessibility
A follow-up to my post on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, level AA; this time explaining the nine rules coming up in WCAG 2.2.
Safari, focus-visible and accessibility
Article posted 14th February 2022 in Accessibility and CSS
Safari is the last browser to support the
:focus-visiblepseudo-class, and with that support comes a huge accessibility win.
Going all-in on iCloud Passwords
Article posted 8th February 2022 in Apple
1Password’s subscription push, one-size-fits-all Electron app, and Apple’s efforts with their password manager mean it’s time for a change.
WCAG, but in language I can understand
Article posted 28th January 2022 in Accessibility
An as-close-to-a-single-paragraph-as-I-can-manage summary of each rule in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.1, level AA.
The curse of knowledge
Article posted 7th January 2022
I often throw out ideas for posts on ‘the basics’; surely everyone knows that stuff already? Well, I think I’ve been doing the wrong thing!
Apple Watch’s default app view is bad
Article posted 5th January 2022 in Apple and Design
My mum and brother counted Apple Watches amongst their Chistmas presents, and the one problem they both had was the default app view.
Safari 15’s Tab Groups
Article posted 30th December 2021 in Apple
The road to Safari 15 was a bumpy old ride. Some things were announced at WWDC and then undone; others, like Safari’s Tab Groups, turned out great.
Design for everyone
Article posted 9th December 2021 in Accessibility and Design
Design is a hugely responsible role, and one responsibility is ensuring everyone can use our websites, products, services, and applications.
An update on Google and the open web
Article posted 30th November 2021
A year ago, I wrote about how Google were spoiling my Blue Beanie Day. Since then, there have been some changes; some positive, others not so much.
What do we do with a link or button matters
Article posted 22nd November 2021 in Accessibility and Design
Language is a powerful thing; if the metaphor we use to describe actions to our users is ‘click’ we tend to forget about all those who don’t.
If HTML and ARIA don’t allow it, it’s probably a bad idea
Article posted 25th October 2021 in Accessibility, Design and HTML
I like to use invalid HTML and ARIA as a design constraint; a line I can’t step across. Sounds obvious, but in practice it’s not always that simple!
Mac event 2021
Article posted 19th October 2021 in Apple
Apple had their final event of the year last night and it was especially exciting as I’m in the market for a new Mac. Here are my thoughts.
Face ID on the Mac won’t happen
Article posted 11th October 2021 in Apple
With an October Mac event looming, I got to thinking about Face ID on the Mac; I don’t think it’ll be added now, and might not ever be.
Always style links with a pseudo-class
Article posted 1st October 2021 in CSS and Development
Ever wondered why we have the
:linkpseudo-class as well as the
aselector in CSS? Aren’t they doing the same thing? Turns out they’re not.
Links, missing href attributes, and over-engineered code
Article posted 30th September 2021 in Accessibility, Development and HTML
Links without an
A week with iOS 15
Article posted 29th September 2021 in Apple
I’ve been using iOS 15 for just over a week and there are some and there are some changes that have made a big difference. Here’s a short list.
iOS 15, Face ID, sunglasses, and Apple Watch
Article posted 27th September 2021 in Apple
The latest iOS release uses Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone when you’re wearing sunglasses. This is not only very convenient, but great for security.
What if no-one’s listening?
Article posted 17th September 2021
Spending hours writing and editing a blog post only to publish and get zero feedback can be demoralising. My advice? Keep going!
How I approach CSS: my ABC system
Article posted 3rd September 2021 in CSS and Development
CSS is easy to write but can become messy and bloated over time. A solid methodology can make maintenance much more comfortable; here’s how I do it.
Critical CSS: what it is, why it’s useful, and how it works
Article posted 19th August 2021 in CSS and Development
With Critical CSS, we can give our visitors the most important styling as early as possible and the rest when it’s ready. Here’s why and how to do it.
Using Pandoc to convert Markdown to Jira’s Textile in Sublime Text
Article posted 22nd July 2021 in Development, Markdown, Tools and Workflows
It’s a real pain that Jira’s plain text input isn’t Markdown. Here’s how to I write in Markdown and export to Jira’s version of Textile.
Apple dials back the Safari 15 for macOS redesign
Article posted 15th July 2021 in Apple
The ultra-condensed tab bar in the up-coming Safari for macOS has been reverted in the betas; it’s now just an option in Safari’s Preferences.
Article posted 9th July 2021
One of the best things you can do is share what you know. Even if you think it has been done before or someone else is more expert, share anyway!
Downloading a website as HTML files
Article posted 8th July 2021 in Development and Tools
Text underline thickness on Chrome
Article posted 7th July 2021 in Development
Link underlines are thicker on Chromium-based browsers than on Safari and Firefox; so much so that they can look odd on larger text like headings.
Website version 6
Article posted 6th July 2021 in Accessibility, Design and Development
The last major version of this website was a complete behind-the-scenes rebuild. This version, on the other hand, is almost entirely visual.
Sass mixins for Increased Contrast Mode (and Dark Mode)
Article posted 22nd June 2021 in CSS and Development
When I added a high contrast version of my website I used an almost-identical Sass mixin to the one I use for Dark Mode. Here’s how it works.
