Introducing the all new Design Meltdown

Posted on: July 9th, 2014 by patrick


Visit Design Meltdown

I am very happy to announce that Design Meltdown is back in business. After many years of being dormant I have completely rebuilt and updated the site. After extensive user research I have settled in on a structure and approach radically different from the sites blog style roots. The focus is still on collecting samples based on various attributes. However, instead of browsing single sample sets you can quickly browse the various topics as most of the samples are cross listed. I think you will find the new interface fast and fun to use.

Visit the new site, and let me know what you think.

A video introduction to my new Web Typography course

Posted on: August 28th, 2013 by patrick No Comments


I have been getting a lot of questions about what I cover in my new web type course through How Design University. So, I figured I would do a quick screen cast to show everyone what we will cover. I am actually really excited about this course and the practical material we cover. This course beautifully combines classic type principles with web friendly implementations. This will help you avoid embedding text in images and perhaps even worse, requiring specific classes be applied to your HTML to get styles to apply correctly. I hope you join me in this course, and check out the video intro.

Also, be sure to use promo code "PMCNEIL" to get 20% off the course!


You can also watch the video here if you prefer:

Pondering the scale of Monster Meltdown

Posted on: December 6th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


I dreamed and planned Monster Meltdown for the better part of 1 year. Then finally got a fire under me and managed to launch the site in October of this year. In my original hopes for the site I thought I might publish a collection a couple times per year. But as I dug in I realized I wanted to update things far more frequently. Eventually I settled in on a monthly release schedule. Which to be honest has been a bit daunting, though it is proving to be possible.

Today as I work on the launch of collection #3 (non-profit sites) I was considering the raw numbers as compared to the original version of Design Meltdown.

Design Meltdown stats:
Topics covered: 131 total styles, trends, themes or color patterns
Total samples provided: Approximately 6,000
Total url's referenced: Approximately 6,000
Duration of active updates: Approximately 3 years

In contrast here are the raw numbers for Monster Meltdown (after the new collection goes live this week)

Monster Meltdown stats:
Topics covered: 3 topics with 66 total sub topics
Total samples provided: Approximately 5,500
Total url's referenced: Approximately 440
Duration of active updates: Approximately 3 months

So, while the total number of url's referenced might not be nearly as large, the actual examples of design are almost the same. This in my opinion is insane. In only 3 months time I will have published nearly the same amount of inspiration samples.

What is even more nuts to me is what the numbers will look like in just a few months. I already have the next two collections underway, and the resulting image counts will double what I have now. So in 5 months, Monster Meltdown will publish twice the inspiring examples Design Meltdown did in 3 years. This blows my mind.

When I set out to start Monster Meltdown I knew it was going to be big, but to be honest it is turning out a lot bigger than I ever expected. And it might take me a while to cover all of the most critical topics, but the ones we do cover are being covered like never before.

Honestly though, I am having more fun than ever running the new spin off of the site. I hope your enjoying the new approach as well.

CodedBits featured on Inspired Mag

Posted on: October 26th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


Many thanks to the folks at Inspired Mag for featuring today. If your not familiar, codedbits is a small pet project of mine. One of those little things you do for yourself but put it out there for the world to use.

Read the full story on

Introducing Monster Meltdown

Posted on: October 13th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


Design Meltdown has been one of those life defining projects. As a result of starting this little pet project I ended up publishing three books, writing for .net magazine for about 5 years, landing a role as content director for HOW Interactive Design, speaking at various web design conferences, and ultimately working full time as a freelance writer/entrepreneur. Not bad for a side project I have basically neglected for the past few years.

For a long time I have had a good vision of what I wanted for the site, but just haven't had the time to make it happen. Well, it took me all of 2011 to get there, but a fresh new face for the site is finally ready to go.  This new direction takes the idea of collecting web design samples to a whole new level. In this new direction I take a topic and cover it from head to toe with mountains of samples and topics along the way. To illustrate this, the first collection contains 22 chapters and over 1,800 images all around the topic of e-commerce. And for as much as that is, I think I have only scratched the surface.

I really hope you enjoy this new direction. Head over and take a look!


I am going to be presented an online DesignCast via my friends at HOW on September 28th. Be sure to sign up if you are interested. It costs $69 and here are the details:

10 Ways to Make Everybody's Job Easier

The relationship between web designer and web developer doesn't have to be fraught with tension. Patrick McNeil—not only a designer and web developer but also the content director of HOW Interactive Design—will let you in on 10 ways to ensure interdepartmental harmony.

You'll learn:

  • How to clearly communicate your design needs
  • How to avoid unnecessary conflict with web developers
  • When to stand your ground on a design issue
  • When to shut up and listen

Who should sign up:

  • Freelance designers doing web work
  • In-house web designers working with a development team
  • Design managers who want to minimize interdepartmental conflict
  • Sign up for the DesignCast here


    Posted on: August 31st, 2011 by patrick No Comments


    Recently I have been doing a bit of research on code generating tools, like nifty things to generate CSS3 cross browser code. There are a number of tools I have used quite frequently and they lived quite happily as favorites in my browser. But I started to realize there was a great number of resources online to get generated code, templates, resources and various things to streamline front end development. So I naturally started trying to figure out how to create a portal to these. I gravitated to this simple iframe based interface that allows you to quickly link off to some really handy resources.

    I should also note that I have no intention of including every last code generating tool ever created, especially those that produce code we can more quickly write by hand. Rather, things like writing cross browser CSS based gradients are no fun, and I much prefer a point and click interface that allows me to quickly build and copy the code. So, with out more rambling, please just go checkout!


    Introducing HOW Interactive Design

    Posted on: August 30th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


    I am rather excited to announce that the new site, HOW Interactive Design is officially live. I have been fortunate enough to be enlisted by HOW to help launch this new site and product line. HOW is of course known for their expertise and publications on the design industry. HOW ID adds the web to their product line. I am really excited about this new content outlet and I truly believe it will bring something new and needed to designers looking to embrace the web.

    I am also involved with a new conference line related to this project (HOW Interactive Design Conference) and of course my books are published by HOW Books. So to say the least, I am connected with HOW in many ways, and very happy to be so.


    HOW Interactive Design

    Posted on: June 23rd, 2011 by patrick No Comments


    I am really excited to say that I am working with HOW to launch a new site and community called HOW Interactive Design. This will start with a new web site of course, and already includes a conference, the HOW Interactive Design Conference. Please join the mailing list to find out when it launches, you will also be entered for a huge discount to attend the HOW Interactive conference this fall.

    Vist HOW Interactive Design


    Posted on: March 16th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


    Well, if you are reading this you have found my new online home. For a long time I have been torn over what to do on It has been a portfolio, a blog, a landing page and at times, nothing. With this, I will finally make it a permanent blog. It just stands to reason to have this as a central point to reference all of the things I find myself involved in. For example, after six years of writing for .Net magazine, it never occurred to me to log those articles somewhere online. Seems kind of silly in retro spec, but most things do.

    So, moving forward I will be putting pointers to my activities around the web, some original posts and hopefully a new section for book reviews (something I have wanted for some time to do).

    Thank you for visiting!