Everything You Know About Web Design Just Changed by Jen Simmons

  1. Flash. It was hard to get HTML tables to work in multiple browsers. Flash seemed like an amazing chance to start over. And we could do things that were previously only possible in CD-ROMs. As a designer, you take an element and place it where you want to go on the stage (the UI tradition that goes all the way back to Xerox PARC). We made some crazy sites, explored a lot of possibilities, and got a lot of control. But the downside was the lack of accessibility. We went back to getting to grips with the web as its own medium. Jeffrey’s book, Designing With Web Standards, was a rallying cry to allow HTML to return to doing what it was meant to.
  2. Fluid Layouts. This was a return to the way the web always behaved — content takes up as much room as it needs to. But this time there’s a certain amount of control over how things are laid out. Still, we pretended that nobody has screens smaller than 640 pixels or bigger than 1024 pixels. We still live with the idea of fluid columns today.
  3. Fixed-Width Layouts. The “We need art!” crowd wanted more control than fluid layouts offered. We pretended that everyone’s screen was at least 640 pixels, or later 800 pixels, or later 1024 pixels.
  4. Responsive Web Design. Unveiled by Ethan at An Event Apart Seattle in 2011: flexible grid; flexible images; media queries. It’s a return to fluid layouts, but the addition of media queries gives us more control. The idea of fluid image was a bit radical. Up until that point, we thought of images as always being their intrinsic size. But something Ethan said that day was “It’s not just about layout.” And it’s true. For the last eight years, it’s been about more than layout. You set out to redesign your website and end up redesigning your whole business. Responsive web design is, frankly, what the web is now.
  1. fr units (fluid)
  2. minmax()(fluid until fixed)
  3. auto (a return to flow)
  1. Flexbox (formatting context)
  2. Grid (formatting context)
  3. Multicolumn (formatting context)
  1. Stages of squishiness
  2. Truly two-dimensional layouts
  3. Nested contexts
  4. Expand and contract content
  5. Media queries, as needed

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Jeremy Keith

Jeremy Keith

14.2K Followers

A web developer and author living and working in Brighton, England. Everything I post on Medium is a copy — the originals are on my own website, adactio.com