Articles by Paddi MacDonnell

Paddi MacDonnell is a designer and entrepreneur from Northern Ireland, follow her on Twitter.

Take the labor out of web development with Workbench

In recent years there has been a constant drive to produce tools to make the job of developing web sites as painless as possible. One of the most useful group of tools has been boilerplates, which set up the basics and allow the developer to get up and running on a new project in double quick time. Workbench is a little different from other offerings in this field. It comes with the usual task helpers we now expect to see in boilerplates, but it also comes with JavaScript plugins — a feature more likely to...

Simplify your documentation process with Couscous

If there’s one thing I hate more than tracking down bugs, it’s documenting code. It takes forever, it’s almost a project in itself, and I never seem to factor it into my project lifecycle. Setting out to solve that problem for me, and anyone else whose life is too short, is Couscous. Couscous takes markdown files and converts them into professional standard HTML docs that colleagues, or fellow developers, can easily follow. You can preview the resulting site on your local machine, correct any...
CSS

15 essential Sass mixins

There are  a whole host of Sass mixin libraries out there: Bourbon is a personal favourite, Compass is hugely popular. But sometimes, actually always, it’s better to pick and mix your mixins to suit yourself. It’s never good to rely too heavily on a tool, and if you think Sass mixins begin and end with the @include statement then you should probably try writing out a few of your own. Sass mixins are available for a huge range of tasks, here’s 15 that no developer should be without: box-sizing...
CSS

How to make a ghost button in CSS3

With Halloween just a few days away, this seems like the perfect time to explain how to create an incredibly simple ghost button, in pure CSS. These buttons are referred to as ghost buttons because they have just an outline and let whatever is behind them show through. They’re incredibly popular with startups, because they have a minimal simplicity that fits that style of site. They’re also super easy to make, and can add real impact with just a few lines of CSS. To build one, the first thing you need...

10 free jQuery mobile menu plugins

One of the biggest headaches you’re likely to encounter as a developer is cramming a designer’s gigantic menu onto a mobile screen. There are options open to you: you could repurpose the menu for mobile, you could compact it with JavaScript, you could even reposition it with CSS. But thanks to the amazing jQuery community, you probably don’t need to. There are dozens of jQuery mobile navigation solutions available, all of which have been designed to solve the problem of menus that don’t fit...
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