Philip Northeast's Web Design Tips

Responsive Web Design

The new buzz in the web world is  Responsive  Design.   The popularity and increasing power of mobile devices  results in  more people using them to access web pages.

Google is encouraging web masters to make their sites  easy to view on  smaller platforms.  Also many  visitors from around the world use their mobile devices to view my sites, so it was an obvious thing to do.  I am one of the people who use their  smart phones  to  read web pages. So embracing Responsive Web Design is a natural progression.  This also reflects my own frustrations with sites that do not fit a mobile screen, and consequently require sideways scrolling and zooming to read the articles.  

Even on larger tablets with touch screens navigation is a problem, unless the design allows extra space around the menu elements.  I now apply this to article lists as well as the main menu items.

Developers usually use the larger screens while many readers use much smaller screens for the web

Developers usually use the larger screens while many readers use much smaller screens for the web

Another of my pet hates is too much advertising in with the content. Particularly on designs intended for mobile devices, the ads  just get in the way. On larger desktop views you can tuck the ads off to the side so they are visible, but not intrusive. This means  the advertising on my sites is less obvious on mobile devices than some other sites.

The photographs caused considerable angst, particularly for the  WordPress based designs.  WordPress exerts some control of the final image sizes. In a Responsive Web Design for a web site based on straight HTML the image size is linked via the Cascading Style Sheet  (CSS)  to the size of the display.  When  WordPress  is managing the content extra steps are needed to make the images, and their attached captions, resize properly to suit the viewing device. This took time away from providing new articles.  Now with that major hurdle  overcome we can get back to writing.