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Interaction design, user experience design, user interface design; design is a fascinating subject. A full list of categories is also available.

  1. Don’t meddle with user input

    Article posted 29th May 2023 in Accessibility and Design

    Every idea comes from a good place, but some well-intended features are actually bad for usability; limiting form field input is one of those things.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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: more allows us more freedom with our default themes.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Styling underlines with CSS

    Article posted 9th September 2020 in CSS, Design and Development

    Never mind border-bottom for making your links a bit more visually engaging, here’s how to do it properly with text-decoration.

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. De-prioritising design

    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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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?

  37. Colour contrast on

    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.

  38. 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?

  39. 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!

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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’…

  43. Reducing motion

    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’.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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!

  51. 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.

  52. tempertemper’s Typefaces

    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.