Ben Manley

I'm a designer, developer and writer. I aim to make things that are a pleasure to use. So, I concentrate on clear, engaging copywriting and simple interfaces. But then again, who doesn't, right? Right?! Never mind.

My background

I graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in English. My ambition was to become a writer and I started learning to code as a way of publishing my work online. Today, I combine my writing and coding skills to develop websites and publish ebooks.

So, if you're looking for a creative, thoughtful designer with a touch of literary panache, drop me a line.

My approach

I aim to make things as simple as possible and no simpler. Here's how I like to work.

The Brief

I start by talking to the client, finding out as much as possible about them, their business and their customers. From there, I can make an informed assessment of their needs.

Skills
Planning
Analysis

Content

I ensure that the content is the best it can be – succinct, pertinent and enticing.

Skills
Copywriting
Editing
Proofreading

Layout

Once the content is up to scratch, I organise it logically and clearly. I work fastest with a pencil and paper. This allows me to arrive at solutions quickly without committing to a particular look and feel too early.

Skills
Problem solving
UI design
Responsive design
Tools
Pencil and paper

Typography

Using fonts selected to complement the brand, I start with a base font size and build a typographical framework using golden ratios to ensure that all text is legible and balanced.

Skills
Graphic design
CSS
@font-face
SASS mixins

Designing in the browser

With firm foundations laid, much of the design can be refined in the browser. This allows for faster prototyping and gives the design a chance to mature.

Designing in the browser also favours a responsive approach, making it easier to identify sensible breakpoints and make progressive enhancements.

Where necessary, I also use image editing software to produce graphics and icons.

Designing in code
Espresso
CodeKit
Image editing
Pixelmator
iDraw
ImageOptim

Coding

Well structured content doesn't stop with what the user can see. I write clean, semantic, accessible code to make it easier for people to find and navigate a site.

HTML
HTML5
Jade
.kit
CSS
CSS3
SASS
Stylus
Project tools
GitHub
CodeKit
Bower

Interactivity and animation

I've worked extensively with CSS animations and transitions and javascript to produce detailed animations and effects. In most cases, I use these features with restraint to produce satisfying interactions without degrading performance.

CSS3
@keyframes
transitions
Javascript
JQuery
Zepto
Angular

Recent projects

HabitRPG

HabitRPG is an open source habit building program which treats your life like a Role Playing Game. I'm collaborating with the project on GitHub as a designer, working to improve their navigation elements.

Paterson Construction

I built a website and created a brand for local builder, Alex Paterson, integrating social media (Open Graph, Google+), designing a logo and creating print marketing. Alex has since secured more than £10,000 of business directly from online enquiries.

Sycamore Family Tree

I wrote, coded and published this interactive picture book featuring complex CSS3 animations, sound effects and tappable elements.

Want more information?

Have a browse through my site to find out more about my work or check out the links in the footer.

And if you're interested in working with me, I'd love to hear from you.