About & Skills

Ash Richards

Front-end web developer, UI & UX designer with ~20 years experience, based in Brighton.

I’m Ash Richards, and I’ve been working the web since the late 90s. In my time I’ve been agency-side, client-side and freelance, with clients of all shapes and sizes, including big names such as Levi’s Europe, the BBC, EMI, Pathé Films, Channel 4, Mars and Nokia.

The majority of my work involves front-end development, but my career began with more of a design focus. Outside of client work I am now developing full web applications, using MeteorJS.

Based in Brighton, via London, I work with clients locally, nationally and abroad. I also teach coding at Codebar.

Regularly learning new platforms and skills, I’m always interested in trying out new technologies if I think they could benefit my projects. In my eight years at Pure360 I also learnt a great deal about business, as we grew the company from a team of three to over 60.

I’m always interested to talk to new clients. Let’s have an open and honest chat about what I can do to help your business.

Back-endwhat's that?view 10 projects

Back-end development is mostly about getting information stored somewhere else, like a database, to the page. When you log in to a site you're a member of at look at your account details, the back-end has to go off, find your records and insert them onto the page, and update those records when you change something.

Typically when I do back-end work, it's using a language called PHP, but more recently Javascript (which has traditionally been used for front-end) is coming its own as a back-end / server-side language. Other back-end languages include Ruby and Python, both of which I've had some experience with.

Includes the use of:

  • PHP
  • Node.js / Meteor JS
  • Git repositories (Sourcetree)
Designwhat's that?view 19 projects

As you can probably imagine, this is essentially making something look nice, but it also has to be effective for the job in hand. When designing websites it's important to think about things like hierarchy - making it clear which parts of a page are more important than others - and interaction - ensuring it's obvious which things you can click on, for example. When designing other things, there may be different objectives, like a logo often has to try and give an indication of what the company does, and look appealing to the target audience.

Includes the use of:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
Front-endwhat's that?view 25 projects

Front-end development goes hand-in-hand with back-end development. Front-end takes the information on a page and makes it usable, it might hide some things until you need them, it might make other elements do something flashy when you interact with them. It also sometimes has to tell the back-end to perform a task, or keep an eye out for when one has been done. These things are normally done with Javascript or CSS.

It's also the job of front-end development to take a website design and convert it into a way that can be displayed in a web-browser, by defining the styles of text, background colours and the like. Mostly this is done using CSS - Cascading Style Sheets - which is essentially a list of rules.

Includes the use of:

  • CSS / LESS
  • JavaScript / jQuery
  • Git repositories (Sourcetree)
Responsive / mobilewhat's that?view 16 projects

On my portfolio this covers different things, in most cases it's ensuring a website looks its best when being seen on a mobile / tablet (responsive). It could be a case of changing the width of something, the size of the text, or showing / hiding elements as appropriate. Also, I have projects which were to create an app, exclusively for small devices. This needs the same thought as a responsive website, but also may have to interact with gadgets within the phone / tablet, like using the camera to take a picture or getting the location.

Includes the use of:

  • PhoneGap / Cordova
  • Apple Xcode
  • CSS media queries
Strategywhat's that?view 2 projects
Can cover all sorts of areas, but is more about the up-front thinking before a project begins in ernest. It involves research, meetings, documentation, presentations and the like. All to give the best chance of a project succeeding, before wasting time developing a website / app that misses the mark.
UI / UXwhat's that?view 8 projects

User Interface [design] / User eXperience. These disciplines tend to overlap others, like design and strategy, but it's the process of ensuring the project you go on to build is really effective at what it's supposed to do. Typically before designing a website or app, wireframes are created to show simple, outline diagrams of how pages / screens are laid out, without focussing too much on the more visual things like colours and fonts. Essentially making sure a user can do what they've set out to do quickly, easily, and ideally enjoyably.

Includes the use of:

  • Axure
  • Adobe Illustrator