2016 is here and I’ve taken the opportunity to make a big change to kick this year off with a bang. Let’s start with some shocking news:
Inspect Element is dead
That’s right, I will no longer be continuing with the Inspect Element brand. Everything now exists on my brand new personal domain, tomkenny.design. Very fancy!
Front-end development hasn’t excited me for a while and I haven’t written about it for a long time, so the Inspect Element name no longer makes sense.
Instead, I’ve been focusing purely on what I know best, which is anything related to design. Recently I’ve been helping web designers increase their creativity as you can see with some recent articles:
- Keep Your Creativity Flowing with a Creative Hobby
- Flow: The Art of Getting in the Zone (and Staying There)
- Why Quality Over Quantity Isn’t Entirely True for Web Design
Learn from Great Design Volume 1
I even wrote and released a design book, Learn from Great Design Volume 1, where I studied the best designs on the web so you can learn from the best without having to spend hours and hours studying them yourself.
Creative Bloq even featured the free version of the book in the The 10 best free web design ebooks of 2015.
It’s sad to say goodbye to Inspect Element after setting it up way back in 2009 but it’s time to move on to something bigger and better.
I certainly won’t miss the emails from people asking me how to hack Facebook! Presumably they discovered the browser dev tools and somehow thought they could hack websites with it.
Fresh New Design
A new strong visual identity was desperately needed to reflect the current focus on creativity, so I set about designing a new header.
Setting out specific goals for the redesign eliminated the moment of staring at a blank screen wondering what to do next. Read more about that in another article I wrote last year: Don’t Let That Intimidating Blank Screen Get the Best of You.
The previous design for Inspect Element was clean and simple but fell into the trap of following the trends of flat, minimal design and became another me-too design (and you know my feelings on web design trends). It was too plain and too boring.
The new design for tomkenny.design is a huge improvement and it’s only the beginning.
Looking Back at 2015
Last year was a great year mainly because I spent most of it travelling round the world with my wife! Our trip started in September 2014, taking us to Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, America and Canada.
We returned home to London a year later with amazing memories such as kayaking through the caves of Vietnam, being surrounded by the incredible colours of autumn in Japan, spending a whole day by Lake Kawaguchi staring in awe at Mount Fuji and exploring the amazing scenery of New Zealand’s South Island (especially Queenstown), just to name a few.
Here are a few of my favourite photos from our trip (click/tap on each one to find out more about them):
We fell in love with everything about Japan, so we’re planning to move there for a year in 2017. I’ve never been more excited about anything in my entire life.
I have a few goals for this year:
- Take my consulting career to the next level: For this I will be niching down to pick a specific target audience that I can genuinely help. I want to make a real difference for my clients.
- Create a free email course: I want to create an email course that is a smaller version of my Learn from Great Design studies. It will include a single great design detail sent to your inbox once a day.
- Write Photography for Designers: It’s been almost three years since I announced I was writing a new book called Photography for Designers. Unfortunately, for two of those years I suffered with depression and it’s the main reason I didn’t write the book. At the time, approximately 650 people signed up to register their interest in the book. Clearly there’s interest, so I will be writing it this year.
- Learn more about copywriting: During our time travelling, I started learning copywriting because it’s a skill that will help me get better results for my clients and also my own projects. Now I need to up my game and I couldn’t have chosen a better teacher/coach than Ramit Sethi and his copywriting course which I bought at the end of last year.
- Learn more Japanese: I started learning Japanese in preparation for living there next year but stopped when I was finishing Learn from Great Design Volume 1. This year I will get back into it again.
Happy new year and continue creating great work!