I am a UX Designer, creator of Design Meltdown and the author of six web design books. Several times per year you can find me speaking at conferences on various topics.

5 Great Examples of Simple Web Animations

Posted on: March 15th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


It can be tempting to go over the top with web animation when you have the skills. At the same time, animation can be easy to forget about when you’re working on more down-to-earth projects. But I believe simple animation can work in just about any web design and really bring it to life. I’ve found five great examples of animation in web design that are subtle, classy and effective.

Read the full article on HOWInteractiveDesign.com

The 4 Habits of Successful Web Designers

Posted on: February 27th, 2012 by patrick No Comments


For the last year I’ve spent countless hours training graphic designers to work on the web. That’s included writing a book targeted at this audience called The Designer’s Web Handbook (out April 30!), teaching a web course at my old school, the University of Missouri St. Louis, speaking at the HOW Interactive Design Conference, and writing and teaching interactive design courses through HOW Design University.

My goal though all of this has been to teach people how the web workshow to design for the webhow to codeand ultimately how to the make the most of working with the medium. Amid all of this, I keep coming back to one confounding question: Are designers really prepared to go all in?

Read the full article on HOWInteractiveDesign.com

Book Review: HTML & CSS by Jon Duckett

Posted on: February 21st, 2012 by patrick No Comments


As someone with a long history in development, I’m comfortable with the traditional format used in nearly every technical book. Most of them are extremely dense with copy and just packed with information. HTML & CSS by Jon Duckett is packed with a remarkable amount of information as well, but the visual presentation is groundbreaking and will change our expectation of technical books forever.

Read the full review on HOWInteractiveDesign.com


Many people have been asking me when they can start sending in their sites for my 3rd book in the Web Designer's Idea Book series, and that time is now. Head over here for more information on the book and to submit your sites. Note that you do have to register an account, but it is free and easy to do. I look forward to seeing all of the awesome work everyone has been doing!

Submit your site(s) for FREE now

One-Page Web Designs: The New Poster?

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


A huge trend that started a number of years ago was the single-page web site. This approach packs all of the information into one page. It started off as a way to create a simple design, focused on rapid communication, often used as a simple e-commerce portal or an efficient portfolio page. But it’s evolved into an art form all its own.

Yes, I am a bit obsessed with one page design, this is the culmination of my interest in it and you can read the full article on HOWInteractiveDesign.com.

HOW University Principles of Web Design promo code

Posted on: December 15th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


If you register for my first class with HOW University, be sure to use the promo code "pmcneil" to save  $40. 

My first class is on the basic Principles of Web design and will cover everything from the basic terminology to the core conecepts you need to know. This class is particuarlly suited to those transferring their skills from print to the web.

In this course you’ll learn:

  • The language of the web (You’ll finally be able to decode all that alphabet soup!)
  • The technological basis of a website
  • How your design skills can transfer from print to web
  • The new developments in web design
  • And how to learn what you need to know next

Who should take this course:

  • Experienced print designers making the transition to web and interactive design
  • Creative professionals unfamiliar with the language of the web

Learn more about my class here.

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.

The use of illustration in web design

Posted on: December 2nd, 2011 by patrick No Comments


llustration is an incredibly versatile tool that can find many different uses in design. And when it comes to web design we can find an extremely wide variety of implementations.

Today I want to dig into some key ways that this tool has been put to work so we can draw new ideas to inspire and challenge the designs we produce.

Let’s begin someplace I seldom do, with a basic definition: Illustrated: 1) To make clear; 2) To make clear by giving or by serving as an example or instance; 3) To provide with visual features intended to explain or decorate.

Read the full article on WebDesignerDepot.com

Pre-Order my new book, The Designer’s Web Handbook today

Posted on: November 15th, 2011 by patrick 1 Comment


The Designer's Web Handbook is making serious progress and I am excited to say that you can pre-order your copy today. Be sure to use the coupon code "freeshipping".

I am really excited about this book and the audience it speaks to. I have worked for some time with designer's approaching the web from a wide range of backgrounds. It is this perspective that I write from.

The only limitation is I am only going to ship inside the United States. International shipping is to expensive to make it worth it for anyone.

Be sure to use the coupon code "freeshipping" to save a few bucks. But hurry, the coupon code won't last forever!

Web Trends: Wood in Web Design

Posted on: November 14th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


Though I’ve observed the trend of wood in web design for years, somehow I never grow tired of it. (Both of my Web Designer’s Idea Books feature sections on the topic.) But why is that? What is it about this approach that draws me in? I think the answer is simple: We connect with wood in an organic, tangible way that takes us outside the digital world.

Read the full article on HOWInteractiveDesign.com