Laziness in the Time of Responsive Design

In recent year we have seen the web design market being fluttered by not originalities but clones of similar looking designs. Some designers take it upon themselves to improve on the design to create more sophisticated design, yet some other just copy and paste. Is this such a bad thing?

Not being a original is not a good thing for an artist to be, but could be good practice for a web designer. You start with being lazy in a way, learning and applying other people’s ideas in the right places. In understanding each and every individual piece of the design, you can start seeing the website to be something bigger than what it is used to be, and start integrating into the web.

But I want to talk about something bigger, in the context of responsive web design, which is gradually becoming the new web. First, it presents many possibilities for the designers to be lazy.

We are dealing with devices that have more and more complex system of input. Some of the devices are evolving much faster than they have ever been before into vastly different format for us web designers to work with. I mean we even seeing new browsing contest, hardware and software coming out everyday now. The web is accommodating, but it shows a variety of challenges for the designers.

But I am a lazy web designer. I have a gift for wanting to stay in bed and not do anything all day long. This talent of mine could hinder my ability to catch up with the technology and answer the demands of the market. But maybe, being lazy isn’t a bad thing when it comes to designing for the web. Maybe a little bit of laziness isn’t so bad. Maybe it could be an asset when it comes to responsive web design.

What is laziness in web design?

When coding, I want to shorten the code. Which is good, because it makes it easier for find and fix, if there is a mistake somewhere.

When designing, I make sure the grids is used. A non-grid system isn’t going work. The key thing about fluid design is to keep the gird intact, so not the volume of the grids, but the relationship between them. From a layout perspective, it gives the designer less flexibility. But really, it just demands a more versatile grid, with more responsibility on the designer. It is not about designing for a smaller screen but thinking about your design potentially existing in an ever increasing resolution spectrum.

But here is where it will change your mind. Let’s talk about the framework. Let’s talk about making it less heavy. All the divs separating the screen into parts are just rigid. It’s the designer thinking about the web as a page. It is no longer is. On a mobile device, it is no longer a page. Even on a tablet, it needs to not be a page. The challenge of the designer is to stop it from being a page because the tablet is not sold as book. It in itself is a sophisticated, and complex device that do many things more than just for reading.

I think a good way to start designing responsive to think about the motion of the finger tap and build from there. Get rid of the unnecessary and focus on the whole experience of the user instead.



About utagtateaching

This blog is dedicated to providing resources to the Graduate Teaching Assistants in the UTA MFA program pertaining to teaching strategies, methods, and materials. We aim to start a public discussion that serves to enhance the classroom experience for both teacher and student.

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