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RWD: Your Only Mobile Strategy?

You May Be Losing Users If Responsive Web Design Is Your Only Mobile Strategy

You resize the browser and a smile creeps over your face. You’re happy: You think you are now mobile-friendly, that you have achieved your goals for the website. Let me be a bit forward before getting into the discussion: You are losing users and probably money if responsive web design is your entire goal and your only solution for mobile. The good news is that you can do it right.

In this article, we’ll cover the relationship between the mobile web and responsive design, starting with how to apply responsive design intelligently, why performance is so important in mobile, why responsive design should not be your website’s goal, and ending with the performance issues of the technique to help us understand the problem.

Designers and developers have been oversimplifying the problem of mobile since 2000, and some people now think that responsive web design is the answer to all of our problems.

We need to understand that, beyond any other goal, a mobile web experience must be lightning fast. Delivering a fast, usable and compatible experience to all mobile devices has always been a challenge, and it’s no different when you are implementing a responsive technique. Embracing performance from the beginning is easier.

Responsive web design is great, but it’s not a silver bullet. If it’s your only weapon for mobile, then a performance problem might be hindering your conversion rate. Around 11% of the websites are responsive, and the number is growing every month, so now is the time to talk about this.

According to Guy Podjarny’s research, 72% of responsive websites deliver the same number of bytes regardless of screen size, even on slow mobile network connections. Not all users will wait for your website to load.

ineresting, and a good read as far as responsive web design and mobile goes… though as often the case, it’s usually easier said than done — but even accomplishing one good mobile optimization is pretty damn good in my book, and usually worth it.

i’d still love a nice, simple, clean way of serving up different sized images based on desktop/tablet/phone requests.

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Foo.Refresh()

that’s right ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to bring the sexy back!

it’s the one thing i’ve missed the most since porting my blog over from my old Coldfusion hand-coded blog (that served me pretty damn well for about a decade, which still trips me out) to wordpress — the ajaxed side-comments.

i’ve heard it over and over again these last few months, and never really gave up on trying to bring that back… there’s a few ajax comment plugins out there, but nothing really was exactly what i needed which kinda sucked… anwyho, here’s a quick theme i slapped together this past week, one that brings back the comments to side of the blog post — a format that i’ve been using for years now.

simple and clean.

 

special thanks
two big thumbs-up to my buddy, bradley, for his help on getting the ajax-comments working in WP… i gave it a stab, but was getting kinda frustrated, so i pinged him the other day and he jumped all over it… fucking awesome, i owe ya dude!

p.s. this one’s definitely a work in progress…

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HACKATHONG

i’m about 10 hours into the latest hackathon here @addthis and have been heads down coding away like a madman… already got my projects prototype styled and coded up for the most part, so i’m feeling pretty damn good about that at the moment — of course, i can’t really say or show anything, but it’s looking pretty sweet so far.

on a sidenote: my site was down most of the day, still not quite sure what the dealio is… so just a heads up that it might go down again as my buddy ron tries to sort it all out… damn man, both the PSN and Xbox network went down today, my site went down, not sure what the hell is in the air of late.

update: it’s 12:16am and i’m still crank’n along…

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Design Trends We Love To Hate

The software design trends that we love to hate

One of the common UI elements ushered in by iOS 7 is the button that doesn’t look like a button at all (and Google is moving in that direction with the Android L release). Touch-oriented interfaces tend to be a little too subtle about how to navigate them to begin with, but iOS’s new favorite trick of making the thing you’re supposed to click into highlighted, or sometimes not-highlighted, text means I’m prodding at my screen a lot more often now with too little or too much to show for it. And because the OS isn’t consistent about how it identifies buttons, I can’t build a reflex in response to certain colors or fonts. I’m always experimentally clicking around and sometimes ruining things.

Daring Fireball highlighted this problem a while ago with the short-lived blog UX Critique, which pointed out that a number of UI elements in iOS 7 are buttons masquerading as text, and sometimes vice versa. The blog shows, for instance, a screen for editing an audio file where the world “Trim” appears twice, one is a button, one is a title, and the only difference between them is one’s text is just a hair thicker.

some good ones in there… such as bitching about the ALL CAPS menus, which gave me a chuckle.

