As a web designer or site owner, you owe it to your customers to offer a place on the web they can visit to learn more about you, on the device of their choice. Sites that display only one way are doing to be missing out on a LOT of potential visitors, especially as the smart phones, tablets and iPad’s take center stage in the mobile users world.
So, if you aren’t thinking about it, now is definitely the time.
Your site, your brand and your web presence can no longer just be a fixed width site (or blog) that only displays if the device is 960 x 1000 minimum width. That smart phone your savvy customer is using might be the first impression you make. Make it poorly, and you’ve lost them.
Within the web design world, there are a few *buzz words* being tossed around. Liquid Layout. Fluid Design. Responsive Sites. They all mean essentially the same thing. Change the way the content displays, depending on the device doing the viewing.
Liquid or fluid layouts change width based on the user’s unique device viewing size. Elastic layouts change width based on the user’s unique text size. Responsive is just another word for Liquid Design.
Both types of flexible design offer clear benefits to users, who can view sites at sizes that work for their needs, but they can pose challenges to web designers who are used to perfect pixel control. Still, when planned and constructed correctly, flexible layouts can be visually appealing and reasonably easy to build. And the concepts and techniques of flexible web design can benefit fixed-width CSS designs too, as designers learn how to design for the inherent flexibility of the web, instead of the rigid qualities of print media or grid-based layouts.
Towards that goal, I just purchased Flexible Web Design: Creating Liquid and Elastic Layouts with CSS by Zoe Gillenwater. I read the first 50 pages within a few minutes of downloading it to my Kindle reader on my iPad (yep, I am a mobile consumer as well).
Already I am impressed with her style, ease of explanation and clear thinking. It’s a project based book (my personal preference) because it will allow me to work through real live examples as I learn it. This reenforces the new material, converting it to long term memory (good for us old folks) much faster.
So, watch for some new projects coming out, and probably a conversion of my blog theme. Are you a do it yourselfer? Go get the book and we can chat about the concepts. Looking forward to hearing from you.