Dec 6, 2013

Sign up for no-charge, responsive web design training

Communicator Designer Developer Manager Resource Center

Due to high demand, the Texas A&M Mobile team is providing another session of the hands-on responsive web design workshop. This training is offered at no charge to A&M System employees. Lunch and training materials will be provided. Please bring your laptop.

When: January 27, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: General Services Complex, Room 101 B&C

Register: https://secure.touchnet.com/C21490_ustores/web/store_cat.jsp?STOREID=190&CATID=341.

Hurry! Enrollment is limited to 20 seats.

See the training agenda and schedule. Please send questions to it-coms@tamu.edu.

 

Download the resources needed for the class: RWD Workshop Resources

Nov 21, 2013

Why mobile first?

Designer Developer

If you’re new to the concept of mobile first, its simply the practice of designing and developing websites starting with the mobile experience.

Hearing the term mobile-first a couple years ago, I thought how dumb, web surfing is best done on a huge monitor!  We should just give the one or two mobile users out there separate mobile sites.

Two years and several responsive sites later, I get it.

The growth of mobile has been discussed before, so lets cover other benefits.

Using a mobile first approach improves:

  • Mobile experience (duh) – mobile becomes first priority instead of an afterthought
  • Content – the small screen compels us to write concise content that is focused on user needs
  • Accessibility – screen readers and mobile browsers thrive on clean, semantic html
  • Usability – simplifying our interfaces and prioritizing content over navigation leads to sites that are easier to use
  • Speed – the constraints of mobile bring us to remove unnecessary cruft; reducing ornamentation, graphics and fancy javascript makes everything faster
  • Development time – starting small and adding features for larger screens results in leaner code

Where to go from here

We have a few points on how to think mobile first under the Go Mobile strategy page. Then definitely read Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski. Everything here is rehashing ideas from Luke’s book.

Oct 15, 2013

Flexbox – True layout properties for CSS without a framework

Developer

We have tried everything to tame the elusive HTML layouts. We began with tables, then divs using CSS floats and even changing the display property but nothing was easy without a number of hacks and feats of magic.

Now entering, Flexbox! The flexbox module is a collection of wonderful new CSS properties that I’ve been excited about since I came across it on www.css-tricks.com and even more so, when I attended a workshop at the WebVisionEvents conference in May. It is the true layout module in CSS without a framework.

Oct 4, 2013

Redirects on and to mobile sites (are evil)

Developer

Over the next year our group plans to rebuild both the university main web site and the mobile web site. One of the discussions that came up was whether to detect the user’s device on both sites and route mobile devices hitting www.tamu.edu to the mobile site and desktop users hitting m.tamu.edu to the full site. Based on the behavior that I have seen on many university sites this is a discussion that takes place throughout higher ed. Many get it wrong. The answer, of course, is an emphatic NO!

For the philosophic reasoning, let me first go back to what I consider the central truism of our job.

Sep 2, 2013

On-campus responsive web design training at no charge

Communicator Designer Developer Manager Resource Center

Join the Texas A&M Mobile Team for a practical, hands-on workshop on implementing a responsive website. The no-charge one-day course will be offered on two separate days to accommodate interested participants. Please bring your laptop. Lunch and training materials provided. Training is open to members of The Texas A&M University System.

When: September 19 OR October 23, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: General Services Complex, Room 101 B&C

Register: https://secure.touchnet.com/C21490_ustores/web/store_cat.jsp?STOREID=190&CATID=341. Hurry! Enrollment is limited to 20 seats per session.

See the training agenda and schedule. Please send questions to it-coms@tamu.edu.