Hello 2018!

For the first time last year, instead of making new year’s resolutions, I set some goals that I wanted to achieve during 2017. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really check back on my goals very often. Most of my goals did centre around my career; making that full transition into design and my own personal side-projects. My number one goal was a pretty big deal for me so it wasn’t the kind of thing I’d need to remind myself of.

Last year was the first time I ever set myself goals for the year. Not only that, but I at the end of the year, I actually went and looked back on them. I felt as though I was realistic about my goals and not over-optimistic. This is something I want to continue doing each year.

There aren't enough hours in the day...

Having taken an extended break over the Christmas period, I tried to get a head start on some of my goals for the new year.

I’ve recently come across a designer’s YouTube channel. I was really interested in one video about being more productive, and it got me thinking about how I can use my time more productively.

Most of my Monday to Friday is my full-time job and although I have flexitime, it pretty much always 9 to 5ish with almost an hour commute both ways. Most of the time outside that is spent with my wife and daughter. I believe strongly in having a good work/life balance and for me this works great.

Hello 2017!

Happy New Year! 2016 is already over. For me, it has been quite an eventful year and it came and went pretty quickly. I quit my old job and got a new one. I got my User Experience certification. I built and launched this site. I went on an awesome 720 mile road-trip down the coast of California with my wife and little girl, stopping off at some cool places. I had my first ever work trip to Barcelona, to do my first ever series of user research interviews, and we finished the year off with a great city break in Berlin.

As I look forward to 2017, these are the goals I want achieve.

Build-in Animations without JavaScript

I’m a big fan of Travis Neilson and his DevTips YouTube Channel. He comes across as a genuine, honest and all-round nice guy, and he shares some pretty useful tips and tutorials around design and front-end development.

Earlier in the week, I came across his video called Build-in Load Animation as part of his CSS Animation series. I was looking to do something similar on my photo gallery, just to add some visual interest.

If you watch the video, Travis begins with a ready-built image gallery, using the popular Masonry jQuery library to create a pinterest style layout. The way that he achieves the build-in animations is by using jQuery to loop around all the items in the gallery and add a class to it.

Creating an Apple tvOS Style App Icon

I got a new Apple TV for my birthday this year, after our old one kept annoyingly crashing right in the middle of the third season of Orange is the New Black. It’s got an all new UI and a touch sensitive remote.

In typical Apple fashion, apps are displayed in a grid, but unlike iOS, there are some very cool subtle effects as you navigate through the app grid. I was pretty sure that these effects were possible in CSS and supported in all modern browsers these days, so I gave it a go.

Building my photo gallery - the Jekyll way

I don’t have a lot of experience building sites using Jekyll. This is actually the first site I’ve built. So when I wanted to build a photo gallery, I had to try a couple of different ways of doing it to see what worked best (or you can skip straight to the code).

First, I tried using a Data File. This is, I suppose, Jekyll’s version of a database table. These files are stored in a root level folder called _data and can be written in a few different formats like CSV, JSON, and YAML. Since I’m new to Jekyll, and also to keep it consistent with other parts of Jekyll I opted to use YAML, calling it photos.yml. In this file, I used properties to hold values such as the location of both the thumbnail and full size photos, when and where I took the photo; the place name, and the latitude and longitude.

Goodbye Development, Hello Design?

This post has been sitting in the “drafts” folder of my site for a few weeks, as I’m still not 100% sure where I see myself in the future. Over the past year, I feel as though I have been going through a bit of transition in my career where I am becoming more focused on design. I am still however, still doing web development, mostly front-end. I love doing design, and I love doing front-end development, so I’d really like a design focussed role that still keeps an element of development.

At the end of last year, I gave my notice of resignation from my job as UI Team Lead. It was a really difficult decision. Throughout my career as a full stack web developer, the front-end design and development was always my favourite part of the job.

Welcome to garethlewis.io!

I have been searching for the right tool for creating my own personal website for a while. When you have a full time job, and young family, it’s not always easy to find the time to learn new things.

Way, way back, I decided to start building my own website. It was regular hand coded static HTML pages, styled with CSS. The whole site was pretty much pictures of my guitars, and some examples of graphic design (done badly). That’s it.

It was around this time that I started taking a keen interest in photography. At last, I found some content that I could put on my site.