Category Archives: Webdesign

The Brick Painter, for all master builders

The Brick Painter is a little web application that converts any image you feed into it (within reason) into blocks. Specify the height or width in blocks, choose the colour set, and it generates the brickified image for you.

It then tells you which colours of bricks are needed to build the image, and in which quantities. This allows you to then (if you are crazy enough) build it after ordering the relevant bricks (if you don’t have them in stock).

The Brick Painter is also released under a BY-NC-SA Creative Commons licence, so if you are into coding you can download the entire package here and improve it as you please. Hopefully the minimal comments in the code help.

Update: read more on the build process on the follow-up post, Brick Painting: build your own LEGO-based reproductions.

Janssens-Quidam redesign

Now that I’m working with a new law firm (Liedekerke, or Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick in full), it was high time I redesigned the Cat Hat / Janssens-Quidam e-reputation website.

For the uninitiated, this website presents the fictional tale of Janssens-Quidam SA/NV, presenting practical guidance on the legal implications of building and defending one’s e-reputation.

The design is less heavy and more in line with the feel of another project I’m hoping to unveil soon.

Content updates are also planned for Janssens-Quidam, due to legislative consolidation at a Belgian level (the Belgian Business Law Code or Code de droit économique / Wetboek van Economisch Recht). More on that when the updates are ready.

Paint frenzy

It’s no secret that since I thought up the design for the Cat Hat e-reputation website, I have kind of fallen in love with paint splotches. [I’ll soon have to start creating real-life ones, but that’s another story entirely.]

Some two weeks ago, I felt it was time for me to come up with yet another redesign idea. Unlike the N previous ideas, I ended up really liking the end-result.

What better way to start summer than with bright colours?

Continue reading Paint frenzy

Closing 2012 with new web tools

Sorry to the Maya people, but 2012 is really the beginning, not the end. For me, that is, and particularly with respect to the web.

Together with Sandrine Kinart, I launched the website (a.k.a. to accompany the publication of an article on building and defending one’s e-reputation. It tells the tale of a fictional company (Janssens-Quidam) and its very trendy product (the Cat Hat, “too cute to wear”) and is meant as a practical guide, so we’ve tried to make legalese understandable and useful. Even if you’re not part of a Belgian company, it’s worth at least a good, long look. And it’s available in English, French and Dutch. And for different devices.

In addition, De Boeck Professionals, a major publisher (certainly in the Belgian legal world), agreed to integrate an Interest Calculator I wrote into their legal database, StradaLex. I’m hoping that lawyers, in-house counsel and other legal practitioners across Belgium will find in the Interest Calculator a useful tool to take away the daunting aspect of computing interest. Now obviously, the world will come to an end if computing interest becomes “fun”, so I’ve tried to stick to making it “easy”.

I also cooked up a few other (more random) web tools, such as a law-related URL shortener that I used in the e-reputation article and on the e-reputation website. It’s definitely not “production-grade”, but I’m now in the mindset where if I think “Things would be easier with …”, chances are my next thought will be “I wonder whether I can make a web app for that”.

All in all, things are exciting. 2013 may turn out to be a very good year!

Tutorial: Multi-page, multi-column web pages

At some point in the redesign process of, I started to consider the idea of a “book-like” feel, where the content would be presented in two columns, and users could flip to the next page of content seamlessly.

The way I see it, this is something that has so far only been done using Flash, so it may be of interest to web designers & developers to see how they can achieve this without Flash, in a cross-browser compatible manner.

Continue reading Tutorial: Multi-page, multi-column web pages design refresh

As 2010 kicks off, it is time for me to unveil a new website design on which I have been working for a few months. It was a long process, involving several radically different ideas and long hours getting it all to work (especially on Internet Explorer), but here we are, finally.

I recommend trying things out, to find the hidden easter eggs and so on, to get used to the new functionality.
[Tested in Firefox 2-3, Safari 4, Google Chrome 4, Opera 9-10, Internet Explorer 7-8]

But to truly understand the design, I think a more extensive portrayal of the design process is in order.

Continue reading design refresh

A new webboard design: critique?

Now that I have defended my Master Thesis, I “only” have three exams to prepare (one of which is basically a 15-page paper). As such, the Master Thesis was by far the largest work to be done for university, and I therefore took a small break from working.

That break turned out to be spent on another kind of work, web design. In July, I will normally become the administrator for our Law Faculty student webboard & website, and I grew somewhat tired of the Cobalt theme for phpBB2, which is currently used.
I therefore got to work on another design, something fresh.

The result is a working board on, only a test so far. The board is in French, but I’m looking for feedback on the general design, which shouldn’t require a great deal of linguistic skills. There’s a test user, “Test”, with the password set as “testpass”.
Anything that desperately needs changing? Suggestions? …?
There are two working themes, and you can switch between them in the footer (“Droïdes – Droïdes2”). Just click, and a whole new layout appears.

Edit: updated.

Google’s new favicon, again

Well, here we are, folks: Google have decided to update their favicon, again.
Last time they did that, back in May ’08, it spurred a whole lot of reactions all over the web, and if you take a look at the poll results in that older post, you’ll see lots of the reactions were negative.

With time, however, I’m sure everyone got used to it, whether they initially liked it or not.

So, now that the new one has come, I’m starting to regret the previous one. Despite the fact that it wasn’t as good as the one before, I still prefer it to this current one.

Out with the old, in with the new…

Speeding things up

I decided to take a look at possible optimisations for this website, in order to make it load faster, and so on. I’d already done a bunch of this some time ago, but I rediscovered the Firebug plug-in for Firefox, and in particular its YSlow extension.

YSlow is a set of guidelines that Yahoo! published a while ago to help web-designers in their quest for the optimal code, and WordPress hasn’t ever been very YSlow-friendly.

Continue reading Speeding things up