Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web DesignI’ve been getting into resposnsive design lately – really kicking the tires and seeing what’s what. Responsive design is creating a page, email or other digital asset in a way that it will respond to the device on which it’s being viewed. I just finished a pretty good book called Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte, you can read more about it here. It’s a pretty quick read, and deals with handling many aspects of responsive design. I have used media queries before but this went into using ems, and percentages, and also some good tips on handling images which can be tricky. I’m also starting to look into HTML email with responsive design. Amazon announced the new Kindle Paperwhite today, and with the iPad mini just around the corner, making your stuff look good on any device can be challenging. Even with the new retina displays, keeping up with the new ways in which people consume digital media can be challenging.


Amazon unveiled the Kindle Paperwhite today and with the iPad mini on its way, designing for multiple devices can be a chore as well as being essential to delivering your content for a good user experience.


I’ve come across some good resources for responsive design:

Smashing Magazine has a good breakdown to start with has a good article with the basics

Designmodo has a great collection of tools for responsive design

This is one of my favorites, this link can be used as a bookmarklet to test how your page will look at certain sizes. Its a javascript link that you can use as a bookmark.


I’m hoping to have some examples soon as well, this site uses a child theme, and I need to look at creating a responsive theme that will fit the site. There are some out there, I just need to sift through and get coding.


Publishing an iBook just got easier…

iBooks AuthorSo Apple has released it’s new software app iBooks Publisher. It’s for creating electronic books, it exports in the iBooks format. I’m in the middle of kicking the tires on this and some other software. I just finished preparing an ePub file for a client, the old fashioned way. Taking it from a Word doc or InDesign file, going in and tweaking the HTML and CSS and running it through an epub checking service, it’s quite a process. Then you have to create a mobi file if you want to publish on Amazon.


The iBooks Publisher is pretty easy to use if you’ve used other Apple products like Pages etc. It allows you to embed other content such as “widgets” which include interactive content, 3D, tables, charts, links, media and HTML. Apple has targeted textbooks as the main user of this, but I feel it opens a door to other content creators as well. The only drawback is that it will only publish in iBook format, so if you want to build for other readers, you need to still do it the old way.


The epub format has just released the 3.0 version according to the IPDF. This version contains multimedia and really goes towards creating interactive content and should open the door for some really innovative content.


I’ve also been exploring some magazine publishing tools. One of them is MAG+, a tool that is basically a plug-in for InDesign and allows you to publish content from there. Using their template, you can create full issues containing pages TOCs, these hold various types of media, including video and audio, also custom HTML5, and they have some built-in features such as an image gallery. They provide an app through the iTunes store that allows you to test your content on your iPad, or you could use the simulator, they also handle the Samsung Galaxy. Their support section is good and provide some good videos  as tutorials. I was up pretty quickly with this and created an app for my portfolio using this. If I wanted to distribute it through the store, that is where you need to pay, through them to serve up the content in the App Store, or you could provide it for the Android Honeycomb devices, Kindle Fire as well.


I’m hoping to post something to the iBook store soon as I have a couple of ideas on how to use this new software. I would prefer the software would allow you to publish in the native epub format, and I’m sure there will be software that allows that soon. Until then, I will use what’s available, and I’m glad that the creative community is able to start creating the content without having to engage in a heavy development process. It at least allows for creatives to build and test new user experiences.