Using the Increased Contrast Mode CSS media query
Article posted 21st June 2021 in Accessibility, CSS, Design and Development
Satisfying the enhanced contrast AAA WCAG rule can be limiting; luckily
prefers-contrast: moreallows us more freedom with our default themes.
Craig Federighi on, essentially, mobile first
Article posted 17th June 2021 in Apple
In a post-WWDC interview, Apple’s Craig Federighi explained why Shortcuts for macOS looks to be such a success; essentially as it was mobile first!
Styling code snippets in Keynote
Article posted 15th June 2021 in Apple
No sooner than I had published my story on why I like Keynote, I spotted a post in my RSS feeds on how to highlight code syntax in Keynote.
I’d forgotten how much I like Keynote
Article posted 14th June 2021 in Apple and Tools
When COVID-19 struck, Keynote became unusable for remote presentations. I used other, lesser tools for over a year before Apple released a fix.
WWDC 2021 roundup
Article posted 9th June 2021 in Apple
Just like last year, I’ve written a list of the announcements that stood out at this year’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC).
The trouble with back links
Article posted 4th June 2021 in Development and HTML
You’d think that adding a back link to a web page would be straightforward. Well, it turn out that it’s not! Let’s have a look at three ways to do it.
Fixing Safari’s HTML-only Dark Mode bug
Article posted 3rd June 2021 in Accessibility, CSS and HTML
A bug with link text colours in Safari’s HTML-only Dark Mode theme means we need a bit of extra code. Here’s how to patch things until it’s fixed.
HTML-only Dark Mode
Article posted 2nd June 2021 in Accessibility, CSS and HTML
When our CSS contains Dark Mode rules and the file fails to load, we’re left with plain old HTML. Luckily we can request Dark Mode in our markup!
Front of the frontend
Article posted 1st June 2021 in CSS, Development and HTML
Accessible responsive tables
Article posted 28th May 2021 in Accessibility, CSS, Development and HTML
Tables can be tricky to make work responsively; they can also be tricky to make accessible. Here’s a step by step guide to making your tables both!
Refining focus styles with focus-visible
Article posted 25th May 2021 in CSS and Development
:focus-visibletriggers only on keyboard focus; not on click. This can make our interfaces cleaner, but should it replace
AVIF and WebP are not always better than PNG and JPG
Article posted 24th May 2021 in Development and Performance
AVIF and WebP are better image compression smaller files than PNG and JPG, but
Converting images to AVIF in 2021
Article posted 18th May 2021 in Development and Performance
AVIF is amazing, but the big downside is that it’s not an export option in any of my image software yet. Here’s what I’m doing in the meantime.
AVIF image compression is incredible
Article posted 17th May 2021 in Development and Performance
WebP images are now supported in all modern web browsers, but the emerging AVIF format promises to be even better; I’m pleased to tell you it is!
Using Git restore to discard changes within a file
Article posted 11th May 2021 in Development and Git
git restoreis great, and one of its superpowers is its patch mode where we can restore parts of a file, rather than the whole file at once.
Undelete a file with Git
Article posted 10th May 2021 in Development and Git
I’ve talked about how great
git restoreis, but I missed a really obvious use of
git restore: restoring a deleted file!
Be careful with strikethrough
Article posted 20th April 2021 in Accessibility, Development and HTML
Struck-through text isn’t read by screen readers. This is true of all text-level semantics, but it’s worth drawing attention to strikethough.
The difference between strikethrough and del
Article posted 14th April 2021 in Development and HTML
<b>, the distinction between
<del>is subtle, but it’s worth knowing.
Git restore to discard changes
Article posted 13th April 2021 in Development and Git
I no longer use
git checkoutto switch branches; I’ve also stopped using it to discard uncommitted changes: let me introduce
Using Git switch to change branches
Article posted 12th April 2021 in Development and Git
Since upgrading to macOS Big Sur, I’ve noticed that
git switchworks. But why do we need it when we’ve got
Cleaner focus outlines with box-decoration-break
Article posted 8th April 2021 in CSS
When I changed my site’s form and button focus styles, links felt a bit left out. But discovering
box-decoration-breakhas made things consistent.
Bold and italics aren’t read by screen readers
Article posted 2nd April 2021 in Accessibility
Emphasis and other text-level semantics are normally ignored by screen readers, so it you’re relying on them for meaning you could be in trouble.
Sentence case versus title case
Article posted 31st March 2021 in Accessibility and Design
I’m a fan of good typography, and something I come across a fair bit is whether sentence case or title case is better for headings.
Reset to a previous commit
Article posted 29th March 2021 in Development and Git
Have you ever made a bunch of commits on the wrong branch? I certainly have… Luckily, there’s an easy way to put things right.
My user manual
Article posted 26th March 2021
A couple of years ago, a colleague introduced the idea of personal user manuals. I liked the idea, and I’ve finally got round to writing my own.
On not setting an upstream for short-lived branches
Article posted 17th March 2021 in Development and Git
I only set upstream Git branches when I need to push and pull a lot, otherwise I prefer to write out my target branch manually. Here’s why…
Updating Netlify deployments when renaming your main Git branch
Article posted 15th March 2021 in Development and Git
When you rename your Git branch, you’re going to need to reconfigure any Netlify deployments that are set up to watch your old
Why I stopped using ASCII art
Article posted 10th March 2021 in Accessibility
I love those old-school ASCII art characters, but I’ve stopped using them as they’re not accessible.
