Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Responsive Design, why is it so important

Responsive Design, why is it so important?

Using a responsive design you will ensure that your viewers experience your site in the best (and most professional) way even from their smartphone. This is why you should want a mobile-friendly interface

Responsive design
Why your site's design should be responsive?

Responsive design has quickly become a core concept of web graphics. Modern site offer impactful, engaging and fully immersive experiences on mobile devices, as more and more traffic is generated from smartphones and tablets. Your webpages must be accessible and professional from any platform and resolution in order to keep up with today's standards.

However, contents without a captivating graphic and functional layout just aren't going to make an impression on visitors. Responsive design follows some highly specific rules, and in the next paragraphs we'll explore some of its pivotal elements. In general, however, the graphic of a mobile website requires a totally different approach from a layout developed for a computer's screen. Perhaps you have come across the term mobile-first; this approach is often used in most modern web design solutions, where the mobile version is developed first, and only subsequently adapted to larger screens. This is the best way to make sure your website layout is at a time clean, cohesive, and professional.

What are the specifics requirements of a responsive design, though? We'll get to it - but, first, we must understand how mobile Internet first came to be and how it evolved into our hyper-connected present,

The story of responsive design; how Internet became mobile

Since its creation Internet was projected toward a concept of mobility that would forever change the IT world over the span of just a few decades. Contents on the Web were meant to be available for everyone and had to be accessible everywhere, in any part of the world.

Toward the end of the '90s, mobile phones were equipped with WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) technology. Today, these obsolete devices may make us smile, but back in the day it was this kind of innovation that would pave the way for our modern smartphones. WAP displayed the contents of a page or website as simple text, links, and sometimes ASCII images.

Responsive design and WAP technology
WAP technology paved the way for responsive design

However, WAP had its limitations. Webpages coded in HTML (the markup language used to make a content accessible to browsers) could not be interpreted by this protocol, which forced developers to create parallel mirror pages, specifically studied for WAP technology.

But times were quickly changing. Japan was the first to develop a technology where Internet contents could be browsed on mobile phones through "lite" browsers; this way, the HTML pages were displayed directly on-screen.

Handling the wide variety of screen resolutions that cellphones entailed proved to be somewhat tricky, though. Web graphics up to that point had been developed for computer displays - and between the different screen resolutions and browsers specifics, that was already saying something! But now smaller and smaller devices entered the picture, presenting the designers with new challenges. Contents had to be presented in a way that was visually pleasing and effortless; the very concept of design had to be reimagined and revised to encompass this new, growing and ever-shifting audience.

Mobile displays and small resolutions; UX for responsive design

Responsive design owes a greatg deal to the potential and versatility of CSS Stylesheets. With CSS, contents and graphics can be resized and adapted to various screen resolutions, simply by declaring as many media queries as needed. Media queries are graphic variables, estabishing how the various layout elements will be displayed on-screen. For example, images can be set up to appear at 100% width on mobile screens, filling the display entirely - while maintining their normal size and ratio on desktop.

One of the main characteristics of responsive design is just how the user experience (UX) prioritizes images. Their placement and dimensions influence the positioning of content boxes and other graphic elements; the final goal is to make websites intuitive and easy to navigate, while at the same time aesthethically pleasing.

Responsive design
Responsive design must preserve the aesthethics and feels of a site

It goes without saying that a lot of groundwork goes in the design and implementation of mobile layouts. The reasons are practical, as the average mobile users have a noticeably shorter attention span than desktop users, thus the contents must be readily and immediately available. Responsive pages should especially be devoid of any horizontal scrollbars, as the visitor's mind will almost invariably skip over any content that overflows from the device's screen surface. The overall layout guidelines about weight balance also apply to graphic elements and text blocks; a page should never look too clutterd or haphazard.

No less important is the navigation menu which in responsive design is usually a navbar placed on top of the page. On smaller screens, the menu is displayed as a dropdown list of links which can be activated by tapping the three-lines icon (hamburger menu), thus allowing visitors to move easily inbetween pages.

Restyling or new mobile-first site - which should you pick?

As we have seen, responsive design requires a change in mindset when approaching layout; the differences from desktop-based web graphics are stark and should never be overlooked. So your next question may be, can a pre-existing site be restyled and finetuned for mobile browsing, or should you rather get yourelf a brand-new site with mobile-first graphic from the get-go?

