CO-FOUNDER of Mule Design and raconteur Mike Monteiro wants to help you do your job better. From contracts to selling design, from working with clients to working with each other, his brief book Design Is A Job is packed with knowledge you need to know. This is one of the most in-demand titles we at A Book Apart have yet published, and the long, long wait for its release (and yours) is finally over!
HERE I AM at the Palace on Market Street for another thrilling installment of An Event Apart.
An Event Apart San Francisco features twelve great speakers and sessions. Following the two-day conference comes an intense learning session on Mobile Web Design led by Luke Wroblewski (author, Web Form Design).
Starting Monday, December 12, 2011, follow the live Twitter stream on A FEED APART, the official feed aggregator for An Event Apart.
Hum along to the interstitial AEA Playlist on Last.fm or Rdio.
THE FIRST SIX essential new classics from A Book Apart — brilliant, brief books by Jeremy Keith, Dan Cederholm, Erin Kissane, Ethan Marcotte, Aarron Walter, and Luke Wroblewski — make the perfect gift for the web geek in your life. During our holiday sale, buy all six books and save 30%!
CONGRATULATIONS TO A List Apart technical editors Aaron Gustafson and Ethan Marcotte, whose Adaptive Web Design and Responsive Web Design were ranked #1 and #2 in .net Magazine’s “Top 25 Books for Web Designers and Developers” of 2011.
Other top-ranked web design books include CSS3 for Web Designers by Dan Cederholm, Designing for the Digital Age by Kim Goodwin, and Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug.
Four of the top 25 were A Book Apart books: namely, Responsive Web Design, CSS3 for Web Designers, Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski, and The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane.
I contributed to the article but did not nominate any A Book Apart books.
WE ARE THRILLED to present the two newest volumes from A Book Apart (“brief books for people who make websites”):
Make your users fall in love with your site or application via the precepts packed into Aarron Walter’s new Designing for Emotion. From classic psychology to case studies, highbrow concepts to common sense, DfE demonstrates accessible strategies and memorable methods to help you make a human connection through design.
Learn data-driven techniques that will make you a master of mobile with Mobile First. Former Yahoo! design architect and co-creator of Bagcheck, Luke Wroblewski knows more about mobile experience than the rest of us, and packs all he knows into this entertaining, to-the-point guidebook.
For a limited time, save 15% when you buy both together!
IN AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from his new book, Designing For Emotion, Aarron Walter shows how to turn design interactions into conversations, imbue mechanical “interactions” with human elements, and use design and language techniques to craft a living personality for your website or application.
THE ORGANIZATION OF MOBILE web experiences must align with how people use their mobile devices and why; emphasize content over navigation; provide relevant options for exploration and pivoting; maintain clarity and focus; and align with mobile behaviors. In this excerpt from his brand new A Book Apart book, Luke Wroblewski explains how.
AS EVERY WEB DESIGNER not living under a rock hopefully already knows, The Boston Globe has had a responsive redesign at the hands of some of today’s best designers and developers:
The spare Globe website has a responsive design that adapts to different window sizes, browsers and devices, and it has a built-in Instapaper-type feature that saves articles for reading off various devices on the subway. The overhaul has incorporated the talents of Boston design firms Filament Group, and Upstatement, as well as a large internal team, and pre-empts the need to build separate apps for each device.—New York Observer
As the first responsive redesign of a “real” website (i.e. a large, corporately financed, widely read newspaper site rather than some designer’s blog), the site has the potential to raise public awareness of this flexible, standards-based, multi-platform and user-focused web design approach, and deepen perceptions of its legitimacy, much as Mike Davidson’s standards-based redesign of ESPN.com in 2003 helped convince nonbelievers to take a second look at designing with web standards:
In a major step in the evolution of website design, the Boston Globe relaunched their site today using a Responsive Design approach. For a consistent experience across mobile and desktop browsers, they redesigned the site to add and remove columns to the layout based on the width of your browser window.
This marks the first major, high-traffic, content-heavy website to adopt a responsive design. The lead consultant behind the project is none other than Ethan Marcotte, the designer who wrote the book on responsive design. Much as ESPN changed the way we worked by being one of the first to launch a fully CSS driven site a decade ago, the Boston Globe’s redesign has the potential to completely alter the way we approach web design.—Beaconfire Wire
More work remains to be done. Some sections of the paper have not yet converted, and some site architecture has yet to be refreshed, so it is too early to call the overhaul a complete success. But it is clear that Ethan Marcotte, author of Responsive Web Design and creator of responsive design, together with the geniuses at Filament Group, Upstatement, and the Globe’s internal design/development team have managed to work beautifully together and to solve design problems some of us don’t even know exist.
