Tags: responsive




In the latest issue of Justin’s excellent Responsive Web Design weekly newsletter, he includes a segment called “The Snippet Show”:

This is what tells all our browsers on all our devices to set the viewport to be the same width of the current device, and to also set the initial scale to 1 (not scaled at all). This essentially allows us to have responsive design consistently.

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

The viewport value for the meta element was invented by Apple when the iPhone was released. Back then, it was a safe bet that most websites were wider than the iPhone’s 320 pixel wide display—most of them were 960 pixels wide …because reasons. So mobile Safari would automatically shrink those sites down to fit within the display. If you wanted to over-ride that behaviour, you had to use the meta viewport gubbins that they made up.

That was nine years ago. These days, if you’re building a responsive website, you still need to include that meta element.

That seems like a shame to me. I’m not suggesting that the default behaviour should switch to assuming a fluid layout, but maybe the browser could just figure it out. After all, the CSS will already be parsed by the time the HTML is rendering. Perhaps a quick test for the presence of a crawlbar could be used to trigger the shrinking behaviour. No crawlbar, no shrinking.

Maybe someday the assumption behind the current behaviour could be flipped—assume a website is responsive unless the author explicitly requests the shrinking behaviour. I’d like to think that could happen soon, but I suspect that a depressingly large number of sites are still fixed-width (I don’t even want to know—don’t tell me).

There are other browser default behaviours that might someday change. Right now, if I type example.com into a browser, it will first attempt to contact http://example.com rather than https://example.com. That means the example.com server has to do a redirect, costing the user valuable time.

You can mitigate this by putting your site on the HSTS preload list but wouldn’t it be nice if browsers first checked for HTTPS instead of HTTP? I don’t think that will happen anytime soon, but someday …someday.

One day in London

I don’t get up to London all that often—maybe once every few weeks; just long enough for the city’s skyline to have changed again. Yesterday was one of those days out in the big smoke.

I started with a visit to the Royal College of Art to see the work in progress exhibition that’s running until Sunday. Specifically, I wanted to see the project by Monika, who was one third of the immensely talented internship collaboration at Clearleft that produced notice.city. Her current project is called Watching the Watchers, all about undersea cables, surveillance, and audio—right up my alley. I think Ingrid, James, Dan, and Georgina would like it.

Checking out Monika’s work in progress at the RCA. Watching the watchers

After that, I entered a metal tube to be whisked across the city to the Hospital Club, where a room had been booked for a most enjoyable Clearleft event. Anna had organised a second of her roundtable gatherings. This time the theme was “going responsive.”

The idea is to gather people together for one afternoon to share experiences and challenges. Anna invited people from all sorts of organisations, from newspapers to e-commerce and everything in between. Some of them were people we already knew, but most of them had no connection to Clearleft at all.

Everything happened the Chatham House Rule so I can’t tell you the details of who said what, but I can tell you that it was very productive afternoon. Some of the companies represented were in the process of switching to responsive, some had already done it, and some were planning it, so it was a perfect mix.

We began with a variation on the lean coffee technique. Splitting into groups, everyone jotted down some topics that they wanted to discuss. We shared those, grouped them, and voted on which order we would discuss them. Each topic got 5 to 10 minutes of discussion. In my group, we discussed strategy, workflow, tools, and more. We could’ve easily talked for longer. Some outcomes (very badly summarised):

  • The vision and strategy for a responsive redesign needs to be communicated (and sold) up the chain to stakeholders as well as to the designers and developers in the trenches.
  • “Mobile-first” For The Win! Solve the harder problems first.
  • Multi-disciplinary teams For The Win! Works well with Agile too.
  • A pattern libraries is probably the best tool you can have. So pattern libraries For The Win too!

After a break, we switched over in to a sort of open space exercise. Anyone who has a burning question they want answered writes that question down on an oversize post-it and slaps it on the wall. Now we’ve got a room with questions written on different parts of the wall. If you want to take a stab at answering any of those questions, you write it down on a post it note and slap it next to the question. Everyone does this for a while, going from question to question and having lots of good discussion. Then, at the end, we go from question to question, with the person who originally posted the question taking ownership of summarising the answers.

