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New site design

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
Current dougbarned.co.uk design

Time for a change?

As mentioned in my last post, for some time now I’ve had a new design in mind for this site. It’s current state has been around since around September ’08, so I’m itching for a change. The current design was devised in an attempt to create a stylish, professional looking frame for displaying my work. I was looking to better my career at the time and was determined to have a fully functional online portfolio in a finished state (for the first time since my university project, Design by BlueCow). The gradients were intended to draw the eye toward the content, whilst the grey colour scheme was to allow the coloured images of my work speak the loudest, helping the information hierarchy – and a bit of colour on a grey canvas always looks good and grabs attention.

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110110

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Many many months, a few haircuts, and a new job later, I’m back! Yes, I’ve been a busy boy… And what better day to start getting back into my blogging habit than the strangest day of 2010 – 110110, which has a lovely binary ring to it. Strangest until October 10th anyway. (Not that I had built up much of a habit, but I was working on it :) )

I spent a lot of 2009 wishing to work for people I liked, creating work that I was proud of. I was searching for an opportunity to design, be creative, and develop my skill. I was lucky enough to get this opportunity! Since late September ’09 I have been working as the principle print designer at Mac games publisher, Feral Interactive. In this role I am now responsible for the design and artworking of all printed items and the odd digital/web work. This includes corporate and consumer marketing pieces, e-newsletters, sales brochures, DVD labels, sleeves and boxes, disk icons, folder backgrounds and the occasional in-game graphic or screen. If you’re an owner of the recently released BioShock port, or are a fan of MacFormat, then you may have seen some of my work already. I’m thoroughly looking forward to the release of the first title I’ve been involved heavily with, Rome: Total War – it will be a real thrill to see a product I’ve worked on ‘in the wild’, so to speak.

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Summer is here!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

design-is updated

Whilst the sun has decided to shine on the UK at last, all it seems to have done for me is make me a little less comfortable in my chair at work, instilled a yearning to go outside, and made me a little more sleepy.

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Browser Testing

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

As the tast of browser testing is something that plagues all web designers, I thought I’d put together a short run-down of the currently available solutions. However, there is no definitive answer.

First off, Microsoft’s new SuperPreview sounded good, but this restricts you to IE 6 and the browser you currently have installed, such as IE 7 or IE 8, but not all three at the same time. May be a good solution if future updates included more browser options and live usage of the site in question rather than simple screenshots.

If you can suffice with screenshots and don’t need to test usability and interaction, then services such as browsershots.orgnetrenderer and the recently released Alkaline application from Litmus are well worth looking at.

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Calm before the Storm

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Sorry to any readers for the lack of new content! I’ve had a lot on recently and have let my blogging, tweeting and general web presence slip a bit…

I’m a day away from a week long break, after which I hope to achieve a long list of things. These include:

  • Writing some posts about useful things I’ve found and learnt.
  • Re-building my freelance site using WordPress for the back-end.
  • Getting up-to-date with admin.
  • Getting approval on an improved website (previously mentioned).
  • Contacting existing clients.
  • Following up leads.
  • Investigate post-grad certificate.

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CMS from Scratch

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Although WordPress has peeked my interest lately, I wanted to mention another Open Source CMS that has proved invaluable to my services. Where WordPress, Joomla or Drupal present an overly feature rich environment, this offering from Scratch Media fills the gap perfectly.

CMS from Scratch

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edgeofmyseat

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

I was recently privileged enough to attend the edgeofmyseat.com HTML and CSS training courses, offering me a chance to pick the brains of some of the webs ‘go-to guys’, Drew McLellan and Rachel Andrew.

Drew McLellan as teacher

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New Site – TSW

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

tswcarpentry.co.ukI’ve recently completed a new website for a skilled carpenter and general handyman based in Norwich, Trevor Waters.

The brief was to create a showcase for the craftsman’s work and allow clients to get in touch to request quotes and / or more information.

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Twitter

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

So, I have finally given in and signed up to another social networking tool. Twitter.

After leaving my Myspace account to rot, and barely touching Facebook since registering, I feel I’m not really the social network entrepreneur’s target customer…

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Web Standards

Friday, January 9th, 2009

As mentioned in my previous post, Push Forward, I have the opportunity to make some vast improvements to the structure and coding of a new website that my employers are launching. Unfortunately, I’ve been instructed to complete the site as it is first, and worry about this stuff later – mainly due (I think) to the people in charge’s lack of understanding surrounding the advantages of designing and building to web standards.

I have therefore been scouring the Internet for ammunition to backup my argument when the time comes to put my case forward. There are a lot of useful articles out there, but for my purpose, this short presentation from boagworld.com sums it up excellently:

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As a designer, technology is closely linked with every aspect of my day-to-day life. Since an early age I have utilised the software at my disposal to bring ideas and sketches to life.

 

What better subject to blog about? Yes, another blog about design and the technology used in our business, but with a little of me thrown in for good measure. Hopefully you'll enjoy my thoughts...