Author: Andrew Smallwood

I am a web designer by heart and am well versed in all things digital. Having run my own freelance digital agency since 2006 and worked at the University of Westminster, I'm currently immersed in the heart of the music industry at PRS for Music

WiiU launch – UK get ripped off again

The WiiU was announced today and although I’ve been present at every launch of every Nintendo console since the N64, I’m not too impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Yes, it’s finally HD, it’s got a sleek design and I’m really intrigued about how the new gamepad will work.

But, I’m getting pretty sick with the UK getting ripped off again. Although the launch price in Pounds Sterling hasn’t officially been announced, popular retailers have already announced their pricing models.

Nintendo E3 live blog

Nintendo E3 stream

6.10pm GMT

Reggie signs off the Keynote speech with another sneak peak at Nintendo Land.

5.57pm GMT

Nintendo Land announced, it will launch with the release of the WiiU.

It amalgamates many Nintendo franchises into one package. It brings together 12 different attractions. 5 are playable today.

Nintendo Land WiiU

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion will allow one player to utilise a different role in the game as the ghost. The other four players are can’t see the ghost but will be warned by a rumble in their Wii controllers.

What Man City winning the league really means for English football

Manchester City

So, the greatest season ever of the Premier League is over and Manchester City have become only the 5th team in the country to lift the trophy. I guess when you look back, they do have the best team in the league and there are a few hundred million reasons why.

It’s easy to hate Manchester City right now, just like it was easy to hate Chelsea during their peak under Abramovich and it’s even easier to say that both teams effectively bought their league titles. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter.

For starters, I’m not even a Manchester United fan, I support Arsenal, so I’m eternally grateful that my team finished third after their worst start in decades. I’m definitely not bitter, I’m worried.

There’s only one team I want to win more than I do Arsenal and they wear three lions on their shirt and have gone longer than City without a trophy.

How hard is it to achieve ACA Accreditation?

ACA Certified

A few weeks ago I attended a course in Adobe Photoshop in an effort to achieve ACA accreditation. I was really looking forward to it because throughout 2011, I had already achieved accreditation from Google for AdWords and Hootsuite so to achieve a certificate from Adobe would rank highly along side them and display my breadth of knowledge for all things digital.

The course was great and although I’ve been using Photoshop for a number of years, there’s always some functions that I’ve never really understood and many intricacies that I may have taken for granted. 

Graffiti lessons with Andy Seize

Graffiti lessons - Andy Seize 3

I had wanted to have a go at graffiti for years so when I received a voucher for an hour’s graffiti lessons with a top London based artist, I donned my hoody, legged it down to Waterloo station and entered another world.

My tutor for the day was Andy Seize who runs graffiti lessons in a place known locally as ‘The Tunnel’. Having entered the tunnel from the behind the taxi rank, I descended the stair case slowly into an array of colour. This was urban London at it’s finest. The dimly lit tunnel gave way to a disused exit ramp and here were 10 budding art pupils ready to learn.

Cookie Control

The issue of Cookies on websites held within the EU will rise in importance in the first half of 2012. Most websites do not have a plan for the deadline of 26 May 2012 and that includes the ICO.

They are yet to advise organisations throughout the UK on how to combat this major issue that has been set in motion without much foresight into the implications.

Yes, companies do track usage of users but most of it is anonymous data. When companies do hold information about users, it tends to improve the user experience by offering personalised content.

The future for movies: Netflix

Netflix

Netflix hit the UK market in January 2012 and I eagerly signed up for the free one month’s trial. I was a bit more in the know than the usual consumer because I’d been watching the online streaming market with much anticipation.

Being 28, I am the perfect age for being continually exploited by Hollywood. I grew up watching what I feel was the golden age for films with epic stories like Back to the Future and as these films aged, so did the multitude of formats that I could consume them on.

Back to blogging with a new design

Responsive web design by Ethan Marcotte

It was definitely a major buzz word during 2011 and I had always planned to ‘get round to it’ but as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day, well probably when the haze lifted a few days later, I decided that 2012 would be the year I revolutionise my approach to web design.

I’d been getting tired of the same designs, tweaked and re hashed but based on the simple fundamental design rules.

Your search box must be above the fold.

Your logo must be top left.

It was time for something new, and time to think outside the box.

Google+ and referential integrity

So I have a personal Google account with a personal GMail address. I run most things via this account like contacting friends, using it as correspondence for banks etc…

When Google+ was announced, I signed up straight away and I was one of the few that understood when Google started deleting those fake accounts. I was one of the few that was frustrated that I was receiving follow suggestions for people in my address book, just because I had multiple email addresses for them but there are the principles of referential integrity.

One person, one record on the database.

Now even Adobe is killing Flash

The biggest story of last year was the Apple vs Adobe clash concerning Apple’s refusal to support Flash in iOS and therefore the iPad. Adobe responded with a satirical advertising campaign called We [heart] Apple but since then the arguments have died down.

As we all move towards mobile devices including tablets, the need for Flash is beginning to wane. Why should we create flash websites if we must also create an html version? In addition, why should we create flash elements for websites if we need to create a static substitute? The introduction of HTML5 and CSS3 with the inclusion of jQuery has also contributed to the demise of Flash.

Arne Bech produced some Flash vs HTML5 advert examples to see if the user could tell the difference between them. View the advert examples here and see if you can tell the difference.