Being Responsive

After making Visualgui responsive, I changed Simplexpression to fit various screen resolutions. I must admit. I am a bit late in adapting this technique because I never liked fluid layout. I preferred the columns to stay fixed and the images to size exactly the way I cropped them, but the web is changing and designing for a specific resolution doesn’t cut it anymore.

Just a few hours before the new went live, Andy Clark made a bold statement:

Today, anything that’s fixed and unresponsive isn’t web design, it’s something else. If you don’t embrace the inherent fluidity of the web, you’re not a web designer, you’re something else.

Then Jeremy Keith charmed in:

Increasingly, I’m getting that feeling whenever I visit a website that doesn’t respond to the size and capabilities of my browser. If I get handed a crawlbar, I try to understand the reason for it but more often than not, it’s simply a sign that the website has been built by someone with a non-web, print-based, fixed-canvas mentality. It feels …wrong.

I am not worshipping the ground these guys spit on, but I do recognize the changes in the web game. While desktops are getting larger and larger, we can’t ignore small mobile screens. The web is moving into two opposite directions; therefore, web design is no longer contained in a box. As a result, the site needs to adapt itself to whatever screens the users are browsing on. Thanks to the new CSS3 Media Queries, making responsive web design doesn’t take up too much effort. As a designer, I find it intriguing to see how a site flows to the browser window. My new guilty pleasure of surfing a site is to pull the bottom right corner of Safari to see if I get a crawlbar.

If you want to see examples of responsive web design, check out Media Queries. As someone who works for the University, I would love to see high-ed web sites adapting to responsive design. Big up to Sewanee for leading the effort. My future clients will of course benefit from this new technique. I think it will be an easy persuasion. Who wouldn’t want a web site to display perfectly on multiple screen resolutions?