Building your designs shouldn’t be about compromise

I’m Steve McKinney, I write this blog about the design and build of websites. It’s a place to explore the craft of web design. From design through to code it’s all part of the design process.

Who is this for?

Either you’re a developer wanting to improve their visual design skills, or a designer with some coding experience. You’re someone who understands the value of not only good design, but the requirement of making it look visually appealing too. Through sharing what I know and continue to learn, I hope to meet this need.

What drives my writing is hearing things like “you can’t expect your designs to look the same as they do in design app”. And while that comes from a good place, I find it avoids the visual polish every website needs.

Changing aim over the years

I made a decision to start writing this blog consistently in January 2015. Every week, for two years, a blog post went out. I started out writing about anything I was interested in, as long as it was related to websites.

It became clear to me over those two years, there was a lack of content focusing on the visual side of design. It’s tough to teach, that’s why, or maybe that’s just me.

As a designer, it’s the thing I aspire to be best at. And having this website as a place to explore and challenge myself. Through an approach where I consider the decisions I’m making—some of these are routine but are valuable.

Eventually, I stopped posting frequently for various reasons. I’ve accepted I’ll always be figuring things out, but with a vision in mind I can work towards my goal. I hope I’ll post regularly again.

About me

I’m a designer based in Manchester. I specialise in visual design and user experience for websites. I’ve been doing this professionally for over 12 years. I’ve worked with a large variety of clients in differing industries. With differing needs, shops, subscriptions, services and marketing.

I enjoy being involved along the whole timeline of a project. I’m someone who likes to get the best understanding possible and helps influence the solution. It helps build trust and avoids surprises. Looking at design end to end allows for decisions to be made quickly.

Personally, I’ve been making websites from a young age. I learnt to code alongside designing—it was just part of the process. Debates like should designers code weren’t a thing when I was 13.

As a designer, someone might ask if you have a personal style. I do feel I have a personal style, I enjoy serif typefaces, use of colour, an illustration style that has some depth but is generally flat. However, I will always design for the audience, goals and systems that are already in place.

I think it’s an enjoyment of creating things on the web. Be it icons, animation, illustration, CSS or JavaScript.

Get the articles

It’s my aim to help you be a better designer. Join my monthlyish email list and I’ll send new tutorials to help you design & code beautiful websites. You can unsubscribe anytime.