ah teaches web design & development (Devices and their Fickle Owners lecture)

Devices and their Fickle Owners

Lecture outline

Thinking about how users use websites, and more options for laying out your site. Lecture slides will be made available on the day of the lecture (June 10).

Devices and Their Fickle Owners

An animated gif illustrating the differences between responsive and adaptive web design

9 Basic Principles of Responsive Web Design

Points on Breakpoints

How to aim for optimal breakpoints?

  • Let your content decide
  • Use relative units (always)
  • Avoid an absolute process
A photo of a series of devices showing the same web-page
An internet-enabled refrigerator

"Samsungs Smart Fridge is Hacked" via Stuff

Opera Mini Tips

Progressive Enhancement

Build up from the basics

The layering of progressive enhancement:

  • Content: Ensuring that the basic content works (clean, semantic, HTML).
  • Styling: Applying styling and testing across devices (caniuse.com).
  • Scripting: Enhancing the experience as much as possible.

Advanced Progressive Enhancement

(aka. Responsive Web Design)

We are taking a device-agnostic approach, as the screen isn't our only variable:

  • Problematic browsers
  • Slow connections
  • Small screens
  • Touch first
  • Content structure
  • ... etc.

Degredation vs. Enhancement

Wait, so what's different?

Graceful degredation: Build for the biggest and bestest, making sure that the site is still usable for 'lower-class' browsers.

Progressive enhancement: Build a common standard for all browsers (upper and lower class), then offer additional functionality for browsers which can use it.

What Should My Site Look Like?

Consider the patterns.

Remember, your site should:

  • Clearly indicate interactivity (like a link)
  • Help your user achieve their goals
  • Provide them with the content and tools to achieve their goals


Internal vs. external

Internal consistency is consistency between the elements within your own site, while external consistency is consistency between the elements of your site with other websites.


One way to move things on the web

Some options:

  • static — the default, things occur as ordered in the HTML
  • relative — similar to static, but allows for further instructions through 'left', 'right', 'top', 'bottom' to move relative to its parent
  • absolute — positions relative to the viewport through 'left', 'right', 'top', 'bottom'
  • fixed — similar to absolute, but will not scroll (stays in view)
  • sticky — fixed within container, relative otherwise
P2: Company

For lecture...

For the next lecture time, we will be looking doing a positioning tutorial.

Next week's lecture


More depth on accessibility and usability online. Pre-recorded lectures and slides will typically become available on Fridays.