February Updates – Mobile and Responsive Design

We thought it would be helpful to review the fundamentals of web design for aspiring web professionals in this article.

Responsive Web design is a Web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience. This is also aimed for easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices.

What Is Mobile Responsive Design?

When a website is responsive, the layout and/or content responds or adapts based on the size of screen they are presented on. A responsive website automatically changes to fit the device you’re reading it on. Typically there have been four general screen sizes that responsive design has been aimed at: the widescreen desktop monitor, the smaller desktop or laptop, the tablet and the mobile phone.



Josh Byers 2012 article – A Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Responsive Design – StudioPress has examples given as the screen gets smaller, the content shifts and changes to the best display for each screen. This article also has more detailed information about

  • Why Should I Care About Mobile Responsive Design? These days we need to think of mobile first.
  • We first need to optimize the layout of the content.
  • Next, we need to adapt the content that is shown (and only show content that is really needed).
  • It has been amazingly easy to create a mobile responsive website for some time.

Why Responsive Images?

In article Responsive images by MDN Web Docs we can learn about the concept of responsive images — images that work well on devices with widely differing screen sizes, resolutions, and other such features — and look at what tools HTML provides to help implement them.

It also has a detail overview of

  • How do you create responsive images?
  • Resolution switching: Different sizes
  • Useful developer tools
  • Resolution switching: Same size, different resolutions
  • Art direction
  • Active learning: Implementing your own responsive images

Why Responsive Design?

Use of responsive web design is highly recommended because it

  • Makes it easier for users to share and link to your content with a single URL.
  • Helps Google’s algorithms accurately assign indexing properties to the page rather than needing to signal the existence of corresponding desktop/mobile pages.
  • Requires less engineering time to maintain multiple pages for the same content.
  • Reduces the possibility of the common mistakes that affect mobile sites.
  • Requires no redirection for users to have a device-optimized view, which reduces load time. Also, user agent-based redirection is error-prone and can degrade your site’s user experience (see Pitfalls when detecting user agents” section for details).
  • Saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site. For responsive web design pages, a single Googlebot user agent only needs to crawl your page once, rather than crawling multiple times with different Googlebot user agents to retrieve all versions of the content. This improvement in crawling efficiency can indirectly help Google index more of your site’s content and keep it appropriately fresh.

Google provides many more details in this article.

Other Resources which may be helpful

We always try to deliver something new in our Web professional’s world. Also we hope you find these overviews useful and always look forward to your comments and feedback (whether you are a member or not).

If you aspire to be a web professional and don’t know where to start, we offer a number of beginning classes to our members via our School Of Web. As a member, your first class is free.


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Including Innovation in your Web Design

This is a guest post by Junaid Ali Qureshi (a digital marketing specialist who has helped businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart, Progos Tech and eCig).

Your website should reflect you

We live in an era of digitalization where the Internet has taken over our lives and woven itself into our everyday routine whether we like to believe it or not. We use it for our personal use or business growth. It is safe to say that all of us have access to the internet. Each and everything is connected to the internet or is either done on the internet. Nowadays, businesses are thriving and reaching new heights of prosperity, all thanks to the internet. The internet has been evolving and thus the digital marketing has changed, throughout the years. The thing is that it is rapidly turning into an essential part of our lives as well as, of the brand business. The digital marketers or anyone who works on or around the internet know how important it for your website to be unique as well as up-to-date. In the world of digitalization, you cannot simply go online, share, and be recognized by your targeted audience. It is rather hard to get where you want to than this, with your audience. One of the most powerful tools today is that your website should be the reflection of your work. We are all well aware that digital marketing moves hard and fast. One also needs to master the tricks and secrets of digital marketing that will surely mesmerize the audience advertising companies in Dubai help your website to reach its targeted audience and give you the desired results.

