Sponsoring Creative Mornings

CreativeMornings/Utrecht
Normally 31Volts sponsors our Creative Mornings events and for that we are very grateful. The last couple of years they have enabled us to host a monthly breakfast lecture on creativity. Each month we are able to provide our visitors with a small breakfast and some nice tea and coffee, and a small gift for our speaker.

This month the theme is Failure, and in true fashion we almost failed to organise this month’s event because we wanted to do something different. We did an open-mic call and asked our visitors to share their most embarrassing, funny or weird failure they had in their career.

Unfortunately we didn’t receive enough people wanting to do a 7-minute talk. However 1 of the people that did come forward was Marcel, one of the founders of 31Volts. We asked Marcel if he thought his story could be a “full” talk for Creative Mornings and luckily for us he said that wouldn’t be a problem.

One of the very few rules CreativeMornings HQ set is that sponsors can’t be speakers, to prevent any product placing and advertorial talks and we completely agree and abide by that rule. But we didn’t want to risk missing out on, what we are convinced, will be a great talk by Marcel.

So we decided that this event I would sponsor the event for once. This however also means, placing my logo and company name in the newsletter going out to attendees. And all of a sudden people start clicking that link and ending up on this page :)

So, if you are one of those people, thank you for clicking the link. My website is however, not something to be very proud of at the moment. It’s the old story of the cobbler’s children having no shoes on their feet. I simply haven’t had time to update my site recently and again it becomes painfully clear on moments like these.

So if you are still reading this and are interested in the work I have done over the past year, please do contact me and I’ll send you a recent portfolio :)

Cheers and hopefully see you Friday!

On being responsive

Ralph Madsen (1897-1948) was nicknamed “Sky High Madison”

Source: retronaut.com

In 2011 A Book Apart released a little yellow book that shook the web design world off it’s feet. Ethan Marcotte wrote about something he’d been playing with for a while… responsive web design. Combining excisting technologies like fluid grids, flexible images and, most important, media queries he came up with a new way of designing and building web sites that work and look good on any device. This new way of thinking no longer forced us to create different sites for desktop and mobile, no longer is there a reason to maintain a separate m. site for your “on-the-go” users.

So, we’re two years down the road since Ethan’s book was released and Responsive Web Design is passed it’s buzz-word phase. But that doesn’t mean that everything is solved. Basically we’re just coming to grips with it, and Sarah Parmenter stated that very nicely (at least I think so) when in her talk at Responsive Day Out she said that “we’ve all been winging it” so far.

I was lucky enough to watch that talk, and many more on the subject of Responsive Web Design at Responsive Day Out in Brighton, in person and learned so much that day. It made me actually feel quite relieved that I wasn’t the only one struggling with all the different aspects about web design and all the stuff we have to keep up with. On the conference site you can find audio for all the talks given and also some links to slides.

Sarah’s and Laura Kalbag‘s talks stuck with me the most because they gave some great examples how to adapt my day-to-day workflow to a Responsive Design workflow. But also other talks, like Mark Boulton and Owen Gregory gave, that we’re a bit less practical but very inspiring, are very much worth checking out.

Just getting started

audience-crop

So this is it. Relaunching my website. I removed the old static page with just a bunch of images from stuff I made over the last two years. The general idea is to have a more informative site that I will gradually shape into my personal blog and portfolio. And it will all happen right before your eyes!

For now I have started with WordPress’ default twentytwelve theme. This may change over the course of this process. Or I might stick with it and just change bits and pieces on the way. I’m still undecided about that.

So over the next few weeks this site may change quite a lot (I hope) and hopefully will become a place for me to share my thoughts and learnings. I plan to do a lot of sharing here. For an important part inspired by this excellent blog post by Laura Kalbag. And mainly what she writes about sharing the “simple” stuff.

The web is a big and varied place. To assume that someone else has read something just because you’ve read it is foolish. How do we learn about these resources? When do we all decide that we’re all going to read these particular sites and articles so that we’re all equally informed?

Like Laura mentions in her post I too have always been quite apprehensive about writing about markup and code, because I thought there’s not much I could add that wasn’t common knowledge already. But as she points out, we’re not al reading the same blogs and follow the same devs we look up to on Twitter. So it might not be such a bad idea to share the solutions we find, even if we think we were the last one struggling with this problem. Because you never know who you might help with your solution to some nice multi level navigation menu.