May 29, 2013

Mobile first presentation for designers and developers, June 5 3:00 p.m.

Communicator Designer Developer Manager

Join the Texas A&M Mobile Team for an on-campus presentation, “Best of both worlds: How to think like a designer, work like a developer.” Gain insights from two designers with different backgrounds and approaches who embraced mobile-first design. Learn how the design process fits into the new responsive website paradigm.

When: Wednesday, June 5, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Q&A follows the presentation)
Where: Rudder 601
Speakers: Laura Root and Xavier Porter, graphic designers with Texas A&M Information Technology

Who should attend: Experienced and novice designers, developers and communicators. Anyone who wants to learn more about going mobile.

Takeaways: How to integrate RWD into your team process. The importance of wireframes. Helpful tools and resources for designers and developers.

May 14, 2013

Adaptive Content – Think differently about your content

Communicator Developer

This article from Webdesigner Depot makes some very good points regarding how content is handled in a responsive, mobile-first web design. One of the key ideas are that websites no longer consist of “pages,” but instead consist of a series of object that are assembled into a page. The article is primarily focused on WordPress, but the concept is transferable to most any CMS you want to use.

May 9, 2013

Everything’s changing

Communicator Designer Developer

For a (frequently hilarious) gallery of mobile fail, the appropriately-named WTF Mobile Web site is a good way to waste an hour (and maybe learn from someone else’s mistakes at the same time). Mostly it’s a simple blog of screenshots from websites or apps that just don’t handle mobile devices very well. Check it out.

However, buried in the “About” page for this little blog is a very perceptive summary of the challenges that mobile devices create for web designers:

The problem isn’t any one person. The problem is that we’ve all been doing this thing called Making a Website for a long time in a particular way. And now everything is changing. Sure some developers are resistant to learning new things, but most developers are interested, excited and willing. But this isn’t a problem that you can fix by just switching out which bit of code to use. It’s bigger than that. Content strategy, design, business all have to change. The fundamental way in which people work together to plan and coordinate the creation of a website has to change. It’s not easy to go into work one day and say to a big team, “Hey, uh, we need to restructure our design process and completely change what we are doing with our mobile web strategy. Uh, why? Yeah, just because.”

From the What’s Up With This Site? page on WTF Mobile Web.

Apr 29, 2013

Shame on you…for creating all of those hacks!


Hello everyone.  My name is Xavier and I sometimes … add hacks to my CSS. I thought I should be the first to admit this. You don’t do this? Are you sure? Well, if you have ever used !important or overflow:hidden to “fix” a quick problem to get the site out of the door, then yes, you hacked your CSS instead of figuring out the problem.

I found this article by Harry Roberts and thought it quite funny, and convicting and true at the same time. He suggests separating our quick, dirty and tacky CSS into a new file named “shame.css” instead of keeping it in our well-defined CSS.  He states:

By putting your bodges, hacks and quick-fixes in their own file you do a few things:

  1. You make them stick out like a sore thumb.
  2. You keep your ‘main’ codebase clean.
  3. You make developers aware that their hacks are made very visible.
  4. You make them easier to isolate and fix.
  5. $ git blame shame.css.

I think I will do this on my next project.