Notes from An Event Apart

Attending An Event Apart has been one of the most inspiring and educational things I have done for my career in web design and development in… well EVER! Here is a basic rundown of key points from the talks at the conference.

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Eric Meyer on CSS layouts

Watch this! Eric Meyer does a great job of explaining what’s coming up in CSS layouts. Flexbox and CSS grids are coming an they look to be pretty darned awesome.


Annual Gift List

Well, Annual Gift day (dec. 25) is coming up fast! We must remember that this isn’t just a time to celebrate the birth of our saviour, the web. It’s not solely about worshiping one the most beloved men in history, Isaac Newton. No this is a day to celebrate commercialism. We must shower our friends and family that truly matter to us with gifts and a lot of useless crap that they will likely throw out in just a few short months.

What? You don’t want me to throw out the gift you send me? Well just for you here’s a handy guide of things I deem worthy of giving this Annual Gift Day. The goal is to find thing in all price ranges that are Great gifts that I (or anyone can use. I’ll throw in a purchase link too where I can.

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iOS web apps, icons, and startup images

When I set out to build TrailCheckIn I wanted to build a web app that provided a near native app experience on mobile devices. Thankfully, with the tips I’m going to show you, this is entirely possible using only HTML.

Apple has built several features into iOS that allow developers to create web apps that look and behave like native apps. All that is required on the user’s end is to bookmark the site to their home screen. Lucky for us, Google has also adopted many of the same features, so some of the techniques I’m about to show you will work on Android as well! Rock on!

Much of what I’m showing here comes straight out of Apple’s own iOS Human Interface Guidelines(HIG) and the Safari Web Content Guide. If you haven’t read them already you owe it to yourself to read these Guides! They both contain useful information that goes far beyond building iOS apps.

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Principles of experience design

The following is taken from a talk Whitney Hess gave at Interlink Conference in 2011. I found it recently in my notes and wanted to share it.

Principles of Experience Design

  1. Stay out of peoples way.
  2. Create a hierarchy the meets users needs.
  3. Limit distractions.
  4. Provide strong information scent.
  5. Provide signposts and cues.
  6. Provide context.
  7. Use constraints appropriately.
  8. Make actions reversable.
  9. Provide Feedback.
  10. Make a good first impression.

Some Thoughts…

I enjoy the common sense approach to these principles. The remarkable thing about common sense is that it’s really not that common. I find it fascinating that when building sites or interactive experiences those responsible for creating and often put the needs and desires of decision makers (companies, bosses, execs, etc.) ahead of the people using the product.


TrailCheckIn launch

I’m stoked to announce to whomever will listen that I have just launched TrailCheckIn into public beta! Visit it at!


This web app has been a long time in the making. TrailCheckIn started about 4 years ago when I realized Whistler didn’t have comprehensive bike trail map available anywhere on the web. With the largest mountain biking community in North America and over one hundred thousand biker visits annually I was sure that either the Municipal Government or our Tourism Board had something in the works to bring accessible biking information to guests and locals alike. Apparently, I was wrong. Update: has released their own mobile trail map. I’m stoked on this! Some of the features, such as elevation profile (desktop only), are ones that I have in development . I hope they continue to build and expand upon it!

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iFrame shim for Google Earth

I was recently developing a new User interface (UI) for my client’s Google earth driven site. The idea behind the site is easy enough to understand; a 3D interactive map of Whistler mountain. The map shows ski runs, lodges, parks and lifts. The user is able to navigate the 3D space to see the locations, select a point of intrest and get information about it, you can view it here. This is fantastic for users who know where the point of intrest is, my charge was to create a UI that helps those that are looking for a specific point and have no clue where that is.

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Charter Project launch

Last week was the official launch of the latest site I built, The Charter Project. This has been an on-going project for a group of University of Windsor Law students. Their aim is to promote the 30th anniversary of the charter of rights and freedoms here in Canada. While there has been several stages to this site this represents the full public launch of the Charter Project. To coincide with the site launch there has been a wealth of media produced including; Public Service Announcements for broadcast on TV and in Theatres, Interviews with High ranking Layers and Celebrity endorsements.

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Big letters

Some big letters I found while wandering the streets of Vancouver this weekend. I’d love to do a whole alphabet series of these.

The Letter W

The Letter W

The Letter g

The Letter g