This is the last blog post of my notes from this year’s South by Southwest conference in Austin — it gave me a ton of great content! Check out all conference notes if you can’t get enough.

Responsive web design was a popular topic in many sessions. One in particular I attended “What You See Is What You Spec’d” touched on not just the importance of a flexible web design but the how-to:

The 5 top takeaways I learned about responsive web design:

#1 – “The biggest challenge in Responsive Design is decision-making.” What full-site content is needed on the portable and/or touch screen versions (any/all)? What about content that is relevant only for a mobile (portable, smaller, touch screen) visitor?

#2 – “I hear a lot of cries for mobile-first web design. It simplifies things too much! Don’t think mobile-first, think all platforms at once. Think interaction design, not page design.”

#3 – “Developers should build a program out of simple parts connected by well-defined interfaces, so problems are local and parts of the program can be replaced in future versions to support new features.” – UNIX Philosophy, applicable to Responsive Web Design.

#4 – Responsive design forces your design, content and dev teams to work together. Remember: “Argue early and often.”

#5 – “Prototype early & often: it can squash a lot of arguments early on.” You can use design tools or something simple like Keynote for a rapid prototype. Look at your decisions in a visual, real way with all members of the team.

Kudos to Alex Breuer, Dan Gardner & Dave Rupert for an extremely useful and yet highly entertaining session!


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