Setting an upstream Git branch
Article posted 26th February 2021 in Development and Git
There’s no such thing as syncing in Git, but setting an upstream branch is about as close as it gets.
How to rename the ‘master’ branch on GitHub
Article posted 25th February 2021 in Development and Git
mainis a good idea, but how do we do it? Fortunately, it’s really straightforward if your repository lives on GitHub.
Empathy, and renaming my ‘master’ branch to ‘main’
Article posted 24th February 2021 in Development and Git
I’ve noticed a move towards renaming the
masterGit branch. It’s a racially charged term and I’m very happy to switch from
Third party platforms, and owning your own content
Article posted 23rd February 2021
Facebook’s run in with the Australian government got me thinking about how important it is not to depend on third parties to publish your ideas.
Caching fonts on Netlify
Article posted 22nd February 2021 in Development, Performance and Serverless
I’m not sure what took me so long to notice, but my website’s custom font wasn’t caching. The good news is that caching is easy with Netlify.
Custom numeric passcodes on iPhone
Article posted 18th February 2021 in Apple
I’ve been keen to ditch my 6 digit iPhone unlock passcode for a while now, as even a very short alphanumeric code is so much more secure.
Face ID and masks
Article posted 17th February 2021 in Apple
Face ID is great, but now that we’re all wearing masks in public our passcodes are seeing a lot more use. Luckily, Apple have a solution in the pipeline.
When and how to use the section element
Article posted 11th February 2021 in Accessibility and HTML
So what on earth is a
<section>element actually for? The answer isn’t as obvious as you might have hoped, but it’s definitely straightforward.
Viewing the changes in a Git stash
Article posted 10th February 2021 in Development and Git
Naming stashes is a good idea if some time is likely to pass between stashing and picking up the work again, but sometimes we need even more info.
Deleting a stash in Git
Article posted 9th February 2021 in Development and Git
If you stash a lot, or need to apply a stash non-destructively you might eventually want to clear things down to keep your stash list tidy.
Applying a Git stash non-destructively
Article posted 8th February 2021 in Development and Git
You’ll almost always want to delete a stash when you apply it, but if for some reason you need to keep the stash around, Git lets you do that.
Giving your Git stash a name
Article posted 5th February 2021 in Development and Git
Naming your Git stashes can be really helpful, especially if you’re stashing a lot or saving a stash to come back to another day.
Choosing a stash from the list
Article posted 4th February 2021 in Development and Git
Viewing all of a Git repository’s stashes and choosing one from the list is the next step I took in my Git stash on the command line journey.
Getting started with Git stash
Article posted 3rd February 2021 in Development and Git
I’ve put it off for the longest time, but it turns out stashing changes with Git on the command line is surprisingly easy to get the hang of.
Scrollbar marker colours on macOS
Article posted 25th January 2021 in Accessibility and CSS
The other day, I realised the scroll markers were invisible on my website in Light Mode. The fix was pretty easy once I knew what was going on.
Scroll-bounce page background colour
Article posted 24th January 2021 in CSS
In most browsers, if you scroll and hit the top or bottom of the page, there’s a bounce. Did you know you can change the colour behind your page?
Using VoiceOver’s rotor on macOS
Article posted 21st January 2021 in Accessibility and Apple
If you’re new to VoiceOver, once you’ve got the hang of the basics, the next thing to learn is the ‘rotor’; a supercharged navigation tool.
Getting started with VoiceOver on macOS
Article posted 20th January 2021 in Accessibility and Apple
Understanding how screen readers work is important for anyone who works on digital products. Here’s how to get started with VoiceOver on macOS.
Upgrading from a Home button to a Face ID iPhone
Article posted 14th January 2021 in Apple
One from the Unpublished Drafts archive: my thoughts on moving from a Home button iPhone to a Home button-less Face ID iPhone.
Accessible animated GIFs are pointless
Article posted 8th January 2021 in Accessibility
Animated GIFs are everywhere, but are they accessible to everyone? I’m afraid to say, they’re not, and we probably shouldn’t be using them.
An unexpected accessibility benefit of video calls
Article posted 30th December 2020 in Accessibility
COVID-19 changed the way we work. Now that we all work from home, remote team members report feeling more included, and I’ve noticed another benefit.
Voice Control for macOS commands cheatsheet
Article posted 29th December 2020 in Accessibility and Apple
I have a list of all the commands for Voice Control for macOS, and it comes in handy pretty much every time I do any speech recognition testing.
Why I prefer not to use CSS shorthand
Article posted 23rd December 2020 in CSS
Instead of using the
paddingdeclaration, I use the longhand
padding-right, and so on. Why? A few of good reasons: let me explain.
Progressively enhanced animated content
Article posted 2nd December 2020 in Accessibility and Development
Respecting your users’ preferences with
prefers-reduced-motionis great, but what about users with older operating systems and browsers?
Google are spoiling my Blue Beanie Day
Article posted 30th November 2020 in Development
Web standards should be a done deal by now, but 8 years on from my last post on the subject, we need to be as vigilant as ever.
