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.


If you would like some extra insight into the thinking behind the Idea App, you can head over here to read an interview I recently had with Imprint (an extension of Print magazine).


My presentation on web design trends and the technology they are rooted in. I presented this at the 2011 HOW Interactive Design Conference in San Francisco.


CodedBits featured on Inspired Mag

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


Many thanks to the folks at Inspired Mag for featuring CodedBits.com 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 InspiredM.com

Web Trends: Fabric Textures in Web Design

Posted on: October 21st, 2011 by patrick No Comments


One of the most compelling ways to give a website a warm, inviting atmosphere is to incorporate textures. There are a couple reasons to do this. First of all, it can be really helpful to disconnect from the technical nature of the web. Say you’re a web design agency and you find that one of the things you do best is engage non-technical clients. Using fabric textures in your site design can be a great way to reinforce this message. Or if the site’s focus or product is related to fabrics in some way—think fashion, lifestyle, home goods, crafting—the theme can help communicate the purpose...

Read the full article on HOWInteractiveDesign.com

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!

Book Review: How to Design Websites by Alan Pipes

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


Alan Pipes’ new book, How to Design Websites, aims to help designers understand the fundamental elements, tools and principles required to design and build basic websites. He’s done a good job of condensing a ton of information into a relatively digestible format, but this book isn’t for everyone

How to Design Websites does an extraordinary job at explaining fundamental concepts of the web. For example, the section on color clearly explains the various file formats used online and the hex-based color system. I also appreciate the designer-friendly introductions to the topics of CSS, HTML and JavaScript...

Read the full review on HOWInteractiveDesign.com

Book Review: A Website That Works by Mark O’Brien

Posted on: September 28th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


One of the first things you notice about A Website That Works is its size: It’s only 140 pages long. But don’t let its size fool you—Mark O’Brien’s little book is stuffed with wisdom. Mark presents a nine-step process to turn your website into a lead-generating machine, not just a pretty online face for your portfolio...





Read the full review on HOWInteractiveDesign.com


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

    Mobile Devices as Design Elements

    Posted on: September 8th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


    Using smartphones and tablets in web designs not only looks attractive, it also quickly conveys a message of being cutting-edge and mobile friendly. (You don’t have to drink the Cupertino Kool-Aid to recognize that the iPhone and iPad are really beautiful.) We’ve picked out some great examples of agencies’, apps’ and mobile services’ websites to illustrate how using mobile devices as design elements can work...




    Read the full article on HOWInteractiveDesign.com

    The Designer’s Guide to CSS3: Backgrounds

    Posted on: September 8th, 2011 by patrick No Comments


    CSS3 brings changes to how designers and web developers work with backgrounds, and considering that background images and colors are fundamental structural elements of websites, improvements in this area have a huge impact. With CSS3 we can now have code-based gradients in addition to the traditional solid colors. You can also assign multiple background images to a single HTML element. Another new option allows developers to scale background images with CSS tags...



    Read the full article on HOWInteractiveDesign.com