I really hate it when I’m browsing Netflix and every show I scroll through starts autoplaying. As if I’m not allowed two seconds to scan the rest of the screen. It’s the worst thing to happen to Netflix since Are you still watching? (It’s Sunday! Stop judging me!)

People have been complaining about this feature since Netflix began rolling it out in 2016. There’s a Twitter account, a petition, a Chrome extension and a Star Wars director all pleading Netflix to remove autoplay previews, and yet they haven’t. Why not?

You’ve probably noticed you log into Netflix, you’re greeted…

So last time we spoke, I told you that making a website is just writing some words and telling the internet where you saved them. And then I told you about some of the different languages we need to write to speak to computers in a way that they understand us.

You wrote some words in a text editor in a language called HTML, saved the words in a file called index.html on your computer and opened it in a browser. It was your first website! And two parrots were really proud of you! Do you remember? I remember it…

written by Bekah McDonald & Elvin Tsang

You might be surprised to know that not many designers have used — or are even aware of — variable fonts. Admittedly, we were in this camp when first starting this project.

Unlike us however, typographers have been excitedly talking about them for years, with articles and talks on the subject going back to the beginning of 2015. This excitement seems to only recently be filtering through to the wider design community, and all for the better!

With support already in design applications like Illustrator, Photoshop, Sketch and coming to InDesign in the…

Last weekend I asked my sister’s kid what she thinks my job is. I was hoping for something funny and wonderful, like when someone asked her what her dad does, and she said, “He sells clouds”.

Instead, she said, “You take things people make, and put them on the internet.” Which is pretty accurate, if not totally boring. I take things that people make — web designs, photos, illustrations, words — and I put them on the internet.

I was really hoping for something funny because it makes my blog more popular if I can tweet a hilarious quote alongside…

I really, really love making websites.

It’s the best because you start out with a totally blank page and then you get to make stuff happen on it.

And when I am at work, I feel like this:

Me at work on Tuesday

To this day, I still find the process magical: typing in the commands in all these strange languages that the processor then translates into an experience that’s available not just to me but to everyone.

Edward Snowden, Permanent Record

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about learning to code. I promised I’d explain making websites as if you’re…

The UK was still reeling from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, when Edward Snowden blew the whistle. It was 2013, and the former NSA analyst had just leaked thousands of classified CIA documents to the press, revealing unprecedent data privacy violations conducted by the intelligence agencies in the UK, USA and Australia.

The Snowden revelations sparked a global conversation about the right to privacy. And thanks to the constant fuel of further data breaches — from Ashley Madison to Cambridge Analytica — it’s a conversation that is still going.

Over the last two decades we’ve seen some incredible…

When I was teaching myself to code, I was amazed at how many incredible resources there were, for free, on the internet. Brilliant sites, like Codecademy and Dash by General Assembly, where you can complete code exercises as you learn.

I loved it. I learn by doing, so sitting there for hours solving puzzles with code was actually fun. I went through the entire Codecademy catalogue which was, back then, entirely free. JavaScript, HTML and CSS, Ruby, Python. Whatever I could get my hands on. (I loved the JavaScript course so much, I did it twice 🤓)

But once I…

We talk a lot about how to improve your Google search ranking, increase your site speed and make your website look great on all devices. These are all things that are designed to help you reach more people or different audiences. And to encourage them to spend more time on your website.

But what if, once they get to your site, they struggle to use it?

User experience design

We’ve all experienced websites that are difficult to use. Like the ones that have those annoying ‘Subscribe to our newsletter’ popups that get in the way when you’re trying to read. …

And if you don’t fix it fast, they’re not coming back

Photo by Ryan Johnston on Unsplash

The next five trains are cancelled and you’re looking for an alternative route. You urgently need to reach your child while they’re at school and you can’t remember the number. Some idiot has dented your car and you need to make an insurance claim. It’s really frustrating when a webpage doesn’t load quickly, isn’t it?

It’s not so bad when it’s Netflix, Amazon, or your online banking service. We might get irritated at slow page-loading times, but we’ll usually wait because we can’t — or don’t want to — go elsewhere. But, how many times have you clicked on a…

Responsive web design is not a new concept.

The term was coined back in May 2010-three years after the first iPhone was sold-in an article by Ethan Marcotte on A List Apart. Marcotte predicted that mobile web access would overtake desktop within three to five years. For this reason, he put forward a strong case for changing the way we design websites.

Rather than tailoring disconnected designs to each of an ever-increasing number of web devices, we can treat them as facets of the same experience. …

Bekah McDonald

Front End Developer

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