Some of the questions were:

  • How to help people to stop thinking “desktop first”?
  • Should designers code? Should developers design? Or Both?
  • How do you start to deploy a responsive version of an existing site?
  • How do you do responsive ads?
  • What is the best tool to use to create responsive designs?
  • Would every project benefit from a design system? Is it always worth the investment?

You get the idea. The format worked really well; it was the first time any of us had tried it. We slightly over-ran the time we had allotted for the afternoon, but that’s mostly because there was so much meaty stuff to discuss.


With that productive afternoon done, I made my way to the Bricklayer’s Arms, where by lucky coincidence, a Pub Standards meet-up was happening. I went along for a pint and a chat while I waited for rush hour to ease off: I wanted to avoid the crush before I started making my way back to Brighton. See you next time, Londinium.

Without delay

When I wrote about mobile Safari adding support for touch-action: manipulation, I finished with this snarky observation:

Anyway, I’m off to update my CSS even though this latest fix probably won’t land in mobile Safari until, oh ….probably next October.

Historically, Apple have tied mobile Safari updates to iOS version number increments, and they happen about once a year. But this time, it looks like my snark was unfounded:

On Safari for iOS, the 350 ms wait time to detect a second tap has been removed to create a “fast-tap” response. This is enabled for pages that declare a viewport with either width=device-width or user-scalable=no. Authors can also opt in to fast-tap behavior on specific elements by using the CSS touch-action property, using the manipulation value.

That’s from the release notes for Safari 9.1—a point release.

I’m very pleased to have been absolutely wrong with my prediction of Apple’s timing.


Mobile browser vendors have faced a dilemma for quite a while. They’ve got this double-tap gesture that allows users to zoom in on part of a page (particularly handy on non-responsive sites). But that means that every time a user makes a single tap, the browser has to wait for just a moment to see if it’s followed by another tap. “Just a moment” in this case works out to be somewhere between 300 and 350 milliseconds. So every time a user is trying to click a link or press a button on a web page, there’s a slight but noticeable delay.

For a while, mobile browsers tried to “solve” the problem by removing the delay if the viewport size had been set to non-scalable using a meta viewport declaration of user-scalable="no". In other words, the browser was rewarding bad behaviour: sites that deliberately broke accessibility by removing the ability to zoom were the ones that felt snappier than their accessible counterparts.

Fortunately Android changed their default behaviour. They decided to remove the tap delay for any site that had a meta viewport declaration of width=device-width (which is pretty much every responsive website). That still left Apple.

I discussed this a couple of years ago with Ted (my go-to guy on the inside of the infinite loop):

He’d prefer a per-element solution rather than a per-document meta element. An attribute? Or maybe a CSS declaration similar to pointer events?

I thought for a minute, and then I spitballed this idea: what if the 300 millisecond delay only applied to non-focusable elements?

After all, the tap delay is only noticeable when you’re trying to tap on a focusable element: links, buttons, form fields. Double tapping tends to happen on text content: divs, paragraphs, sections.

Well, the Webkit team have announced their solution. As well as following Android’s lead and removing the delay for responsive sites, they’ve also provided a way for authors to declare which elements should have the delay removed using the CSS property touch-action:

Putting touch-action: manipulation; on a clickable element makes WebKit consider touches that begin on the element only for the purposes of panning and pinching to zoom. This means WebKit does not consider double-tap gestures on the element, so single taps are dispatched immediately.

So to get the behaviour I was hoping for—no delay on focusable elements—I can add this line to my CSS:

a, button, input, select, textarea, label, summary {
  touch-action: manipulation;

That ought to do it. I suppose I could also throw [tabindex]:not([tabindex="-1"]) into that list of selectors.

