Hello, friends! It’s been so long, I thought it was about time I updated you on what I’ve been doing.

Solid ground

Do you remember that roller coaster ride I referred to when I joined OmniTI? Well, it just kept on going! And after a year of doing the transatlantic telecommute, I felt the need for solid ground. I left OmniTI in September.

I worked on some great projects while I was there, with big brands and alongside wonderfully talented people. I learned a lot, made some new friends, and had quite a bit of fun thrown in, too! Thank you to those who shared their knowledge and humour with me.

R and R

To recharge my batteries a bit, I decided to take a little time away from the Web and computer keyboards. I visited a few friends around the UK, spent a relaxing couple of days on Lundy Island, and got myself to Accessibility 2.0 and PHPNW ’09. I may have also made it to a gig or two along the way!

In the background, interesting discussions were afoot, and a fantastic opportunity presented itself. Which brings me to…


For the last couple of months, I’ve been setting up a new web design and development co-operative with some friends of mine: Alan, Andrei, Chris and Jon. In December, we launched Analog.

They say working with friends or family is a bad idea. The way I see it, I want many of the same things out of my working relationships as I do out of my friendships. I like to be around friends because they’re people I’m happy in the company of. I trust them, and respect their opinions. A healthy work relationship will have many of these same traits: fun, mutual respect, honesty and openness.

When we got together as a group in September, Chris summarised his work aspirations as, “Good people. Good work.” And that was it in a nutshell for me. I have huge respect for the people I work with at Analog. They were work colleagues, and even clients, before they became my friends. I know I can work with them, and build great things. If you don’t know them, let me introduce you quickly:

Alan Colville is a talented experience designer who worked with Jon Tan and I at Grow Collective. When he’s not inspiring me with his insights into user behaviours, he’s amazing me by running up mountains and biking down them!

I’ve known Andrei Zmievski for several years through the PHP community – he’s one of the core developers of PHP. He’s an incredibly clever chap, a gifted photographer, and I look forward to one day sampling the product of his home brewing!

I first got to know Chris Shiflett when I helped Jon with Chris’s blog redesign. He’s an accomplished web developer and an authority on PHP security and HTTP. When we’re not being web geeks, we’re exercising our perfectionist tendencies by being grammar nerds.

I’ve been working with Jon Tan for several years now, at Grow and OmniTI. He’s a fab designer, and passionate about his craft. Not only have we made a good team, we’ve also become good friends. With many a tale of travel and type, you’re never bored around Jon.

I usually write about accessibility on this blog. The holding page has a few talking points I could cover, not least the improved semantics of HTML5, and the accessibility features of ARIA. I’ll write more about these soon. For now, I hope that one page shows that accessibility doesn’t have to come at the cost of beautiful design.

Thank you

It’s already been fun at Analog – stalking people, launching Easter eggs, and wrapping up Christmas presents, like #grid… I’m really looking forward to what this year has in store for us. Here’s a thank you to the wonderful people of the Web who helped us get Analog off the ground.

Thank you, Carolyn Wood for being absolutely stellar, and helping us put our vision into words for our web site. Incidentally, the holding page scores pretty well on readability tests, which makes me happy!

Ta very much,, for being a great place to get practical help with HTML5. Special thanks to Bruce Lawson who’s a super chap for helping me out with one particular HTML5 peculiarity.

And thanks to everybody who helped us celebrate our launch, especially Jared Smith, for making my day with his kind comment. We’re so chuffed to have had such a warm welcome from all around the world. It made a great way to end the year, and carry us through into 2010.