As someone who’s been thinking about responsive design theory and building fluid CSS grids with media queries for the last six months or so, I began to notice that I was spending a lot of time and effort massaging my media queries to get things to scale nicely.
In his presentation at An Event Apart in Atlanta, GA 2011 Ethan Marcotte talked about applying responsive web design principles and workflows to the redesign of a major newspaper Web site. Here's my notes from his talk on The Responsive Designer’s Workflow:
The fact is that responsive web design costs more…than doing nothing. Sure, you could continue building sites the old fashioned way and ignore the multitude of web-enabled devices accessing the web now and in the future. But this is 2012. At the very least a web experience should have at least some mobile consideration, and at the very most a site should be full-on mobile optimized.
Suite à quelques expérimentations personnelles concernant les performances de chargement des ressources sur smartphones et tablettes, j’en suis venu à reconsidérer ma première méthode de ciblage des...
A core tenet of Responsive Web Design (RWD) is fluidity and proportion. Instead of using fixed-width layouts, we enlightened web devs and designers use percentages in our CSS. Font units aren’t pixels or points anymore, they’re percentages (typically for top-level baseline reset) or, more often, ems.
The truth is that fluid grids are broken. Well… perhaps just cracked a bit. Responsive Web design, as Ethan Marcotte defines it, is simply a fluid grid, fluid images and media queries. But fluid grids have a dirty little secret: rounding errors. As we lay out our columns in percentages, browsers have to translate that into actual device pixels to fit in the viewport. And Chrome, Safari, other WebKit browsers, Opera, and the usual suspects (IE 6 and 7) all produce “errors”.
It’s our job, as designers and developers, to pick apart even the seemingly most simple tasks to find ways to improve them. When Ethan Marcotte coined “responsive web design,” he said that a responsive website is made up of three things: a flexible grid, flexible images and media, and media queries. In doing so, he opened up a world of new and exciting things to obsess over. I chose flexible images.
As the web landscape becomes increasingly complex, it’s becoming extremely important to deliver solid web experiences to a growing number of contexts. Thankfully, responsive web design gives web creators some tools for making layouts that respond to any screen size. We’ll use fluid grids, flexible images and media queries to get the layout looking great regardless of the size of the device’s screen dimensions
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