Form styling limitations are an accessibility issue
Article posted 27th November 2020 in Accessibility, CSS and Development
A summary of the things missing in CSS got me thinking about how lack of some form styling may have seriously damaged accessibility on the web.
Moving to Apple One with existing Apple subscriptions
Article posted 19th November 2020 in Apple
I had some questions before upgrading to Apple One, as I had existing Apple subscriptions. If you’re in the same position I was, this should help.
The tempertemper newsletter
Article posted 5th November 2020
A while ago, I realised I didn’t have a great way to get all my articles out to people who want to read them. That’s where my newsletter comes in.
Respecting people’s privacy
Article posted 30th October 2020
Collecting data, whether needed or not, is high on a lot of companies’ agendas. Me, I don’t track users and I collect the bare minimum data.
Accessibility issues when removing list markers
Article posted 12th October 2020 in Accessibility, CSS and Development
If we remove the list markers from an ordered or unordered list, we’re likely to run into some issues with VoiceOver.
Custom unordered list markers, done right
Article posted 8th October 2020 in CSS and Development
Did you know you can choose any icon you like for unordered/bulleted lists with a single line of CSS? Any Unicode character; no hacky CSS!
Styling list markers the right way
Article posted 7th October 2020 in CSS and Development
Simple list styling like changing the bullets’ colour has always felt like a hack, involving a lot of CSS. But now there’s a proper way to do it!
How to use the keyboard to navigate on Safari
Article posted 6th October 2020 in Accessibility
A great way to start accessibility testing is to navigate with the keyboard. Safari is limited by default, so here’s how get it working properly.
Using the keyboard to navigate on macOS
Article posted 5th October 2020 in Accessibility
I’ve just set up a new Mac, and keyboard navigation is pretty limited by default. Here’s how to make it much more useful.
Opening links in a new tab or window is better avoided
Article posted 21st September 2020 in Design and Development
A link to an external source opening in a new tab or window is something that appears innocuous but really isn’t as straightforward it seems.
First impressions of iOS 14
Article posted 18th September 2020 in Apple
After 24 hours using iOS 14, I’ve found some of the new features unexpectedly useful. Here are my first impressions.
3D touch is gone on Apple Watch
Article posted 17th September 2020 in Apple
I noticed it when I went to try out the new Faces that arrived with watchOS 7: the new Apple Watch operating system has removed 3D Touch entirely!
Splitting a hunk in Git’s patch mode
Article posted 15th September 2020 in Development and Git
When you enter Git’s patch mode, the chunks of code you’re offered to stage/skip can sometimes be too big. Here’s how splitting them works.
Staging different parts of the same file with Git
Article posted 14th September 2020 in Development and Git
Since moving to command line Git, I’ve avoided patch mode; it looked too complicated. Turns out it’s really not, and very much worth learning.
Include a date on your blog posts
Article posted 10th September 2020
Aside from the article itself, the most important thing to include on every blog post you write is the date published.
Styling underlines with CSS
Article posted 9th September 2020 in CSS, Design and Development
border-bottomfor making your links a bit more visually engaging, here’s how to do it properly with
Why you should (almost) always underline your links
Article posted 3rd September 2020 in Accessibility and Design
A link should look like the text around it, but with a couple of differences: maybe a bit of colour and (almost) always an underline.
Saying goodbye to UK government
Article posted 26th August 2020
Monday marked my last day working on the UK government’s digital services, after two and a half years. It has been an amazing experience.
WebKit has fixed the implicit role on footers
Article posted 24th August 2020 in Accessibility and Development
Last year, I wrote about implicit ARIA roles; an issue I encountered was that VoiceOver didn’t give an implicit role to footers. Well, it’s fixed!
iOS 14’s Back Tap; a better way to access Control Centre
Article posted 21st August 2020 in Accessibility and Apple
My most anticipated iOS 14 feature wasn’t mentioned at WWDC 2020, but will sort my biggest issue with iPhones X and above: Control Centre access.
Putting the time in up front
Article posted 18th August 2020
Taking time to learn or improve a skill, or set solid foundations for a project can often be the difference between it happening or not.
Text snippets on Apple devices
Article posted 13th August 2020 in Apple and Workflows
I’ve been using Apple’s built-in Text Replacement instead of TextExpander for a while now. It’s pretty basic, but it’s free and it does the job.
The right way to use break tags in HTML
Article posted 28th July 2020 in Development and HTML
Break tags are often misused. I’ll demo some markup patterns to avoid them, and reveal the one and only legitimate use case I can think of.
Using WebP images
Article posted 27th July 2020 in Design and Development
Safari will soon support the WebP image format, which purports some great advantages, but is it actually better than the formats we already use?
Searching for a Git commit by name with grep
Article posted 24th July 2020 in Development and Git
When you need to dig out a commit you made a long time ago, you’re going to need something a bit more powerful than a standard
Using address in HTML won’t be problematic for much longer
Article posted 22nd July 2020 in Accessibility, Development and HTML
There’s a bug in Safari that adds an implicit role to
<address>which causes problems for screen readers. The good news is, a fix is very close!
Using horizontal rules in HTML
Article posted 20th July 2020 in Development and HTML
The horizontal rule is pretty widely misunderstood and often abused. It’s not an HTML element I reach for very much, but it’s worth writing about.
