Computer Arts - - Back To Basics -

“Her­itage Fu­tures is a four-year re­search pro­gramme funded by the UK Arts and Hu­man­i­ties Re­search Coun­cil ex­plor­ing the po­ten­tial for a cre­ative ex­change across a broad range of her­itage and re­lated fields. We built them a pro­to­type web­site which the client, their team and mul­ti­ple re­searchers in the field could test out. We then used this feed­back to make im­por­tant de­ci­sions about the design. In the process, we learned that we shouldn’t make as­sump­tions about de­vice usage. In­stead, fo­cus­ing on the con­tent and ex­pe­ri­ence en­sured that the web­site worked across mul­ti­ple de­vices and en­sured a con­sis­tent brand ex­pe­ri­ence.” CHRIS BUT­TER­WORTH HEAD OF DIG­I­TAL, THE DIS­TRICT

as CSS Grid and Flexbox are start­ing to al­low for more in­tri­cate lay­outs. In­ter­ac­tion on the web is vastly im­prov­ing and we’ll see a range of com­plex apps now be­ing built into the browser.”

Luck­ily for most de­sign­ers, you don’t have to be a coder to get on board with all of this. “Graphic design tools are fi­nally start­ing to adapt to dig­i­tal work­flows, with fea­tures that help de­sign­ers test re­spon­sive lay­outs,” says Robin­son. “Sketch’s smart re­siz­ing and pin­ning tools, for ex­am­ple, al­low you to cre­ate re­spon­sive rules on a com­po­nent level. Framer helps you go a lit­tle fur­ther, en­abling you to change the vis­i­bil­ity of com­po­nents at var­i­ous di­men­sions.”

May­nard uses Sketch for the ma­jor­ity of his web design projects. “It comes with tem­plates for de­vice sizes, so you can dive straight into de­sign­ing re­spon­sively,” he ex­plains. “I’d also rec­om­mend keep­ing your eye on In­Vi­sion Stu­dio, as it re­ally does look like a game-changer for pro­to­typ­ing, an­i­ma­tion and design, all in one app. An­other tool I tend to use is Skala Pre­view in or­der to help check all my de­signs are in line when brows­ing on smaller de­vices.”


But even if you steer clear of cre­at­ing web­sites or pro­to­types your­self, un­der­stand­ing the core el­e­ments of re­spon­sive design can still help your ca­reer as a de­signer. And that can be as sim­ple as pay­ing at­ten­tion to what’s go­ing on around you.

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