If you haven’t heard much about “Responsive Web Design” yet, you should get reading. The original article was published on A List Apart almost a year ago, and the movement has slowly been building since. Its practically a buzzword now.
The idea is fairly straightforward: With all the new internet devices coming out, people are accessing websites in many different ways and viewing them on many different screen sizes. Monitors are getting bigger, smartphones are (mostly) getting smaller, and tablets are, well, somewhere in the middle. So why develop sites at just one size? If people are viewing sites at different times in different ways, shouldn’t the design—and in some cases the content—change as well?
The idea is a great one. The executions, however, are easy to screw up. Yesterday on Twitter I briefly discussed the blog post More Responsive Design, Please and some of the problems I see with many mobile sites. With Responsive Web Design starting to gain momentum, I fear we will start to see many designers getting caught up in the idea and trying to implement responsive designs just for the sake of it, throwing away many principles that still hold true.
This post is not an attack on Responsive Web Design. I think the idea is great. This post, rather, is to make sure designers are thinking things through before acting. A word of caution, and a reminder of some of the design and development principles that should still hold true regardless of how “responsive” a site is.
I am well aware that it has been quite a while since I’ve last written anything here. I’ve basically been a slacker in that regard—but luckily, I have something to show for it.
As I was sitting at a local coffee shop looking at my long Things list of blog article ideas, I subconsciously started evaluating which ones had the most Social Media Optimization (SMO) potential.
It’s fairly easy to figure out. Can it be turned into definitive list of something? Could it be a quick how-to, or make people feel more efficient? Could it be easily scanned, something that would be bookmarked?
If it can fit into one of these, chances are the article has a good chance of making the social media rounds. But should an article’s viral potential have anything to do whether its worth writing (or reading)? Has good writing gone missing due to online magazines in need of social media traffic and ad revenue?
If you’ve looked at any of the stuff to be included in CSS3, you were no doubt bouncing off the walls in excitement until you remembered how long it tends to take some browsers to support that kind of stuff.
But some good news: Quite a bit of this CSS3 awesomeness can be used right now to spice up your designs. Some (most) of it will not render in all browsers equally (generally those of the IE variety), but websites don’t need to look the same in every browser–nor should they. Just because IE6 users can’t see some fancy effect doesn’t mean everybody shouldn’t. Similar to how those watching TV on a standard television will not be able to see HD, users on older browsers need not get the same experience as those on newer browsers as long as they see nothing wrong with the site.
But enough ranting and onto the good part. CSS3 properties you can use now and how to use them:
In a world where everything–including your competition–is just a click away, grabbing and keeping my attention is the first step to making me buy your stuff, subscribe to your content, or whatever else you want me to do. It’s also a part of the second step, the third step, and every other step when keeping me happy afterward.
Thanks to clients who delay coming up with content and that wonderful Latin we all know so well, design and content is often separated. But this is a major disadvantage.
Graphic designers don’t design a product ad without good copyrighting, so why do web designers think they can design websites without good copywriting? While there may be some instances where writing the content and designing the interface cannot occur simultaneously, just as much emphasis should still be placed on making content accessible to an online audience.
So how do you do this?
Now, I’m quite the Apple fan, and just as big a fan of the iPhone. So needless to say, this morning’s keynote and the announcement of the iPhone 3G S was pretty awesome… Sort of.
While I’ve been freelancing on the side for the past couple years, it often took a backseat. Freelancing was certainly more fun and more profitable when I had work, but I simply did not have the time to put enough emphasis on landing new projects. However, I often wondered if I’d be able to pull off the whole freelancing thing if I quit the day job.
I decided now is the time to find out. At the end of last month I clocked out of the day job for the last time, and while it won’t be completely freelance (more on that later), it should be a ton of fun.
text-shadow property is now supported by Safari 3+, Opera 9.5+, and FireFox 3.1 (currently in beta). So when is the time to start using it?
Certainly not everybody will see it, but better to have some people experience it than nobody at all. That is, if you think before you type and don’t abuse it. When used correctly, text-shadows can be a great addition to a design. If you aren’t careful, though, it’s quite possible for them to end up as bad as the next
It all started with a Moleskine.
I’m a big fan of brainstorming, so naturally I got to thinking. I wrote down what I wanted to communicate, what elements and pages I needed to have, etc.
Next came the grid. I decided to give 960.gs a try, first starting off with the 12-column grid. After a couple hours of playing around, I ended up switching over to the 16-column and came up with this first design:
If you’re viewing this via your favorite web browser, you’ve probably noticed that things look very different than last time. If you’re reading this from your favorite RSS reader, come on over and check things out.
I’ll be providing many more posts in the near future with all sorts of things learned from this redesign (subscribe to the feed if you haven’t already to keep up with those), but I just wanted to do a quick overview post to quickly point out a few things.