That’s been quite a journey. 12K words on Responsive Design Patterns for Smashing Book 5, written within 5 full days. http://ift.tt/1C1ilvN
## Responsive Design Patterns and Components
We’ve all been there: responsive design is manageable, but it isn’t straightforward; its premise shines through once it’s designed and built, but all the way throughout the process it poses hidden challenges and stumbling blocks. Consequently, the workflow often feels remarkably slow and painful. Responsive design prompts us to reshape our mindset and refine our practices — but also explore new interaction patterns across a wide variety of screens, input modes and connection types. However, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every single time we stumble upon a design problem. In fact, that’s what good ol’ design patterns — essentially common techniques for tackling common issues — are pretty useful for.
Yet just as design patterns can be helpful and convenient, they can also be misleading, driving us to generic and soulless designs — mostly because we often lack context when applying them. More often than not, we don’t know the rationale, and the objectives, and the failures, and usability tests, and impact on conversion rates, and all the decisions made along the way, so we have to build up our decisions merely trusting other decisions in other, possibly unrelated contexts.
Now, obviously, every project is different. Every project poses unique challenges, with different audiences, goals, requirements, constraints and objectives. So it shouldn't be surprising that sometimes applying design patterns directly will work just fine, while other times it will fail miserably when validated in the face of reality. That’s a risky undertaking indeed, and so with design patterns thorough testing isn't just important, but crucial for getting things right.
While design is often seen as a continuous process, going from start to finish in a series of smooth, successive iterations, I find that more often it’s a meticulous series of “sprints” — finding solutions, refining them in iterations, hitting dead ends, and starting over again and again — until you find a solution that works well within the context of a design, which eventually brings you to your next design problem. The main issue is that those dead ends are really expensive. This is when you lose most time, and when recovery can be very difficult and frustrating. Design patterns help recover from hitting these dead ends; they can re-route your decision making process efficiently. They can also allow room for creativity as long as you don't follow them blindly.
And that’s exactly what this chapter is about: clever design solutions, obscure techniques and smart strategies that I’ve seen working or failing in actual projects, and that could be applied to your projects, too. You might not be able to use all of them, but hopefully you’ll get a good enough idea on just what kind of solution might work well in common situations when designing or building responsive websites. Let’s start. Fasten up your seat belts. It’s going to be quite a journey.
That's Real-Life Responsive Web Design: Meet The Brand New Smashing Book 5 – Smashing Magazine
Smart “responsive” workflows, effective responsive design/UX patterns and powerful front-end techniques — if you need a good book on smart responsive design, our brand new Smashing Book 5 is just what you need. Neatly packed in a gorgeous hardcover, it covers time-saving, practical techniques for cr…
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