Galen Gidman

Front-end and WordPress developer

Think First

Think First. It works.

These were my favorite words in my favorite of the day. Francisco Inchauste (you may know him as iamFinch) wrote:

Instead of religiously debating Responsive Web Design, Adaptive Web Design, Content First, Mobile First, etc., use Think First. It works.

I cannot stress enough how right Francisco is. Lately, it seems to me that perhaps we’ve become far too enamored with the concept(s) of Responsive Web Design, Mobile First, and other strategies developed for dealing with mobile. We see the means as the end, instead of what they should be — the means. Are our intentions bad? Generally speaking, no. But perhaps it’s time to take a step back, look at the big picture, and make sure everything we do is done to achieve our end goal and not just because it’s trendy.

Example: I’m sure that if you’re reading this, you’ve seen the latest iteration of zeldman.com. Since launching the redesign, Jeffrey has taken quite a bit of heat from members of the web community saying his site should be responsive. At first glance, I tended to agree. Resize your browser window to narrower than 800 pixels or so and you get a horizontal scrollbar. Odd move for a guy that built the company that published the web’s first book on RWD, no?

I was curious, so I tweeted him to ask about the changes and lack of responsiveness. His answer:

It is, in subtle ways. But the layout width doesn’t change. One layout to rule them all.

Confused, I pulled out my iPhone, opened Safari and had a look. Actually, it looked quite nice. Even though the width of the site was not fluid, Jeffrey used extremely large type and a relative narrow, one-column layout to ensure the end result was equally as enjoyable on mobile as it was on the desktop, and vise versa. Different? Yes. Effective? Absolutely.

I think this is what I’m getting at: The chief end is not the process nor is it the means. The chief end is the result. Let’s all keep that in mind.

Think First. It works.

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