Responsive web design is extremely critical in today’s world; it is necessary for survival among the fittest. No doubt mobile browsing has blown up and continues to grow exponentially. There are times where no matter how good a company’s web site looks on the monitor, if it is not “mobile friendly” and the user gets a poor experience, well, the site might as well be deemed no good at all. On a personal level, I can relate to the importance of mobile browsing. For example, after giving someone my business card usually one of the first things they do is pull out there iPhone, and look at my portfolio. If my personal site was not built with a responsiveness to adapt to different media devices and viewports such as the iPhone; and the viewer looking at my work does not have a good experience, this could jeopardize the integrity of my work and in turn, possibly be loosing future customers and contacts. I would like to quote Andy Clarke, web designer, author and founder of Stuff and Nonesense. Andy says, “Anything that’s fixed and unresponsive isn’t web design anymore, it’s something else. if you don’t embrace the inherent fluidity of the web, you are not a web designer, you’re something else. Web design is responsive design. Responsive Web Design is web design, done right”…
For this weeks blog I decided to interview a friend of mine and professional graphic/web designer.
What do you think is one the most important thing as a web designer? Thinking past static design & layout to consider the web at all screen sizes.
What about the creative process? We use a repeatable, successful pattern. It starts with sketching, wire framing, mock ups, rapid prototyping and then development .
How important is the creative process to you? Very! Synapse didn’t have designers a few years back, it was developers doing front end. Having designers makes a huge difference in the usability of web applications. Being classically trained as a graphic designer helps me daily in web design. I use the principles of design, like color theory, rhythm, balance etc. these fundamentals are paramount!
What is your outlook on simplicity? Simplicity depends on necessity. That is one thing designers forget with the web design and graphic design in general. They feel like they need to fill all the space like it is some “hole to fill” esp. junior designers. Question the necessity of everything you include in the design and then question whether is it presented in the best way possible.
What about the the placement of things like “call to actions?” You want to make sure your main call to action is available and accessible almost anywhere. If you’re delivering information you want it at the end of that information. It should be the most prominent path for a user to take.
What do you think about traditional web placement i.e. headers etc. and switching the placement of them up, in non traditional ways? It really depends on the users of the site or app. Sites that have the same user base are better candidates than sites that have mostly unique visitors. Additionally, younger, more techie users are going to figure out the placement of things and are less likely to get frustrated. With users that struggle you probably want a more conservative layout. You have to determine purpose of the site and the target audience. A marketing site is going to be selling products/services, reference website will be delivering information etc.
Any input for junior web designer? Mobile first approach, responsive design and write clean code!