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April 2014

This month we look at responsive web design from browser makers’ and others’ points of view. While their views align more than differ from the way we think of digital product design, it’s always good to examine their opinions — after all, our work bends to their products’ capabilities and limitations. We found that most people who make products for the web today see eye-to-eye with what we call best practice: Responsive design is too important to ignore, for example. But seeing the same topics from more specialized points of view reveals surprising insider knowledge. This month we look at viewport code, get results on SEO, and understand what makes standards, well, standard.


  • 1

    What is Mobile Friendliness?

    Mozilla’s take on designing for handheld devices includes three goals for a solid experience: presentation, content and performance.

  • 2

    Building Smartphone-Optimized Websites

    Google recommends responsive web design so much that they dedicated an entire section of their Webmaster documentation to the subject. This article discusses the how and why of RWD to expedite accurate crawls, making sites easier to index — and for end users to discover.

  • 3

    4 SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

    On the subject of SEO, this post at SearchEngine Journal looks at the practical — and Google-centric — advantages of streamlining a site to work across many platforms.

  • 4

    Supporting Different Screens in Web Apps

    Viewport, pixel density, CSS and JavaScript — this article at the official Android Developers site describes in detail how to use the meta viewport property to keep pages looking their best in any size browser.

  • 5

    Developing Web Content for Safari

    Given Safari’s popularity among smartphone users, designers would be remiss to ignore the finer points of Apple’s advice on optimizing web content. But this article at the Safari Developer Library goes a step further, discussing general security, standard languages, Canvas for vector graphics, and readability in any viewport.

  • 6

    Responsive Web Design Core Concepts

    Microsft’s view of responsive web design mostly follows other advice, but this article explains the difference between RWD and device channels. Spoiler alert: Are you ready to serve content for the right devices?

  • 7

    Advanced Web Typography

    Drawing on both classical ideals and modern technology, veteran designer Elliot Jay Stocks talks about the importance of good media queries for responsive typography — arguably two of the most important aspects of web design.

  • 8

    Responsive Web Design with Less Code

    This post argues that smarter code makes a good thing even better. In this case, organized media queries and a certain JavaScript library can help designers optimize the code behind the practice.

  • 9

    Responsive Web Design is Not Nearly Enough

    Design is more than going small — there’s thinking through the details and pondering users’ experiences. This article discusses the marketing side of responsive web design.

  • 10

    Get Your Hands into Responsive Web Design

    Our first 10-week Responsive Web Design course starts in May. Join us and actively learn the ins and outs of responsive design in this series. You’ll get hands-on experience and direct feedback from the product designers at ZURB who design responsively daily. Next course begins May 29.

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