Mar 11

SXSW Brilliance: Brad Frost on RWD & Adaptive Design

Heard an awesome talk at SXSW Interactive on Saturday that has me all fired up. We’ve been preaching the benefits of Responsive Web Design (RWD) for a while now, but Brad really brought the picture together by sketching out the Adaptive Design ecosystem and talking about the role RWD (essentially fluid layouts) plays in the larger conversation.

I’m planning a longer article on my takeaways when the SXSW crazy settles out, but until then, here are some of the great resources and ideas from the talk:

Beyond Squishy: The Principles of Adaptive Design

By this guy: Brad Frost, Mobile Web Strategist & Front End Designer at Brad Frost Web

SXSW Session Overview:

Responsive web design has hit the scene like a bomb, and now designers everywhere are showing off to their bosses and peers by resizing their browser windows. “Look! The site is squishy!”
While creating flexible layouts is important, there’s a whole lot more that goes into truly exceptional adaptive web experiences. This session will introduce the Principles of Adaptive Design: ubiquity, flexibility, performance, enhancement and future-friendliness. We need go beyond media queries in order to preserve the web’s ubiquity and move it in a future-friendly direction.

Some key thoughts on adaptive design: 

  • Adaptive design is the integration of fluid layouts (RWD), plus flexible media and media queries
  • RT @brad_frost: Content strategy is at the root of every responsive design decision. #sxsw
  • Mobile is simply not separate use case.
  • “Responsive” refers to fluid layouts only but “Adaptive” is layout plus progressive enhancement
  • Progressive Enhancement: Begin the design with the constraints of mobile and build up from there
  • Graceful Degradation vs. Progressive Enhancement: More from w3
  • We must let the CONTENT dictate break points, not device widths, says Tim Kadlec: More here

Deeper Dive – a reading list:

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