The thing is when it comes to innovative web design; it’s safe to say that the users are the greatest source of inspiration. Whether it is building off a fully customizable template, or creating their site from scratch. Statistically, about 40% of the people are just not going to be good at innovating whereas, the 5% are born with the instinct. There are things that they do and ways that they think that is intuitive. There are a few things one can do to help reach the place of experimentation and think out of the box; this article shares a few of the techniques by which you can bring innovation to your web design. Here goes:

Start with a blank canvas

You always need to start with a blank canvas always start with a blank slate. Don’t even set the background color to white, black or any neutral color; you may not know if that’s the color you want to go with yet, so you need to keep your ideas open. Try not to restrain yourself to starting at the top of the page layout or starting with a wireframe layout. In this way, your website will have a unique layout. You can always find sudden inspiration for a fantastic way to display the page. For a change, create the product and then challenge yourself to a new solution. So, instead of curbing your ideas around these restraints, build the idea and find a way to make it work around the problems.


You need to make sure that you can empathize with your consumers and what they demand of your website. It all starts with empathy. Truthfully, strategic design thinking only has one single goal that is, to understand and solve a problem for its consumers and in order to understand and then solve the problem, one must start by empathizing with the people who are experiencing that problem. The essence of this evolution turns out to be the first principle of design thinking-empathy.

The thing is empathizing with your consumer allows you to better understand their needs; in turn giving you the tools to meet those needs and give them the desired results. These innovations are a direct result of the design thinking model one can follow. Taking the first step of empathizing with their customers gives the insight needed to serve the consumers in a new and unique way.

Provide unique constraints

The third most important thing to bring innovations to your web design is that you need to put innovation at the heart of your strategic plan, plus tout and convey it in every message possible.  However, if you are fighting a mental block or finding struggles then you need to take advantage of your newfound freedom because one of the best methods for generating some unique ideas is to bound yourself and give yourself some restraints but the thing is you do not want to slap on the same old limitations you always face; instead, you must give yourself some clever limitations and see how you can bend the rules in order to play with your design.

Another thing is that you should also consider the question of intellectual property. You can divide your knowledge between the projects you want to protect; the pieces on which you’ll build the value-capturing part of the business and the other one, the knowledge that you are going to put into the public domain.

Collaborate with others

The most important thing is to collaborate with others. You can share your ideas and hear others’ ideas in order to make a great design. Partnering up with another designer can be helpful, fun, and inspiring. The thing is working as a member of a team can be wonderful for you and a wonderfully frustrating experience. On one hand, when dedicated experts come into the specialized areas of a websites’ production, it will often yield better results in less time, especially if you are suffering from a block. On the other hand, communicating your own thoughts and ideas with another person can be a challenging as well as tiring. Designing based on another persons’ work and experience is a great way to force creative results based on the unpredictable efforts of a different designer with limited restrictions.

Once your website is unique and stands out from the rest. Advertising agencies in Dubai advertise amazing websites in return you need more consumers and more exposure. The thing is to go from idea to a successful innovation. It requires a great deal of support, hard work, and collaborations. When people are surrounded by positivism, constant communication, and encouragement, they can find it in themselves to try, fail, rise and then try again.

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New Responsive Design Mode: RDM Lands in Firefox Dev Tools

Firefox Developer Tools now includes a completely redesigned Responsive Design Mode (RDM for short) that’s just landed in Firefox Developer Edition, thanks to hard work from the DevTools team.

In a mobile-first world, it’s essential to prioritize performance for low-bandwidth and offline mobile experiences and design progressive web apps that can deliver across a range of devices. We aim to design developer tools that prioritize empathy for users and developers. That’s why we’ve put so much effort into the Responsive Design Mode.

We want to make it easier for developers to build web experiences that load and respond on screens of all different sizes and support a multitude of browsers, platforms, and device types. RDM is a significant upgrade to the Firefox tools themselves, reflecting our commitment to people who build for the web.

To access the RDM tool, make sure you’re running an up-to-date version of DevEdition. Next, open any web page to view  the Responsive Design Mode via Developer ? Responsive Design Mode.

