Archive: February 15th, 2013

Counting down to the Responsive Day Out

The Responsive Day Out is only two weeks away. Exciting!

If you have a ticket, just print it out (or bring along an electronic version on some kind of screen) and you’re good to go. If you didn’t get your Eventbrite ticket, let me know and I can resend it.

If didn’t get a ticket, sorry. But all is not lost. In my experience, it’s at this time—in the final run-up to the event—that ticket-holders start to bail, for whatever reasons: clashing events, work duties, illness, or whatever. We’re not offering any refunds, but people can swap tickets. So if you can’t make it, give a shout-out on Twitter: I can guarantee that there are plenty of people willing to take that ticket off your hands.

Remember, this isn’t going to be a typical Clearleft conference: a lot of the things that you would expect to get as standard at a conference won’t be on offer. No badges. No lanyards. No banners. No sponsor stands. And if you want to get a tea or coffee from the bar in the Brighton Dome, you’ll have to pay for it (although we will have coffee cart from Small Batch Coffee on hand to dish out free flat whites).

Here’s how I’ve got the day planned:

9:00 – 10:00Registration
10:00 – 10:20Sarah Parmenter
10:20 – 10:40David Bushell
10:40 – 11:00Tom Maslen
11:00 – 11:15Chat with Sarah, David, and Tom
11:15 – 11:45Break
11:45 – 12:05Richard Rutter and Josh Emerson
12:05 – 12:25Laura Kalbag
12:25 – 12:45Elliot Jay Stocks
12:45 – 13:00Chat with Richard, Josh, Laura, and Elliot
13:00 – 14:30Lunch break
14:30 – 14:50Anna Debenham
14:50 – 15:10Andy Hume
15:10 – 15:30Bruce Lawson
15:30 – 15:45Chat with Anna, Andy, and Bruce
15:45 – 16:15Break
16:15 – 16:35Owen Gregory
16:35 – 16:55Paul Lloyd
16:55 – 17:15Mark Boulton
17:15 – 17:30Chat with Owen, Paul, and Mark

It’s going to be a frenetic action-packed day! Then (after a suitable interval to grab some fish’n’chips or a curry or something) we can head on over to The Loft on Ship Street for the after-party from 7:30pm.

If the Responsive Day Out isn’t enough brain food for you, you might like to know that Remy is running a workshop the day before on mobile web apps. So if you’re coming down to Brighton anyway, you can kill two web technology birds with one stone.


Mark has written down some thoughts on breakpoints in responsive designs. I share his concern that by settling on just a few breakpoints, there’s a danger of returning to the process of simply designing for some set canvases: here’s my “mobile” layout, here’s my “tablet” layout, here’s my “desktop” layout.

In my experience, not all breakpoints are created equal. Sure, there are the points at which the layout needs to change drastically in order for the content not to look like crap—those media queries can legitimately be called breakpoints. But then there are the media queries that are used to finesse page elements without making any major changes to the layout.

When I was working on Matter, for example, there was really only one major breakpoint, where the layout shifts from one column to two. That’s the kind of breakpoint that you can figure out pretty easily from the flow of your content; just resizing your browser window is usually enough to settle on the point that feels right. But there are lots of other media queries in the Matter stylesheet. Those are there to make smaller adjustments to margins, font sizes …the kind of changes that came about from testing on phones and tablets in the device lab.

It feels a bit odd to call them breakpoints, as though the layout would “break” without them. Those media queries are there to tweak the layout. They’re not breakpoints; they’re tweakpoints.


Funny and painful in equal measure.