Strategy and creativity – can you have one without the other?

It is a function of our society and education system that most people believe that agencies and people are either strategic or creative. Was Leonardo a thinker or a creator? Thomas Heatherwick? BBH? Examination of the people and institutions we admire give us ample evidence that it is a false and unhelpful dichotomy. This point […]

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How to change the Magento ‘Shipping & Handling’ output

I see a lot of advice which recommends overriding Magento’s classes when you need to change a core file. Alan Storm recommends, and rightly so, that we should extend from Magento’s core classes when making changes as opposed to overriding them. To summarise Alan’s article the main reasons for this are to make the code […]

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How to remove the Magento footer links with XML

I’ve searched around for a clean solution for this and I kept on finding articles advising to just comment out the lines in the XML files. This is not ideal as I personally like to make my XML changes in a local.xml file. So here’s how I removed the standard footer links in Magento using […]

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Going solo

In December last year I left my full-time position to work for myself. I jumped ship and swam out into the ocean without looking back. I’ve been working for myself for a long time now but I’ve always worked in other agencies full-time and freelanced on the side. It was super-hard work, as anyone doing […]

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How to move the layered navigation in Magento

How to move the layered navigation in Magento from the left column into the right column using your local.xml file, so that any changes do not get overwritten during any future upgrades.

<reference name=”left”>
<action method=”unsetChild”><name>catalog.leftnav</name></action>
<reference name=”right”>

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Changing the default page template for the category view in Magento

I’ve been handed a layout to build for a Magento project which uses a 1-column layout for the catalog category view. Out-of-the-box Magento uses the 3-column layout. To change the default behaviour I added the following to my app/design/frontend/custom/default/layout/local.xml

<?xml version=”1.0″?>
<reference name=”root”>

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The tool is not the design

I witnessed a conversation recently between Stephen Hay and Mark Boulton about tools, things like pattern libraries and Style Tiles. These are all awesome tools which help us designers create wonderful layouts more efficiently. This got me thinking about how these tools can distract us from design.

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Frustrating UX from Adobe

My experience of downloading a trial version of the Photoshop Elements 12 app from the Adobe website went something like this:

Google search Photoshop Elements
Taken to Adobe site with info on Photoshop Elements, no link for trial
Google search for Photoshop Elements Trial
Taken to Adobe site with link, US version
Append URL to UK version
Click Download now button, […]

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The Design Method

Clients, for the most part, don’t want the designer’s personality to show through the work they produce; instead, they need design that is built around their needs and amplifies their organization’s values and aspirations. Designers need to gear themselves to think about their clients’ needs first.

This is very true, yet it’s hard for a lot […]

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