How to change the first number of an ordered list in HTML
Article posted 15th July 2020 in Development and HTML
What happens when starting an ordered list at 1 doesn’t make sense? HTML has an attribute that lets you start your count at any number!
Reversing an ordered list in HTML
Article posted 14th July 2020 in Development and HTML
When the order of a list matters, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to reverse the order. Fortunately, you can do that with HTML.
Frontend NE draws to a close
Article posted 13th July 2020
Frontend NE is coming to an end, but I’ve decided to come back for one last hurrah at the postponed final meet-up, whenever that might be!
Self-closing elements in HTML
Article posted 10th July 2020 in Development and HTML
Some elements don’t look like the others; those are self-closing elements, which are just an opening tag with no content and no closing tag.
An introduction to HTML attributes
Article posted 9th July 2020 in Development and HTML
An HTML attribute lives on the opening tag of an element and gives that element powers it might not otherwise have had.
A handy Git shortcut to fetch and prune
Article posted 8th July 2020 in Development and Git
I’m still writing my Git commands long-hand. Turns out a fetch and prune can be more concise than I’ve previously suggested, all without aliases.
Chaining Git commands
Article posted 7th July 2020 in Development and Git
Writing a sequence of Git commands is really handy and much quicker than running one, waiting for it to finish, writing the next, etc. Here’s how.
Using image aspect ratios to avoiding janky page loading
Article posted 6th July 2020 in Development, HTML and Performance
Adding dimensions to images in HTML is useful again! They’re a progressive enhancement to calculate the image’s aspect ratio and prevent jank.
Article posted 3rd July 2020 in Development, HTML and Performance
The briefest of histories of responsive images
Article posted 1st July 2020 in Design and Development
There are a lot of things to consider when using images on the web. But why is it so complex? And how can we tackle that complexity?
‘Frontend’, ‘front‑end’ or ‘front end’?
Article posted 30th June 2020 in Development
As a frontend developer, something has always bothered me. How on earth do you spell ‘frontend’!? Or should that be ‘front-end’? Or ‘front end’…?
Pushing to a differently named branch on your remote
Article posted 29th June 2020 in Development and Git
When using Git, you’ll normally push work to an identically named branch on your remote, but what if you want to push to a different branch?
Redirect a filename in Netlify without specifying the path
Article posted 26th June 2020 in Development and Serverless
Redirecting a file in Netlify is easy, but what if you don’t know the path? Here’s how to redirect a particular filename, wherever that file may live.
When design breaks semantics
Article posted 25th June 2020 in Accessibility, Design and Development
Semantic HTML is great. But sometimes following the rules is tricky. Grab a cuppa and let me tell you a story about links that look like buttons.
How my website’s design has evolved
Article posted 25th June 2020 in Brand and Design
My post on portfolio redesign got me wondering how my website has evolved. I had an enjoyable look on the WayBack Machine and took some snapshots.
Why I haven’t ‘redesigned my portfolio’ since 2014
Article posted 24th June 2020 in Design
There’s a thing in the web design community where we re-do our websites every couple of years. Confession time: I haven’t redesigned mine since 2014.
WWDC 2020 roundup
Article posted 23rd June 2020 in Apple
I did it last year, so here it is again. Far from a complete list of the features Apple announced at WWDC 2020, but the ones that stood out to me.
Sleep on watchOS 7
Article posted 23rd June 2020 in Apple and Design
One of only a handful of real stand outs from the WWDC 2020 Keynote was native sleep tracking on watchOS. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time!
Keeping git status short
Article posted 22nd June 2020 in Development and Git
git statusis one of the Git commands I use the most, but I’ve always thought that it overshares. Well, I’ve found a way to make it more readable!
Optional closing tags in HTML
Article posted 18th June 2020 in Development
One of the interesting things about HTML5 is its flexibility. You don’t even need a closing tag on some elements! But be careful with that.
The difference between elements and tags in HTML
Article posted 15th June 2020 in Development
People often refer to HTML ‘tags’ and ‘elements’ interchangeably. They’re related, but very much different things. Here’s the deal.
Why I always raise a pull request on solo projects
Article posted 4th May 2020 in Development and Git
The whole point of a PR is to get feedback and approval on a piece of work from someone else before it’s published. But what if it’s just you?
Article posted 8th April 2020 in Design
When a friend asked for some CSS tips for a website he works on, I noticed a design issue that actually highlights a common problem in our industry.
HTML is more complicated than you think
Article posted 6th April 2020
HTML, like CSS, is easy to learn. Trouble is, if you want to write it well, it gets difficult very quickly.
Using the HTML document outline
Article posted 3rd April 2020 in Accessibility, Design and Development
What is a document outline? Sounds complicated, but it’s really not – it’s just headings! Find out more about them and why they’re a good idea.
Pixels, constraints, minimalism and tempertemper
Article posted 14th March 2020 in Brand and Design
As a designer, I thrive on constraints; as a minimalist, I enjoy boiling something down to its essence. Happily, my brand now allows room for pixel art.
Even the finest of details can be important
Article posted 28th February 2020 in Brand and Design
Since my post on refining my brand I’ve encountered a tiny issue where, with a circular crop, the underscore is too close to the edge of the circle.
