May 26, 2016

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Buying generic cialis A school of influential web designers are pioneering ‘Responsive Web Design’ as a way to render content on different types of browser screens. Buying generic cialis They must fix the fledgling technique’s technical faults before it propagates into the wild. Buying generic cialis And it is certainly not yet worthy of its name: designers must think beyond the glass of a screen and build experiences that respond to the humans beyond it.

A little while ago, buying generic cialis renowned web designer Ethan Marcotte wrote an article on the popular web design site A List Apart. This seminal article is titled ‘Responsive Web Design’, buying generic cialis and has seemingly been very well read and much admired.

Buying generic cialis ‘Seminal’ because it proposes that sites should challenge many of the established conventions that have been prevalent in contemporary web design: rather than exclusively using a fixed print-like grid, buying generic cialis for example, buying generic cialis sites should be more fluid and flexible with respect to screen size. Buying generic cialis (Of course this is how all web pages used to work in the mid-1990s, buying generic cialis so the concept’s novelty is probably dependent upon the age of the beholder.)

Buying generic cialis In case it isn’t obvious, buying generic cialis there has never been a single screen size upon which web sites should be expected to render: computer screens and browser viewports have always come in a range of sizes. Buying generic cialis But now, buying generic cialis the obvious logic goes, buying generic cialis the big screens are getting bigger, buying generic cialis the small (ie. Buying generic cialis mobile) screens more popular, buying generic cialis and a huge host of new browsing form factors – from tablets to car dashboards – are radically reshaping the web’s diverse physical canvas.

Buying generic cialis By building sites which can respond to these different screen sizes using open standards, buying generic cialis the chances of it looking nice on all of, buying generic cialis say, buying generic cialis a regular laptop, buying generic cialis a tablet, buying generic cialis a games console, buying generic cialis and a 27″ cinema screen are greatly increased.

Buying generic cialis The real novelty of Mr Marcotte’s argument is not that you should find and remove all the fixed {width:960px} rules from your stylesheets, buying generic cialis but that you can use CSS Media Queries to selectively apply styling rules based on certain criteria. Buying generic cialis This allows you to have a page layout which changes as a function of browser screen size. Buying generic cialis (The properties available for evaluation in media queries are exclusively related to screen display dimensions and color capabilities.)

Buying generic cialis Take these two renderings of ‘The Baker Street Inquirer’, buying generic cialis for example:

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Buying generic cialis In the narrower example on the right, buying generic cialis the title decoration changes, buying generic cialis the menu items rise to the top of the page, buying generic cialis the images appear in twos instead of threes, buying generic cialis and so on.

Buying generic cialis This looks fantastic. Apart from being a lovely piece of graphic design, buying generic cialis viewers also know that this page will look good in their desktop browser whichever size they have it set at, buying generic cialis and they won’t have to risk lots of empty space on each side (on a too-large window), buying generic cialis or lots of left-to-right scrolling (on a too-narrow window) – both concerns when a browser’s viewport doesn’t match a web designer’s assumption.

Buying generic cialis Six months on, buying generic cialis the fruits of this article are starting to ripen. Buying generic cialis The good, buying generic cialis the great, buying generic cialis and the brilliant of the web design world obviously read it and took every word of it to heart. Buying generic cialis Two oft-discussed examples are Simon Collison’s and dConstruct 2010’s web sites: narrow your browser window on both to see the magic happen.

Buying generic cialis More recently, buying generic cialis Jeremy Keith is notably flying the responsive flag, buying generic cialis and has designed a number of sites (and redesigned his own) using a similar approach. Buying generic cialis Just last week, buying generic cialis the mighty Happy Cog launched a very attractive new blog that narrows elegantly, buying generic cialis and the talented Mike Kus (with Think Vitamin‘s redesign) has also joined the party.

