I teach at a middle school in the southeastern U.S. located in an area plagued with grinding poverty. The kids on the football team wear t-shirts with the slogan "From Nothing to Something," a brand that I find somewhat disturbing. Are these kids "nothing" before they join the football team, or before they come to our school?
But the slogan does apply to the idea of learning any new discipline or art: you start with "nothing" and after a time (hopefully) you achieve "something" — whether it is to become an accomplished web designer, web developer, a painter, or an auto mechanic.
Web professionals have been getting pretty excited lately, and it’s no surprise why. The latest spawn of Microsoft’s browser, Internet Explorer 9, has just been released. Many people have been talking about the changes and whether the latest version is a solid step forward, or if it’s too little, too late.
Responsive web design is undoubtedly a hot topic in web design right now. To some degree, the popularity of the concept of responsive web design is well deserved because site users are increasingly diversifying their methods of accessing a website. iPad, iPhone, Android mobile devices, desktops, netbooks — we’re in a time where our web designs must function in a multitude number of ways.
Let us explore the meaning and principles behind responsive web design.
Details make a world of difference when distinguishing between ordinary and extraordinary.
A luxury car may have the same number of wheels, seats, windows and doors as a traditional vehicle, but what sets it apart from the competition is the time spent on the details. Heated leather seats, a push-to-start engine, keyless entry, automated parking and extensive digital consoles add value to an expensive, new car.
During the browser wars, interesting problems presented themselves to the web design community. Many web professionals resorted to drastic measures and built separate websites for IE and Netscape — and later we had wireless markup language (WML) for mobile phones. This was because of inconsistent rendering and poorly implemented standards, and it was a means of avoiding the ugly hacking that was otherwise necessary.
This practice has evolved over the years (take print-friendly pages, for example), but the modern web almost shuns the practice entirely.
When I was in school, I fell in love with the same girl twice. Her name was Frances, and she looked something like Hillary Duff, only with short hair, less eye makeup, and more class. I’m not sure she ever knew I existed. I developed a massive crush on her in eighth grade, followed her around the halls between classes ("She takes English! She must really be smart!"), and never, ever told my friends about her. That would have spoiled it.
At the end of the day, the quality of a web design can only really be measured quantitatively in the results it brings a site. As they say, results speak for themselves.
Being a web analyst for more than four years now and regularly working side-by-side with a designer, the biggest thing I have learned is Data identifies the problem and Design solves it.