Deciding in the Browsers

Just a thought. Now that some web designers and developers are moving to ‘designing in the browser’ are we unintentionally boxing ourselves by doing so? Are designers now mainly designing in one browser at different sizes.

I hope not. That does not really work.

Time Flies

I really cannot believe it was 2008 when Andy Clarke proposed the idea of designing in the browser. I guess it’s because it’s being reiterated in many forms that it just seems like a fresh idea still.

Although there are many posts, talks, interviews about how we should all be designing in the browser there are no rules and if you cannot design purely in the browser that’s not a problem.

It’s not binary.

“Deciding in the browser”

The phrase reimagined by Dan Mall in September 2012 shows the progression of thought around the idea. I think it needs changing. Ever so slightly. “Browser” to me just screams ‘one thing’. If we made this ‘browsers’ I’d be happier. This, to me, means more than resizing your chrome window.

I saw a site today, Oh boy.

So this is all spurred on from a recent designers new site being launched. If you know me, you’ll know I’m pretty much on twitter 24/7. Consequently I’d say 98% of all links I click are opened in Chrome iOS rather than Chrome on my Air.

So clicking a link I was presented with a readability nightmare. 3/4 words per line of text and huge amount of margin either side of the text. Without getting my Gridset ruler out I would guess at 80 pixels of my 320 pixels was made up of white space. 25% of a small screen is quite large.

Checking the site on my Air though, at 320 pixels wide, and it looked nice. The margin didn’t seem so huge. It worked.

This’d be where, possibly, deciding in just the one browser isn’t a great idea. You need to decide, design and test on anything you’ve got to hand to make the best device-agnostic site you can.

So, let’s call it ‘deciding in the browsers’ whether we start with Photoshop or HTML/CSS. Just don’t restrict yourself to one browser.