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Tagged with “uie” (13)

  1. Jason Grigsby – Real World Responsive Web Design » UIE Brain Sparks

    Media queries shape and form a web page to display on multiple screen sizes. That’s the core of responsive web design. Users can maintain the same level of experience that they get on the desktop even when they switch to a smaller device. The theory of responsive web design is great, but it’s not a silver bullet. When real world constraints and use cases arise it makes responsive design a bit trickier.

    One of the biggest issues that arises is page weight. As Jason Grigsby has said, “we’ve remade the Internet in our own image, which, in the United States, is obese.” Having traditionally relied on the connectivity that ethernet on desktop computers provides, you could sneak by with these bulked up pages. Once you try to send these large pages through the tiny pipes to the tinier screens, page load becomes a major issue for mobile users.

    Performance improvements can be made across the spectrum of design and development. The way responsive design is implemented fundamentally changes traditional design and development practices. Since you can’t comp or wireframe every breakpoint, it causes designers and developers to work more closely together. Even working in tandem in some instances to test and evaluate how the design will adapt as it’s resized.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Aaron Gustafson & Jenn Lukas – Cross-device Adaptive Design » UIE Brain Sparks

    Responsive web design is widely regarded as a must when designing for multiple devices. With just one code base, instead of multiple sites, you can more efficiently make use of your resources. But, how your design looks is only a piece of the overall experience for a user. Having it be able to adapt to different browsers and technology can fully round out the interaction.

    Aaron Gustafson describes adaptive design as layering on the experience. He likens it to a peanut M&M. At the core is a peanut, which is a perfectly acceptable snack. But after layering on chocolate and then a candy shell, it arguably becomes a much more enjoyable experience. Just as on the web, if you have a more capable browser that can support the latest in CSS and HTML. you’ll get a richer experience. But even at its core, your site should work on more stripped down devices.

    Jenn Lukas has noticed that some companies have gone “all-in” on a technology or approach in the past and that ends up making things more difficult in the long run. If, for instance, they’ve invested heavily in Flash or JavaScript it could literally be impossible to reach potential users. Another consideration is speed. If you have a really heavy website, load times on cellular networks could be creating painful experiences for users.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Luke Wroblewski – Mobile as a Medium » UIE Brain Sparks

    “We have to go mobile”. It’s a prevalent phrase in many organizations these days. There’s a clear recognition that mobile is a “thing”. Oftentimes however, exactly what mobile is and the reasons for “going” there aren’t necessarily clear internally. Simply moving your current design to smaller screens or making it responsive without regard to content or context won’t cut it.

    There’s no better person to talk about the trends and direction of mobile than Luke Wroblewski. He’s consistently been at the forefront of the mobile design discussion. Through his books and his various talks, he’s advocated a mobile first approach, focusing on what is absolutely necessary and letting that inform the desktop design.

    Luke says it’s necessary to look at how your service or product is framed in the broader picture. Most are built upon tradition web structures, and then “mobilized” now that smartphone and tablet growth has exploded. He compares the difference between mobile and PC to that of television and radio. You wouldn’t just drop a radio program onto TV without optimizing it for that platform. The same should be considered for mobile as a medium.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. Brad Frost – Creating Responsive Interfaces » UIE Brain Sparks

    Frameworks and design patterns are no strangers in the world of web design. As responsive web design becomes common practice, making sure these templates work across every imaginable screen and device is trickier. There have been attempts to break down page elements in separate modules, but you often never see it fully assembled.

    Brad Frost shares this frustration and introduces Atomic Design as a solution. Borrowing from the metaphor of atoms making up molecules, molecules making up organism and so forth, Brad thinks responsive design needs to be approached deeper than at the page level. Having these individual modules is great, but how do they all fit together?

    Designing in this way allows you to be more deliberate and systematic in your approach. Dividing an interface up creates the ability to stitch webpages together but in a way that builds from an atomic level and you can clearly see how you’ve arrived at the end product. This approach to responsive design, as Brad says, serves to solve problems in a very acute way.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. Ben Callahan – Structuring Your Workflow for Responsive Web Design » UIE Brain Sparks

    As responsive web design becomes more prevalent, our approach to designing for the web is changing. With former assumptions, as dismissive as they may have been, that the web was a fixed width, it was easier to have a more linear workflow. With the need for the web to reconfigure and adapt to different devices and displays, designers and developers need to adapt to changing workflows.

    Ben Callahan of Sparkbox has experienced this changing landscape firsthand. He has found that even down to the core of how they price projects has changed with responsive work. The fact that their development and design process have continued to get more iterative and collaborative has had a ripple effect on all aspects of projects. This has allowed clients to become more involved in the process.