What watchOS 7 might have in store
Article posted 27th February 2020 in Apple and Design
I was pretty pleased with watchOS 6 when it landed last autumn, but a recent article got me thinking about what watchOS 7 might have in store.
Why is accessibility so often seen as a low priority?
Article posted 20th February 2020 in Accessibility
A couple of recent CSS-Tricks articles got me thinking about how website owners prioritise their legal (and moral!) obligations to their users.
How to rename a remote repo in Git
Article posted 10th February 2020 in Development and Git
Renaming a Git repository feels pretty fundamental – surely something will break? Well, worry no more – it turns out it’s a piece of cake!
The simplest solutions are usually the best
Article posted 25th January 2020 in Brand and Design
I’ve spent more than 5 years working on an icon for my brand. It has been a lot of fun and the right solution turned out to be under my nose all along!
How to diff branches in Git
Article posted 11th January 2020 in Development and Git
Turns out it’s pretty easy to look at the differences between two branches in Git. This is useful when coming back to a feature branch after a while.
Git rebase versus merge
Article posted 31st December 2019 in Development and Git
There are two ways to get a branch up to date with master before raising a PR: merge and rebase. Here are pros and cons with each.
Version tagging with Releases in GitHub Flow
Article posted 27th December 2019 in Development and Git
I’ve started using GitHub Flow for some projects and the process is much simpler than GitFlow, but one hurdle I encountered was tagging.
Simplifying branching and deployment with GitHub Flow
Article posted 14th December 2019 in Development and Git
GitFlow is great but it’s not quite right for every project. GitHub Flow is simpler and means I’ll publish a feature or fix as soon as it’s ready.
Article posted 12th December 2019 in Brand
Over the years, I’ve often been asked where I got the name ‘tempertemper’ from. The answer is very simple.
Apple’s Keyboards revisited
Article posted 21st November 2019 in Apple and Design
Apple released a new MacBook Pro last week and the keyboard has been revised, fixing almost all the issues the current/outgoing models have.
The best Sublime Text theme
Article posted 18th November 2019 in Design and Development
Operator Mono’s fancy italics don’t work with every colour scheme, but finding one that does has lead me to my favourite Sublime Text theme.
Operator Mono and why I want italics in my code editor
Article posted 17th November 2019 in Design and Development
I’m ready to start recording for my YouTube channel and I’ve been thinking about what my coding environment looks like.
Ligatures in coding fonts
Article posted 7th November 2019 in Development
I enjoy freshening my coding environment up a wee bit every now and then, but typefaces with ligatures are a step too far.
If it’s not progressively enhanced, it’s not accessible
Article posted 6th November 2019 in Accessibility
Which way is that arrow pointing!?
Article posted 2nd November 2019 in Design
To show/hide content you’ll probably use an arrow on the toggle to indicate that content will be revealed. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
If only Apple’s Voice Memos did transcription
Article posted 30th October 2019 in Apple
Imagine dictating a memo and coming back to it later as text for editing into a blog post. You can do that with the new Google Pixel…
Stop search indexing for Netlify Deploy Previews and Branch Deploys
Article posted 26th October 2019 in Development and Serverless
Netlify Deploy Previews and Branch Deploys are great, but what if search engines start indexing them?
Setting up a staging site with Netlify
Article posted 25th October 2019 in Development and Serverless
Netlify Deploy Previews are great, but sometimes it’s good to have a staging site for stuff that isn’t ready to put into the live website yet.
Netlify Deploy Previews
Article posted 24th October 2019 in Development and Serverless
I’ve become a bit of an unashamed fan of Netlify recently, and Deploy Previews are something I’ve been making a quite a bit of use of.
Colour contrast on tempertemper.net
Article posted 14th October 2019 in Accessibility, Brand and Design
Colour contrast on my site now meets WCAG AAA, in light or dark mode. There have been compromises but, if it’s more useable, I’m happy to make them.
Article posted 10th October 2019
I’ve noticed a lot of rough outlines clogging up my drafts; rather than risking not publishing, maybe an outline-style might be the right approach sometimes?
Some brief thoughts on watchOS 6
Article posted 9th October 2019 in Apple
After using it for a couple of weeks, here’s a quick summary of my thoughts on the newest operating system for Apple Watch.
Routine and flexibility
Article posted 7th October 2019
I broke my golden rule this morning. I woke up early, made myself a tea and sat down with my laptop. But instead of writing, I did some freelance work.
Ditching Google Analytics in favour of Netlify Analytics
Article posted 4th October 2019 in Development and Serverless
Having moved my website to Netlify, I’ve been pretty excited about some of the features they offer, one in particular has been Netlify Analytics.
Moving to Netlify
Article posted 3rd October 2019 in Development and Serverless
I’ve really never enjoyed servers, and Netlify looks like an easy to use, powerful alternative for any static sites I build.
Adding files for a commit with asterisks
Article posted 1st October 2019 in Development and Git
It can be fiddly to stage files for a commit using Git on the command line. Or so I thought! I found a shortcut, so thought I’d write about it.
Using nvm on macOS
Article posted 23rd September 2019 in Development
I upgraded node on my laptop and things broke… But I found a way to change the node version, to keep projects alive until there’s time to upgrade all those packages and config.
