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Is it possible for us to “design once, display
everywhere,” as the title of our July 27 webinar asked? Well, no. Not exactly.
Responsive web design is, more than anything, about context, and different
contexts may require unique solutions. This idea formed the basis of our
discussion in the third event in AIGA and Adobe’s webinar series, “Breakthroughs: Where Inspiration and Technology Meet.”
Responsive design, as a
philosophy, existed long before web designers practiced it, historically in the
design of cars (anti-lock brakes, airbags, remote-control entry, for example)
and more recently in the field of architecture. The premise, really, is
designing machines, systems and structures that anticipate and respond to the
needs of humans, rather than humans trying to adapt to various constraints. The
field of human-factors engineering focuses on this premise; increasingly,
designers of every discipline are influenced by findings in this field.
For our purposes, though, and in order to
present AIGA members with a concrete, familiar example on which to build a
foundation, we focused on responsive web design via a bite-sized design/build
example. Dan Mall, our featured designer, took us on a quick journey through
the basic elements of responsive web design, as outlined in Ethan Marcotte’s book of the same name. We discussed media queries, grids and flexible images,
then watched as Dan created an example—playfully turning your webinar
presenters into a rock band, The Responsives—illustrating each of these
elements through descriptive code snippets and screen captures.
Scott Fegette from Adobe provided great insight
for designers in general when it comes to designing responsively: his key words,
“let go,” have been a theme throughout our series. To see what works, sometimes
you have to break things. Print designers have much to bring to the table. The
principles of good layout, typography and visual hierarchy are more important
than ever as we design for new contexts and devices. But realizing you don’t
have control over every detail in the final product is something today’s
designer needs to be very comfortable with. Designing responsively is a perfect
lesson in not letting the perfect be enemy of the good. He also gave us good
tips on how to integrate responsive web design techniques using Dreamweaver. To become fluent with any kind of design
language—which, in a sense, is what responsive web design is—takes a lot of
practice, failing often and fast until you reach success. To help you quickly
on your way to becoming fluent in these techniques, here are some helpful resources recommended by The Responsives.
The next AIGA-members-only “Breakthroughs” presentation will take place on September 21, when we discuss how publishing is being reinvented in the age of the iPad. Pre-registration and speaker information will be provided by AIGA shortly!
Great designers need more than good ideas to succeed. In this exclusive members-only webinar series, visionary
designers pair with Adobe experts to offer guidance to help lead
you to your next breakthrough.
Section: Tools and Resources -
Designing websites is getting more and more complex, from design considerations to technical and functional approaches. What are the technologies designers can use to create successful web experiences, regardless of context? Join moderator Callie Neylan in a discussion with Dan Mall of Big Spaceship and Scott Fegette of Adobe for the third in the “Breakthroughs” series of members-only webinars.
What do you call a designer who designs for devices? Lucky! Callie Neylan shares this and other conversation highlights from “Devices Everywhere,” the
second in AIGA and Adobe’s “Breakthroughs” webinar series.
Section: Inspiration -
interaction design, ux design, professional development, digital media
Who gave the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz his aura? Hearn argues that the illustrator who made the character was a character himself.
Section: Inspiration -
Remember when summer vacation meant three months of care-free days? The AIGA Baltimore board members remember, too, so we’re taking this July off for some much needed R&R. We'll see you in August, though!
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