2016 Wish list

Ok. So now the festive season is over and your new exercise/ diet regime has gone flying out the window with record breaking speed, its time to take stock and look forward to the new year in design and development.

The world of design has been making some big leaps and bounds over the last year or so and sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with the pace of change, but, like the shark, we have to keep moving forwards or we might just end up dead.

So the following will be a little list of the areas in my professional career I want to embrace and move forward with.


Block grid design

This is a style that has been increasingly popular online partly to its clean easy to read almost newspaper like structure, and also its increasing use in console dashboard designs that make the structure familiar to many different users.

The separate elements are contained in a grid-like system that makes it ideal for viewing on various platforms, as the blocks rearrange themselves to best suit the viewport.


The Xbox One modular dashboard


Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 16.34.09

A lovely clean cool design by James Finnesand

Another advantage of the block grid style is its capability for “infinite modular scrolling” meaning the page can in theory scroll down forever, negating the need to waste time loading additional pages. (As seen on sites such as Facebook)

Slide share





Founded in 2006 with the goal of making knowledge sharing easy, Slideshare joined the LinkedIn family in 2012 and has since grown into a top destination for professional content. With over 18 million uploads in 40 content categories, it is today one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world.

A great site that links up nicely with your LinkedIn account it is basically a slideshow site where presentations are shared about practically any subject you can think of. From tutorials and Infographics, to tributes to musicians it’s a great cross section of what’s trending in the world today. Slide shows can be created in various packages like Google Slides and Powerpoint making it very versatile.

It also has a great intuitive system to help you target the areas you want to be noticed in. I used it to present a nice compact version of my portfolio which you can find here.




Infographics have become extremely popular in the last year or so. They are an attractive and exiting way of imparting information in a way the user will take onboard rather than using paragraphs of tedious text. It has been expressed that users are 70% more likely to take in information delivered in a visual manner. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words. Never as it been so true as it is with infographics. Of course infographics are not an entirely new concept as things such as bar and pie charts have been around for eons, and while they are pretty good at what they do they can be as dull as dishwater.

The information that can be imparted with a good infographic is limited only by your imagination

20151210_Diagram copy

Complex systems made understandable











Sketch 3






Do you ever feel sometimes that you rely too much on Photoshop? I know I do sometimes, and this can inevitably lead to other areas and programs getting neglected. Now I know its not new but I have recently been turning to Sketch for UI/UX and device based projects. If I were to put my finger on what exactly it is about sketch that I like, I would say the intuitive design is probably the main selling point. It has many functions that really make creating web content a breeze, from the customizable templates and pre loaded libraries of iOS assets, to the intuitive layout and wire framing and storyboarding capabilities. If you haven’t had a chance to try it yet, or feel you need to man up and try something other than Photoshop I can highly recommend it.


Sketch 3 interface








Keep it simple

First and formost for this year I think this is going to be my mantra.

Just because you can add a lot of whistles and bells to you work it doesn’t mean you should.

So many people throw needless stuff into the mixing pot such complex scrolling and Javascript, that it can end up weighing down a site or app or at worse just making it incomprehensible to users. Its all very nice having something that looks great, but if you cant use it then you have failed.

This isn’t a call to arms against creativity and innovation, just a realisation that functionality and creativity need to walk hand in had.