Record player

Help! I’m becoming an audiophile

After years of dilly-dallying, I have finally bought myself a new record player. But I’m still not convinced vinyl provides the superior sound quality.

Me and Alex showing off her ring

Alex and I are now engaged!

On Saturday 4 November, we had been together for 2 million minutes. So I whisked Alex off for a mystery trip to the north east of Scotland.

Minimalist banner

Stop adding complexity – be an undesigner

How do you make something better? Human instinct often tells us we should add something to improve it. But this evidence shows we should stop adding complexity.

Max Verstappen

What’s the truth about Max Verstappen’s penalty?

Stewarding in F1 has improved markedly in the past year, with the FIA having vowed to take a more lenient line on minor indiscretions. That makes this week’s controversy surrounding Max Verstappen’s penalty at the US Grand Prix feel like a blast from the past.

Radiohead at Trnsmt

Radiohead at Trnsmt were OK

I took the opportunity to see Radiohead when they played at Glasgow Green this summer as part of the Trnsmt festival. Even though they have been one of my favourite bands for over 15 years, I had never actually gone to see them before.

People sitting behind way too many monitors

Why the cruel culture of coding is damaging society

When a former Google engineer’s ill-informed anti-diversity essay became news during the summer, it shone a light on problems with the the tech industry’s makeup. The diversity issue is the tip of the iceberg. A host of cultural problems face the tech scene.

Computer keyboard and mouse

Why it’s time to reclaim our digital lives

The more we come to understand about the big social media networks’ impact on society, the less appealing it becomes. It’s time we stopped letting them control our digital lives. This is why I will start blogging again.

View of Edinburgh Castle from my desk

Pastures new

After almost two years at SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College), I have decided to move on. The opportunity to work with the University of Edinburgh Website Programme was too good to ignore.

The bumpy road to autonomy

Autonomous vehicles — driverless cars — are coming. There will be bumps in the road along the way. But they are essential to fix our cities.

Job story format: When [_] I want to [_] so that [_]

How to improve your job stories

This month’s digital design digest features a couple of articles about getting the most out of job stories. Plus, promising news from the world of CSS, how the Guardian is increasing its subscriber numbers, and where government goes wrong with digital transformation.


Steve Hewlett

I was sad to hear this afternoon about the death of Steve Hewlett. His regular interviews with Eddie Mair about his cancer journey made for incredible radio.

Friends looking out over Princes Street Gardens

Reflections on 2016

A lot of bad stuff has gone down in the world in 2016. But we still go about our daily lives, which can make the larger global changes seem merely like the cherry on top. Here are some reflections on my 2016.

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Implementing HTTPS

I put off making my website more secure because I dreaded it would be difficult. In the end it was a ten minute job.

Fail whale

Ten years of twitting about

In ten years, Twitter has transformed from a geek enclave to a mainstream form of communication. But I find it difficult to imagine signing up to Twitter today.

Google Chrome screenshot: "He's dead, Jim!"

The fight we face for the web’s future

The web is facing many challenges from new technologies, threatening the open culture that made it such a success. We need to fight for its survival.

LinkedIn headquarters

Is it time to put LinkedIn in the bin?

Microsoft recently announced that it will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. But do any of LinkedIn’s users actually derive value from it?

Reflections on IWMW16

My highlights from the the Institutional Web Management Workshop, the valuable annual conference for (mostly) higher education web managers.