#186 - The early days

Hey everyone,

Welcome to issue #186! This month I want to start from the beginning.

I started building websites from my room at university. It was 2006 and I remember it well.

I’d spent a good amount of time figuring out how to customise my MySpace profile. HTML and CSS? It was all new to me, but a hell of a lot of fun.

As an art student, I wanted to build a website to showcase my work. I remember “acquiring” a copy of Photoshop and spending hours slicing the design for export, before bringing it to life in Dreamweaver (the original Webflow). It was bizarre times, and we probably should have known better, but thankfully we’ve come a long way since then.

Anyway, that’s my short story from the early(ish) days of the web. It will probably sound familiar, after all, it’s a common one. Glenn has a much better story, which you’ll discover by reading on.

Thought provoking #

Jeffery Zeldman’s He Built This City: The Return of Glenn Davis introduced me to Glenn’s stories from the early days of the web. If you’re interested to learn more about the person who created the first viral content. And, who anticipated responsive web design, by more than 20 years. Then Glenn’s series of posts come highly recommended.

“Every design has physical implications, from the amount of energy that it takes to power an experience to the real-world choices users make based on the information we present and the stories we tell.”

Jon Friedman and Rachel Romano in Digital = Physical.

Design and Code #

“If we truly want to incorporate ethics into our daily design practice, we must first change the measurable objectives of the company we work for, from the bottom up.”

Lennart Overkamp in Designers, (Re)define Success First. A brilliant article on how to elevate design ethics to a more practical level.

Tips and tricks for working with static site generators. If you’re new to working with SSG’s, this article from Chris Ferdinandi is a great introduction.

My Browser Support Strategy. I try and read everything Michelle Barker writes. This one is all about progressive enhancement.

I enjoyed reading Maxime Heckel’s Building a Design System from scratch.

CSS is evolving fast. The State of CSS 2022 will get you up to speed.

Typography #

Font Matrix – See & Pair Typefaces Like Never Before. Oliver Schöndorfer on how understanding the font matrix can help when choosing and combining typefaces.

Instagram’s ’s latest brand refresh includes Instagram Sans, a custom typeface design by Colophon.

Erik D. Kennedy has just launched an interactive typography tutorial. Give it a go, it’s a lot of fun.

Roboto … But Make It Flex. Google’s most popular font is now available as a variable font with 12 axes.

Performance and sustainability #

“‘Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.’ Sustainability at its core is prioritizing long-term thinking.”

Hannah Smith in How open source leads the way for sustainable technology.

Microsoft have just launched their Green Design Principles to aid product makers in using creativity to design for the complexity of the climate crisis.

Privacy and security #

My attempts at De-Googling are ongoing, but I’ve managed to reduce my dependence of Google services a lot. This post is about why I’m taking this path and where I’m at with it all. It’s had a great response which is really encouraging.

Something to watch #

Some time last year my good friend Matt introduced me to the work of Swiss artist Zimoun. His sound sculptures are very satisfying to watch.

Thank you for reading #

Thanks for tuning in for another issue.

Please share this with a friend if you think they might enjoy it.

If this is your first time here you can subscribe via RSS or subscribe via email. It would be great to have you onboard.

Seeing you in the next one.


Reply by email

Monthly Newsletter

Once a month I curate a newletter for designers and developers interested in static sites, CSS and web performance. Check out past issues to get an idea.