5 September 2016

I invented a dessert: Irish Cherry Pudding

This is a three-layered dessert I invented a while ago. Its main ingredients are Baileys (Irish cream liqueur, hence the “Irish” part of the name), cherries, milk and chocolate.
It’s a mixture of what British people would call a blancmange and a jelly, and the rest of the world would call a pudding. (I hope I got that right, dessert names are different per country and quite confusing.)

This recipe is for 12× 200 ml glasses. I made all of this in a microwave but conventional heating methods will obviously work equally well.

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13 May 2016

Pure CSS image lightboxes

I don’t like using JavaScript unnecessarily. That’s why I love pure CSS solutions. As browsers are getting better and better at implementing CSS3 features, pure CSS solutions are getting slicker and more production-ready.

One of the few pure CSS solutions I built recently was a pure CSS lightbox. I built my solution first and then looked at the tens of other solutions out there to compare and check if I missed anything important.

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12 January 2016

Happy Deathday, Internet Explorer!

To celebrate the long-awaited, joyous death of Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 I baked a deathday cake for them.

The IE logo is made of blueberries which is crossed out with raspberries on top of a quark/mascarpone/custard cream on a chocolate/nut sponge base.

28 December 2015

Going responsive or: The silent relaunch

I wrote this blog post in December 2013 (and updated it in February 2014) for the company I work for, Zopa. But for some reason it never got published on Zopa’s blog. As I still think it’s valuable, despite being out-dated, I decided to publish it here on my own blog.

The Challenge

Take 5 different platforms and code bases (www|secure2|secure|blog|help.zopa.com) and make them responsive, i.e. ready for mobile devices. While doing that, redesign everything to look and behave better, make the code more accessible and don’t hold up any other work on those platforms. And do all of that on the side while working mainly on other projects.

Unify the frontend

The first thing that was clear to me was that those 5 platforms needed to share at least the same frontend code. It needed to be the same markup, it needed to have the same CSS and JavaScript and it needed to look and behave the same.

Other improvements along the way

Part of the changes would also include a redesign. The website design as it was at the beginning of 2013 was largely the same as it was back in 2006. 7 years are half an eternity in web years and some modernisation was needed. Naturally, a complete rewrite of the frontend code was required. But it was also clear that the site-wide coding quality and maintainability could be improved, along with making the site more accessible for users with disabilities.

Don’t disturb our users

Another thing our team made clear was that it needed to be done in an agile way, i.e. in small releasable chunks. That way of working also suited our designer who wanted the changes to consist of many small ones instead of fewer more radical ones, so that our users get used to the new design gradually without noticing too much of a difference. Not doing a so-called “big bang release” also minimises other risks.

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27 October 2015

Trialling recipe boxes: Conclusion

Between 3 July and 31 August I have been trialling 7 different recipe box services, i.e. I cooked 42 portions of meals (7 services × 3 meals × 2 portions = 42). I generally consider this experiment a full success.
I was super-excited every time a new box came, I learned something new with every single recipe, I ate healthier and tastier food than usual and I especially loved the experience of each first bite of a new meal.

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