A Cheeky Monkey Process for Responsive Design
“Great responsive web design is a matter of process,” according to Jacey Gulden of SocialMediaToday.com, and that process needs to be every bit as adaptive as the content your site will eventually hold.
Responsive design is one of the great Drupal features that get us hooting and hollering around the office. True responsive design, however, isn’t about just taking a monkey wrench to your pre-existing content, but about designing an adaptive system that clearly presents content across any screen size or browsing device while offering a seamless user experience.
Thinking about a RWD Workflow
Focus on creating an adaptive process to produce responsive content. Gulden writes, “I know how difficult it is to let go of past processes that have worked for so long, but in this new age of adaptive design, it has become imperative that we designers become adaptive as well.”
Develop a Design System
“Since responsive design is so fluid, it doesn’t make as much sense to worry about layout as it does to worry about single design elements,” writes Gulden. This means spending more time focusing on the uniformity of design flow and content access across devices. Combining design elements like typography, color, shapes and tone can create remarkably fluid designs that adapt to any screen conditions.
Writes Gulden, “Thinking about visual design (or the content) first, you are building on the elements you know versus the unknown variable of device width. RWD is all about providing a seamless user experience across platforms; this can be done effectively with an approach that builds on these elements of a design system.”
Create a Content Hierarchy
Content-based mockups are one tool for keeping the focus on usability and clearly presenting your site’s content across all platforms. Drupal’s content management system works especially well for designers who choose to implement this sort of blueprinting tool.
Adaptive processes for responsive design come to us as easily as climbing. When you’re looking for a website that makes sure your most important content automatically climbs to the top, who better to trust than a bunch of monkeys? (Editors note: Giraffes can’t be trusted).