It probably goes without saying, but you shouldn’t do:

* { touch-action: manipulation; }


body { touch-action: manipulation; }

That default behaviour of touch-action: auto is still what you want on most elements.

Anyway, I’m off to update my CSS even though this latest fix probably won’t land in mobile Safari until, oh ….probably next October.

Far afield

I spoke at Responsive Field Day here in Portland on Friday. It was an excellent event. All the talks were top notch.

The day flew by, with each talk clocking in at just 20 minutes, in batches of three followed by a quick panel discussion. It was a great format …but I knew it would be. See, Responsive Field Day was basically Responsive Day Out relocated to Portland.

Jason told me last year how inspired he was by the podcast recordings from Responsive Day Out and how much he and Lyza wanted to do a Responsive Day Out in Portland. I said “Go for it!” although I advised changing to the name to something a bit more American (having a “day out” at the seaside feels very British—a “field day” works perfectly as the US equivalent). Well, Jason, Lyza, and everyone at Cloud Four should feel very proud of their Responsive Field Day—it was wonderful.

As the day unfolded on Friday, I found myself being quite moved. It was genuinely touching to see my conference template replicated not only in format, but also in spirit. It was affordable (“Every expense spared!” was my motto), inclusive, diverse, and fast-paced. It was a lovely, lovely feeling to think that I had, in some small way, provided some inspiration for such a great event.

Jessica pointed out that isn’t the first time I’ve set up an event template for others to follow. When I organised the first Science Hack Day in London a few years ago, I never could have predicted how amazingly far Ariel would take the event. Fifty Science Hack Days in multiple countries—fifty! I am in awe of Ariel’s dedication. And every time I see pictures or video from a Science Hack Day in some far-flung location I’ve never been to, and I see the logo festooning the venue …I get such a warm fuzzy glow.

Y’know, when you’re making something—whether it’s an event, a website, a book, or anything else—it’s hard to imagine what kind of lifespan it might have. It’s probably just as well. I think it would be paralysing and overwhelming to even contemplate in advance. But in retrospect …it sure feels nice.

Building the dConstruct 2015 site

I remember when I first saw Paddy’s illustration for this year’s dConstruct site, I thought “Well, that’s a design direction, but there’s no way that Graham will be able to implement all of it.” There was a tight deadline for getting the site out, and let’s face it, there was so much going on in the design that we’d just have to prioritise.

I underestimated Graham’s sheer bloody-mindedness.

At the next front-end pow-wow at Clearleft, Graham showed the dConstruct site in all its glory …in Lynx.

http://2015.dconstruct.org in Lynx.

I love that. Even with the focus on the gorgeous illustration and futuristic atmosphere of the design, Graham took the time to think about the absolute basics: marking up the content in a logical structured way. Everything after that—the imagery, the fonts, the skewed style—all of it was built on a solid foundation.

One site, two browsers.

It would’ve been easy to go crazy with the fonts and images, but Graham made sure to optimise everything to within an inch of its life. The biggest bottleneck comes from a third party provider—the map tiles and associated JavaScript …so that’s loaded in after the initial content is loaded. It turns out that the site build was a matter of prioritisation after all.


There’s plenty of CSS trickery going on: transforms, transitions, and opacity. But for the icing on the cake, Graham reached for canvas and programmed space elevator traffic with randomly seeded velocity and size.

Oh, and of course it’s all responsive.

So, putting that all together…

The dConstruct 2015 site is gorgeous, semantic, responsive, and performant. Conventional wisdom dictates that you have to choose, but this little site—built on a really tight schedule—shows otherwise.

Video video

Hey, remember Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint? Remember all those great talks?


Perhaps your memory needs refreshing.

Luckily for you, all the talks were recorded. The audio has been available for a while. Now the videos are also available for your viewing pleasure.

