Comments written on other sites

You reach for the stars, I go to the flicks | Brief letters | Global | The Guardian

Just off London’s City Road there used to be a “Britannia College of Excellence”, whose motto was “Excelling towards Excellence” (Letters, 25 March).

[This was following on from a thread about school mottos. I did include a link to photographic proof which they’ve declined to include.]

On 27 March 2015. Permalink

On the market: Contemporary art deco-inspired property in Frinton-On-Sea, Essex « WowHaus

It’s an odd one this - I *think* it’s actually a converted more conventional house, rather than a complete new build. If you look at satellite photos you’ll see a rectangular house, with no curving frontage, on that plot. It seems an oddly expensive property for Frinton.

On 8 February 2015. Permalink

Surprise post (Noisy Decent Graphics)

I hope it’s a design for a website for chatting to friends called FACEBOOKS

On 10 January 2015. Permalink

Berlin Wall to be Rebuilt With Glowing White Helium Balloons for 25th Anniversary of Fall

@philgyford I was wrong!

On 9 November 2014. Permalink

Improvements to smart answers | Inside GOV.UK

Having recently built a quick demo version of something similar to a Smart Answer at Citizens Advice, this is great stuff, thank you - I’d been wondering about good ways to produce this kind of thing in a more reusable and less fragile way than my hasty demo.

It would be useful to know how you go about converting a Smartdown flow into what we see on the GOV.UK site. Unless I’ve missed something (entirely possible) there’s only the initial diagram at the end of the repository’s README. Is there more detail (or other tools) somewhere?

On 7 November 2014. Permalink

Berlin Wall to be Rebuilt With Glowing White Helium Balloons for 25th Anniversary of Fall

They’re not “helium” balloons. If they were they wouldn’t have lights inside them, and wouldn’t need to be on top of the rigid poles you see in the photographs. Still beautiful, but not helium.

On 22 October 2014. Permalink

How designers prototype at GDS | GDS design notes

Thanks for writing this - I’m fascinated by the idea of designers who design in code, because I’ve never yet met one, much as I’d like to.

Your description does (understandably) seem very GDS-specific, and I wonder how this could work for designers in other types of organisation. For example, your designers have the benefits of an established set of design guidelines, a set of pre-defined HTML/CSS elements, and an environment in which taking the time to learn these skills is encouraged.

At the other extreme, a designer working in an agency will often find themselves designing new sites and services from scratch - so there are no design guidelines and no pre-defined elements. They will also usually have very tight deadlines and little time to stumble around with a completely new way of doing things. Which seems like a very different situation to designers at GDS.

Most of the designers I’ve worked with use Illustrator or Photoshop and, if they have any HTML/CSS/JS skills, they’re probably 10+ years out of date. Even if they want to change how they work it must be a huge struggle and time sink - like having to suddenly write everything in a foreign language.

None of which is to detract from what you’ve said, which is great. It’s just that I would love to know how designers outside GDS have managed this, although I expect that’s outside the scope of this blog.

One thing that might be within scope is something about this topic from the point of view of a developer - How have developers helped designers get up to speed with development? What about this process is easier or harder than the “old” way of interpreting PSDs? What kind of work is involved in making a designer’s (HTML) designs into production-ready code?

On 14 October 2014. Permalink