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What Not To Say To A Graphics Designer

i couldn’t help but get a bit of a chuckle reading — and thinking — about some of these… sure some of you guys know the feel well, too.

(hat tip: zerouno)

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The World Cup Goes Flat

Redesigning The World Cup 2014 Brazil

From a football perspective this is a great World Cup, but from a designers perspective it’s not that great. Please let us explain: The World Cup of 2014 in Brazil is at it’s peak, and so far we have simply been spoiled with great goals and surprising outcomes. But when it comes to the visual way of games appearing on our TV screens, we can’t hide the fact that we’re disappointed in the outcome.

To begin with, we’ve all seen the World Cup 2014 brazil’s unpleasant logo. To quote designer Felix Sockwell, “the fingers are frog-shaped, and the gradients are ham-fisted”. In addition to that, the bevel is making it look smudgy and quite old school. continue…

i’m loving the more modern “flat” design to the world cup broadcast elements… almost makes you wonder why they didn’t roll with something like this to begin with, especially given the enormous popularity and viewership around the world.

good stuff.

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Foo.Refresh()

i got the urge for a bit of a change around here, which is a pretty normal thing for me — many of you regulars that still visit after all these years and this slightly new domain can attest to, i’m sure — so figured i’d try out a new theme, since i’m now running with wordpress and all… snagged a theme, then spent the last couple days modifying and tweak’n it out a bit.

this theme’s a little more modern, with the “timeline” style that facebook (and others) have made popular — so figured i’d give it a try around here… digging it so far, but most of all i’m starting to like the different blog formats such as image, video, quote, etc… think i’ll start using those more.

still would like to get some slick ajax-commenting going on around here — same as on Google+, for example — but figure i’ll eventually find or figure something out.

oh, and i finally added back the about and babesNSFW pages. *g*

anywho, let me know what you think mang.

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Google’s New ‘Material Design’

Google’s New, Improved Android Will Deliver A Unified Design Language

Today, at the Super Bowl for Google news, Google I/O, the company rolled out the latest version of its mobile OS, Android L, which is almost entirely predicated around the final step in its amazing design evolution: a formalized, unified design language across all their products, platforms, and devices called “Material Design.”

Last year, we realized that Google had unofficially embraced the humble index card across their apps. This year, under their Material Design thesis, they’ve taken this idea to extremes. Cards are no longer just generic windows that fit inside any interface. Cards are the interface, sewn together like an elastic, patchwork quilt. They appear on screen with depth (thanks to liberal, but tasteful, use of drop shadow), and enable constant, seamless transitions to anything you want to do. Tap an email, a card grows. Tap it again, a card shrinks. And on top of all this virtual paper, Google has constructed precanned animations that sprinkle another layer of color and physics wherever you touch.

i’m digging the new Chrome 38 Introduces a Responsive Design View

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A Designer’s Nightmare

A User In Total Control Is A Designer’s Nightmare

How do you balance the creative control you give to the users, the usability of the product they make with your tool and the flexibility of that tool?

We designers have always had a problem of handing over creative control to the general population — the basic users. There are two reasons for this. The first is obvious: We are the ones who are supposed to know the principles of design and usability. Some of us were born with this feeling of what feels and looks right, while other designers have learned it — at least good designers eventually have.

The second reason is that, unlike users, we see the world in another way. We see what can be done to improve the things we use every day. For example, we might remember a restaurant not by its name or location, but by its poorly chosen typeface for the logo, as Tobias Frere-Jones recalls in the movie Helvetica.

In simple words, designers should be the ones who know what’s right and should know how to fix it when it’s not.

you know a good article or post when you find yourself sitting down and actually reading through the whole thing — especially on your phone.

good stuff.

Hey, designers, there’s a thing called guidelines

#powerpointrules!