  1. Alice Bartlett
  2. Rachel Shillcock
  3. Alla Kholmatova
  4. Peter Gasston
  5. Jason Grigsby
  6. Heydon Pickering
  7. Jake Archibald
  8. Ruth John
  9. Zoe Mickley Gillenwater
  10. Rosie Campbell
  11. Lyza Gardner
  12. Aaron Gustafson

Thanks to Craig and Amie from Five Simple Steps for coming to Brighton to record the videos—really appreciate it. And thanks to Shopify for sponsoring the videos; covering the cost of the videos meant that we could keep the ticket price low.

What a day out! What a lovely responsive day out!

100 words 095

I’m not organising dConstruct this year—Andy is—but it’s still an exciting day for everyone when the website launches; we’ve got something of a tradition of having some fun with it.

This year Andy commissioned Paddy Donnelly to come up with a design direction, partly because we were slammed with client work, but mostly because he’s really talented. Graham then took that design and executed it beautifully.

Gorgeous. Responsive. Performant. These qualities don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

There’s room for improvement and there’s plenty more to be done, but I’m still blown away by the dConstruct 2015 site.

What a day out! What a lovely responsive day out!

The third and final Responsive Day Out is done and dusted. In short, it was fantastic. Every single talk was superb. Statistically that seems highly unlikely, but it’s true.

I was quite overcome by the outpouring of warmth and all the positive feedback I got from the attendees. That made me feel really good, if a little guilty. Guilty because the truth is that I don’t really consider the attendees when I’m putting the line-up together. Instead I take much greedier approach: I ask “who do I want to hear speak?” Still, it’s nice to know that there’s so much overlap in our collective opinion.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the day, I had a couple of complaints myself, and they’re both related to the venue. My issues were with:

  1. the seats and
  2. the temperature.

The tiered seating in the Corn Exchange is great for giving everyone in the audience a good view, but the seats are awfully close together. That leaves taller people with some sore knees.

And the problem with having a conference in the middle of June is that, if the weather is good—which I’m glad it was—the Corn Exchange can get awfully hot and sweaty in the latter half of the day.

Both those issues would be solved by using a more salubrious venue, like the main Brighton Dome itself, but then that would also mean a doubling of the cost per ticket (hence why dConstruct and Responsive Day Out are in different price ranges). And one of the big attractions of Responsive Day Out is its ludicrously cheap ticket price. That meant sacrificing a lot of comforts—I just wish that comfortable seats and air temperature weren’t amongst them.

Still. Listen to me moaning about the things I didn’t like when in fact the day was really, really wonderful.

Orde liveblogged every single talk and Hidde wrote an in-depth overview of the whole day. If you were there, I would love it if you would share your thoughts, preferably on your own website.

Guess what? The audio from all the talks is already online. As always, Drew did an amazing job. You can subscribe to the RSS feed in your podcatching software of choice. Videos will be available after a while, but for now you’ll have to make do with the audio.

Oh, and speaking of audio, if you liked the music that was playing in the breaks, here’s the playlist. My thanks to all the artists for licensing their work under a Creative Commons license so that I could dodge one more expense that would otherwise have to be passed on to the ticket price.

Now. The number one question that people were asking me at the pub afterwards was “why is this the last one?” I really should’ve addressed that during my closing remarks.

But here’s the thing: the first Responsive Day Out was intended as a one-off. So really the question should be: why were there three? To which I have no good answer other than to say it felt about right. With three of them, it gave just about everyone a chance to get to at least one. If you didn’t make it to any of the responsive days out, well …you’ve only got yourself to blame.

If we ended up having Responsive Day Out 7 or 8, then something would have gone horribly wrong with the world of web design and development. The truth is that responsive web design is just plain ol’ web design: it’s the new normal. I guess the term “responsive” makes for a nice hook to hang a day’s talks off, but the truth is that, even by the third event, the specific connections to responsive design were getting more tenuous. There was plenty about accessibility, progressive enhancement, and the latest CSS and JavaScript APIs: all those things are enormously valuable when it comes to responsive web design …because all of those things are enormously valuable when it comes to just plain ol’ web web design.

