The Division of Student Affairs Department of Information Technology has just launched a new site. The site is based upon WordPress and uses a very popular theme called Avada by Themefusion, which is billed as the #1 selling WordPress theme in the world. We selected Avada primarily because it is very responsive. But also because the built-in theme feature set is so robust, that you can do almost any type of design without a large amount of custom CSS work. This makes it a good theme for our departmental customers who want to have a sharp looking site without having to wait for IT to mock it up. The site is also integrated into our departmental Twitter feed so stories go out via social media.
Posts Tagged: Design
We’ve all heard it before: good design is hard. Good web design not only has to look amazing, but it also has to be functional, often without the knowledge of what platform or resolution your design is even going to be used on. Responsive web design – a simple concept at its core – gave web designers and developers the opportunity to account for the unknown. We perfected the use of media queries, installed respond.js to account for the IE holdouts and core concepts were adopted.
The basic structure of responsive design is usually a 3-2-1 pattern. Main content and sidebars are eventually reduced to one long vertical column of information on our phones. And while this is responsive web design, it’s disheartening to think that’s all we can do to make our sites work well on all devices. So I want to challenge us all to design beyond the vertical; to think about the other aspects that go into making a well-designed responsive site.
Texas A&M Information Technology recently redesigned Security.tamu.edu thinking mobile first. Our team worked to streamline and reorganize the content to improve readability. The site is divided into articles on big topics like identity theft or protecting confidential information. Each article has an introduction paragraph and sections with clear headings to make the content easy to scan. On mobile devices, the body content is converted into an accordion, which keeps scrolling to a minimum and allows readers to select the topics most relevant to them.
One of the basic arguments when discussing mobile-first design is that content is more important than design. Design has been the primary focus of web design for so long, however, that convincing your stakeholders otherwise may be quite difficult.
This article by Rian van der Merwe explains ways with which to convince stakeholders that they need to think about content before they think about design. As he puts it, to think about the contents of a package before building the package that will hold it.
The College of Education and Human Development just launched their first responsive site this morning at myCEHD.tamu.edu. Anyone with a NetID can log in, but it is primarily for their faculty, staff and students. This is the first site of five that the college plans on launching by the end of the fall semester. The site was on Drupal 7 using a basic responsive theme that was customized to meet their needs.