Responsive Design Talk at Minneapolis Community Technical College (MCTC)

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to share a powerful technique that I learned from Ethan Marcotte on creating a responsive, flexible website with students and attendees of the Meetup Group. My talk, which took about an hour and a half, was made even more interesting and engaging by fielding some very challenging and meaningful questions from the audience.

Since it was my first attempt at speaking to a large crowd, I was admittedly nervous for the first 10 minutes. However, I settled into the discussion by introducing myself and speaking a bit about my history and what I do before getting into the meat of my presentation. I first talked about the benefits of a flexible grid, flexible images, and how to use media queries to target different resolutions (devices). Before diving into creating a website, I shared some data to illustrate how the mobile territory is growing much more rapidly than expected.

Before closing my presentation, I gave my perspective on different responsive tools and frameworks available for designers/developers, and advised to use them only when it’s crucial for a project. I’m concerned that these elements are being promoted as something we must use for every project, while in reality they can often increase the complexity to a project. This type of unnecessary complexity leads to significant financial issues and causes major frustration throughout the development of a project.

Finally, I wanted to thank the students and organizers of the Minnesota Web Design Meetup group, Bill Hendricks, Faculty Coordinator of Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Ketan Kakkad, a successful entrepreneur in Minnesota, for giving me the opportunity to share and learn from a very smart audience.

For those of you who were unable to attend the discussion, here’s my deck for your review. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions!

UPDATE: Links to templates illustrated in the presentation, Homepage and Blog.

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