Back to blogging with a new design

Responsive web design by Ethan Marcotte

It was definitely a major buzz word during 2011 and I had always planned to ‘get round to it’ but as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day, well probably when the haze lifted a few days later, I decided that 2012 would be the year I revolutionise my approach to web design.

I’d been getting tired of the same designs, tweaked and re hashed but based on the simple fundamental design rules.

Your search box must be above the fold.

Your logo must be top left.

It was time for something new, and time to think outside the box.

I’d read about a few theories and researched them online. The first one was responsive design, the second was mobile first. I’d dabbled with responsive design for my 2012 Coast Design website, but this was on a very basic scale and totally contradicted the mobile first rule.

The Coast Design website was built for desktop, then I used CSS and one media query to hide elements from the mobile view. This new approach to responsive design also allowed me to research a number of different frameworks.

This year, I’ve been testing out the 320 and up framework. It supports the theory of mobile first and, in a nutshell, encourages you to design to a 320px width screen first to ensure that your core content is present, then as the screen size gets bigger, you can embellish it with additional or ‘complimentary content’.

My first design was to rehash this blog. Yes, it may look basic but it has differing resolutions for 320px/480px/768px/992px.

It was then that I stumbled upon Ethan Marcotte’s book, responsive web design. I realised that I’d been doing it all completely wrong. I was basing everything in pixels, which if you think about it, is the least responsive measurement you can use.

I’m only halfway through Ethan’s book but I’d highly recommend it already. If you’re reading this around the January 2012 date, then you may be able to see that I’ve still not got the hang of image management within responsive design but I truly believe that this book will open a lot of door ways this year and responsive design will not just be a buzz word, it will be a defacto standard in any web project.

About Andrew Smallwood

Experienced digital strategist with a foundation in web development and analytics. Leads multi-disciplinary teams in content creation and digital marketing ensuring data is at the core of decision making.

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