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A stream of consciousness by Laurence Hughes

Hi, I’m Laurence. I’m a Glaswegian web developer using modern web standards to create user-focused, responsive websites. I also make music, play records and ping pongs. This is my online home; a playground for coding fun and place to share thoughts on the web, music and more.

Latest posts

Blog development decisions

Here are some recurring development decisions I make when maintaining my personal website/blog, with some accompanying rationale.

Chris Packham interview in The Guardian

The naturalist, TV campaigner and activist on growing up, autism and asking himself “what is the best use of me?”.

He’s such a brilliant, sensitive soul, but it must be hard work being Chris Packham.

3 questions to evaluate design patterns and avoid unnecessary work that degrades UX (by Adam Silver)

Adam offers tips for how to proceed when we are presented with a request for a shiny new pattern which is not grounded in research but rather follows a fad.

The purpose of design is to solve actual problems. Not made up “I’m bored so I’ll come up with something new” problems.

So how can we evaluate these patterns, avoid unnecessary work and ultimately avoid patterns that degrade UX?

Just normal web things.

Heather suggests that in developers’ excitement to do cool new stuff and use cool new tools and techniques “we stopped letting people do very normal web things”. Things like:

  • the ability to copy text so you can then paste it
  • ensuring elements which navigate also behave like normal links by offering standard right-click and keyboard shortcut options etc. Which is to say – please use the anchor element and leave it alone to do its thing
  • letting people go back using the back button
  • letting people scroll with native scrollbars. Relatedly, letting people get to the links at the bottom of the page rather than having infinite scrolling results which mean that the footer is always just beyond reach!
  • letting the user’s browser autocomplete form fields rather than making them type it

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