Presenting the second annual ALA Summer Reading Issue—a deep pool of editor’s picks from the recent archives of A List Apart, sprinkled with some of our favorite outside links. This summer’s picks are arranged in clusters that echo the design process, and like all good summer reading, they travel light. (This issue is also available as a Readlist, suitable for reading on Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Readmill, or other ebook reader.) Dive in!
Establishing an ethos
We’ve become keenly aware the web has moved beyond the desktop: to screens large and small, to data connections both strong and weak. Has our understanding of web design moved along with it? The following articles brilliantly sidestep the dogma—app vs. native! responsive vs. device-centric!—and speak to the why of our new, multi-device discipline.
—Ethan Marcotte, technical editor
By Stephanie Rieger | March 13, 2012
By Brad Frost | March 13, 2012
By Paul Robert Lloyd | September 25, 2012
By Karen McGrane | January 23, 2013
Video: The Mobile Web is Dying and Needs Your Help, a talk by Paul Irish at Breaking Development Orlando, April 9, 2013
Getting to the core: content
What will it take to prepare our content for diverse destinations? How can we make information easy to find, save, explore, and enjoy—on any screen? What’s the right pace for your product? These articles will help you make your content—and the interactions you design around it—ready for mobile…and everything else, too.
—Sara Wachter-Boettcher, editor-in-chief
By Sara Wachter-Boettcher | February 28, 2012
By Rachel Lovinger | April 24, 2012
By Hannah Donovan | August 14, 2012
by Karen McGrane | November 05, 2012
By David Sleight | February 07, 2013
By Cennydd Bowles | March 07, 2013
Responsive Navigation Patterns, a Github collection by Brad Frost
Adapting our designs—and our workflows
The web is evolving, making the rigid parameters we once worked within blurry and elusive. This means the roles, tools, and processes of a designer must also change—the days of working only in Photoshop are behind us. The following articles will arm you with new techniques to take you from the designer who creates pixel-perfect comps to the designer who can adapt.
By Samantha Warren | March 27, 2012
By Chris Armstrong | October 16, 2012
By Matt Griffin | October 16, 2012
By Nick Sherman | February 22, 2013
Made to Measure by Allen Tan for Contents Magazine, fall 2012
Media Query-less Design, Content-based Breakpoints & Tweakpoints by Dave Olsen, March 05, 2013
Video: The Revenge of the Web, a talk by Stephen Hay at Mobilism, May 16, 2013
Testing our assumptions
It wasn’t long ago that we only felt like we needed to keep up with a handful of desktop browsers and a few predictable screen resolutions. We know better now: users expect a cohesive experience across dozens of browsers and hundreds of devices—from portable gaming systems to 50-inch televisions, from high-definition to grayscale screens, and over a huge range of connection speeds. With all these unpredictable contexts comes a host of new questions: what do we do about raster images? How do we stop the trend of increasingly massive page weights? We don’t have all the answers just yet, but the more data we gather through testing and experimentation, the closer we will get to them.
—Mat Marquis, technical editor
By Mat Marquis | May 15, 2012
By Anna Debenham | September 11, 2012
By Dave Rupert | September 25, 2012
By Brian Suda | March 12, 2013
Video: The Immobile Web, a talk by Jason Grigsby at Breaking Development Orlando, April 16, 2012
Responsive Design on a Budget by Mark Perkins, Clearleft Blog, January 16, 2013
Setting a Performance Budget by Tim Kadlec, January 28, 2013