I am sure a lot of people wonder what is the point of a framework? How can you benefit so much from such a simple concept? After reading a few articles on the idea of frameworks, it seems like such a great way to organize things. It makes me wonder how people really work, in mass websites, without them.
First things first, what IS a framework?
To my understanding, a framework is just a way of storing sets of CSS files, which each accomplish one particular thing, to help the designer. For instance, one CSS file to reset the website, another CSS file for typography, and of course one for the layout of a site. Breaking up the site into portions to help making a designing of a page that much quicker and more efficient.
Sven Lennartz said a few of the negatives of this technique is having access code that you don’t need for every site. If you are making one basic CSS sheet for each topic (reset, typography, and layout) you may have extra code. One thing I would recommend is to use them to make things quicker, but not to “set it and forget it” with coding. To of course, over look the code and make sure you don’t have to remove anything you don’t need.
Another negative that Sven Lennartz listed was that it may take away uniqueness and creativity from a site. While that argument may hold water, I feel that it could actually allow someone to be more creative. I think that it may allow a designer to be more creative is because when you have a certain set of pre-made layout sheets, you know what is possible. You can take a pre-made layout, and tweak it to accomplish what you want. It will allow the designer more time to play with the design, than if they had to build it from scratch.
I think that frameworks are a great idea. Although, I feel that at this time in my learning, I would like to code everything until I know it like the back of my hand before I save off CSS sheets. I would worry that saving CSS sheets and just referencing them, as opposed to re-coding them for each site for the sake of practice, would make me forget the coding and not be as familiar with it.
For my final project, I would like to help create a site that sells items, and the profits will go to help sustaining shelter for battered woman, and help provide counseling, and legal help for them.
The items my site will be selling are products such as hand bags, jewelry, and other feminine items. The target market for my site is for girls between the ages of 17-23. They are the largest spending market in America at the moment, and I feel that targeting them would be a great way to get money for a good cause. The girls can buy a cute bag at a good price, but also be benefiting and supporting women in having a healthy life.
I envision my site being partially specified for selling items, but also for advice, and information on how to help yourself or someone you know who is in an abusive relationship.
Responsive web design is when a web designer, in a way, designs for every browser or viewing device out there. Some of the suggestions given to make a working site, that is friendly for every device out there, is to not give specific sizes in divs, but to give percentages. This is a way to make sure whether the screen is small, or large, that it will have the right appearance. There is also suggestions of making a more flexible layout, so that the pieces will flow together when the screen sign changes.
There are also ways to specify if a browser is small, use the smaller image version, but if it is a larger browser or device, then to use the larger image.
A lot of people take for granted the ability to browse on any device, that clients forget, or may not be aware, of the complications one can have when designing for all the viewers.
Designing for all the possible browsers is an important part as a web designer, but I am not looking forward to it.
Flash was created by Jonathan Gay and is currently one of the most popular media players for web browsers today. There are “rumors” that flash is going to be dead because iPad and iPods do not run flash on its web viewer. However, it is only a rumor and it is still a very important program that can give a great online experience.
Jonathan Gay started to program when he was in high school, starting with fun games which soon developed into creating programs. His first program was a graphic program called SuperPaint. Fast forward a few years, and he created a more advanced graphics program called IntelliDraw, which was to be the competitor of Adobe Illustrator and Aldus Freehand. The advantage that IntelliDraw had over Illustrator or Aldus Freehand was that it allowed you to add in behaviors for the graphics.
The next program he created, which was called SmartSketch, which when using animation and java to create animations for the web. The program individually was not getting enough use or attention, in which he the idea to sell the program rights to Adobe. Flash became a part of Adobe in 1996. In which it evolved in 1996 to be called Macromedia Flash.
When creating a webpage, the designer can approach it in many ways. The two most popular ways are through progressive enhancement and graceful degradation. Both of these approaches are influenced through web browsers and how they display information and the the design.
With so many web browsers out there, and so many versions of them it can become quite a task to make a page that looks good and functions well on them.
Some designers approach a project by making sure the website works on all the browers, using the more outdated browsers as guidelines. They do not focus on the design of the page, but more of the content of the page. This approach is called Progressive Enhancement. The benefits of this approach is that older browsers and cell phones benefit from it. It is also a faster and less expensive approach than graceful degradation.
When using progressive enhancement, you plan out the content, and then the presentation, and finally the scripting of the page.
Other web designers plan on a page by using the most recent browsers as guidelines for how to create a page. They focus more on the design of the page, wanting to be able to use the bells and whistles that are out there even though not everyone can see and benefit from them. This approach is called graceful degradation. When using this approach, the designer must decide which design elements are the most important. When they decide what elements they MUST have, they then have to code those elements for each browser. An example of this is if they wanted to create a box shadow.
“Let’s start with a box-shadow for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera:
-webkit-box-shadow: 5px 5px 5px #777; /* for Chrome + Safari */
-moz-box-shadow: 5px 5px 5px #777; /* for Firefox */
box-shadow: 5px 5px 5px #777; /* for Opera 10.5, IE9
and future-proofing */
Now, let’s extend this with some CSS for IE specifically:
/* call this in IE only */
color=’#777777′, Direction=135, Strength=5);
Some elements such as rounded corners or gradient colors will not work on older browsers. The rounded colors will become square and the gradient colors will become flat.
I personally feel that Progressive Enhancement is the best approach. This is because it relies more on what the webpage is about. Why is this page online, what information is it trying to send out to the users? I do not think a box shadow will influence users whether or not to purchase an item or believe the information on the page is true. Some do believe that these elements are extremely important and stick to the idea of graceful degradation.
To each their own on how they create a site, I believe I will use progressive enhancement, but who knows I may change.