    Ben says that getting the client involved from the beginning helps shape the scope and phases of the project. They try to learn as much as they can to inform what it is they’ll do next. He says that his team has really tried to embrace the idea and approach clients with “The understanding that we know less about your project today, then we will tomorrow”.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. Jason Grigsby – When Responsive Design Meets the Real World » UIE Brain Sparks

    Responsive web design allows the notion of “one web” to be a reality. Designers are increasingly able to sell to their organization the idea of delivering content to multiple platforms. Putting it into practice is another story.

    Jason Grigsby, co-founder of Cloud Four, says that it is easier to sell the idea of responsive web design than to do it well. Simply shifting the layout of your design to fit different screen widths is only half of the battle. Page weight is another consideration.

    A huge part of mobile experience is performance. Though connectivity speeds are increasing on mobile, shrinking your desktop site to fit on a mobile screen isn’t the best option. Jason says that this is an often overlooked aspect of responsive design. Most of the concern is around how a site renders on various devices, but the importance should fall on the entire experience.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. CBC Ideas: The Signal of Noise

    Once long past, listening gave clues for survival. Now we listen unconsciously, blocking noise and tuning in to what we want to hear. Yet the unwanted sounds we filter out tell us a lot about our environment and our lives. Broadcaster Teresa Goff listens for the messages in our walls of sound.

    As civilization has become more mechanized, more urbanized and more digitized, the amount of noise has increased in tandem. This noise, according to Garrett Keizer, author of The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book about Noise , "is a window for understanding some of the paradoxes and contradictions of being human." If you take the sum total of all sounds within any area, what you have is an intimate reflection of the social, technological, and natural conditions of that place.

    Hildegard Westerkamp, a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, says that "Environmental sound is like a spoken word with each sound or soundscape having its own meanings and expressions." So when you listen to the noise, what does it have to tell you? "Noise is a pit of interpretation," says noise musician Brian Chippendale. Broadcaster Teresa Goff goes into the pit with her documentary, The Signal of Noise.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  8. Nathan Curtis – Prototyping with HTML and CSS » UIE Brain Sparks

    Prototyping is an effective way to communicate design ideas. Static PDFs, PSDs, and wireframes can help get your point across but aren’t dynamic. Usually, any necessary changes are logged away as to-dos. They’re then taken back, fixed, and presented again.

    Nathan Curtis and the team at EightShapes are prototyping with HTML and CSS more in their design process. They find that employing these techniques leads to greater efficiency. Changes are updated as they’re being discussed, the team arrives at a consensus, and moves on.

    With many teams transitioning to an Agile development process, prototyping in HTML fits in perfectly. Being able to have discussions and make those design decisions in real time strengthens team cohesion.

    During this podcast, Nathan and Jared Spool discuss prototyping techniques in greater depth. Nathan is also presenting one of the daylong workshops at the User Interface 17 conference in Boston, November 5-7. For more information about Nathan’s and the other workshops, visit

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  9. Karen McGrane – Content Strategy for Mobile » UIE Brain Sparks

    Your content is visible practically everywhere. Content strategists need to structure content to allow for viewing on an array of devices. What does that mean for your content management system? And what do you need to build into your content to make it flexible and adaptable?

    Karen McGrane, author of the upcoming book Content Strategy for Mobile, believes you should deliver great content to wherever your users want to consume it. In her virtual seminar, Content Strategy for Mobile, Karen says that even your organizational structure may need to change in order to facilitate this delivery. There were a ton of great questions from our audience that Karen didn’t have time to answer in the live seminar. She tackles those questions with Adam Churchill in this podcast.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  10. Aaron Gustafson – Adapting Your Designs with Progressive Enhancement » UIE Brain Sparks

    It’s difficult to predict how users will access your designs and your content. More and more, people are connecting to the internet through some sort of mobile device. Using the latest advances in HTML and CSS can leave aspects of your site incompatible with some browsers. How do you ensure that you’re providing a good experience to your users over a broad spectrum of scenarios?

    Aaron Gustafson, author of Adaptive Web Design, believes that progressive enhancement can help. He says that progressive enhancement is a great way to get designers to think about the user first. As he states in the podcast, “the best browser is the one you have with you… so why are you making it impossible for me to do something super simple?”

    Approaching your designs in this way, you avoid putting technical restrictions on your users. You end up delivering a rich experience appropriate to them in their context. You can employ CSS3 and JavaScript to create a robust experience for those who have capable browsers. But you can also remain accessible and able to perform on older browsers or less capable devices.

    In this podcast, Aaron and Jared Spool discuss adaptive web design in more depth. It’s a small taste of the daylong workshop Aaron will be presenting at the User Interface 17 conference in Boston, November 5-7, 2012. Learn more about UI17 at

    —Huffduffed by adactio

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