Observation and Design

Richard Stowey's localised view of the world.

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SEO Tactics: Webuyanycar.com – Sell Used Car

September 1st, 2010 by Richard Stowey

It’s clear what they do from their annoying adverts. It’s interesting to see how far they go in order to rank highly for certain keywords like Sell Used Car.

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Categories: Website Design

Linking Photo Albums on Facebook

August 14th, 2010 by Richard Stowey


Unfortunately this isn’t a how to guide for linking photo albums on Facebook. The functionality to link currently isn’t available. This is all about how it could work, in theory.
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Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams at The Design Museum

March 2nd, 2010 by Richard Stowey

Less and More: The Ethos of Dieter Rams

I took some time out to visit the Dieter Rams exhibition at the Design Museum. Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams is in it’s last weeks, an I wanted to take a look before it moved on or disappeared forever. I thought it might be a good place to see some of his products in the flesh and take a few photos.

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Decode: Digital Design Sensations Exhibition at the V&A Museum

January 2nd, 2010 by Richard Stowey

Decode 01

As is usually the case over the festive holiday period, I had a little more time on my hands than usual. After seeing a number of adverts for the Decode: Digital Design Sensations exhibition at the V&A I decided to go and check it out and see what all the fuss was about… Read the rest of this post…

Completed Project: Quartz-Lite

August 17th, 2009 by Richard Stowey


I have just completed a new project involving the design and build of a new website for Quartz-Lite. The company specialises in providing quartz, granite and stone kitchen worktops for kitchens in the south west of England. The quartz worktop is a lighter version of quartz made with resin to provide a thinner and less expensive alternative to quartz, granite and marble. It’s also more durable, scratch and heat resistant. It is designed to fit around existing worktops or can be specified as a new worktop for a new build.

For the website design, I went for a simple design which aimed to include a large number of pictures for visitors to see previously completed kitchens, both new and renovations. The website navigation is simple and the content is aimed at driving visitors through the website and onto a contact page in a logical order. There are a large range of products available to view in detail and a gallery which showcases in detail many different projects.

The website employs a number of different javascript features. These include jCarousel and cyclelite which use the jquery library and lightbox 2. Using these various javascript libraries I have hoped to allow for graceful degradation as much as possible.

If you’d like to take a look at the website, you can do so here: Quartz-Lite – The ultimate stone work surface

Categories: Website Design

The Design Genius of Charles and Ray Eames

July 18th, 2009 by Richard Stowey

I recently found this 15 minute TED talk about Charles and Ray Eames, in a talk by their grandson, Eames Demetrios. It’s a very short overview of the design thinking which Charles Eames adopted in his work. A very short overview of something which i found very interesting to read in a book I have – The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention.

Unfortunately the video isn’t very long and only a short glimpse, but it’s worth while if only to catch a glimpse of the Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera in one of the videos. The video can be played using the embedded version above, or found on TED.com here: Talks The design genius of Charles + Ray Eames.

Categories: Product Design

Measuring Website Dimensions Easily and Quickly with FireShot

July 8th, 2009 by Richard Stowey


One of the most useful firefox addons I have used, and one which I use frequently when designing and developing websites is FireShot. It is especially useful when creating screenshots and measuring existing website dimensions when doing re-designs.

The main functions available with the free version of the program enable users to capture a temporary image version of a website and copy to clipboard, save as an image, or even email and print the output.

To use the website dimensions tool, install the addon into your Firefox browser. Then click the “Edit Capture” button which appears in the lower right hand corner of the browser window. This opens up an external editor which can be used to simply drag out a box and measure various parts of your website, or another website without having to use an external editor like Adobe Photoshop.

FireShot is also available for Internet Explorer.

Categories: Website Design

Blue Orange Juice

June 8th, 2009 by Richard Stowey


It’s always struck me as strange, that the colours of the orange juice in ASDA seem to like being a little different. They used to be green, but recently they have decided to change the packaging to a predominantly blue colour (it is blue. picture is off colour). Now is it just me, or does this go against some sort of industry standard of orange juice being orange? And if there isn’t one, can one be invented?

Categories: Packaging Design

Objectified, The Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit

May 28th, 2009 by Richard Stowey

objectified at the barbican

I went to see Objectified the movie on Saturday at The Barbican. The film is directed by Gary Hustwit and about the relationship we have with all of the objects around us, all of which have been designed. The film takes a look at the world’s objects through various interviews with Designers, the people who originally conceive the idea and turn it into reality.

The film was at The Barbican and as I hadn’t been there before I made the mistake of presuming it would be similar to a normal cinema. I am usually careful to pick a seat about 3/4 the way from the screen and near the middle. This is so I can see the large screen and hear the sound in the best possible way. Of course, having a cinema within the Barbican Estate would of course pose limitations on height etc. The cinema is actually long and shallow (with a large possibility of someones head being in your way) so for future reference, Cimena 2 on Level 4 has an optimum seat position of only a few rows from the front.

The documentary is very interesting and offers designers and design fans a chance to see interviews with a few of the big names of the industrial world. Jonathan Ive, who rarely makes a public appearance in the UK, can be seen to explain many of the design features of the aluminium shell of the Macbook Air, iMac and Apple Keyboard and get rather lost in the process of explaining the rationale behind it. For designers it’s a chance to see the people who they have read and heard so much about actually talking about what they have made. For non-designers it’s a chance to see into a world constantly asking questions.

The film covers many different topics, but conveys the obsession that Designers have with their products very well. The film is a pleasure to watch, learning and understanding a little bit more about the designers and their products who are so well known through modern culture. Unfortunately I missed getting tickets for the London Premiere event with after show Q&A, which would have been a good chance to ask some interesting questions.

For now, we’ll just have to continue asking why.

It was nice to see the LC-A (Lomo Kompakt Automat) on the poster too!

  • Hello and welcome!

    My name is Richard Stowey and I am a Digital Project Manager. I also like photography, designing, reading, writing, technology and motorcycling.

    I've put the main categories at the top of each page to help you focus on something which will interest you.

    If you have any thoughts about what you read, please leave a comment!

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