SwiftUI is more than just a developer convenience
Article posted 19th September 2019 in Apple
Apple announced SwiftUI at this year’s WWDC; I reckon it’s more than just a developer convenience – it’s a tactical move on Apple’s part.
iPhone event 2019
Article posted 18th September 2019 in Apple
Apple’s iPhone event has just passed and it was interesting, but didn’t get me too excited. Here’s a brief list of my take-aways.
Why I’m not using Git aliases
Article posted 11th September 2019 in Development and Git
Git aliases are incredibly useful, but there are five good reasons I’ve decided not to make use of them.
Version control for articles and blog posts
Article posted 6th September 2019 in Development and Git
Git workflows like GitFlow are great, but how does publishing articles fit in when using a static site generator? Here’s how I’m doing it.
Years in, the accessibility learning curve continues
Article posted 5th September 2019 in Accessibility and Development
I’ve cared about accessibility for as long as I’ve been working in the web and, even after all these years, I still enjoy learning new things.
Practice makes perfect
Article posted 30th August 2019
I do a lot of reading on the Metro, on the way to work. A while back, I read an article that quoted something that really stuck in my head.
How to avoid disabled buttons
Article posted 23rd August 2019 in Design
Disabling a submit button can indicate that a form isn’t ready to be sent; there are various ways to design this, but should we be doing it at all?
Changing editor for Git on the command line
Article posted 21st August 2019 in Development and Git
Something that has been bugging me since moving from a GUI to command line git has been the default editor for writing commit messages.
Fixing your last Git commit
Article posted 21st August 2019 in Development and Git
Since I’ve started using Git on the command line, there’s one ‘new’ thing that I’ve used more than any other: amending my most recent commit.
Website version 5
Article posted 4th August 2019 in Design and Development
I’m already more than a dozen releases into version 5 of my website, but I’m finally ready to ‘officially’ announce it!
Changing your Git history
Article posted 26th July 2019 in Development and Git
This week I removed some files and data from my Git history. It was a bit of a learning curve, but here’s how I did it, step by step.
Right here, right now
Article posted 18th July 2019
I was reminded of a neat idea the other day: the Now page. I’d seen the idea a while ago but hadn’t had time to do anything about it.
Stop the ride, I want to get off
Article posted 17th July 2019 in Design and Tools
I never thought I’d see the day, but I’ve fallen out of love with Dropbox. Dropbox’s genius was its simplicity, which is getting buried by questionable new features and messy branding.
Minimalism and progressive enhancement
Article posted 16th July 2019 in Design and Development
I’ve been enjoying reading though Adam Silver’s articles around accessibility and inclusive design, and his take on progressive enhancement really struck a chord.
Refining my writing process
Article posted 14th July 2019 in Workflows
I’ve rebuilt this site with a static site generator and it has been great so many reasons, but there’s one I want to share ahead of the ‘official’ announcement: my writing workflow.
Folder sharing and the new Apple OSs
Article posted 13th July 2019 in Apple and Workflows
The up-coming Apple operating systems will allow folder sharing in both Files/Finder and the Notes app. This is a big step forward!
Design and dev should be more joined up
Article posted 2nd July 2019 in Design and Development
I’ve been catching up on some reading and came across this nugget in ‘The “D” in the DOM’…
Getting to grips with Git
Article posted 26th June 2019 in Development and Git
I’ve been using Git for years and it’s finally time to make a concerted effort to move away from my GUI to the command line.
What’s emphasis and what’s not
Article posted 24th June 2019 in Accessibility and Development
Semantic HTML is hard. We stopped using
<b>elements in favour of
<strong>, but are
Implicit ARIA landmark roles
Article posted 14th June 2019 in Accessibility and Development
ARIA landmarks give a screen reader user an easy way to orient themselves on a web page. Implicit roles are also great. Except when they’re not.
Looks like 3D Touch is going away
Article posted 8th June 2019 in Apple
In spite of my recent enthusiasm for 3D Touch, there have been murmurs that it is on its way out. I think they might be right.
WWDC 2019 roundup
Article posted 6th June 2019 in Apple
I love watching the opening Keynote for WWDC. Here’s a brief overview of the things they announced this year that I’m excited about or interested in.
Article posted 30th May 2019 in Accessibility, Design and Development
Accessibility is important, so I’ve taken steps to minimise animation on my site, and even removed it completely for those who ‘prefer reduce motion’.
Let’s make webmasters a thing again
Article posted 21st May 2019
We used to be webmasters. CMSs then gave our clients control of their websites, but I can’t help wondering if we had it right in the first place.
Face ID and sunglasses
Article posted 21st May 2019 in Apple and Design
Face ID worked perfectly every time until the sun started coming out. Seems its achilles heel is sunglasses, but I think I might be ok with that.
Settling for less
Article posted 18th May 2019
I take a lot of care over my articles, but that means they take a long time before I hit ‘publish’. Maybe I need to put less pressure on my writing…
Thoughts on 3D Touch
Article posted 8th May 2019 in Apple and Design
Moving from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone XS has been great, and I know it has been around for a while but one of my favourite things is 3D Touch.
Still a sucker for Sublime
Article posted 1st May 2019 in Development and Tools
Over the years I jumped from one code editor to another before settling on Sublime Text. I’ve since tried others but keep ending up back with Sublime.
