Alastair Touw

29 Added | 2 Magazines | 5 Following | 2 Followers | @amdt | Design & development in Tōkyō

Cohesive UX

With Yosemite, Apple users can answer iPhone calls on their MacBooks. This is weird. And yet it’s representative of a greater trend toward …

Taglines and Truisms

To bring her good luck, “white rabbits” was the first thing that my grandmother said out loud on the first day of every month. We all need a little …

Integrating Contrast Checks in Your Web Workflow

It’s nearly Christmas, which means you’ll be sure to find an overload of festive red and green decorating everything in sight—often in the ugliest …

Naming Things

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation and naming things. <br>Phil Karlton<p>Being a professional web developer means taking …

Meet for Learning

“I’ve never worked in a place like this,” said one of my direct reports during our daily stand-up meeting.<p>And with that statement, my mind raced to …

Why You Should Design for Open Source

Let’s be honest. Most designers don’t like working for nothing. We rally against spec work and make a stand for contracts and getting paid. That’s …

A Holiday Wish

A friend and I were talking the other day about why clients spend more on toilet cleaning than design, and how the industry has changed since the …

Content Production Planning

While everyone agrees that getting the content of a website right is vital to its success, unless you’re lucky enough to have an experienced editor …

An Overview of SVG Sprite Creation Techniques

SVG can be used as an icon system to replace icon fonts. The reasons why SVG makes for a superior icon system are numerous, but we won’t be going …

SEO in 2015 (and Why You Should Care)

If your business is healthy, you can always find plenty of reasons to leave SEO on your to-do list in perpetuity. After all, SEO is technical, …

Five Ways to Animate Responsibly

It’s been two years since I wrote about “Flashless Animation” on this very site. Since then, animation has steadily begun popping up on websites, …

The Introvert Owner’s Manual

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. <br>Albert Camus<p>“Whatever you plan, just make sure there are lots of …

Is Agile Harder for Agencies?

I once sat in a pitch meeting and watched a new business exec tell a potential client that his agency followed an agile workflow process at all …

Putting Design on the Map

The web can leave us feeling quite detached from the real world. Every site we make is really just a set of abstract concepts manifested as tools for …

Making Sites More Responsive, Responsibly

With digital projects we’re used to shifting our thinking to align with our target audience. We may undertake research, create personas, identify key …

Responsive Enhancement

24 ways has been going strong for ten years. That’s an aeon in internet timescales. Just think of all the changes we’ve seen in that time: the rise …

Websites of Christmas Past, Present and Future

The websites of Christmas past<p>The first website was created at CERN. It was launched on 20 December 1990 (just in time for Christmas!), and it still …

Collaborative Responsive Design Workflows

Much has been written about workflow and designer-developer collaboration in web design, but many teams still struggle with this issue; either with …

Don’t Push Through the Pain

In 2004, I lost my web career. In a single day, it was gone. I was in too much pain to use a keyboard, a Wacom tablet (I couldn’t even click the …

What Is Vagrant and Why Should I Care?

If you run a web server, a database server and your scripting language(s) of choice on your main machine and you have not yet switched to using …

Developing Robust Deployment Procedures

Once you have developed your site, how do you make it live on your web hosting? For many years the answer was to log on to your server and upload the …

JavaScript Modules the ES6 Way

JavaScript admittedly has plenty of flaws, but one of the largest and most prominent is the lack of a module system: a way to split up your …

Dealing with Emergencies in Git

<i>The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,</i> <i><br>In hopes that version control soon would be there.</i><p>This summer I moved to the UK with my partner, and …

What It Takes to Build a Website

In 1994 we lost Kurt Cobain and got the world wide web as a weird consolation prize. In the years that followed, if you’d asked me if I knew how to …

Sea of Crises

In 265 years, 69 men have been promoted to <i>yokozuna</i>. Just 69 since George Washington was a teenager. 2 Only the holders of sumo’s highest rank are …

People are already making awesome fan art for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Whether or not you were in a theater, we all got our first glimpse of <i>Star Wars: The Force Awakens</i> today. The long-awaited teaser showed off some familiar settings, briefly introduced us to a few new characters, and debuted a cross-shaped lightsaber that has already become both a meme and a source …

Photos of colorful Tokyo

<b>Kevin Kelly</b> searches for maximum vibrancy in Tokyo<p>The Nakasendo is an old road in Japan that connects Kyoto to Tokyo. It was once a major foot …

The Identity Crisis Under the Ink

Americans—particularly Millennials—are getting more tattoos than ever. Is a shifting, increasingly uncertain culture to blame?<p>Some weeks ago, during a bleary-eyed subway ride to work, I found myself staring at a young woman on the other side of the car. She wore business attire with a North Face …