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About

Hello! I’m Steve, a designer who codes. 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. Which led me to University, where I graduated in July 2011 and shortly after found a job. That’s me in summary.

Education

I studied web development, which people tend to find strange; as I consider myself a designer. However, the course was far from development focused. I believe the course is what you make of it and “web development” wouldn’t be considered an accurate reflection based on the work.

I focused on designing websites, this allowed me to gain better understanding of usability, information architecture and design as a whole. If I had taken a graphic design or art course, I wouldn’t have had access to making as many websites.

Specialising

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, it helps make a better end product.

Learning

For me, if I don’t have anything to learn, I find myself getting bored quickly. I enjoy learning and putting it into practice. The things I’m aiming to be better at are illustration, hand lettering and JavaScript. I aspire to be as confident in illustration, as I am web design most of all.

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.

Design
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.
Photoshop
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.
Illustrator
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.
HTML
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.
CSS
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.
JavaScript
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.
ExpressionEngine
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.
Wordpress
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.

Save time starting a new design

It’s my aim to help you be a better designer. I’ve made you a simple template to manage your colour, grid and guides. You’ll save around 20 minutes each time you start a new design.

Join my list and I’ll send you the template and update you with new Illustrator design tutorials and workflow improvements. Schedule is currently monthly.