Sally Jenkinson: More than media queries

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

Sally Jenkinson (@sjenkinson) was speaking about going beyond screen size at Responsive Day Out, these are my notes from her talk.

Screen sizes are just one piece of the puzzle.

  1. Process and workflow
  2. Features and detail
  3. Invisible requirements

We might start to use the same solutions but if we never deviate we never innovate.

Planning is as much about attitudes and responsibility.  A lot of people have forgotten how to be nice.  We have a lot of power, we need to make sure that - whatever we talk about - it's what we do that defines us.  We should be more like Batman - he's thorough and principled.  Get all the information.

Size isn't everything.  RWD > media queries > widths.  Pointer, hover, light level are coming in CSS4 media queries.  We can be responsive in more ways.  Offline first, treat connection as an enhancement.

Can we use our technological expertise to make our work more responsive, not just deliver what's briefed.  We progress by pushing the limits of what's possible.  We must keep the idea of responsibility in mind, our choices should consider the consequences.  Both with little decisions and with big picture.  Know why the technologies you are using are appropriate.

Choices shouldn't be about getting the job done.  Need to consider the future. 

Avoid narcissistic web design.  Are you using things for the right reasons or just because that's what you do.  Don't just make things for yourself - you are not a representative sample.   Accessibility may not be at the forefront of your mind but if you need to use it then it's vital.  You can't just bolt it on at the end, your technical choices have ethical consequences.

Things don't just happen to other people - the things we do affect everyone.  Asking for location comes with a perception, make sure we're not adopting dark patterns just to meet the requirements.  If you're shipping shitty code then that's on you.   You're decisions are not isolated: don't be a dick.

Challenge is hard (but it's also good).  Don't take a brief, meet it, and move on.  Educate the people around you as you go.

Performance is important.  You have a responsibility for it.  Concider if things really need to be there.

Test early to validate ideas whilst you still have time to change them.  Get devlopers involved early, don't just thow a hospital pass over the fence.

Don't lose focus.  Our perception of what a website is has changed dramatically over the last few years and we're going to have to keep adapting.

Use your power for good not evil.