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Articles by Paddi MacDonnell

By now, most Apple fans have their hands on an iPhone 6, and they do look pretty incredible — even if Apple have accidentally introduced curved screens. The iPhone is a wonderful example of iterative design; each model is an evolution rather...
WordPress 4.0 is now available, and millions of sites worldwide are in the process of upgrading. Despite the fact that WordPress themselves have talked down the significance of the .0 version number, WordPress 4.0 may be the most significant...
The hamburger icon—three little bars used to indicate a link to a menu—is one if the most controversial techniques on the Web right now. Designers, we are told, all hate it; customers, we tell everyone, hate it too. Why then, is it everywhere?...
We might be inclined to think of highly decorative and multi-colored fonts as belonging to the digital type age. Not so. Chromatic Type which enabled the use of outlines, shadows, and multiple colors (among other things) go back to the mid-19th...
The pinnacle of web development is hand-coding. No other approach delivers the same bespoke quality, performance and all round job-well-done-ness as rolling up your sleeves and digging into source code. As a result, most of us spend all day...
It's looking to be the hottest trend to hit web design since large text: inline typefaces are the perfect marriage of character and clarity. Perfect for flat design, inline typefaces create texture without using bevels or drop shadows. Typically...
Designers often find themselves in a chicken-egg situation when it comes to content: you need the content to design, but the client wants to write content for finished designs. This is where placeholder text comes in. Since the 1500s the role...
As designers we seem to have lost our courage, churning out identical brand 'solutions', posting Dribbble shots of the same regurgitated formula. Perhaps it's the lack of control on the web. Perhaps it's the increasing need for an international...
A few weeks ago Alex Cornell, posted what he describes as "The Worst Portfolio Ever" a page of clichés, overused trends and boring copy. His motivation was presumably to educate the masses as to how a portfolio should look. Cornell's amusing...
One of the biggest trends right now is animation. It's smaller than video, more engaging than still images, and the range of talent worldwide seems to grow daily. Just a couple of years ago, web animation meant Flash, and when Flash lost credibility...
I dare say that many of us are interested in the nuts and bolts of how things work. I know I was fascinated by the exposed interior of my first iMac back in the 00s. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to actually take my computer to pieces though, certainly...
The most frustrating aspect of web design for designers trained for print, is the persistent lack of typographic control. Careful typographic choices are the hallmark of quality work and the lack of that quality online never ceases to be jarring...
Companies spend thousands on logos and branding aimed at putting a positive gloss over their products. But what if the downsides couldn't be hidden in the small print or conveniently omitted, and had to be up front in the branding? Viktor Hertz,...
If Bill Shakespeare is to be believed, eyes are the windows to the soul. Designed to look outwards, looking into them reveals a person’s deepest emotions. The same might be said of windows. Built to provide light, and scenic views for the occupants...