Mobile web design has been around in various shapes and forms for years now, long enough for various methods to be tried and discarded, or tried and honed, until front-runners start to rise to the top of what web designers like to call “best practice.” While responsive web design—which uses media queries to detect screen size and adjusts the site layout accordingly—is still questioned by some, most web professionals regard it as the best option for most projects.
I started implementing responsive design in client projects over a year ago, and have found it to be the right solution for the kind of sites I typically build. Around that time I also decided to redesign my own site to be responsive, but ask any web designer and they’ll tell you: not only is it near impossible to design for yourself, but finding time to focus on your own design and development in between client sites is extremely difficult! So this redesign has been a year+ in the making.
As with all my redesigns, I focused first on my content and the way I observed my site visitors using and interacting with my content. And I simplified accordingly. I cut down my project descriptions significantly, touching only on the highlights and key features of each one. Not only is this easier for site visitors to quickly skim and be able to grab exactly what I’m trying to get across to them, but it also takes the pressure off me to come up with dissertation-lenght descriptions for each project.
I got rid of extra project images, choosing to focus instead on a single large snapshot of the homepage of each one. Again, less work for me to put together and upload all those images, and a well-placed “View Site” button will allow the viewer to open the website in a new window to see the full site’s design and functionality for themselves.
Simple is approachable.
Another major change for this redesign: I ported my entire site from ExpressionEngine to WordPress. In the past WordPress’ capabilities were pretty limited, while other content management systems—like ExpressionEngine—allow you to create new content blocks with customized content fields that you could shape together anyway you want, like building blocks, giving you full control over not just your content entry, but the way you’re able to display it on the front-end. Well, WordPress has grown up a lot, and now has nearly as many capabilities as those other, larger CMSs, and I’ve never found anything that could beat WordPress’ ease of use on the back end. While WordPress is not up to every task, it’s capable of handling nearly every project that comes my way. And for that reason I’ve refocused my business to focus exclusively on WordPress-based sites. It’s what I know best and am most enthusiastic about.
So please feel free to poke around the new site. Resize your browser window and see how she handles responsively. And if you’re interested in a similar treatment for your website, fill out my request a quote form and tell me about your project! I’m booking new projects for early to mid-June.