New website for the InnerVision film

Phew! It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, I've been down in London on a freelance motion graphics project (more on that later), but before I left I managed to work on a great project: creating the website for the Inner Vision film.

website design for inner vision film

A new website design

Well it's more of a design refresh than anything else! If you haven't visited the site for a while you may notice some slight design changes here and there, I thought I'd write a quick post to run through the changes.

Let's start with the portfolio design - there's only a few small changes here, primarily in the width of the overall portfolio. The project tiles will now extend further across the page to make better use of larger screen sizes and help showcase my design and development work.

Freelance Tip #1 - Side Projects

I've been freelancing full-time for a couple of years now (I freelanced part-time while at Uni so I've actually been doing it for quite a while!) and in that time there's been a fair few ups and downs. As a result I've decided to put together a couple of blog posts on freelancing, nothing major just a few tips that I've found useful while working freelance.

Tracking link clicks with Google Analytics

When I released Skylights a few months ago, I wanted to track how many people actually clicked the download link to give me a rough idea of how many people were trying them out.

Luckily, Google Analytics lets you track particular interactions on your site using 'Events'. Setting up an event to be logged is pretty straightforward, all you need to do is add a tiny bit of code to the onClick attribute of a link like so:

Elementary - Drupal theme

I've finally had some time to start work on a new Drupal theme which I'm hoping to contribute back to the community. I've decided to call it Elementary, and my overall goal is to keep things as simple as possible & focus on written content above all else which I'm hoping will make it ideal for blogs.

An early screenshot:

Removing unwanted CSS files from a Drupal theme

If you've ever developed your own Drupal theme then you may have noticed that Drupal & other contrib modules provide their own stylesheets for you to contend with. Of course you could just override the CSS rules with your own, however the files are still being included on every single page load when they really don't need to be.

Just as an example: there were around 14 additional stylesheets being provided by core or contrib modules on my contact page alone.

Website bookmark icons for different iOS devices

A couple of years ago I wrote a short post on how to create an iPhone bookmark icon for your website which would appear if someone were to add your site to their homescreen. That post is getting on a bit now (the screenshot alone shows just how the UI has changed) and now there all sorts of new devices and perhaps more importantly: resolutions to consider when creating an icon.

JavaScript-less social share links

Social sharing widgets are everywhere these days and on a growing number of sites they even follow you down the page just so you're blatantly aware of where they are at all times.

As well as just being visual pollution on a webpage, these widgets are resource heavy too, chocked full of extra JavaScript which needs to be loaded for each individual widget - all of which slows your site down!

This is an issue I wrote about in my recent website redesign post and after seeing this tweet :

Introducing: Block - a simple tumblr theme

Today I submitted my first Tumblr theme: 'Block' for review. (I named it 'block' because the main navigation is quite block-like as is the general structure of the overall theme.)

Who's tweeting the most?

In an effort to learn a bit more about the Twitter API I decided to set myself a little weekend project to try and create something with the data available.

I'm used to working with PHP and found this pretty solid PHP library which gave me a good base with which to get started on. If you use another programming language, the Twitter developers site has a comprehensive list of other libraries available.

My new website design

This post talks about the latest iteration of my site design and the steps I took in order to produce it. It’s not really about the code I used to create the theme but more the rationale behind the various decisions made, the thoughts running through my head and some general issues I had with my old design.

The main points will be covered as follows:

Planning a project pie chart

Today I have yet again been faced with this:

Planning a project pie chart

Personally, I think something needs to change with regards to domain name registrations. Perhaps if a domain isn't put to good use within 6 months it should be put up for sale again?

At least the ordeal inspired me to make something!

GotBrief - a site to fuel your creativity.

Over the past couple of months I've been working on a self initiated project: GotBrief.

After attending Build 2011 I was inspired, truly inspired by the various talks and events which took place over the course of the conference. So inspired infact I decided to actually go out and build something, something which would hopefully inspire and help others to go out and create something too.

How to detect the width of a web browser using jQuery

Detecting the width of a browser window can be very useful when designing a website, it allows you to create a more responsive design which is suited to the current browser dimensions.

Website overhaul: new design and development

Last week I released the latest version of designedbythomas.co.uk. If you ever visited the old site then you will see there has been quite a drastic change to the overall theme and structure.

What is Drupal.settings all about in Drupal?

