Critical Distance web design

New design of Critical Distance home page

Critical Distance is a somewhat rare type of website, and it can be difficult to get across what we do. We’re not quite academic, but we act as public educators. We’re part of the games press in some ways, but we’re not a “gaming website” as such. My job is to make Critical Distance more easily understood, more frequently recommended, and more productively used by a wider audience. Just as an art curator designs a gallery space, I have been trying to make our site design communicative and welcoming.

For many years now, the main thing people saw when they reach our website was a big wall of text. In that text, some truly essential work was happening, but the presentation was off-putting to many readers. After I became Senior Curator I started to hear more from those readers directly. It was clear that a change was needed if we are to increase our audience and demonstrate our use to people more readily.

I spent about 60 hours redesigning the Critical Distance website to encourage people to think of us not as a link blog, but as an educational resource. Now, the first thing people see when they access our home page is a big search bar inviting them to learn what kind of writing might exist on a randomly-selected topic. I also incorporated some flashes of colour and unusual css transformations on the featured images, to make the site look lively, without looking noisy.

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Old design:

Look around a snapshot of the old site at

New design:

Look around the living, breathing, new site at

Alien Flora

Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance
View Map


Explore a lush alien landscape
Play with an otherworldly terrarium
Wander in a pastel-coloured wonderland

For three days in May 2016, I used the beautiful Buzz Gallery at Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance as a studio and exhibition space. Local artists visited me while I worked, and played some unusual art games. I selected a bunch of recent games by artists from around the world that explore lush environments, teeming with plants and fungi, to turn a little piece of Rotherham into an extraterrestrial forest.

Posts about this project:

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Memory Insufficient

Volume three

Special announcement: Volume three of Memory Insufficient has been published on a new site with Silverstring Media. More information here:

Volume two

Issue one: Asia

Issue two: Gender and sexuality

Issue three: Food

Issue four: Labour

Issue five: Religion

Issue six: Allohistories

Issue seven: Language

Issue eight: Theatre (delayed)

Issue nine: Discipline

Issue ten: Music

Volume one

Issue one: Women

Issue two: Asia

Issue three: Gender and sexual diversity

Issue four: Imperialism

Issue five: Hardware

Issue six: Hispanic heritage (delayed)

Issue seven: Disabilities

Issue eight: Marketing

Issue nine: Ecology

Issue ten: Black history