Congratulations to the Globe for its vision and these designers and developers for their brilliant work.
LET YOUR NERD FLAG FLY! Now there is a Flickr group for A Book Apart readers. Come one, come all. Share beauty shots of your A Book Apart collection. Share unboxing photos. Share pictures of your fine self interacting with our awesome books. If you love reading our brief books for people who make websites, we want to see and hear from you.
ON 25 MAY 2010, when Ethan Marcotte coined the phrase “responsive web design,” he defined it as using fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to deliver elegant visual experiences (e.g. layouts and type treatments) that accommodate the reality of our post-iPhone, post-Android, post-iPad digital landscape:
Rather than tailoring disconnected designs to each of an ever-increasing number of web devices, we can treat them as facets of the same experience. We can design for an optimal viewing experience, but embed standards-based technologies into our designs to make them not only more flexible, but more adaptive to the media that renders them.
Ethan expanded his vision in Responsive Web Design, a book I consider so important I published it. I and many others think it is a landmark book, an evolutionary milestone in the development of web and interaction design as a practice and as an industry.
But I also think it may be an even bigger idea than we initially realized—an idea too big to be limited to a single, technical approach to the problem of multiple, disparate viewing environments.
I understand well why Ethan favors his fluid grid/flexible image approach. When you see a fully responsive design at work, it often seems magical.
But the purpose behind “responsive design”—the concept of what it strives to achieve—should be separated from the specific techniques used to achieve it. As the worldwide community embraces his idea (and as new methods of CSS layout become practical), the techniques of responsive design will continue to improve and, dare I say it, adapt. (See flexbox, etc.) Along the same lines, “adaptive layout,” a practice that combines the benefits of fixed-width design with the realities of multiple screen sizes, is no longer an alternative to responsive design; instead, it becomes a form of responsive design, albeit a less robust one than the fully responsive (fluid) method Ethan describes in his book.
Our understanding of “responsive design” should be broadened to cover any approach that delivers elegant visual experiences regardless of the size of the user’s display and the limitations or capabilities of the device.
SOME IDEAS SEEM inevitable once they arrive. It’s impossible for me to conceive of the universe before rock and roll or to envision Christmas without Mr Dickens’s Carol, and it’s as tough for my kid to picture life before iPads. So too will the internet users and designers who come after us find it hard to believe we once served web content in boxy little hardwired layouts left over from the magical but inflexible world of print.
I remember when the change came. We were putting on An Event Apart, our design conference for people who make websites, and half the speakers at our 2009 Seattle show had tumbled to the magic of media queries. One after another, CSS wizards including Eric Meyer and Dan Cederholm presented the beginnings of an approach to designing content for a world where people were just as likely to be using smart, small-screen devices like iPhone and Android as they were traditional desktop browsers.
Toward the end of the second day, Ethan Marcotte took what the other speakers had shared and amped it to 11. Suddenly, we had moved from maybe to for sure, from possible to inevitable. Ethan even gave us a name for his new approach to web design.
That name appears on the cover of this book, and this book represents the culmination of two years of design research and application by Ethan and leading-edge design practitioners around the world. Armed with this brief book, you will have everything you need to re-imagine your web design universe and boldly go where none have gone before. Happy reading and designing!
WALT DISNEY AND ME, a typical day, running Happy Cog, building An Event Apart, what’s next for A Book Apart, and more: DIBI, the design/build conference, presents An interview with Jeffrey Zeldman for your pleasure.
(I swear it’s a coincidence the last two posts have begun with inset photos of yours truly.)
“Mobile is huge. The iPhone, iPad, and Android are huge. On the one hand, they are standards-facing, because they all support HTML5 and CSS3, so you can create great mobile experiences using web standards. You can create apps using web standards. On the other hand, there is also the temptation to go a proprietary route. In a strange way, although the browsers are much more standards compliant, it seems like we are redoing the browser war. Only now, it’s not the browser wars, it’s platform wars.”
The Big Web Show (“Everything Web That Matters”) records live every Thursday at 3:00 PM Eastern. Edited episodes can be watched afterwards, often within hours of recording, via iTunes (audio feed | video feed) and the web. Subscribe and enjoy!