TeeIsland Redesign

We have just completed a redesign of TeeIsland. It’s a simple redesign that focusses on user experience (UX), enhanced responsive design, and speed.

teeisland-redesign

Above the fold, the homepage consists of a large slider (which we may revert to a large CTA instead in the coming weeks) made up of simple images with simple CTAs.

teeisland-redesign-single-product

The single product pages have been kept simple and user-friendly. With an info band running across the top of the page below the header – with the hope that this increases conversions.

teeisland-redesign-cart

The cart is now mobile friendly and we should see a boost on mobile / tablet conversions from an enhanced design for smaller screen sizes. Note the large green buttons that are hard to miss.

teeisland-redesign-checkout

The checkout page has been streamlined, kept clean, and the design on smaller screen sizes has been enhanced.

As with all projects undertaken by Codesauce these are continuing works in progress where we monitor what is working well and what can be improved.

Training on Huel

Over the last few weeks, I have been training and dieting using Huel, which is an oat based nutritionally complete powdered food.

huel

It took a couple of weeks of gradually adding Huel to my diet but since I have been on mainly Huel diet, with most days consuming 4 shakes (approximately 1640 calories).

In the first full week, I lost 1kg in fat and gained 1 kg in muscle. There was no change in my activity levels during the first week. I assume that the fat loss was due to a lower calorie diet, and the muscle gain due to the higher daily protein intake.

I haven’t weighed myself since as the batteries on my FitBit scales are dead and resetting the scales is a right pain. I will do it soon and update this blog with the results from the last 3 weeks.

I’m intolerant to FODMAPs so I stick to strictly low-FODMAP diet. The good thing about Huel is that it’s made from no- and low-FODMAP foods. Plus it’s vegan.

I wouldn’t recommend a 100% Huel diet as the high fibre intake without solids won’t be that pleasant. We will leave it at that.

Using Huel is pretty simple. You add 500ml of water to about 3 scoops (100g) and shake. For the best mix, use a metal wire ball in the shaker. For the best taste, stick the shake in the fridge for half an hour as it will thicken (it’s like a cheeky milkshake). I also like to add a zero-calorie Flavdrops from MyProtein. Toffee is a real winner.

I’ve only tried the Vanilla Huel but in my next batch, I will be adding half and half on a month’s supply.

You can get £5 off your first purchase by using this link.

Update March 30th 2016: I have since changed from the Vanilla flavoured powder to the unflavoured and unsweetened version. I made this change as I was getting kidney and bladder irritation, which I believe is from overconsumption of artificial sweeteners, from the flavoured Huel, the additional flavouring, and other sweetened products I was consuming. This is all assumption and not based on anything other than my own experience, but since the change I have noticed a definite decrease in irritability. 

Google’s new Resizer tool for a better responsive web

Google have just released a free tool that allows you to check how your website looks on a range of different screen sizes.

The Resizer tool is completely free and lives at design.google.com/resizer.

google-resizer

This tool is pretty sweet as it lets you see a live version of the site. Not just that but it’s also a great free way to grab screenshots of sites on different devices to send to a client.

The tool comes with three different options. The first is the three device version with a laptop behind a tablet and a smartphone at the forefront.

google-resizer-example

The second viewable option is a simple resizer with a changeable ruler at the top of the screen. Clicking the different widths on the ruler changes the screen dimensions.

google-resizer-example-2

The final option is similar to the option above but instead of just the viewable screen area, it shows the screen enclosed within various device sizes.

google-resizer-example-3

 

Alcourt Landscapes V3 Redesign

I’ve just finished the redesign of the Alcourt Landscapes website.

The site was looking a little out of place with it’s bright blue and green combination design, so instead, I’ve opted for a more elegant olive and purple palette. The design hopefully reflects better the aspirations of the company and is more suitable to the market in London and Surrey.

The front header has been tweaked to remove the block colour and reposition the slider behind the header. To make the white text stand out against the slider images I used a transparent black overlay.

alcourt landscapes

I also tweaked the header on all other pages to include a faded static image behind the H1 tag and description text.

alcourtlandscapes2

Waste not, want not: A good reason to use a clearance company

cullenshouseclearanceteam

If you are thinking of hiring a skip to clear out your home, then you might not have realised that there is a better, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly alternative.

Not all skip hire companies sort through the items that you chuck into the skip so if there were any items that could have been reused or recycled then they will just be tipped off into landfill.

Some of the items that could have been reused could get contaminated by being mixed with rubbish in the skip or being left outside exposed to the weather.

The alternative is hiring a house clearance company. They are a few good reasons: they will do all the heavy lifting and clear the items you don’t want any more from your home; they tend to be more competitively priced as the cost is reduced in comparison to the landfill charges including in hiring skip; they will separate the items that can be reused, the items that could go to charity, and the items that can be recycled.

Waste not, want not. It’s worth having a look at alternatives to hiring a skip. It can help reduce stuff going to landfill and could save you a few pennies too.

Turn your old computer into a Chromebook

cloudready

Instead of chucking away that dusty old desktop computer or creaking laptop, you can give it a new lease of life simply by changing the Operating System (OS). It’s easy to do and it’s completely free.

Neverware’s CloudReady OS is based on the same OS that Chromebooks use. The OS uses fewer resources than older versions of Windows and OSX which gives for a nice speed boost and more battery life. In their own words: ‘Power your computer with the world’s fastest, easiest and simplest operating system’.

CloudReady is not the same as Windows or OSX so worth having a look at what Chromebooks are before you take the plunge. For most personal users, it covers pretty much everything you need such as word processing (using Google Docs) and internet browsing.

Installing CloudReady is pretty simple. You just need to download the OS, stick it on a USB stick, plug that it to the old computer, and follow the setup. CloudReady wipes the existing hard drive so make sure you have backed up everything you need. You’ll also need a Google account but you can set one up during the installation process.

I installed CloudReady on to my partner’s 2012 Macbook Pro which had seen better days. Now it starts up in less than 60 seconds, it’s fast and has added another hour to the battery life. A definite (and free) win that has added a few more years on to it’s usable life.