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mdonahue (20) [Avatar] Offline
#1
What I like so far is the approach to responsive here is mobile first, I personally believe this to be a best practice for designing and developing responsively. I also like Matthews perspective on the importance of content and its role in responsive. The voice and tone are down to earth and generally easy to relate to. Some of the analogies are tough to relate to but most of them make it quite easy to visualize responsive as a concept.

One thing that does concern me though is the use of the phrase "the responsive web." Up until recently many referred to "mobile web" and "desktop web" which led to the idea that they were two separate types of web, especially in the eyes of stakeholders and clients, only to come to the idea of "One Web." One web is a trait of responsive design - one code base responding to the browser window size to form the most appropriate presentation at any given size. My concern is this turn of phrase could inadvertently set things back again. In most cases throughout the book where "responsive web" is used, "responsive web design" would work equally well. After all it's the design that's responsive not the web.

The other thing that struck me is that the book, so far, offers mostly introductory information on most topics leading me to think its more geared toward beginners. However, more advanced topics like preprocessors and frameworks would seem to be better suited for intermediate to advanced designers and developers. At the very least they would seem better positioned toward the back of the book after the fundamentals are better understood.

I use both on a regular basis because I've discovered the value in both. That said I wouldn't have been able to assess the value if I hadn't first learn the traditional way. In other words I'd have no basis for comparison. These early chapters might serve the reader better if the expanded on typography, percentage based layouts, responsive grids and adapting layouts and navigation. Preprocessors and frameworks are not required to design a responsive site but they can make it easier to do so.

Over all the book does a good job of introducing the subject and its related topics. There are several typo's and grammatical errors but nothing too egregious. Some of this may come to be non-issues as Parts 2 and 3 are released. Looking forward to reading the rest.
matthew.carver (23) [Avatar] Offline
#2
Re: Thoughts on Part 1
Good point on the term "responsive web". I have been using the term for a while now, thinking of it was a way of articulating the "one web" idea you talk about. I agree with you 100% and will keep it under consideration. I would hate to change the name of the book, or do anything drastic like that, but you raise a great point here.

I intentionally tried to include some cursory instruction on advanced topics early in the book, as a way to set exceptions in the reader that this topic requires a huge change in thinking. This is something that I've already begun to change, instead focusing on getting into the redesign sooner in the book. Look for some tweaks coming soon.

Thanks for the feedback. I absolutely love it and look forward to getting more.
mdonahue (20) [Avatar] Offline
#3
Re: Thoughts on Part 1
"The responsive web gives you the power to adapt the page between devices."

Just re-read the first chapter and this caught my attention. It's the use of the word "adapt." I bring it up due to the potential for misunderstanding it could create. While it is semantically accurate, the presentation of elements are adapting to the space available, these days the word is more often used to refer to the actual swapping of one bit of content for another. Like swapping optimized images based on device or using server-side adaptations.

If you expounded on the intent of adapt in this context that could help properly align expectations. Otherwise a minor change like "...adapt the presentation of..." or "...arrange the elements on...", something to that effect.
matthew.carver (23) [Avatar] Offline
#4
Re: Thoughts on Part 1
Interesting thought.

Later in the book I want to get into some of details of swapping content though. Ultimately that's the goal. I might want to address that earlier. I would like to have some more writing about RESS (responsive design + server side components) and using modernizr to adapt pages on load.
mdonahue (20) [Avatar] Offline
#5
Re: Thoughts on Part 1
Since this is the intro chapter and you're covering most of the basics it would seem prudent to say what defines a responsive page. By that I mean fluid grids, flexible images and media queries.