Third Mind | Mobile-First Responsive Web Design… Why?
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Mobile-First Responsive Web Design… Why?

I have been an advocate of removing Adobe Photoshop from the web design process workflow since 1996. Seriously: 1996. Let’s face facts: fixed-canvas bitmap photo editing software suites for flexible digital development is the equivalent of using a bucket of roofing tar to wash your dog. While your intention may be correct, your tool choice is ALL kinds of wrong. It’s time to give Photoshop the Irish wake that it has long deserved. Our digital universe requires it. Today’s Cloud strategies and multi-device content agnosticism demands it.

We’ve come a long way since 1996 and our man on the street Mike ‘Lucky’ Morici (@himedlooff) has been instrumental in keeping Third Mind in its early adopter position of methods and processes governing forward looking development strategies. (Search our Goodwork™ blog‘s author archive to see just how instrumental Lucky’s insight has been). How do these two concepts come together? Via adopting flexible ‘Mobile-First’ design strategies. It’s ok – shake off your “huh? whaaa?” and let’s have a look:

  • Good design is about making prioritized decisions
  • Good design is about embracing multiple perspectives simultaneously
  • If the diagram of your approach is weak, the design is sure to follow

We live in a world where mobile adoption rates are literally outstripping birthrates. The small view-port (screen size) of smart phones / mobile and dataplan download limits are the very definition of prioritizing the content that matters and developing a perfected diagram of your digital content requiring primacy. Get the diagram right, and you will get the design right. Migrating the design from a mobile departure point toward the larger format devices (readers to tablets to laptops to desktops) will quickly emphasize the strengths or immediate weaknesses in your digital strategy’s foundation.

Think for a minute: if we are flexing between multiple view ports and screen ratios —the essence of Responsive Web Design— your tools and processes will need to provide real time feedback allowing the design and build team to quickly assess the design’s success. Adobe is stepping up in these related fields with CS5.5/6 related tools and previewers as well as applications like Adobe Shadow which, if there was any justice in the world, would allow the industry to continue to walk away from the Photoshop-based design hegemony. But Third Mind is moving even further ahead of the old tool-based paradigms and into the world of code-based design development. And that my friends is another post entirely…

Want to learn more about Mobile First with a side of Responsive Web Design? Keep smarties like Brad Frost in mind for insights, books, and seminars. Thanks Brad – now that’s some Goodwork™!