Journal

Conducting project retros as customer journey maps

The retrospective is — in my opinion — one of the most important activities in any project. Routine post-sprint retros are a great indicator of project health, but end-of-project wash-ups are where the real ge…

How can designers get better at learning from their mistakes

Our ability to learn when things go wrong is what helps us grow. Not just as individuals but as an industry. By better understanding when our ego clouds our better judgement, when we’re pointing f…

Learning from failure in the design industry

Our industry’s penchant for showing semi-fictional, utopian case studies has always rankled me. No project goes smoothly. There’s always something that goes wrong, and it’s often those moments where we gr…

Crafting your origin story

My first salary job out of university was working as an Accounts Receivable manager. I somehow managed to get companies across Canada to pay their overdue invoices for my employer: a clothing company…

To stop ‘sign off’ you need to dig a little deeper

Sign-off. As Andy rightly points out in his recent post, it’s a thing that shouldn’t be part of the modern digital designer’s lexicon. I totally agree, and in some cases this is the reality. But sadly…

Leaving Clearleft

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The same has to be said for leaving an agency that felt more like family than a job over the last 6 years. Truth be told I’ve meant to write t…

Happy Places

Back in 2013 I visited NYC to attend the wonderful Brooklyn Beta conference. It was Autumn. There was a slight nip in the air, the leaves were turning, and the weather was amazing. During one of our…

Design systems don’t start with components

I’m all for design systems. I’ve designed and created many, and they’re a great way of unifying patterns, usage and language. They reduce time, save on costs and promote modular, systems-based think…

Is the T-shape evolving?

Are designers evolving from just UX designers or just visual designers into multi-disciplinary generalists? There seems to be higher-quality design all-rounders coming back into vogue. …

Visual inventories for agile design

As a visual designer working on agile projects, I’ve said before how it’s easy to lose sight of the larger visual language in agile sprints. When you’re tackling user stories with your head down, it’s …

When loading fast means learning fast

A few years ago when Mark wrote his article on performance budgets, we were working together on a redesign for a luxury travel holiday website. The use of large images and typography to create a…

Is marketing being reborn as CX?

A decade or more ago, digital marketing was more of a blunt instrument. It was like the first stone axe - crude, but it got the job done. I started my career in digital marketing. I’ve witnessed i…

Strava made me do it

A look into my use of Strava and how it's positively affected my behaviour over time. My name is Jon, and I'm a Strava user. I never thought I could be as fundamentally affected by an app as I have…

When agile's not creative

When designing a site, app or digital product, all of the elements on screen need to work together. They need to sing together, harmonise with one another and form something greater than their…

Doing the SDW 100

Climbing 13,000 feet and riding 100 miles on a mountain bike... in a day. The South Downs Way is a long distance footpath and bridleway running along the South Downs in southern England. It is one of…

Style guide podcast with Jeremy Keith

Always nice getting a shout-out on a podcast, this time regarding the Code for America work and element collages.

Strava meets MarioKart

This article was originally posted on the Clearleft blog. Most Hack Farm projects start as someone's itch that needs scratching. Last year's TinyPlanner was Boxman's need for a backwards to-do list.…

Strava made me do it

It's not often - for me anyway - to be quite so fundamentally affected by an app as I have been with Strava. Whereas the majority of apps available today aim to increase your productivity, give you…

On Pattern Portfolios

This article was originally posted on the Clearleft blog Arguably the key deliverable we hand over to our clients is our pattern portfolio, comprised of two main components: The component library is…

2012

Better late than never, right? In retrospect, my 2012 was pretty huge, both professionally and personally. On new additions In the early summer we welcomed another Aizlewood into the world - Indiana…

Undercutting. What is it good for?

... absolutely nothin'! (Say it again, y'all) A short while back, I pitched for a project that I ultimately lost. After putting together a comprehensive proposal and fielding numerous questions…

Easy ways to create your web content

Creating the content for your website can be a difficult task. You have to gather information, consult experts, write thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of words, source images and get people to…

Quality English Presentation: The demise of the desktop

In early November, Quality English were kind enough to Eurostar me down to Paris to present to their member schools on digital marketing. The presentation, entitled 'The demise of the desktop:…

Found: The long-awaited poster child for responsive design

It's finally happened. After almost a year of waiting, a team of web designers, web developers, an agency and many talented others have been working with a well-known newspaper to launch the…

Content first: why you should develop your content before you design your website

Should websites be built around the content, or should content be created to fit the design? Here’s an argument for creating content first – or at least thinking about content first. What is a web…

SEO. Am I taking crazy pills?

I'm currently attending the Brighton SEO conference at the Corn Exchange. Huge turnout, and clearly this industry continues to thrive. But, I'll admit it. Over the years my view on SEO has become…

Curating your conference schedule to be a better ________.

