Responsive design starts with the right typography, and in typography you want to avoid widows. Responsive design, if done right, will not impact the performance too much. Also in this edition of The Smashing Daily, how CMSs are bad at managing content, what to do when you’re asked to speak but are uncertain, and much, much more. Enjoy!
When you decide to design your website with the content first principle in mind—which you should—it’s a good idea to start with the text, by picking the right fonts and font-sizes. In this incredible article Oliver Reichenstein explains that the right font-size depends only on the distance between the eyes and the text, which he calls perspectively proportional font sizes. An absolute must read for all designers.
A widow, in typography, is a small piece of leftover text at the end of a paragraph. In print, this is considered harmful. On the Web, we’ve accepted the fact that you can’t really control the way people see text. Well, most of us accepted it, but Nathan C. Ford hasn’t. He wrote a simple script that uses several tricks to get rid of widows.
Here are some excellent tips by Lea Verou about what to do if you are asked to speak at a conference but are not experienced (or not confident about your skills).
One often-heard argument against Responsive Web design is performance: a website simply cannot be faster if all code for all of the layouts is served to everybody, even when they don’t need this code. Jason Grigsby made an excellent presentation about exactly this subject, and shows us how the performance implications can be minimized.
What do you want a CMS to do, what does it actually do, and what should it do? These important questions are answered in this great read by Rick Yagodich about the deplorable state all CMSs are in. If there is one industry that doesn’t understand what it’s doing at all, it’s the CMS industry.
One of the things I enjoyed most when I started making responsive websites a few years ago is that all code inside a media query is ignored by old, crappy browsers. This means that you can use all the CSS3 you want in there. Roger Johansson likes this too (and so will you, probably).
The syntax for radial gradients in CSS3 has changed and are now implemented in IE10. Peter Gasston explains how they work, and what exactly has changed.
Do you want more to read? Here are some links that the Mozilla Developer Engagement team collected a while ago.
This looks like a good book about HTML5 by Luke Stevens. I skipped through the chapters a bit, bought it (but didn’t read it yet). It definitely looks good. I don’t know how much five dollars is in your currency, but in euros it’s a steal.
For previous Smashing Daily issues, check out the Smashing Daily Archive.
Vasilis van Gemert is the Principal Front-end Developer at Mirabeau in The Netherlands and a board member of Fronteers. His aim is to close the gap between design and (front-end) development. He believes the excess of knowledge he has can be better used by others, by more creative and smarter people. You can follow him on Twitter.
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