In May 2012 I joined Shopify in the role of Designer Advocate. I first used Shopify in 2007 not long after it launched to the public and have been a huge fan of the platform ever since. It wasn't hard to say yes to joining the team.
I am based in the UK but regularly travel to host workshops and participate at events and conferences in Europe, Canada and the USA. In addition to these activities I regulary contribute to online and print publications on the topic of ecommerce and it's design aspects. Along with the talented Partners team at Shopify I also help produce resources to help designers and front-end developers learn how to build themes and their businesses with Shopify.
Since forming "Viewport" we have produced a number of print publications including Digest, an A3 lifestyle magazine and Insites: The Book, 20 deeply personal conversations with the webs best designers and entrepreneurs. We also host occasional industry focused events which have included Insites: The Tour and ConfShop. In 2013 we launched our first iPhone app Countdone, a handy tool for keeping your tasks on track.
In August 2013 I, along with Mr. Stocks achieved a life long ambition and published a magazine called Digest. It's focus is the culture that surrounds the world of the creative professional; a lifestyle publication that provides inspiration for the discerning traveller; a reminder that the world away from our computers is ripe for exploration.
Digest features contributions from a variety of writers, illustrators and photographers from around the globe and is available in print, PDF and a Read Online version.
The Back to Front Show
A weekly(ish) web focused podcast
In January 2013 Kieran Masterton and I launched The Back to Front Show podcast. We bill it is a weekly(ish) podcast focused on front and back end technology with plenty in-between. Some have described it as "a show with a casual tone and fondness for a good tangent". Lately there's been a bit more tangent but it feels good.
More often than not recorded with the aid of two Blue Yeti's and a dodgy Skype connection between Bath and Wells in the UK's beautiful West Country each episode sees us chat about the latest happenings in the web industry for around 40 minutes.
Over a year in the making Insites: The Book doesn't focus on code or design preferring to delve into the back stories, the successes and the lessons learned of 21 of the biggest names in the web and tech community.
- Mastering Images in Shopify Themes 07.05.2014
- Beautiful Ecommerce Design 22.04.2014
- Lessons Learned Running an Online Side Business Pt. 2 25.03.2014
- Lessons Learned Running an Online Side Business Pt. 1 18.03.2014
- Interview with Second Wednesday 12.03.2014
- Taking Shopify Theme Development Further 03.03.2014
- Getting Started With Liquid 28.02.2014
- A Web Designer's Introduction to Shopify 25.02.2014
- Turn your Side Project into a Money-Making Business 29.01.2014
- 2014 – The Year of Ecommerce Design? 23.12.2013
- The Freelance Web Christmas Crossover 17.12.2013
- Interview with Workspiration 06.12.2013
- Freelancers: Shopify Needs You! 24.10.2013
- Top Tips for Growing your Business with Shopify 23.10.2013
- Celebrating Ecommerce Design 26.09.2103
- Kickstart your Business with Shopify 19.09.2013
- How to Grow your Freelance Business with Shopify 18.09.2013
- 9 Inspiring Ecommerce Website Designs 07.08.2013
- How They Did it: Rebuilding 8 Faces 01.08.2013
- Building Your Ecommerce and Design Business with Shopify 16.07.2013
- On Workshops 21.06.2013
- Yotpo Interview 01.06.2013
- The Industry Interview 21.02.2013
- Besquare Interview - Part One 02.11.2012
- Besquare Interview - Part Two 02.11.2012
- Lessons Learned from Building Shopify Themes 18.10.2012
- Insights on Insites: The Book 27.12.2012
- An Introduction to Building Shopify Themes 28.06.2012
- The Pastry Box Project Articles 12.01.2012
In 2003 I helped out with the relaunch of typography magazine 8 Faces. Elliot commissioned the talented trio at Paravel to reimagine the design from it's original one page fixed structure to a responsive layout with multiple sections. The new site was also changing platforms, from a custom ecommerce build to Shopify.
The development came together well and posed a few interesting challenges. I wrote an in-depth article looking at the redesign over on Web Desgin Tuts+.
In July 2011 Elliot Jay Stocks and I headed onto the road for the first ever "Insites: The Tour". Over four consecutive nights in Brighton, London, Manchester, and Bristol we chatted with some of our webby friends and heroes about how they got started, the lessons they have learned, their big wins and the things they would do differently. It was fascinating, fun and very rewarding. It even gave birth to a book, but that's a story in itself.
The 2011 line-up included Sarah Parmenter, Jeremy Keith, Aral Balkan, Simon Collison, Dan Rubin, Jon Tan, Natalie Downe, and many more (some of whom you can find in Insites: The Book). Re-live the event via our Flickr pool.
Shopify Birthday Suit
In July 2013 we flipped the conference format on it's head. ConfShop took the best bits of a conference (the community and social aspects) and the best bits of a workshop (the initimate setting and group discussions) and added the sharing, learning, and openness at the heart of the Viewport Industries "Insites" brand and made a day of it.
We shared stories and chatted openly about the difficulties we face, the passions we share, the side projects we manage to find time for and much more. Sean Johnson, co-host of The Freelance Web came along and summed it up nicely on Episode 8 of his podcast.