I've recently been using the Views nivo slider module for a Drupal project which needed a nice neat javascript slider. After installing the module & getting the slider in place I suddenly came up against a slight problem in that I needed to dynamically change the starting slide on the slideshow.

Microsoft urges you to stop using Internet Explorer 6.

On Saturday I, like many other web designers and developers, woke up to some rather pleasing news: Microsoft has started a campaign to finally say goodbye to Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

The campaign site: ie6countdown.com shows a worldwide map and statistics of the current usage count IE6 is sitting at. As of Feb 2011 the magic number sits at 12% usage worldwide (down 9% on the previous year), with the ultimate goal of reducing this number to less than 1%!

The new HTML5 logo

The World Wide Web consortium (W3C) unveiled their new logo for HTML5 on Tuesday, along with a rather fancy website & a clear brand message on what HTML5 represents.

Wandering through the Forrst!

Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a Forrst invite from Jim Ramsden of designfridge.co.uk and over the past couple of months I have been actively contributing to the site whenever I get chance.

designedbythomas - the new URL.

Just a quick note, I have now added a new domain to my site: http://designedbythomas.co.uk - you will see exactly the same thing as if you were visiting the site from: http://thomasedavis.co.uk so there is no massive change going on with the working of the site.

designedbythomas.co.uk provides a slightly clearer url than thomasEdavis.co.uk - people can often miss out the E or spell Davis: davies.

Website design project finished: Andy Hudson Music

I am very pleased to announce a brand new website design project: andyhudsonmusic.com has just gone live!

The website is part of a complete redesign & rebranding project which aims to increase Andys online presence as well as giving him a more professional and refined brand image to operate under. As well as a new design the new website also comes with increased functionality which gives Andy the ability to easily upload his music tracks to the website himself.

My new Behance profile

I recently came across the site: behance.net - the site showcases creative portfolios and work from various people all over the world.

At the moment you cannot simply signup to the site, I am not sure whether or not this will change in the future but at the moment you can register interest in the site then be invited to join it. I registered my interest in the site and within a few hours was invited to join so it was quite a quick process.

Is this is it for Internet Explorer?

In my previous blog post on website design & cross-browser support , I brought up the issue of cross-browser support and the main challenges for website designers trying to acheive the same site in all browsers - most notable Internet Explorer 6. Now, it seems that problem may be about to be resolved.

A useful tool for website development & cross-browser support

A major aspect of website design & development is cross-browser support: making sure your website looks and feels 'roughly' the same in different web browsers running on different operating systems.

New Testimonial: The Customs People

I am delighted to announce a new testimonial from: The Customs People.

Finished: The Lancaster Award

I finally handed over the Lancaster Award site last week just in time for freshers week.

The whole project has been a really good experience right from the word go! The Lancaster Award team were a really friendly bunch of people to work with and I would gladly work with them in future.

The project didn't just involve the designing and building of the website, there was also an A5 leaflet and digital booklet to accompany the award to provide students & site visitors with more information.

Student? Jobless? Enter: Student Gems

I have had a such a good experience with this site that I thought it deserved a blog post:

About a year ago I was introduced to a wonderful site: studentgems.com - a brilliant site for all students looking for part time work.

The site is so good because it allows students to advertise their own individual skills to employers and allows employers to search for students based on the skills they need!

"Where Am I Based?"

As a freelancer I am currently not fixed in any one location for work.

For the past 3 years I have been primarily working in Lancaster as I worked towards my degree.
(I recently received my results for the third year and was very very pleased to have acheived a 1st!)

In the academic year 2009/10 I will be completing what will probably be my final year at Lancaster University, hopefully graduating with an MSci in I.T. & Media Communications.

Completely New Site

Welcome to the new site design!

I recently updated my site from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 and to go with it I created the new theme you see before you.

Instead of upgrading from D5 to D6 I decided to make a fresh start. My old site had a lot of unnecessary modules & themes installed as well as unwanted content from when I first created the site. For all of these reasons I decided simply to create a whole new site, delete the old database and content and start with a new fresh install of Drupal 6.

Zen Sub-theme Error

The great thing about Drupal is that it comes with a variety of themes available to download. If, like me however, you want to carve out your own theme then there is an incredibly useful way of doing this: the Zen theme.

Zen is a perfect starting point for anyone who wants to give theming a go for Drupal sites. It is well documented and within a few easy steps you can be on your way to creating your own theme.