In the end, I’m glad that I ended up doing three events. Now I can see the arc of all the events as one. Listening back to all the talks from all three years you can hear the trajectory from “ARGH! This responsive design stuff is really scary! How will we cope‽” to “Hey, this responsive design stuff is the way we do things now.” There are still many, many challenges of course, but the question is no longer if responsive design is the way to go. Instead we can talk about how we can help one other do it well.

At the end of the third and final Responsive Day Out, I thanked all the speakers from all three events. It’s quite a roll-call. And it was immensely gratifying to see so many of the names from previous years in the audience at the final event.

I am sincerely grateful to:

  • Sarah Parmenter,
  • David Bushell,
  • Tom Maslen,
  • Richard Rutter,
  • Josh Emerson,
  • Laura Kalbag,
  • Elliot Jay Stocks,
  • Anna Debenham,
  • Andy Hume,
  • Bruce Lawson,
  • Owen Gregory,
  • Paul Lloyd,
  • Mark Boulton,
  • Stephen Hay,
  • Sally Jenkinson,
  • Ida Aalen,
  • Rachel Andrew,
  • Dan Donald,
  • Inayaili de León Persson,
  • Oliver Reichenstein,
  • Kirsty Burgoine,
  • Stephanie Rieger,
  • Ethan Marcotte,
  • Alice Bartlett,
  • Rachel Shillcock,
  • Alla Kholmatova,
  • Peter Gasston,
  • Jason Grigsby,
  • Heydon Pickering,
  • Jake Archibald,
  • Ruth John,
  • Zoe Mickley Gillenwater,
  • Rosie Campbell,
  • Lyza Gardner, and
  • Aaron Gustafson.

Many thanks also to everyone who came along to the events, especially the hat-trickers who made it to all three.

I’ve organised a total of six conferences now and I’m extremely proud of all of them:

  1. dConstruct 2012: Playing With The Future,
  2. the first Responsive Day Out,
  3. dConstruct 2013: Communicating With Machines,
  4. Responsive Day Out 2: The Squishening,
  5. dConstruct 2014: Living With The Network, and
  6. Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.

…but they’ve also been a lot of work. dConstruct in particular took a lot out of me last year. That’s why I’m not involved with this year’s event—Andy has taken the reins instead. By comparison, Responsive Day Out is a much more low-key affair; not nearly as stressful to put together. Still, three in a row is plenty. It’s time to end it on a hell of a high note.

That’s not to say I won’t be organising some other event sometime in the future. Maybe I’ll even revive the format of Responsive Day Out—three back-to-back 20 minute talks makes for an unbeatable firehose of knowledge. But for now, I’m going to take a little break from event-organising.

Besides, it’s not as though Responsive Day Out is really gone. Its spirit lives on in its US equivalent, Responsive Field Day in Portland in September.

100 words 089

Today was quite special. The third and final Responsive Day Out was a splendid event. Every single speaker was superb. I know that sounds like a statistical unlikelihood considering there were twelve of them, but it’s true.

The day flew past. It was over before I knew it. Then it was time to stand out in the summer sun, have some pints, and chat about responsive design, accessibility, progressive enhancement, CSS, and all the other topics that were raised during the day.

During the post-conference wind-down, I was presented with two different cards, signed by attendees, thanking me. I’m verklempt.

100 words 088

Tomorrow is the big day—Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.

All the speakers are in town, safely ensconced in their hotel. To welcome them to Brighton and to get them relaxed for tomorrow, we all went out for a magnificent meal this evening. I hired out the pop-up restaurant Isaac At. What better way to welcome people to Sussex than to sample local seasonal food (and drinks) prepared by an immensely talented team. It was really great—great food, great company; just right.

Now I will attempt to get a night’s sleep before tomorrow’s overload of responsive brilliance.

100 words 085

I’m back in Brighton after a thoroughly lovely weekend in Ireland. I must remember to visit Cobh more often in the summertime when there’s quite a lot of fun things to do.

