Responsive Web Design (as if there is another type)

I realize that when my students first start out building basic, single-page HTML and CSS websites, they are not fully responsive web pages, but looking at it from an industry stand point, I am surprised that we haven’t dropped the “responsive” from the front of this phrase yet. I mean, shouldn’t all modern sites be built with responsive web design in mind? I am not sure where it would come into play that anyone would desire a non-responsive site with the constantly changing sizes of smart phones, tablets, and laptop screens.

So, I decided to gather together some articles/videos on responsive web design into a single resource page.

First, Video: Responsive Web Design In Photoshop – A Mindset Not Just Technique
In this video they explore how to design in Photoshop with a responsive mindset and grid at your disposal. I realize that many think that designing with a grid structure hinders creative web design and for certain sites that push the boundary, I am sure that is true, but when you look at how diverse the layout grid can be with a system such as Unsemantic, there are few shapes within a layout that you can’t use.

responsive web design with a grid

 

Admittedly, it is not as freeform as a mindmap or freeflow design style, but with a little creativity, you can bend the grid layout to meet your design aspirations.

Secondly, according to Google, responsive web design factors into search results now. Therefore responsiveness is even more important if poor responsive design knocks you out of google search rankings. What is the use of a great site, if it can’t be found in a search? We can definitely knock Google for using search engine priority to force the hand of designers, but it is their tool and if we want to be found, there isn’t much of a way around optimizing. Read more about how responsive web design effects Google rankings here- What Is A Mobile-Friendly Website, And Why Does It Matter? There is a tool in Google developers that can test your site for mobile-friendliness (according to their algorithms) which can be found here- https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ Remember to check multiple pages on your site, not just the home page!

Finally, as we head into the last few weeks of 2015, did responsive web design change at the pace we expected back in January of this year-The State of Responsive Web Design 2015? Were the predictions accurate? Any new players on the field that we weren’t expecting? What will the 2016 bring that changes the way we look at responsive web design moving forward?

Web development is an exciting field to be a part of, but you better buckle up because it doesn’t slow down!

 

The difference between being a boss and being a leader

Exploring the difference between being a boss and being a leader (in my favorite format, an infographic!)

Infographic on being a leader

Click on the image to see the full infographic on being a leader

Being a leader is not as simple as just wearing a title or having great ideas. There is so much nuance to the process of leading other people to do their best work. Each of your employees have certain skills and for the company to do it’s best work, these talents need to be encouraged, developed, and appreciated.  Continue…

Web development community: Many thanks

A thank you to the web development community

A thank you to the web development community

Interesting article on community from +Chris Coyier and the perspective of web development community. At Front End Conference in 2014, Alex Horne and I gave a presentation on web community and web education. I think this article adds a lot to that conversation.

It is now over a year since that talk and I find that many of my original thoughts on the convergence of community and education in the web sphere are still the same. I know that I, as an educator, rely heavily on the web community to help me successfully teach my students about designing and developing websites. I especially look towards the online web community to stay informed about where the industry is moving and how best to prepare tomorrow’s developers.  Continue…

Local Motors revolutionizes manufacturing

A speaker from Local Motors came to the GAA conference in Clemson last year and then I was able to go by their facility in Phoenix when I was out there for a conference. At the facility, they had vehicles that were in the middle of assembly, but they aren’t moving down a line. They are built one at a time, many times with the participation of the person who purchased them. Some parts of the vehicle are 3D printed, but the large printer was not in Arizona when I went by (they have several different facilities that share the 3D printer between them).

At Local Motors, there is a huge area set aside for local creatives to come and prototype their own ideas. Parts and pieces that are mid-construction are all around the shop room floor.

Local Motors re-envisioning manufacturing in the 21st century

Local Motors re-envisioning manufacturing in the 21st century

Continue…

Lighting for athlete portraits

lighting for athlete potraitsIn the article below, we get a peak inside the brain of Cuarezma, photographer of the World Cup’s US Soccer team. The athlete portraits were taken outdoors, but used a ton of controlled lighting (think 10 soft boxes!) to supplement the natural light.

My favorite part of the article was the sketched notes where he is thinking through how to get the most versatile collection of athlete portraits in a short amount of time. He has it set up to capture 30 athletes in 30 minutes, getting 4 unique shots of each player. By having a white backdrop behind the subject and a black board at a right angle, he was able to get a front shot with a white background and a profile shot with a black background with no change in setup and almost no down time between shots. Continue…

Why should you pay for a quality website?

quality website

Building a quality website for your company costs money, but it also serves as the face of your company to all of the world.

As a web developer, I have always been curious about how incredibly difficult it is to convince a business owner the value of a quality website. Why should a startup have to pay for a quality website? There are plenty of reasons, but for some reason it is difficult to convince many business owners of the value (and cost) of high quality websites.

I get it, I really do. Many of the companies I work with have been ripped off by developers in the past. The stories I hear vary, but the gist is the same: They finish a website for the business, and then disappear before handing over the domain and files making updates difficult to impossible to manage. Or they make promises that they will get you listed #1 on google search, but fail to deliver. Or they build a great CMS site, but they never show you or your employees how to make updates and you are way to busy to figure it out. Continue…

Article digging into the process of creativity: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is one of the great living creative minds.

Bob Dylan is one of the great living creative minds.

I really enjoy reading about how people with amazing creative minds do that magic that they do. This article combines the topic of creativity with one of my favorite musical geniuses, Bob Dylan.

When I think about the word prolific, there are a few musicians that come to mind immediately. Bob Dylan is one of them. With a career that spans over five decades, touring continuously through nearly all of them, and the release of almost forty albums, Dylan seems to be a never-ending fount of creativity.

I have seen Dylan live dozens of times across three decades now and every time I am amazed. He plays multiple instruments and never has the set list been the same twice. How can he have THAT MANY lyrics inside his brain?? Just thinking about it makes my brain hurt. On top of that, Dylan has re-invented himself more times than I can count (who can forget his gospel phase?). Continue…