Cameron Adams on RWD

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Long be­fore Ethan Marcotte came up with the name Re­spon­sive Web De­sign, Cameron Adams ( the­man­in­ had cre­ated one of the first sites that adapted dy­nam­i­cally to the size of your browser win­dow. You can still see it at www.the­man­in­­per­i­ment/ Res­o­lu­tionLay­out – we caught up with Cameron to find out a bit more. When did you first hear of re­spon­sive web de­sign as a con­cept? The term ‘re­spon­sive web de­sign’ re­ally be­gan to gain trac­tion when mo­bile brows­ing be­came a re­al­ity, and that’s when it be­gan to have its most value. But be­fore that we’d been ex­plor­ing adap­tive in­ter­faces for a while. I’d orig­i­nally ex­per­i­mented with dif­fer­ent lay­outs for dif­fer­ent screen sizes in 2004 and ac­tu­ally im­ple­mented it in a few sites over the next cou­ple of years.

How did you ap­proach im­ple­ment­ing it for your­self?

As we didn’t have any­thing like lay­out query support in browsers, I re­lied on JavaScript to de­tect win­dow sizes and sup­ply styles based on that size, but it was essen­tially the same con­cept as RWD: sup­ply dif­fer­ent CSS files based on what the de­vice could support.

What was the hard­est thing about get­ting it right?

Get­ting cross-browser support was the hard­est thing – in­ter­pret­ing win­dow re­siz­ing events, deal­ing with dy­namic CSS writ­ing, and just the ran­dom­ness of browser CSS support.

The page is still up – does it get much traf­fic th­ese days?

I switched site an­a­lyt­ics a few years ago, so I don’t have his­tor­i­cal data all the way back to 2004. Right now it gets the princely sum of about five page views a day. There are def­i­nitely much more vis­ited parts of my site! Cameron Adams is co-founder and CPO at

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