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I built my first website when I was around 12 in a school class using Microsoft Frontpage. I didn’t think too much of it, but it eventually became a hobby for me. I graduated from University in May 2011. It really doesn’t seem that long ago! I went on to study web development and finally make a full time career out of it.

As a designer, I enjoy the whole process, but specialise in user interface and user experience. I think the amount of years I have been doing this have helped me into a more unique position. I’m happy coding and designing equally, and believe it helps make a better end product.

I aspire to be as confident in illustration, as I am web design. It’s something I try to devote time to improving outside of web related learning. Illustration adds uniqueness to a website that a photo can’t. It’s quite calming to draw and spend time doing that.

Skills & tools

I have a wide range of experience in different skills and tools, I’ve listed the ones I have most experience with and use on a daily basis.

I primarily design for web, I believe aesthetics and user experience should be valued equally in the design world. I design for the audience and representing the brand best, but I appreciate designs that balance modernist principles without being ‘cold’. My advantage lies within being able to code, as a result I produce a design that is consistent across the website. I understand the value in good typography, colour and layout above all.
Although it’s use isn’t as prolific as it used to be, it’s still a part of my workflow. You can’t beat it for quickly experimenting with ideas and getting the larger part of the way a website should look and feel.
I’ve grown to love Illustrator for it’s SVG export and generally the way the web is going. I design websites quite equally between Illustrator and Photoshop. I’m not sure what I like best, so I couldn’t do without each.
The starting point for the coding side any website is generally getting into the HTML. So it’s obvious HTML should be in my skillset! I feel like this should be a given, but yes that includes HTML5 elements.
The stuff that makes a website come to life. I try to take a DRYish approach to my CSS. I use Sass. Another given I feel is I have great knowledge of CSS3. This means little for clients, but it helps me get my job done better.
Always an area I’m looking to improve. Considering the majority of use cases you don’t reinvent the wheel to save time, I’m pretty handy with it. My aim is to always use it to enhance websites where necessary.
I love ExpressionEngine, it’s powerful in what it can do and a CMS which doesn’t get in my way. It doesn’t decide anything for me and lets me have full control over how I write the HTML. Which in turn helps me develop websites quicker! Also has a brilliant community behind it, you certainly get what you pay for.
A highly dependable CMS, I’ve built the majority of websites on this. It’s a great way to manage a website and It’s got great plugins round it and you can pretty much build all websites on it, without too much of a problem.

Illustrator starter template: design faster

It’s my aim to help you be a better designer. I want you to focus on designing, so I’ve made a blank starter template for Illustrator. I guarantee this will save you at least 20 minutes starting a new design.

I will send you the starter template and design related posts when they’re ready.