custard doughnuts

just because

Getting lost with Google Maps

Monday 7th of November 2016

Continuing my intermittent series of 'possibly interesting things I saw on Google Maps', here's a question - what's the limit of the 'directions' feature?

For example, can you get driving directions from any place in the world to any other place in the world, as long as both places are on the same land mass? Spoiler: no.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more