I love movies and movie trivia. I’m always scrolling through IMDb looking for more information on movies I’ve seen or want to see. The problem with IMDb is there’s a lot of information I don’t care about and I have to search pretty hard to find the things I want. This led to me wanting to create my own movie app where I could easily look up movies and see the information I want. I decided to make this app in React, which I’d never used before. …


I had an opportunity to work in a group with Utah Valley University’s Culinary Arts Institute on redesigning their website. We met with representatives from the department to interview them on their vision and needs for the site, as well as their current problems to see if we could align our skills with their vision.

The Interview
During our initial interview with our clients, my group quickly learned that they were unhappy with the current website because critical information for potential students was hard to access. They also felt the overall design didn’t accurately showcase the skills of the staff and…


JavaScript is one of the most popular web languages in use today. It has built-in methods that make JavaScript easier to write. Part of being part of a development team is writing readable code, and methods are incredibly useful in terms of readability. Methods are functions that are stored and used as object properties that look like this: objectName.methodUsed(). I will go through the most popular methods and explain what they do, as well as give examples.

Strings Methods

str.includes();
Performs a case-sensitive search to find if the value can be found in the string.

str.slice();
Extracts a section of…


Have you ever visited a website that felt like it was made by an amateur? I know I have. Sometimes it’s the aesthetics, and sometimes it’s how I easily get lost within the site and can’t find my way around. A great way to avoid amateur mistakes is to practice and implement guidelines from multiple design principles. There are a lot of them, and I recommend checking out the book Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler for more information on how to utilize them. …


I’ve had more than one friend express interest in web development and ask me where to start. I usually ask if they’re familiar with HTML. They could be like me, who, up until a few years ago, only knew about it from the old days of MySpace, but then abandoned it for Facebook, and consequently forgot all about HTML. If my friend has no clue what HTML is, I recommend it as the starting line because without it, there’s nowhere else to really go. If my friend is somewhat familiar with HTML, then I recommend they get very familiar with…


According to Nielsen Norman Group, a heuristic review “involves having a small set of evaluators examine the interface and judge its compliance with recognized usability principles.” These reviews are best done in groups, since it can be hard for a single person to identify every single possible usability issue with a given interface. I collaborated with a group of other designers to review Samsung’s Smart Refrigerator and brainstorm alternative improvements to its usability. I will discuss below how this smart fridge compared against a number of heuristics we tested it against.

Users interacting with Samsung Fridge

Heuristic Review

Match Mental Modal: the design should match the user’s…


Most big companies have style guides to help designers and developers make products that align with their brand. One of the best I’ve come across is Spotify’s guide. It clearly goes over the “do’s and don’ts” for integrating their product into your own app or website. There’s a section for logos, icons, colors, widgets, and restrictions. Each section includes images, downloads, and examples on what Spotify will allow you to use.

Spotify’s examples of what NOT to do with their logo

The reason these style guides are so important is because brands what to be represented correctly. If you don’t respect the guide, you can get into trouble. …


I have a small Instagram account themed around my favorite beverage. I use this account to experiment with different types of media over the past year. Recently, I used it to test various compressed files to discover any new or hidden ways to post better quality content.
This project consisted of a research portion, a compression evaluation, and a final test.

Part One: The Research

I went searching online to find what types of media formats were supported by Instagram. Turns out, I was limited to a few kinds. According to this source, I could upload .JPG, .PNG, and .GIF files for images as…


Think of your webpage layout as the skeleton to your page. You need a good structure to ensure all of your content is displayed correctly. That’s where CSS Grid Layout comes in: it’s designed to help you create a fantastic, responsive grid structure. I’ve made a short list of the most important things you need to know to start using it.

  1. Define a container element as a grid. To do this, add display: grid to your container in your CSS file. A grid consists of columns and rows, so the next thing you need to do is set the column…

Erin Hancock

Web Developer living in SLC, UT. Let’s collab.

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