Blog: Phill

Drupal vs WordPress

I gave a presentation at Drupal North East this month that put Drupal and WordPress – two of the most popular content management systems – head-to-head. The talk examined the similarities and differences between the two behemoths, and the scenarios to consider using them.

Google tooltips

As one of Google’s randomly selected usablity testers, I get to see a lot of upcoming developments before they’re released. Google’s latest feature is a preview tooltip of each website. Looks like their screengrab tool doesn’t render HTML canvas properly, as shown by the missing text on Siteroom. It also highlights where Google gets its snippet text from:

Shortlisted for an award!

We’re proud to announce that a cookbook we designed, copy-edited and printed on behalf of the Mouth Cancer Foundation has been shortlisted in the prestigious Pfizer 2010 Excellence in Oncology awards.

Siteroom in the press!

Last week Siteroom were the lead story in the business section of Newcastle’s newspaper, ‘The Journal’!

Screengrab tools

Was on the hunt for some software that would let me take multiple screengrabs. Eventually settled on Grab them all, a Firefox extension. Here’s the story! Step 1 was to create a list of URLs that needed screengrabs. I wrote an small PHP that printed a list of URLs (one per line) which I then saved to a text file: The first tool I came across was WebShot. The GUI interface is simple, but there’s far more flexibility

DIBI 2010

Had a great day yesterday at the DIBI (Design It, Build it) conference in The Sage Gateshead. It’s a new conference, with – as the name may suggest –two tracks; design and development. I was in the design camp, while Phill went for the development (standing in for Jason after he had a nasty bike accident a week or so ago – get better soon Jason!). Great selection of speakers including (in reverse chronological order, for no good reason!) Andy

Designers now boarding at gate … err…

The latest craze for designers seems to be redesigning airline boarding cards (and/or websites). Dustin Curtis started this off a little while ago, after wondering why American Airlines’ website is so difficult to use. Being proactive, Dustin redesigned the site and sent it (with an impassioned letter) to AA. This started a conversation with their web developer which is quite revealing about large organisations and their difficulties in bringing about change. This inspired Tyler Thompson to have go at redesigning

Ionic – CSS multi column framework

Introducing Ionic, a CSS framework put together to specifically handle layouts with more than 2 columns in CSS. The framework, originally written by Jason under the name ‘fluid1’, has been used on our client’s website,, since 2005. The aim of the project was to make it accessible to all the common browsers, whilst keeping the HTML markup as semantic as possible. Currently the script only supports a maximum of 3 columns, but there is no reason why the algorithm