The HLUC App is now available!

The HLUC iOS App, or Christmas Gift List & Countdown as it’s now known, is now available on the App Store.

“Keeping track of what gifts you need to buy, and for who, can sometimes get the better of you. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to Christmas! This app aims to take some of the stress away, providing you with an easy to use Gift List. It let’s you know, at a glance, how many gifts you still need to purchase, and for whom. It also provides you with an easy and festive way to find out how long it is until Christmas. ”

Click here to download it.


HLUC – iOS App

My original plan was to release something fairly basic, very similar to the website in terms of functionality. Apple wasn’t too keen on this, because the primary feature of the app was sharing. So I went back to the drawing board, and had another look at the various competing applications already available on the App Store. It was evident, looking at them through fresh eyes, that they’d gotten around this restriction by including the facility to play some generic Christmas music.

I wasn’t going to do that. So I built on the original concept and decided to include a Gift List. There’s a lot to think about, when it comes to Christmas and keeping track of what you need to buy for who is no mean feat. It seemed like a much more useful feature than a couple of Christmas jingles, and will hopefully make the App appeal to a wider audience. It was an informative exercise, as it provided me

It’s currently pending review, fingers crossed. A couple of screenshots are included below for your perusal.

iOS Simulator Screen Shot 1 Nov 2014 20.14.44iOS Simulator Screen Shot 1 Nov 2014 20.07.53 iOS Simulator Screen Shot 1 Nov 2014 20.09.09 iOS Simulator Screen Shot 1 Nov 2014 20.07.42

PSSWD – Password Generator.

There’s nothing quite like getting that first app onto the AppStore, my first app has just launched and is available on the AppStore now.

PSSWD in itself is a very basic concept, a Password Generator with a few configurable options for characters and length. The general premise is you shake the app to generate your passwords, something a little different to the conventional button press, and the newly generated app is copied to your clipboard.

Take a look for yourself!


Zizim – UI Re-design

TL;DR The design can be viewed on my Behance Profile.

Zizim is a project I originally started back in University. I rebuilt it using OOP principles a few weeks back, but the generic interface has been bugging me ever since. So I’ve spent some time working on a new interface, which I think works well.

The homepage is now, essentially, a full screen textfield. A URL is pasted into this field, and when the form is submitted it generates and returns your short URL. There’ll be the option to login using Twitter, which allows the saving of shortened URLs; tracking statistics and the option to add an alias to the URL.

From Zizim HQ, which is accessible when logged in, you’re given an overview of all of the shortened URL’s which have been generated and some basic information, including the number of times the link has been clicked.

Click on one of these rows will take you to a page with some more comprehensive usage metrics, and graphs, which I haven’t built yet. That’s next on the list. I’ll probably re-launch the service with the basic click tracking initially, and add the comprehensive metric later.

Now all I have to do is build this in the existing backend, which I’ll be doing over the weekend.

Designs visible on my Behance Profile, here. rewritten in OOP PHP

I posted a few weeks ago, when I tidied up the codebase and put it live after a period of downtime. I’ve since taken the time to completely re-write the code using OOP PHP principles, and I have to say it was significantly more pleasant to build than the the original method. Utilising OOP makes a lot of sense, even in this fairly limited use case.

I’ve also re-engineered the front-end so that it’s making use of the Twitter Bootstrap. I’ve grown to really like the Twitter Bootstrap, and think it lends itself well (albeit in standard styles) to this project.

The core aspects of a public API have been built into this version, which will be released shortly. To be honest, you can probably work out how to use it at the moment, it’s not rocket science. There’s just some housework and small additions that need to be made to make the API “public”. I’ll be doing this over the next few weeks.

This re-engineered version of Zizim is also available on GitHub. There are areas it could be improved, but on the whole I’m very happy with the way it’s turned out. URL Shortener

Notice: Zizim has since been re-written. The details are visible here. was a project I first started back in 2011, when I needed to get away from university revision. After it’s initial creation, I hadn’t really touched it at all. The only reason I’ve had a play with it recently is that my old host ceased trading and I’ve not had live for a few months. So I figured, before I get it live again why not have a play with it. See if I can clean it up a little.

It was a simple, yet interesting, build. The code for this project is available on GitHub.

The premise couldn’t really be any simpler. You supply a valid URL, and will provide you with a shortened version. There was some crude tracking available in the original release, which I have yet to carry over to this build, but the click data is being collected. It just needs to be interpreted and displayed.

There’s also admittedly a few logic loopholes which I’ll address in the future, but on the whole it performs it’s core function.


Projects I’ve been involved in.

These are a few of the recent projects which I’ve been involved in recently, and a brief description of my involvement with the project.

Hampshire Lanterns
This was admittedly a simple build, for a charity based in the Southampton area. A free, responsive, theme was sourced and customised in order to fit the requirements. The use of custom post types was employed to allow the various aspects of the site to be laid out in a logical fashion. For the displaying of certain post types, in a particular way, I created a couple of shortcodes which handled the looping (and styling aspect) also allows for easy editing in the future. As opposed to putting this logic directly into the page template.

Matthew Harris Cloth
I ported the pre-existing static website into WordPress, utilising the Bones boilerplate theme. Custom content types, image styles and page templates were also used in order to produce a logical backend structure.

Sainsbury’s Primary Logistics
I produced this static, responsive, website from a series of PSD’s (Photoshop Designs) which I was provided with. jQuery, CSS3 and HTML5 were utilised in this build.

How long until Christmas – Node Project

Today was the day! I decided I was going to rebuild one of my smaller projects, This isn’t so much a design exercise, primarily a development exercise. I’ve been wanting to start playing around with Node for a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I ended up using the Express framework for Node, which was incredibly easy to use. As far as frameworks go, it seemed to deliver just what was needed.

It’s now running on a small droplet over at DigitalOcean, making use of nginx, forever and NewRelic to keep things turning over nicely. It wasn’t a complex project at all, but it was very fun. I do enjoy working with Node, I’m looking forward to trying some meatier projects with it in the future.