I can’t wait for Dark Mode on iOS
Article posted 24th April 2019 in Apple and Design
Dark Mode on iOS looks to be right around the corner. I’m already all-in on Dark Mode on my Mac but it’s even more compelling on the iPhone.
Choosing Dark Mode on macOS
Article posted 17th April 2019 in Apple and Design
It’s nice to dust the cobwebs off with a UI overhaul every so often, so when macOS Mojave was released last year I couldn’t wait to try Dark Mode.
Keep on learning
Article posted 10th April 2019
I’ve found myself with extra time on my hands for the first time in years and I can’t wait to pick up some projects I’ve been eyeing been for a while.
Reading at night with a neat iPhone hack
Article posted 20th March 2019 in Apple
I love reading in bed each night but even my iPhone’s lowest brightness is too fierce in the dark, so here’s a neat trick to make it even dim further.
They’re my rules to break
Article posted 28th January 2019
While I’m not one to say something publicly, only to go back on it, I learned through bitter experience last year that over-committing isn’t healthy.
My favourite RSS app
Article posted 25th January 2019 in Design and Tools
I love RSS. Having used the same RSS app for years, I decided to have a look what else was out there one stood out above the rest.
The new MacBook keyboard
Article posted 9th January 2019 in Apple and Design
The new MacBook keyboard has certainly been a talking point. From the new layout to the Touch Bar and keys sticking; I both love and loathe it.
A New Year’s resolution for 2019
Article posted 2nd January 2019
2018 was a funny one. Not at all how I planned it. This year, I’m making one commitment – to write and publish a blog article each and every week.
Leaving the Frontend NE meet-up
Article posted 13th December 2018
In early 2015 Colin Oakley, Sam Beckham and I started Frontend NE. Fast-forward 4 years and it’s time for me to bow out of the meet-up.
Dark Mode websites on macOS Mojave
Article posted 28th November 2018 in Design and Development
macOS Mojave comes with a Dark Mode feature, but how do we get our websites to do the same? Turns out there’s a handy CSS media query that does the job!
In search of the best writing app
Article posted 16th October 2018 in Tools
A good writing app is an invaluable tool. I’ve found one I’m very comfortable with, and there are a few good reasons for that.
Safari tab icons
Article posted 20th September 2018 in Design and Tools
I’m a fan of small and seemingly trivial changes that make a big difference, so Safari tabs getting icons in macOS Mojave was cause for celebration.
Dashes, asterisks and plus signs
Article posted 22nd August 2018 in Tools
As a designer, I enjoy details. Markdown has lots of ways of doing the same thing and this is kind of nice, but also makes me sweat!
A shift in focus
Article posted 11th November 2017
“Change is the only constant”, said a Greek fella a few thousand years ago. Turns out this is very true. And it happens when you least need/expect it!
Changing the way I start a project
Article posted 20th June 2016
Over the years I have refined the way I plan the websites I build. I’ve moved to a more consultative approach and it has been great for my clients.
Article posted 19th June 2015 in Brand and Design
I rebranded tempertemper last summer. Text is so important on the web that it made perfect sense to make typography one of the first things to tackle.
The benefits of co-working
Article posted 4th May 2015 in Business
I was recently part of a panel on co-working at the ITI Conference 2015, so now feels like a good time to revisit co-working and what it does for my business.
Article posted 8th February 2015 in Business and Tools
Constant interruptions and notifications can take over your working day. For me, the biggest culprit is email. Here’s how I keep my head above water.
Why I still use RSS
Article posted 27th January 2015 in Tools
Anyone who knows me will know I like to keep things tidy. Whether it’s my desk, the contents of my work bag or the files on my computer, everything has its place. This helps me keep in control and is why I still believe RSS has its place.
Switching to Gmail
Article posted 28th January 2014 in Tools
Having never been comfortable with Google’s business model I’ve always chosen to avoid their services where possible. However, I’ve finally made the switch to Gmail and here’s why…
Blue Beanie Day
Article posted 30th November 2012 in Development
The web is very young and is still developing—as well as growing—at a rapid pace. For a long time it was pretty fragmented; a mismatch of all sorts of different technologies being used to display a website and provide functionality.
My introduction to co-working
Article posted 21st November 2012 in Business
Co-working is a great way to escape the isolation of home-working, make business contacts and boost your creativity with a change of scenery-- read on to find out more…
Article posted 30th May 2012 in Business and Tools
As a small business I have to do everything. From marketing my services to working on the projects themselves. One thing I have a kind of love-hate relationship with is invoicing, bookkeeping and accounts. Read on to find out how I’ve cured that particular headache…
Article posted 28th April 2012 in Business and Tools
Evernote is how I stay organised and a great way to reduce clutter and save time. This article will tell you how it works and hopefully inspire you to see how it will work best for you! tempertemper Web Design wouldn’t be the same without it!
Dropbox – my most useful app
Article posted 27th April 2012 in Tools
Dropbox is by far and away the most useful application/program I use. It’s totally streamlined the way I run tempertemper, freeing me from the shackles of my desktop computer and allowing me to take my work on the road at a moment’s notice!
What’s RSS all about?
Article posted 15th July 2011 in Tools
So what’s all this talk about RSS, feeds, subscribing, etc.?