March 20, 2012

Mobile First (Intro)

Over the past few months I’ve been working towards a site redesign. One of my priorities for the redesign was to create a user-friendly experience across a wide range of devices. While responsive design has been a great innovation, it is often used for pure bling factor, without real consideration for how the content should be adapted or managed on various device sizes. In an effort to overcome such hurdles, I began the redesign with a ‘mobile first’ mentality as pioneered by Luke Wroblewski. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, mobile first is the practice of considering the design first and foremost for mobile or small screen devices, and then building upon that foundation, or progressively enhancing, for desktop and large-screen experiences. To read more on the topic, check out Luke’s book Mobile First available at A Book Apart.

The concept really connected with me on a number of levels. Mainly because mobile is the future of the web. Without getting into hard numbers and statistics, it’s logical to assume that mobile devices will replace traditional computers as the go to device for internet browsing. They are less expensive than a tablet or notebook, more accessible, and for the most part, always with us. The future of the personal computer has arrived, and can most likely be found in your pocket. This is not to evangelize the power of mobile technology, but instead illustrate the fact that mobile is a force to be reckoned with, and if we are not considering the mobile experience, than our designs will soon be obsolete from a UX perspective.

I’ll be detailing my thought-process and workflow for the redesign here in the days to come, but I wanted to release a snippet of the redesign in it’s infancy. It still has a long way to go and should be a viewed as super-beta, but the groundwork is in place and you can get a sense for where things are headed. Additionally, the dev site has been built and styled primarily for iOS and small screen devices, so if possible view it on your iPhone, or scale down your browser window size in Safari or Chrome.

Preview at dev.alexdeckard.com. Be sure to share any thoughts and/or criticisms with me on my Twitter account @alexdeckard. Thanks again to Luke Wroblewski for his insight on the topic and fantastic book, Mobile First.


March 15, 2012

Ultramontane

I am a big fan of bike and ski movies. Nothing gets you more stoked for the upcoming season than a well done edit. However, my favorite movies are not necessarily the one’s that feature the gnarliest lines or biggest hucks… but instead are the films that encapsulate the soul or essence of the sport. A few years back Sweetgrass Productions accomplished this with Signatures, a powder-ski film shot exclusively during an epic Japan winter.

Now, with bike season just around the corner here in Northern Utah, I’m going deep into bike mode devouring any bike-related content I can get my hands on. Recently I’ve discovered Ultramontane, a collective who’s made it their mission to embrace the offseason. Their videos are extremely soulful, set to great music (Deer Tick in this one), and are a must watch for anyone waiting for the snow to melt off their local trails. Check them out at ultramontane.ca.


March 14, 2012

Talent vs Persistance

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

— Calvin Coolidge

You don’t hear a lot in regards to our 30th President… but I sure like what he has to say about talent vs. persistance. Many regard Coolidge as the country’s first middle-class president. A small-town lawyer from humble begninnings who, through persistance and determination, became President of the United States.