Buying generic cialis So, buying generic cialis the wheels of evolution turn. Buying generic cialis Designers are innovating, buying generic cialis trying each other’s new techniques, buying generic cialis and pushing this worthy idea onwards. Buying generic cialis They are influencing each other, buying generic cialis and in the way these things cascade through imitation, buying generic cialis influencing the approach that many thousands of developers who look up to them will take when next asked to design or redesign a site. Buying generic cialis At this rate, buying generic cialis it will only be a few years before more web sites use media queries than don’t. Buying generic cialis It’s a smart solution, buying generic cialis using well-known, buying generic cialis standards-based technology, buying generic cialis and users with different screens the world over will undoubtedly be happier.

Buying generic cialis Sadly, buying generic cialis this technique is not the revelational panacea that some might present it as. Buying generic cialis While it copes well with the challenges presented by size-diverse browsers on a desktop, buying generic cialis for example, buying generic cialis it is flawed when presented as an single solution to the challenge of the mobile web. Buying generic cialis A more-or-less explicit tenet of the ‘Responsive Web Design’ school is that contemporary mobile browsers are served neatly by this technique, buying generic cialis so it deserves to be put under this scrutiny.

Buying generic cialis Before we go any further, buying generic cialis and for the avoidance of doubt, buying generic cialis it is thrilling that the ‘mobile web’ has finally garnered some sort of interest amongst the web design community. Buying generic cialis For a decade, buying generic cialis lonely pioneers have been hacking about with little more than monochromatic text on cramped and feeble browsers. Buying generic cialis Seeing a new wave of talented web artists thinking about the medium is very inspiring – spurred on by the rise and rise of brilliantly capable mobile browsers. Buying generic cialis Mobile, buying generic cialis the historically gloomy little corner of the web, buying generic cialis is ripe to welcome fresh and smart ideas – clever and efficient ways to deliver exciting content to mobile users.

Buying generic cialis Sadly ‘Responsive Web Design’ is not yet one of them.

Buying generic cialis To start off with, buying generic cialis there are some technical and tactical issues. Buying generic cialis Experienced mobile web designer Bryan Rieger has most notably illustrated these concerns, buying generic cialis and strategist Jason Grigsby has explored similar points. Their main concerns stem from the facts that:

  • Media queries only affect the styling once the markup and other resources have reached the browser. Buying generic cialis Whatever the device – whatever the network it’s connected to – the browser will download the entire markup of the page, buying generic cialis and any (probably large) images in it. Buying generic cialis Yes, buying generic cialis a ‘responsive stylesheet’ can resize media or hide it from the user, buying generic cialis but designers should not presume that they’ve done anything to improve the performance or network utilisation by this sleight of hand. Buying generic cialis Cellular network usage is free in neither the financial nor performance sense. Buying generic cialis Ironically, buying generic cialis Mr Keith’s article about the technique itself has a total size of about 1.6Mb – a payload that no mobile device this side of LTE will sniff at.
  • Media queries are not supported by most of the world’s web browsers. Certainly all WebKit-based browsers handle them well enough, buying generic cialis and most other contemporary desktop browsers do too. Buying generic cialis But anything else will struggle: this includes legacy desktop browsers (which certainly don’t seem to concern the web’s great and good) and, buying generic cialis more seriously, buying generic cialis most mobile handsets in the market today.

Buying generic cialis Both issues are present in Mr Marcotte’s initial expression of ‘Responsive Web Design’. Buying generic cialis Perhaps understandably: while the exposition of technique focusses on the aesthetic of flexible design, buying generic cialis there is little discussion of performance optimization. Buying generic cialis Further, buying generic cialis many of these concerns pale if you’re a designer who lives in a world where everyone has an iPhone 4. Buying generic cialis Perhaps the article set out to merely present a prototype which the author knew would of course be iterated upon and refined.

Buying generic cialis Certainly some refinement could be applied to the mathematics, buying generic cialis which apparently advocates daft rules like {margin-right: 3.317535545023696682%}!