As I type this, I'm currently on a break from attending the Brighton Digital Marketing Festival here in sunny Brighton. On Monday I was fortunate enough to attend the surprisingly fantastic Update…

CarbonGraffiti designs & builds Brighton Digital Festival website

Things have been pretty busy lately, hence the lack of posts. However, one piece of news worth sharing: CarbonGraffiti was selected to design and build the website for the inaugural Brighton Digital…

What’s CarbonGraffiti been up to?

It’s been a crazy start to 2011. In fact, the last few months have been an absolute whirlwind. Here are some noteworthy the projects we’ve been working on, with services ranging from consulting to cus…

EnglishUK Presentation on Digital Marketing

On January 27th I gave an hour-long talk on 'The Future of Digital Marketing', speaking specifically to the ELT (English Language Training) industry. The conference was put on by EnglishUK and…

Confidence is key

I love football (and Arsenal specifically, if you must know). The business side of it fascinates me (check out my post regarding the MCFC site redesign) and I’ve always been fond of using football o…

Reactive vs proactive states

We're conditioned to be reactive in life. If it's too sunny outside, we wear a hat. If it's too cold, we wrap up. As freelancers or small businesses, much of our time is devoted to working in a…

Email marketing training workshop

On September 22, November 26, January 31 2011 I'm giving a 1-day workshop in Brighton for email marketing. This workshop will cover the basics as outlined below, with a second, related day to be…

Now an official (featured) MailChimp Expert

CarbonGraffiti is proud to be among a growing group of service providers listed on the all-new MailChimp Experts Directory. Now over 4 weeks old, the Directory is filling up fast, and looks to be…

Creating iPhone-ready sites using CSS media queries

Using A List Apart's article on Responsive Web Design (by Ethan Marcotte) as inspiration, this site now uses CSS media queries to determine a visitor's screen resolution and serve up an appropriate…

New site, new offering

Well, it's been a long time coming, but CarbonGraffiti has finally been picked up, dusted off, reconfigured, rethought, rebranded, rewritten and repolished within an inch of its life. Not bad. Just…

Introducing the Email Design Gallery

It's been a busy 5 months since going full-time freelance, and there's a lot of news coming soon, including a new website, new client announcements and much more. In the meantime however, I thought…

Using the Firefox Web Developer toolbar for better email design

When designing and coding email designs, more often than not you're forced into using your browser to render the HTML code you're working on, and have to wait until you're ready to test across…

The monetization of Wordpress

Wordpress, for those four in the back row who don't know, is the highly popular open-source blogging platform thankfully made by this guy. Fast forward a couple years, and Wordpress is going from…

87 Cool Things

As I recently commented on Twitter, the Google Creative lab crew recently posted a shared slideshow showcasing 87 cool things that, from their perspective, was stuff 'worth knowing about'. In a…

Excitement, interest and the social, mobile web

'What do you think? Should I focus on SEO?' A friend and colleague asked me this question recently, interested in breaking out of their current web publishing role and exploring some new, exciting…

Argos, you could do it so much better

Argos. Clearly doing well as the UK's most popular 'catalogue showroom retailing' store in the UK. More than 700 stores, 130m customers and £4.3b in sales in 2008 isn't bad. They also take 26% of …

Web Design & Premier League Football: Why Man City's new site is leading the pack

The English Premier League is big money. EPL clubs are as much businesses as they are generational sporting institutions, a point proven when cumulative wage bills total £1.2bn, revenues top £2bn, a…

So what is the future of Digital Marketing?

Having attended e-consultancy's event on the 'Future of Digital Marketing' in June, if I'm being honest, it was the first time I've felt excited about digital marketing for a long time. Way back in…

Quick tip: Create profiles to improve your marketing

With the increased fragmentation and proliferation of markets thanks to the Web2 explosion, knowing who and where your audience is has become a lot harder. So what can you do to better target your…

Is digital marketing getting predictable?

What’s happening in digital marketing these days? Not much, so it seems. This past week I attended, albeit briefly, the TFM&A show in London. I normally love trade shows – the glitz, the gla…

The most important factor in digital marketing for 2009?

It’s not social media, or email marketing, or the family of acronyms that includes SEO, PPC, SEM, SMM, CPA, CPC, ATOS, or any others. It’s really quite simple - the most important thing you as a mar…

I got wrapped!

Walked in at 8:30 am to find my desk as one massive present. This is the stuff of legend and lore.

How do we measure return from our social networking?

For many of us, answering the question 'What are you doing' is analogous to checking our email – we do it several times a day and it's become second nature.  But for every new social network we jump on…

Can LinkedIn replace the paper CV?

The Curriculum Vitae. That all-important sheet or more of paper that represents your first ever point of contact with a potential employer. Your CV is an extension of your professional self and…