But it’s nice to be back in Brighton too. This is the time of year when a seaside town really comes alive. And this is a particularly good week to be in Brighton—in just a few more days it’ll be time for third and final Responsive Day Out. I know it’s going to be an excellent event, packed with great talks. I’m really looking forward to it.

Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Schedule

There’s just a few more weeks to go until the third and final Responsive Day Out and I can’t wait! It’s going to be unmissable so, like, don’t miss it. If you haven’t already got your ticket, it’s not too late. And remember: it’s a measly £80.

On June 19th, follow the trail of eager geeks to the Corn Exchange at the Brighton Dome, a short walk from the train station. We’ll be using the main Dome entrance on Church Street and registration starts at 9am, with the first talk at 10am.

I’ve already talked about the topics that will be covered on the day. Here’s what I’m planning for the day’s schedule (subject to change):

09:00 - 10:00Registration
10:00 - 10:20Alice
10:20 - 10:40Rachel
10:40 - 11:00Alla
11:00 - 11:15Chat with Alice, Rachel, and Alla
11:15 - 11:45Break
11:45 - 12:05Zoe
12:05 - 12:25Jason
12:25 - 12:45Heydon
12:45 - 13:00Chat with Zoe, Jason, and Heydon
13:00 - 14:30Lunch
14:30 - 14:50Jake
14:50 - 15:10Ruth
15:10 - 15:30Peter
15:30 - 15:45Chat with Jake, Ruth, and Peter
15:45 - 16:15Break
16:15 - 16:35Rosie
16:35 - 16:55Lyza
16:55 - 17:15Aaron
17:15 - 17:30Chat with Rosie, Lyza, and Aaron
17:30 - ??:??Pub!

Now, what with it being a measly £80, don’t expect much in the way of swag. In fact, don’t expect anything in the way of swag. You won’t even get a lanyard; just a sticker. There won’t be any after-party; we can all just wander off to the nearby pubs and cafés instead. And lunch won’t be provided. But that’s okay, because Street Diner will be happening just up the road that day, and I’ve already confirmed that The Troll’s Pantry will be present—best burgers in Brighton (or anywhere else for that matter).

It’s going to be such a great day! Like I said …unmissable.

The shape of Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint

It’s less than two months now until Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint. Fortunately there are still some tickets available so if you haven’t got yours yet, it’s not too late. Remember: it’s cheap as chips—just £80+VAT for a day jam-packed with knowledge bombs from twelve(!) fantastic speakers. You’d be crazy to miss it.

If you’ve already got your ticket, you might be wondering what awaits you. Well, if you’ve been to either of the previous days out, you’ll know what to expect: a medley of topics covering all areas of responsive design, from process and workflow through to visual design and code.

The day will be broken up into four segments. Each segment will feature three thematically-related 20 minute talks, back to back. Then those three speakers will join me for a joint chat, where we can take questions from the audience. Check out the videos from the first Responsive Day Out to get feel for the pace or have a listen to the podcast recordings from previous years.

Here’s my rough plan for the four segments this year…

  1. The day will start with some big picture thinking around workflows. There’ll be an emphasis on accessibility—something that can’t just be tagged on to the end of a project. There’s also be a case study of one of the hottest topics in the web designers’ workflow today; style guides and pattern libraries. And importantly, we want to make sure that the role of creativity isn’t forgotten in our new responsive world.
  2. The second segment will be like a mini conference on front-end technologies. There’ll be some deep diving into the latest in CSS techniques, including flexbox, as well as that thorny topic of responsive images. It’s hard to believe, but that’s a topic that hasn’t been covered in previous Responsive Days Out. Time to change that.
  3. After lunch, we’ll start to look beyond today and to the future of responsive design. That’ll begin with a segment on cutting-edge browser technologies. You can expect to be wowed with demos of the latest browser APIs and get your head around the much-hyped world of web components. We won’t shy away from asking how the web can compete with native experiences, like making our sites work offline.
  4. Finally, we’ll end the day—and indeed, the conference series—by taking a high level view of what the future might bring. There’ll be an examination of the skill sets that designers and developers should equip themselves with, and we’ll look beyond the screen to a future of new inputs and outputs.