Buying generic cialis But thankfully none of these concepts are necessarily deal-breakers: tinySrc (created by this author) allows you to have already dynamically-resized images arriving at the browser in response to a static piece of markup. Mr Reiger illustrates that by rethinking the assumptions about which browser is the default (i.e. Buying generic cialis a basic mobile one) and which receives the conditional styling (i.e. Buying generic cialis the clever, buying generic cialis or desktop ones), buying generic cialis one can mitigate a lot of the problems caused by serving up too many irrelevant resources. Buying generic cialis That’s probably not entirely what Luke Wroblewski was getting at when he said ‘Mobile First‘, buying generic cialis but it’s good enough to work.

Buying generic cialis Hopefully, buying generic cialis Messrs Marcotte, buying generic cialis Keith, buying generic cialis Kus, buying generic cialis Zeldman et al will take these considerations on board and refine their logic accordingly. Buying generic cialis Theirs is the work that will be widely aspired to and derived from, buying generic cialis and this is some basic hygiene that should be encouraged as soon as possible. Buying generic cialis The practices are not yet best practices – and we should hope that this technique doesn’t become a precedent for playing fast and loose with mobile payloads.

Buying generic cialis Technical issues aside, buying generic cialis the primary concern with using ‘Responsive Web Design’ for mobile web sites remains, buying generic cialis and it is far more fundamental.

Buying generic cialis Firstly let’s look at the name – or at least the origin from which is was purloined. Buying generic cialis ‘Responsive Architecture’, buying generic cialis a term coined by Nicholas Negroponte, buying generic cialis is a school of thought that says that buildings and structures should be able to react to changes in their environment, buying generic cialis altering their shape or surfaces accordingly. Buying generic cialis Indeed this is what ‘Responsive Web Design’ does too: change the browser size, buying generic cialis and the site within it will respond.

Buying generic cialis But Mr Marcotte posits that it is also about ‘how physical spaces can respond to the presence of people passing through them’ – in other words, buying generic cialis that buildings should react to the way in which humans behave, buying generic cialis and implicitly, buying generic cialis to what it is that they need or want. Buying generic cialis This is where the ‘Responsive Web Design’ aspiration falls flat. Buying generic cialis Nothing about the technique is explicitly related to the human actually using the site, buying generic cialis nor his or her context.

Buying generic cialis The problem of course, buying generic cialis stems from the reliance on media queries as the key input to the layout’s alterations. Buying generic cialis Complex criteria can be built to segment styling based on width, buying generic cialis height, buying generic cialis orientation or color depth – but nothing else. Buying generic cialis The design is responding to the glass on the front of the gadget that the user has in their hand – not to the flesh and bone beyond it, buying generic cialis where they are, buying generic cialis what they are doing, buying generic cialis and what state of mind they are in.

Buying generic cialis In the world of mobile, buying generic cialis this matters. The fact that the user has a small screen in their hand is one thing – the fact that it is in their hand at all is another. Buying generic cialis The fact that the user may be walking, buying generic cialis driving, buying generic cialis or lounging is yet another. Buying generic cialis In fact, buying generic cialis it’s quite likely that they really deserve different content and services altogether – or, buying generic cialis at least, buying generic cialis a differently prioritized version of the default desktop experience.

Buying generic cialis Is this too abstract? Too theoretical? Absolutely not. Buying generic cialis As a commonplace example, buying generic cialis consider the FourSquare mobile web site and its sister web site. Buying generic cialis The former, buying generic cialis of course, buying generic cialis is designed as a slick and efficient way to check your location in to the service – and not much else. Buying generic cialis The latter provides a chance to review previous activity in the comfort of a desktop environment.

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Buying generic cialis Is this responsive? Of course it is – at least in terms of responding to what humans in different environments want to do. Buying generic cialis The user, buying generic cialis by specifying which site they want to receive, buying generic cialis gets a design and an interface that is wholly appropriate to their context, buying generic cialis not just their screen width. Buying generic cialis (Sadly, buying generic cialis visitors with mobile handsets do not get automatically forwarded to the mobile version of the site, buying generic cialis which would have made the service even more ‘responsive’.)