While both options are eligible, what you should be asking is which one will actually work best for your site. If the technology is very outdated, for example - as in the case of Flash websites, or sites that relied heavily on tables - a brand-new layout that takes full advantage of CSS potentials and sports a mobile-first interface may be the best call for reaching out to a new, broader audience.

Conversely, a few strategic improvements and retouches may dust off a site that's just a bit bland, bringing it right up into the responsive design era with a snazzy new mobile interface that does not alter the overall "look & feel" of the site as it is.

Cri8ive will help you figure out the best solution for your platform, studying the best strategy to make your brand or your site stnd out and shine. Contact  me through the form on my website or send me a mail; Cri8ive Network may just have what you're looking for in its range of services.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Cri8ive Blog - Hello, World...

Cri8ive Blog - Hello, World...

Welcome to Cri8ive Blog, where creativity and ideas find voice and color.

Happy birthday, Cri8ive Blog. 

Let me tell you, it feels strange to write on a personal platform again, when I spent the last twenty years writing for third-party clients. During the last two decades I have been in charge of the editorial contents of portals, websites and magazines, and I've lost count of all the articles, reviews and newsletters I've signed (or not - ghostwriting is part of what I do). I taught myself the intricacies of SEO and worked hard as a copywriter, in italian and sometimes in english. I wanted to get my own personal blog started, but somehow I could never quite give it a true identity or a shape that had me go "Yeah, that's it! That's how I want my blog to feel like!"

Why a blog?

Internet is virtually limitless. It's estimated that dozens and dozens of new pages get created hourly, and those pages range on the most varied subject. Maybe it was the necessity to stay afloat in such a vast sea of competitors that scared me off for so long. What should have been the "tone" of my blog? What should I be writing about? And what structure should I give my posts - would they be reviews, or just my own personal musings? Should I be writing something I enjoyed or something I could profit from? Most of the articles I wrote for clients were more technical in nature, but I found out that sort of writing tended to burn me out fast. Did I really want that pressure on my blog? Over the last two decades I made some half-hearted attempts to sort out my ideas, but all those attempts were short-lived at best. What I didn't have was a bigger picture, a solid, cohesive and all-encompassing project in which I should pour time and energy. 

Flashfoward to 2024 - and now that project is very much real, in the form of my sparkling brand-new site Cri8ive ( I don't intend it to be just a portfolio of my works, but a digitial platform expanding on my passions; communication and graphics.

Cri8ive, my digital platform

So, in a nutshell, what will you find in this Cri8ive Blog?

Cri8ive News: my newest works and projects. 

Digital contents: informative articles exploring the world of content creation. There will be focus on, news relevant to the world and work of creators, trending news and the rising challenges of this ever-changing and fervent "biz".

Software & tech for creatives; I'll be reviewing graphic suites, photo and video editing softwares, Wordpress plugins and just about every program that content creators want to have in their digital toolbox. I will also provide detailed product reviews of the latest tech releases; desktop & laptops, graphic tablets, printers and digital cameras developed especially for creatives.

Art & Design: events all over the world pertaining to art, graphic and design in all their forms. There will be articles focusing on artistic techniques and styles, as well as a constant eye to the latest news about artists rights (particularly in the wake of the increasing threat posed by Artificial Intelligences.)

Culture & Entertainment; a choice selection of books, movies and TV-series reviews. I will also be reviewing non-fiction technical manuals (hey, what do you know - I'm always trying to expand my studies), comics and graphic novels.

Editorials: my very own musings in which I give my unfiltered "two cents" on subjects that I'm particularly keen on, or that regard me in some degree or other.

Cri8ive Blog soars today and I believe it will fly far, thriving to offer you ever-varied and interesting new contents. Yet a blog without an audience is but a drop in the ocean, I warmly invite you all to interact! Make yourself heard! Leave your comments, or share the posts that may be more interesting to you on your Social Networks and spark new, engaging discussions. That's, in a word, the core of Internet; real-time communication breaking past barriers and distance to turn into shared knowledge and food for thoughts.

Follow me in this colorful and creative (wait, was that a pun...? 😜) new adventure Stay tuned, stay Cri8ive!