So the day will have a bell-curved shape to it, starting out with a relatively high-level view, swooping down in the middle to get really stuck in with the technologies of today, before ascending at the end to look into the future.

Friday, June 19th—put that date in your diary. Registration is from 9-10am. There’ll be an hour and a half for lunch (and Street Diner will be on that day!) and everything will wrap up by 5:30pm. It’s going to be an action-packed day—bam! bam! bam!

If you don’t come along to the final Responsive Day Out, you’re going to regret it. So what are you waiting for?

Complete line-up for Responsive Day Out 3

The circle is now complete. The line-up for the third and final Responsive Day Out is all set.

I’ve been scheming behind the scenes to get one of my favourite speakers added to the roster, and now my dastardly scheme has paid off. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Lyza Danger Gardner will be speaking at Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.

That means we’ve got a double-whammy from the trailblazers at Cloud Four with both Jason and Lyza speaking. With Jason diving deep into responsive images, that leaves Lyza free to zoom out and look at some of the big-picture implications of the work we do on the web.

To say that I’m excited to hear what she has to say would be an exercise in understatement. I am ridiculously excited about the whole day—seriously, in my emails to the speakers, I find myself using far more exclamation points than is healthy. Why, I might even have included an emoticon or two; that’s how psyched I am.

If you’ve already got your ticket for a Responsive Day Out, well done you. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Tickets are just £80+VAT—a bargain!

Get your ticket now and I’ll see in Brighton on June 19th for a most excellent day of design, development, UX, performance, process, and everything else responsive-related.

Responsive Day Out tickets tomorrow

Tickets for the third and final Responsive Day Out go on sale at 11am tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3rd. Here’s the direct link to the ticket page.

I recommend getting in there pretty sharpish. Tickets are less than a hundred quid, which is a steal considering the amazing line-up of speakers who will be bursting your brain with their knowledge of design, process, CSS, JavaScript, user experience, performance, accessibility, and everything else associated with responsive web design (which, let’s face it, is pretty much everything).

Oh, and that line-up just got even better. The one and only Jason Grigsby will be speaking! If you’ve seen Jason speak before, then you know how fantastic his talks are. If you haven’t seen Jason speak before, you’re in for a real treat. I’m guessing he’ll be dropping knowledge bombs on responsive images. He’s the Jedi master when it comes to that stuff. He’s got a real knack for taking a complex subject and making it understandable …something that could be said of all the other fantastic speakers too.

So set your calendar alarm now. Get your ticket tomorrow morning. And I’ll see you here in Brighton on Friday, June 19th for Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint!

Tickets for the last Responsive Day Out

When he was writing up the Clearleft weeknotes for last week, Jon described my activity thusly:

Jeremy—besides working alongside myself and Charlotte this week—has been scheming on Responsive Day Out, and he seems quite pleased with himself. Pretty sure I heard a sinister ‘my plans are coming together almost too well’-type laugh today.

Well, my dastardly schemes are working out perfectly. I’m ridiculously pleased to announce that Rosie Campbell and Aaron Gustafson have been added to the line up for Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.

That means that as well as Rosie and Aaron, you’ll also hear from Zoe, Jake, Alice, Peter, Rachel, Ruth, Heydon, and Alla …and that’s not even the final line-up! There are still more speaker announcements to come, and if my scheming pays off, they’re going to be quite special.

I hope that you’ve already added June 19th (the date of the conference) to your calendar, but I’ve got another date for your diary: March 3rd. That’s when tickets will go on sale.

As with last year’s event—Responsive Day Out 2: The Squishening—tickets will be a measly £80 plus VAT (a total of £96). All those fantastic talks for less than a hundred squid.

So make sure you’re at the ready on 11am on Tuesday, the 3rd of March.

And then I’ll see you for a packed day of knowledge bomb dropping on Friday, the 19th of June.

