Vasilis wrote yesterday about how he altered the layout of the Tropenmuseum website to adapt to different screen sizes.
Then came the comments. Nothing really wrong with any of them, but the whole “layout is not the only thing that should concern you; performance/context/content/blah is also (maybe even more important)” thing is getting very tired. Why? Because nobody is saying those things aren’t important.
Here’s a fact: If the homepage of site [x] is 100kB, then it’s 100kB. If I make that page look decent on several devices via adaptive layout—unless I go overboard—it is still going to be 100kB. Okay, maybe 101kB. It’s either zoom hell or not. So people can complain about that, but unless they’re willing to add to the client’s budget, the extra layout flexibility is (often, not always) a relatively quick readability and usability win. Device-agnosticism should be baked into the design approach anyway. There’s absolutely no harm in it.
So no, do not ignore content strategy and performance. And if you do content strategy, then you’d do well to be thinking about design. Device-agnostic design applies here as well.
Don’t feel bad about doing adaptive layout just because these other things are also important. It’s okay. Really.
When I left Cinnamon last October to focus more on strategy and device-agnostic design and development, I also had another goal in mind: more speaking. I also wanted to write more; you can see how well that’s working out for me :).
I love speaking. Except for a couple of hours beforehand, when I’m so nervous I feel like throwing up. The past few years I’ve done quite a bit of speaking at conferences and events for clients, and that initial nervousness is there every single time. Fortunately the feeling subsides after the first few minutes of the talk.
I tend to talk a lot, and speaking engagements are a way to channel that into something that might inspire someone, teach them something new, or start a discussion. At web design and development conferences, it’s no secret that the speakers learn from the audience in the same way the audience might learn from the speakers. It’s also no secret that the discussions outside of the sessions are at least as interesting and valuable as the sessions themselves.
I’m very excited to be speaking at two mobile-related events this first half of the year: Breaking Development in Dallas and Mobilism in Amsterdam.
Breaking Development will be my first conference talk outside of the Netherlands (and then in the US), which is somewhat ironic, considering that I’m an American expat. I’m absolutely thrilled to speak alongside some of the smartest and most inspiring people in web design and development today at both of these conferences. Just take a look at the lists of speakers:
If you’re interested in designing and developing websites and web apps for mobile (or for anywhere), you might consider attending one of these conferences. Or both, if you really love conferences.
If you do attend, please come over and say hi. Just remember that there’s some risk in doing that right before my talk.