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Thread: Responsive Text!

  1. #1

    Default Responsive Text!

    There's a very interesting article in Smashing Mag about responsive text (no, not resizing but editing!). The article itself is interesting but the comments following are a great read, which indicates that Responsive Design is not universally accepted as the way to go.
    Perhaps late-night surfing is not such a waste of time after all: it is just the Web dreaming. Tim Berners-Lee
    Currently listening to: Script of the Bridge by The Chameleons

  2. #2

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    Thanks David - I've just read the first paragraph, but I thought it might be interesting to record my gut feeling before reading the rest. My gut feeling is: no. If you need to change the content according to platform, I think you probably have a wider problem with your content. If you have something on your site which is considered unimportant enough to hide from mobile users, then you should probably question whether it's benefiting any of your users.

    What are your thoughts on responsive design? I love the concept, and the elegance of Ethan Marcotte's original idea. I also like that his emphasis is on identifying the problem, rather than becoming evangelical about the solution. There are lots of solutions, and his approach of using a flexible grid/media queries is just one of them. I also really like the debate that's going on about how to make better responsive images. But the concept of responsive text? That seems to be completely antihetical to the whole idea as I understand it, which is that you serve the same content regardless of platform. As with Luke Wroblewski's Mobile First book, the first step is to encourage you to evaluate your content, and decide whether it deserves its place on your website.

    Should get a chance to read this tomorrow morning. Looking forward to seeing whether I change my mind!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomjeatt View Post
    If you have something on your site which is considered unimportant enough to hide from mobile users, then you should probably question whether it's benefiting any of your users.
    Agreed.

    In principle, responsive design is an excellent concept. In practice, it's still difficult to achieve and although the basic building blocks are in place, there is still some way to go before a consensus on "best practice" emerges. In other words, it's still at the experimental stage. That shouldn't prevent anyone experimenting but it's still a work in progress.
    Perhaps late-night surfing is not such a waste of time after all: it is just the Web dreaming. Tim Berners-Lee
    Currently listening to: Script of the Bridge by The Chameleons

  4. #4

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    Which One: Responsive Design, Device Experiences, or RESS?

    Which demonstrates my point above...

    ...and you get to learn a new acronym - I'd never heard of RESS.
    Perhaps late-night surfing is not such a waste of time after all: it is just the Web dreaming. Tim Berners-Lee
    Currently listening to: Script of the Bridge by The Chameleons

  5. #5

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    This Responsive text idea might be taking it too far. Personally I would be frustrated for example if I started reading an article on my desktop and half way through I had to go out. At this point I would like to finish reading the article on my mobile device. If there is content missing how do you find your way back into the story?
    Even if you find it how would you feel about reading a condensed version knowing there is information missing. I guess there would be an option to read the full version of the text, but then what is the point of having a short version in the first place. Yes you could have a quick news update on the ride to work (if you are using public transport of course), but this is a job for the well known skim reading. People should not be restricted especially when comes to getting information from the web. You as publisher have to deliver the full experience and let the reader decide if it is worth reading it all. This train of thoughts reminds me of the discussion in the Webpage Design course with David about forcing links to open in new windows/tabs - the same principle applies in this case as well.
    The last point I would like to make is - would you rather read a condensed version of e.g. Harry Potter or the original book.

    The only application for this technique that I could think of is to only be used for textbook/schoolbooks. I would be fantastic to have a condensed version of the information of a textbook ready for you to revise for an exam.

    That's about it.

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