Personal reasons, for sure (don’t decide to get married within 6 months without thinking it’s another part-time job!). But also professional, since the very visible Dev.Opera webtech blog (run by Opera Software, yes, the web browser) offered Sophie Taboni (you know her for other stuff) and myself to write a full blog post about the fight we’re fighting: Responsive Web Design issues in feature design and project management.
Here’s a short extract to get you interested, but nothing will give you the taste of it like reading it fully on Opera.dev !
What strikes many people about responsive web design, the first time they hear about it, is the simplicity of the syntax. As Rich Quick said in his recent talk at Front Row to introduce the basic concepts:
“it’s all roughly about learning one single line of CSS code!”
Of course, it would be unthinkable for any self-respecting web geek to hear about this and not immediately try to manipulate that one magical line of CSS code everyone is talking about to the limit! What most of us discover then is that after the quick technical introduction there’s an ocean of best practices to learn. These are covered rather nicely by Ethan Marcotte’s now classic Responsive Web Design book and several good online resources, including the rather good Love your devices: adaptive web design with media queries, viewport and more by Chris Mills, on this very website.
This is where many people stop. After all, many of the challenges with responsive design are fairly similar, regardless of project size and budget. There are, however, additional challenges to consider on large projects, which are too rarely addressed: this article will aim to address those.
These challenges mainly have their origins in how the usual roles and profiles on a project blur on larger projects, with graphic designers having to understand HTML, or front-end developers ending up making design choices. These problems are solved by assigning roles to everyone on a project team more wisely, and finding ways to communicate through the team that fit the end result better. But before we mention that further, perhaps we should ask ourselves a few basic questions.