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Jonathan Ive on Apple’s Design Process

Jonathan Ive on Apple’s Design Process and Product Philosophy

When Steven P. Jobs led Apple, he created a core principle for the company’s designers and engineers: stay fully focused on making great products.

That philosophy continues to guide Apple, even under its new chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, says Jonathan Ive, the company’s head of design. Mr. Ive, who rarely speaks publicly, said in an recent interview for an article about Apple under Mr. Cook that the company’s design processes remained unchanged, vibrant and healthy. An edited transcript of the interview follows.

Q. What does innovation culture look like at Apple under Tim Cook? How has it changed, if at all?

A. Innovation at Apple has always been a team game. It has always been a case where you have a number of small groups working together. The industrial design team is a very small team. We’ve worked together, most for 15 or 20 years.

That’s a fairly typical story here: Creative teams are small and very focused. One of the underlying characteristics is being inquisitive and being curious. Some of those personal attributes and hallmarks haven’t changed at all.

Often when I talk about what I do, making isn’t just this inevitable function tacked on at the end. The way we make our products is certainly equally as demanding and requires so much definition. I design and make. I can’t separate those two.

This is part of Steve’s legacy. Deep in the culture of Apple is this sense and understanding of design, developing and making. Form and the material and process – they are beautifully intertwined – completely connected. Unless we understand a certain material — metal or resin and plastic — understanding the processes that turn it from ore, for example – we can never develop and define form that’s appropriate. Continue…

Sir Jonathan Ive, just gotta luv the guy.

Tim Cook, Making Apple His Own

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Jeff’s New Theme

looks like my friend jeffe rolled out a new blog theme — personally i dig the “card” style/themes and have thought about snagging one myself.

aside from dig’n the popular card style, i guess the only thing i have with it is that you have to click each one to read the blog post… though you have to do that with most blogs, really.

anywho, nice one jeffe.

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The New AddThis

we just rolled out a big release this morning over at addthis.com — whole new design, swapping out the old 960 css grid with bootstrap and re-coded from the ground up, sunsetting (removing) old pages, cleaning up the site IA so it’s a lot more leaner… yup, this is what i’ve been busy doing for the past 6 weeks or more.

The new AddThis homepage

another big part of this release is opening up the new Dashboard to all users… before you only got the new dash if you were a “pro” user, but now we opened it up to everybody — i put an assload of work into this, especially going back and recoding/restyling things and making it more mobile friendly (iphone/ipad) with this iteration of it.

The AddThis Dashboard

this was more of a bonus — worked on it on the side, really — but i also redesigned the addthis blog so that it’s more inline with the new site design.

Updated AddThis Blog Design

check it out and lemme know what you guys think!

personally, i’m just stoked to finally get this one done and out the door… been cranking away most evenings and weekends for awhile now it feels like, so it’ll be damn nice to get some of my free time back. heh.

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Some Free Icons

i was looking around for some line icons to use on a project, and found a few free sets that i thought were pretty cool… figured if i find it usefoo, maybe it’s worth a quick blog post.

Odincons 1.0

here’s a few more i found:

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Making Good Design Decisions

i’ve been neck deep in a bit of a redesign, but even with most of my time being spent working on it, i still try to keep an eye open for interesting web design articles — Making Good Design Decisions

There’s a popular misconception that NASA spent millions in a failed attempt to create a space pen while the Russians just used pencils. The implication is that good design is simple in the sense that it is simplistic or obvious.

Simple design is often simple for the user but complicated for the creator. They really do use pens in space. It turns out pencils don’t perform well in space because wood and lead shavings in a zero-gravity, oxygen-rich environment can be dangerous for both fire and as debris. The true story of the space pen is that it was not a failure, wasn’t designed by NASA, and wasn’t even designed for space. The space pens’ design goals were ink that wasn’t exposed to air so it wouldn’t dry up, didn’t rely on gravity so it wouldn’t leak, and could write underwater and function at temperatures ranging from -30 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The pen turned out to also be well-designed for space and was renamed to the space pen. continue…

here’s another good one: streamlining mobile interactions

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