Web designer + front-end developer with experience in high-traffic ecommerce sites for some well known brands.

2014 Year Review

From my perspective

This year has been a great year. It was a year of ‘flat style’, long shadow, hollow buttons and parallaxing aplenty - simplifying but enhancing with animation was the general trend from my point of view.

My new site design launched in its current guise following some of those themes. This is my portfolio site using mobile-first responsive design approach and a much bolder colour palette than previously.

I have been fine-tuning ever since

  • I switched away from WordPress which was overboard for my needs and too slow. I now use a ‘flat-file’ CMS system which has given my site incredible performance.
  • This is the first site I have implemented BEM (Block Element Modifier), and I have to say I am won over. Thinking modularly helps focus exactly on what is on the page and easy to build structure and styling upon.
  • My stylesheet is now ~11.7Kb which is only 1Kb more than my previous site theme, but which is also responsive.
  • I trimmed 22Kb from the larger and more popular project images, images I felt previously optimised.
  • Added dns-prefetch for the assets I use and preload the CodePen script for my blog pages to assist page rendering speed.

What I had to say

It was also the first time I have blogged as a part of my site and I published my thoughts on a few topics.

  • New Site Design - Announcing my new site design and the changes made to the design and CMS.
  • Early Days – Reflecting on my start in the web design industry.
  • Show your working – Pointing out that sharing some of my demo and development as I practice coding has given me more work to share and others to learn from.
  • Animation Inspiration - Pondering on the prevalence of animation now that Googles Material Design style has been unveiled.

A great year for CodePen

CodePen is a place for code experiments and demos. I had a few of those this year.

  • First Pen of the year was Expanding Line Navigation, me playing around with some links styles using CSS animation. It was surprisingly close to what would be a trend of the year as Google unveiled its Material Design style in August.
  • Chicken Swing, a silly SVG demo, was incredibly popular in a way I wasn’t expecting and got over 2000+ views.
  • My top 5 Popular Pens collectively earned more than 10,000 views and over 150 hearts!

Phew… Any more?

In 2015

In the coming year, I think the wider industry trends will probably continue in a Material Design inspired style, with even more overt touch animations and the layer opacity effects introduced with iOS8 will become more commonplace.

Personally, in 2015 I aim to experiment further with SVG and animation, and launch more side-projects.

Thanks for reading!

If you prefer to read my thoughts in smaller portions, I’m @plfstr on Twitter.