Responsive Web Design
The last time I fully hand coded I believe was sometime in 2007 — With all the user kits, frameworks, design patterns and bootstrapping resources available now, I think its easy to imagine what that experience might’ve been like.
It was a simple portfolio site (I’ll try to find a screenshot or image) of what it looked like in an updated post, but it had simple CSS elements — font colour change and size on hover states, some neat padding and decent typography. Fast forward a decade later and that site would now seem obsolete.
This was just prior to Steve Jobs’ announcement of the iPhone — and who would’ve known that device could change the very way we approached designing on the web. Mobile-first development strategies are more or less standard practise and its very commonsensical — designing digitally using Minimum Viable Product strategies, and scaling up as content, reach or goals increase. The only drawback being the sheer variety of internet connected devices leading to extra chunks of code to ensure a consistent, responsive web experience.
Responsive design processes of old involved a linear progression of tasks — Strategizing before user research — user research before wire-framing — wire-framing before visual design and so on. Iteration could not begin until one task was completed.
However, within an always connected world, its amazing to think software can be deployed remotely and overnight, as opposed to dealing with shippers, warehousing, shelf space on stores and other logistical issues. Iteration is much more dynamic and drastically shortens the development cycle. Because the framework
What does all of this mean for me and my 2007 website? It took me about 4 days to fully design and upload that site to my hosting service. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took me 4 hours to do the same thing now — but also have implemented by default: responsive design through queries, jQuery interactions, automated hosting, secure options for e-commerce and more, very simply and always up to date.
Has complexity (at least in web design) disappeared?