Lining up Responsive Day Out 3

I’ve been scheming away for a little while now on the third and final Responsive Day Out, and things have been working out better than I could have hoped—my dream line-up is becoming a reality.

Two thirds of the line-up is assembled and ready to go:

See? It’s looking pretty darn good, if you ask me.

You can expect plenty of meaty front-end development topics around the latest in CSS and browser APIs, but also plenty of talk on process, accessibility, performance, and the design challenges of responsive design.

My plan is to go out with a bang for this last Responsive Day Out and, the way things are looking, that’s on the cards.

I’ll let you know when tickets will be available. It’ll probably be sometime in early March. They will, as with previous years, be ludicrously good value.

Oh, and to get you in the mood, this might be a good time to revisit the audio recordings from the first two years.

Events in 2015

Quite a significant chunk of my time last year was spent organising dConstruct 2014. The final result was worth it, but it really took it out of me. It got kind of stressful there for a while: ticket sales weren’t going as well as previous years, so I had to dip my toes into the world of… (shudder) marketing.

That was my third year organising dConstruct, and I’m immensely proud of all three events. dConstruct 2012—also known as “the one with James Burke”—remains a highlight of my life. But—especially after the particularly draining 2014 event—I’m going to pass on organising it this year.

To be honest, I think that dConstruct 2014, the tenth one, could stand as a perfectly fine final event. It’s not like it needs to run forever, right?

Andy has been pondering this very question, but he’s up for giving dConstruct at least one more go in 2015:

As we prepare for our tenth anniversary, we’ve also been asking whether it should be our last—at least for a while. The jury is still out, and we probably won’t make any decisions till after the event.

Y’know, it could turn out that dConstruct in 2015 might reinvigorate my energy, but for now, I’m just too burned out to contemplate taking it on myself. Anyway, I know that the other Clearlefties are more than capable of putting together a fantastic event.

But dConstruct wasn’t the only event I organised last year. 2014’s Responsive Day Out was a wonderful event, and much less stressful to organise. That’s mostly because it’s a very different beast to dConstruct; much looser, smaller, and easy-going, with fewer expectations. That makes for a fun day out all ‘round.

I wasn’t even sure if there was going to be a second Responsive Day Out, but I’m really glad we did it. In fact, I think there’s room for one last go.

I’ve already started putting a line-up together (and I’m squeeing with excitement about it already!), and this will definitely be the last Responsive Day Out, but keep your calendar clear on Friday, June 19th for…

Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.


Last week I had responsive-themed tour of London.

On Tuesday I went up to Chelsea to spend the day workshopping with some people at Education First. It all went rather splendidly, I’m happy to report.

It was an interesting place. First of all, there’s the office building itself. Once owned by News International, it has a nice balance between open-plan and grouped areas. Then there’s the people. Just 20% of them are native English speakers. It was really nice to be in such a diverse group.

The workshop attendees represented a good mix of skills too: UX, front-end development, and visual design were at the forefront, but project management and content writing were also represented. That made the exercises we did together very rewarding.

I was particularly happy that the workshop wasn’t just attended by developers or designers, seeing as one of the messages I was hammering home all day was that responsive web design affects everyone at every stage of a project:

Y’see, it’s my experience that the biggest challenges of responsive design (which, let’s face it, now means web design) are not technology problems. Sure, we’ve got some wicked problems when dealing with non-flexible media like bitmap images, which fight against the flexible nature of the web, but thanks to the work of some very smart and talented people, even those kinds of issues are manageable.

No, the biggest challenges, in my experience, are to do with people. Specifically, the way that people work together.

On Thursday evening, I reiterated that point at The Digital Pond event in Islington …leading at least one person in the audience to declare that they were having an existential crisis (not my intention, honest).

I also had the pleasure of hearing Sally give her take on responsive design. She was terrific at Responsive Day Out 2 and she was, of course, terrific here again. If you get the chance to see her speak, take it.

There should be videos from Digital Pond available at some point, so you’ll be able to catch up with our talks then.