Sep 19, 2014

Designing Beyond the Vertical

Designer

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.

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

Dec 2, 2013

Convincing your boss to go mobile: Sometimes the truth hurts

Designer Manager

The Go Mobile team’s recent focus group and survey revealed making departmental websites mobile friendly is not a high priority for management. A respondent said tools were needed to “help convince my leadership that this needs to be done now and not just soon.” Here are a few ways you might approach this problem.

“[Insert name of top competitor]’s website is already mobile friendly”
Look at peer institution websites (vision2020.tamu.edu/peer-institutions) to see how far along they are in going mobile. If your top competitors are already mobile friendly, your department is falling behind. If many aren’t mobile friendly, your department has an opportunity to become a leader in this area.

“Students hate our website”
Survey students within your majors about whether the current site adequately supports access from mobile devices. Take the opportunity to find out what content is the most important to students, which will be helpful when redesigning your site.

“The latest website redesign was in the last century”
A Chanel suit is timeless. A website design, not so much. In your survey, ask students about how they feel about the website’s design. Results may help your leadership understand an outmoded, poorly designed site speaks more powerfully in a negative way than they thought.

“Faculty hate our website, too”
This could pose some difficulties in obtaining information, so you may need to be a bit “sneakier.” For example, if your department is conducting a job search, ask the committee chair if the website shows the department in the best light. The current site may not be meeting faculty needs for reasons other than lack of mobile friendliness.

We know having a great website isn’t one of the metrics by which your department is assessed. However, it is a very important tool that helps departments achieve their goals.

Jul 10, 2013

Content-first thinking

Communicator

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.

http://www.elezea.com/2013/07/content-first/

Jun 17, 2013

Resources from Go Mobile RWD Clinic

Developer

Resources that were discussed in the RWD Clinic on Friday, June 14, 2013:

WordPress resources

Responsive tables

Other resources mentioned