Responsive interview with Brad Frost

Hello and welcome to edition 188 of the Responsive Design Weekly newsletter, and the third week of the responsive interview series Part 2.  Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

By now many of you will have unwrapped your presents and charged up whatever electrical devices you might have received, or are looking for a quiet moment to check your emails and get your dose of the responsive web before you comatose yourself with a turkey feast.

I thought on Christmas morning you could all use a touch of Frost…. Brad Frost that is (see what I did there).

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and as soon as you’re finished reading the interview go and give you significant other a hug or call up your best friend and wish them well.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday!

Brad Frost

Brad is a web designer, speaker, consultant, musician, and artist located in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA. He’s constantly tweetingwriting and
about the web and other topics. He’s also helped create some tools and resources that we all use on a day to day basis including This Is Responsive, Pattern Lab, ,WTF Mobile Web, and Mobile Web Best Practices.

What was the best new implementation of RWD you saw in 2015, and was there a redesign that took your eye?

The art direction of this year’s Dconstruct website was amazing. And a larger scale, I’m super excited to see the U.S. government release the U.S. Web Design Standards, which includes a pattern library of components to be used across government experiences. I’ve long been impressed with all the amazing GOV.UK work, so it’s awesome to see my own country following suit!

What are 2 RWD Frameworks/Plugins/Shims/patterns that you always seem to go to?

Well, not to be totally self-serving, but every project I work on I use Pattern Lab, which is a tool for creating responsive, pattern-based experiences. I had to work on a non-Pattern Lab project recently and found myself quickly frustrated!

Another RWD pattern that I found myself revisiting this year was the Priority+ navigation pattern. As you know, the hamburger menu has gotten a lot of flack recently, and I think the Priority+ pattern does a great job of exposing users to the most important navigation items,
while also providing access to the rest of the nav. This pattern seems like a sensible alternative to simply sweeping everything under the rug and relying on a single icon (often the hamburger menu) to do all the heavy lifting. And the pattern is set up to take advantage of extra screen real estate by
exposing more navigation items as screen real estate becomes available. 

What is the one thing with sites you would like to see improved/developed in 2016?

It’s been really heartening to see performance become more a priority to everybody over these last couple years. So of course I’d like to see that continue. 

A big thing I’d love to see is more of in 2016 is designers and developers really pushing back hard on bullshit. Designers and developers are under a lot of organizational pressure to do things that aren’t in users’ best interests. Rather than blindly implementing these terrible practices “because my boss told me to”, I think it’s critical for
web creators to fight harder for their users.  

If you could offer 1 piece of advice around building responsively what would it be?

Make everything you include in your experience fight for its life. Fight for its right to exist. Every word, every button, every script, every image should be in benefit of the user and the business. Hack the cruft out of your experiences. Be ruthless!

Next week we’re coming back from the US to the Great Britain and we’ll be hearing from Jordan Moore and Stu Robson. It will be New Years Day so I’ll have to include a series of New Years Resolutions for you all to follow… traditionally about slimming our own waistlines these will be along the lines
of what Brad talked about and cutting the cruft!

See you next week!

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