custard doughnuts

mostly not actually about food

Building a website for a major hotel

Friday 7th of October 2016

A while ago I worked on a prototype for a website for a luxury hotel brand. The prototype turned into an almost complete front end build and the client decided to not go with us in the end, but I'm still proud of the work.

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Lightweight custom sharing buttons

Wednesday 7th of September 2016

Last month I wrote a post about Shareaholic's sharing buttons and the extra page weight that comes with them. Rather than simply moan about the situation I decided to build my own sharing buttons tool. It's incredibly simple and offers no particular features, but it's very lightweight, simple to implement and a good starting point.

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Does Google maps hate Birmingham?

Monday 15th of August 2016

I read something recently that suggested good content had provocative titles, which on closer inspection boiled down to phrasing them in the form of a question. That way you can also get away with titles that are complete lies, but draw people in, such as "does Facebook poison orphans?". I think I may have a promising future ahead of me in tabloid journalism.

Anyway, back to the point. Have you ever noticed how Google maps at certain zoom levels displays some places but not others? Have you ever wondered how they decide which places to show? Well, okay, probably not, but I have, so let's have a look at that.

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The cost of sharing your website on social media

Sunday 7th of August 2016

I built a webpage recently. It was mostly just SVGs and text, so I checked the total page size with developer tools and was pleased to discover it came in under half a megabyte. Efficiency and small page size! The Holy Grail of all frontend developers (it should be, anyway).

Then I remembered I had to add some social media sharing buttons. For historical reasons with the client, I chose Shareaholic's sharing buttons. Then I checked the page size again.

  • Initial size of page: 445 KB
  • Size of page after adding Shareaholic share buttons: 1504 KB

What. The. What.

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Am I too old for this? An hour in Skyrim, part three

Thursday 7th of July 2016

Spooky and foreboding. Definitely worth a look.

I'd previously played an hour of Skyrim to see whether I'm getting too old and too cynical to enjoy gaming anymore. Join me for part three, in which I give up on hiking aimlessly through nature and blunder haplessly into the game proper (you can find part one and part two here).

One of the things that appealed to me about Skyrim in the first place was the setting. Not the mystical fantasy land full of trolls and dragons and magic and whatnot, no - the fact that it was all set in a mountainous, snowy wasteland. I like snow. I particularly like it in games when the developers remember to put in the sound effect of walking through snow, that wonderful soft crunching/creaking sound. I'd pictured myself exploring midnight, snow-covered forests, my soft footfalls the only sound as I crept through the gloom with my sword drawn, frost glittering on the blade. But so far all I'd done was wander through lush green fields and been attacked by wolves.

So I resolved to climb a mountain.

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