Buying generic cialis Consider, buying generic cialis on the other hand, buying generic cialis the St Paul’s School website. Buying generic cialis It looks lovely and exhibits all the hallmarks of the ‘Responsive Web Design’ school. Buying generic cialis Resizing the browser window demonstrates the page’s fluid grid, buying generic cialis and on a narrow, buying generic cialis mobile screen the layout becomes vertical and flows respectably down the page.

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Buying generic cialis But let us just think about the use cases for this web site. Buying generic cialis Clearly the desktop site is designed to target prospective parents – St Paul’s is a top-notch fee-paying school in London – and the design, buying generic cialis menu structure and layout reflect that. Buying generic cialis The ‘about’ page is first and foremost in the menu, buying generic cialis followed by a sequence of pages designed to give the reader an insight into the workings and philosophy of the school. Buying generic cialis One can imagine well-heeled parents poring over the site for hours, buying generic cialis deciding if it is the place for their child to attend and getting a feeling for the institution.

Buying generic cialis But a mobile user? Let us think about what a mobile user might want from their interaction with the school’s online presence. Buying generic cialis Are prospective parents so busy that they research making one of the biggest investments in their lives by spending a few moments on a mobile browser? Well, buying generic cialis possibly; but it is hard to imagine that reading the school’s lengthy prospectus should top of the list of important mobile use-cases.

Buying generic cialis If one is accessing this site on a mobile device, buying generic cialis there are other far more likely reasons. Buying generic cialis Imagine an existing parent or student keeping abreast of the (well-populated) school news, buying generic cialis or upcoming calendar of events. Buying generic cialis This is something they might easily snatch a few moments doing in the car on the school commute, buying generic cialis say. Buying generic cialis Or perhaps the user is a prospective parent or visitor who wants to check on the address and location of the school en route, buying generic cialis or wants to put a call through to the school office.

Buying generic cialis Has the design responded to these, buying generic cialis now very different, buying generic cialis requirements? No. Buying generic cialis In the mobile display of the site, buying generic cialis the news and contact pages are still at the bottom of the menu, buying generic cialis below the admissions information and exhaustive list of school sports. Buying generic cialis The contact page (once you have reached it) does contain telephone numbers, buying generic cialis but they have been turned into callable links by the browser’s automatic number detection, buying generic cialis not the designer’s hand, buying generic cialis so rather curiously you can also click to call the school’s fax number.

Buying generic cialis And the location page, buying generic cialis to get a map and directions to the school? Most of the screen is taken up with an aerial portrait of the school – of arguably marginal help for navigation – and the map itself is only available within a 1.5Mb, buying generic cialis three-part PDF document. Buying generic cialis You couldn’t make this up.

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Buying generic cialis Surely a mobile user deserves and expects a map image embedded in the page, buying generic cialis or even a link to Google Maps (which, buying generic cialis incidentally, buying generic cialis certain mobile browsers will parse to invoke the native map client). Buying generic cialis Apparently a few of these clever new gadgets have GPS in them.

Buying generic cialis Responsive to the user’s needs? Barely.

Buying generic cialis Anyway, buying generic cialis the purpose of this article is not a hatchet attack on one particular site. Buying generic cialis It’s merely being used as an example of how using what is currently called ‘Responsive Web Design’ is often nothing of the sort – or, buying generic cialis at best, buying generic cialis a single cosmetic tool that needs to be used in conjunction with other, buying generic cialis mobile-centric ideas and sympathies.

Buying generic cialis One gets the sense that those promoting and using ‘Responsive Web Design’ in its current form secretly hope that this is all they will have to do to be able to call their sites ‘mobile-ready’ (although whether that is what they commit to their clients, buying generic cialis of course, buying generic cialis one cannot say). Buying generic cialis We should sincerely hope this is not the case. Buying generic cialis These are smart and insightful individuals: surely they understand that juggling a few pixels around does not amount to designing for different types of user.

