A little bit about me

I'm a self taught front end developer and designer and have been messing around with websites since about 2005.

In my spare time I do this:

So what shall we talk about?

What’s the point?

Drawing like this in CSS is obviously pointless. An image or an SVG would be so much better. (Page load time wise anyway).
I can't define what the point is better than Lynn Fisher (@lynnandtonic) said in one of her talks.

"You can't master something without knowing it's limits"

I've always built websites and tinkered with ideas in my spare time... Also, I'm dyslexic and I like to challenge myself, so I decided to try and write a book along side this, mainly on the train whilst commuting... This was probably quite a silly idea as I have barely read any books. But it finally dawned on me to combine the two ideas...

A strange mix of flat and skeuomorphic design.

I had only written a chapter and didn't want to try and make a skeuomorphic book like everyone else would do, (although I had previously done this) Instead, what about a user friendly new form of online 'book' but not book. Just a website really, because that's how people like to read stuff online.

Being a trained illustrator it would naturally have to be illustrated, but how? I couldn't be bothered with finding a pen and paper and then scan it in, too old skool, and I didn't have a licence to any drawing package... So I thought I could just illustrate with the code. This way I could animate it from page to page.

So I very much enjoyed writing two chapters and illustrating it with CSS. I got a famous comedian to introduce it, I found some nice sounds to read along to, it was all coming together... Then I got to the bar scene.

At that time I really enjoyed Codrops newsletter, as I do now, so I shared how far I had got with my story, this is when I found CodePen! I emailed Codrops, pointed them to my CodePen and asked them what they thought...

They replied:

"It looks like it has potential"

Hmm this was a bit deflating as it was about 10 years in the making :)

But also by that point I really enjoyed drawing the glass in the bar illustration... So I thought, okay I'll prove I can draw a glass properly and then Codrops might recognise my story for what it is!

So I imagined a nice still life, I got a lemon from the fridge and put it by a tall glass of water, I photographed and drew it with CSS. Glass reflections and CSS really go hand in hand. The natural, not man made lemon was the hard part. But I found a sass random generator and did the best I could... I put that on Codepen, Tweeted about it after getting home from work and it went quite viral... And so I asked Codrops what they thought and then put it in there magazine an hour later!

I've been doing my side line project ever since and haven't quite made it back to my story :(
I've since' re-read my story recently to my daughter and realised it already massively contradicts itself within the two chapters :)

The path of least resistance

I'm lazy

A sloth is cool. Cats are cool. Rivers are cool. All very lazy things. How many of you have been on holiday, especially if you have kids, and are then exhausted when you get back, ready to go back to work… Ah work… Nothing to think about but work… It’s easy, it’s relaxing , it's cool, and it should be! I am very lucky that my work is also my hobby and I hope that most people in this room are here because that’s also the case.

If you feel like you are being incredibly lazy, lonely, can't be bothered to go to work, can't be bothered to do anything when you get home, that might be because you are not doing something you enjoy. You are not stimulated and not using your laziness as a benefit.

There are two ways you could go with downtime: Stimulation or reflection.

Occupying your time scrolling through Instagram and watching trash TV is a bit of road to stagnation.

You should actually try and be genuinely bored, to allow time for creative thoughts. You'll rarely have creative thoughts when occupying your mind with constant stream of rubbish but if you go for a walk, have a bath, stare at a wall, without any incoming distractions, your mind will start to wonder and something good will start to happen.

Inventions lead by creative laziness:

I think you probably get the picture that most inventions are lead from laziness

Lazy people have greater focus on long-term goals
Because it's not all about rushing around now, it's something that can be done in the future.

Lazy people are super efficient
Hiring lazy people is good because they are the most efficient. They find the shortest most streamlined way of doing things. You can learn a lot from a lazy person.

"I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it."
Frank Gilbreth Sr.

For instance: Thinking like a lazy person helps with UX design. Lazy people always take the path of least resistance. I'm sure you have all seen the memes.

Laziness is a derogatory word for being efficient. People have an inbuilt laziness to conserve energy. But there is a balance. Obviously everyone needs to exercise and walking is better for the environment.

What even is front end anymore?

I always confuse employers because I do both the front end and the design.

That means that I start the project, I design the user journey, the wireframes, the designs... Then the PM's or the BA's (depending on where you work) do their bit and the devs build it and then it comes back to me... Companies tend to house their design team in a different department to developers and so this project map is confusing.

Smaller companies can cope with this, but larger companies struggle. There is a structure, a president, that presumes a design team needs to design and a frontend team need to build.

The really confusing part is that me and my team design in the browser.

Front End these days has gotten so confusing with the javaScript frameworks. Yeah they exist in the front end but I personally think they are tools for backend devs to build frontend apps.

Other Stuff

Being dyslexic My story My Theory - hydrogen atoms randomly appear I’m self taught from Google, there is nothing wrong with Googling Bionic Reading / lazy + dyslexic + skim reading = amazing! How to Google - avoid bad advice Marble machine man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN90HYiFpAw Likes are addictive Confusion about what a frontend role is anymore - I do both the beginning of a project and the end. My company can’t work out where I fit in. About the art Not using divs Apple copied Google and moved from Skeuomorphism to flat design. I’m dyslexic and I like to challenge myself so I decided to try and write a book. This was probably quite a silly idea as I have barely read any books. But I wrote a chapter and then had the idea to put it online, not to try and make a skeuomorphism book like everyone else would do, but to try and make a user friendly new form of online ‘book’ but not book :) Going off on a tangent, it’s got nothing to do with CSS but you are all clever people so you might be interested. Gravity is a pushing force hydrogen atoms randomly appear 2 hydrogen atoms appear almost on top of each other