Buying generic cialis Mr Keith in particular appears to understand the dilemma. Buying generic cialis He points out that ‘I don’t refer to this as mobile optimisation’ and that media queries are not the ‘silver bullet for the mobile context’. Buying generic cialis Nevertheless, buying generic cialis the screenshots of his portfolio sites are 480px in width (conveniently the landscape size of an iPhone), buying generic cialis and he is somewhat disparaging about the idea of ‘the rabbit hole’ of creating a different site for mobile devices.

Buying generic cialis (Of course that isn’t technically required. Buying generic cialis A small snippet of server logic would have have been all that was required by St Paul’s to move news and contact to the top of a mobile menu, buying generic cialis and to replace the PDF link with a Google Maps resource, buying generic cialis for example.)

Buying generic cialis But this may give us a clue why so many others seem desperate to will the current implementation of ‘Responsive Web Design’ into being as the sole way to develop services for mobile users: it’s all client-side, buying generic cialis and requires nothing more complex than a few extra tricks in existing CSS files. Buying generic cialis It may be that many web designers are daunted by the thought that they may be required to think about mobile device detection and conditional logic on the server-side, buying generic cialis and are clinging to the hope that they can claim to support mobile users without having to do any, buying generic cialis well, buying generic cialis programming.

Buying generic cialis Sadly for those involved, buying generic cialis this probably can’t be avoided. Buying generic cialis It’s not that media queries aren’t an excellent way to resize layouts (of course they are), buying generic cialis nor that they don’t act as a reasonable proxy for identifying a mobile devices (which is also more or less true for now) and in turn mobile humans.

Buying generic cialis It’s a more fundamental issue – which is that any site should be ruthlessly scrutinized for ways in which it can behave in better ways for all of its constituencies of users, buying generic cialis and that the differences between those ways are often going to be more significant than can be papered over with some stretchy images and fluid grids on a conveniently powerful mobile browser.

Buying generic cialis The real fear is that this subtlety is lost on those disciples who want to rattle off a site design that works on mobile devices as well as desktop browsers. Buying generic cialis The result of their efforts might look lovely on the client’s iPhone, buying generic cialis but the speed at which that magic trick was performed will certainly have come at the expense of someone actually sitting down and thinking about what that mobile variant of the experience should actually offer.

Buying generic cialis The result? We won’t have a mobile web, buying generic cialis but merely a 320px-wide one. A web for which the humans using it matter less than the width of the glass it is displayed on.

Buying generic cialis As a postscript, buying generic cialis an analogy: we are in an age which, buying generic cialis in many ways, buying generic cialis resembles that of the birth of broadcast television. Buying generic cialis The mobile web is a new medium that, buying generic cialis yes, buying generic cialis is able to deliver services similar to its precursor, buying generic cialis but which can also be developed and enhanced in ways that have yet to be dreamt of. Buying generic cialis Reflowing today’s web sites for mobile devices is a philosophy akin to that of the first broadcast television programs: “let’s stick with what worked before, buying generic cialis and just put well-dressed radio presenters onto the screen”.

Buying generic cialis Did that work? Sure it did – as a start. Buying generic cialis But was it these dull talking heads that made television the greatest medium of the 20th century? Hardly. Buying generic cialis It was when program makers started to explore the visual capabilities of the their new canvas – and the increasingly demanding expectations of the viewers who expected to see something more interesting on the wooden box they had just spent a lot of money on – that innovation occurred.

Buying generic cialis Today’s ‘Responsive Web Design’ is a lukewarm response to a similar seismic shift – that of the sedentary web into expectant mobile hands.

Buying generic cialis Our approaches need to be bolder, buying generic cialis more structural, buying generic cialis more experimental, buying generic cialis and, buying generic cialis frankly, buying generic cialis more considerate of the diverse audiences we should all be trying to cater for.

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