There’s a lot in this new tool, and many new features still to come. Check out the video walk-through to see the tool in action with all of its features enumerated, including:

  • Popular device emulation
  • Network throttling
  • Touch-event emulation
  • Ability to set DPR (device pixel ratio) of devices
  • Screenshotting devices at certain sizes

Firefox Developer Tools already has a series of improvements planned for the next release of Responsive Design Mode, including:

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New blog design – I let the browser do most of the work…

Unless you are reading the RSS feed or the AMP version of this blog, you’ll see that some things changed here. Last week I spent an hour redesigning this blog from scrarch. No, I didn’t move to another platform (WordPress does the job for me so far), but I fixed a few issues that annoyed me.

So now this blog is fully responsive, has no dependencies on any CSS frameworks or scripts and should render much nicer on mobile devices where a lot of my readers are.

It all started with my finding Dan Klammers Bytesize Icons – the icons which are now visible in the navigation on top if your screen is wide enough to allow for them. I loved their simplicity and that I could embed them, thus having a visual menu that doesn’t need any extra HTTP overhead. So I copied and pasted, coloured in the lines and that was that.

The next thing that inspired me incredibly was the trick to use a font-size of 1em + 1vw on the body of the document to ensure a readable text regardless of the resolution. It was one of the goodies in Heydon Pickering’s On writing less damn code post. He attributed this trick to Vasilis who of course is too nice and told the whole attribution story himself.

Next was creating the menu. For this, I used the power of flexbox and a single media query to ensure that my logo stays but the text links wrap into a few lines next to it. You can play with the code on JSBin.

The full CSS of the blog is now about 340 lines of code and has no dependency on any libraries or frameworks. There is no JavaScript except for ads.

The rest was tweaking some font sizes and colours and adding some enhancements like skip links to jump over the navigation. These are visible when you tab into the document, which seems a good enough solution seeing that we do not have a huge navigation as it is.

Other small fixes:

  • The code display on older posts is now fixed. I used an older plugin not compatible with the current one in the past. The fix was to write yet another plugin to un-do what the old one needed and giving it the proper HTML structure.
  • I switched the ad to a responsive one, so there should be no problems with this breaking the layout. Go on, test it out, click it a few hundred times to give it a thorough test.
  • I’ve stopped fixed image sizes for quite a while now and used 100% as width. With this new layout I also gave them a max width to avoid wasted space and massive blurring.
  • For videos I will now start using Embed responsively not to break the layout either.

All in all this was the work of an hour, live in my browser and without any staging. This is a blog, it is here for words, not to do amazing feats of code.

Here are few views of the blog on different devices (courtesy of the Chrome Devtools):

Blog on iPad

iPhone 5:
Blog on iPhone 5

iPhone 6:
Blog on iPhone 6

Nexus 5:
Blog on Nexus 5

Hope you like it.

All in all I love working on the web these days. Our CSS toys are incredibly powerful, browsers are much more reliable and the insights you get and tweaks you can do in developer tools are amazing. When I think back when I did the first layout here in 2006, I probably wouldn’t go through these pains nowadays. Create some good stuff, just do as much as is needed.

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National Web Design Contest – importance

This year’s national web design contest in Louisville, KY, was another fantastic and inspiring event. It is always great to be among so many talented and passionate web designers and developers. We saw a significant improvement in the level of knowledge, skills, and abilities competitors brought.

We also trained competitors further in areas such as web accessibility, security, and web design process. Web accessibility is an area which is too often overlooked. Yet, by making your web pages accessible, you actually increase search engine rank (after all the search bots visiting your pages are blind). There was an increased awareness of ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) after our training. ARIA helps make web pages accessible when more advanced techniques are applied to these pages. Security was also highlighted in our training. Anyone reading this is likely aware of many data breaches which routinely make the news. We covered the fundamentals (such as two factor authentication and strong passwords) and also reviewed secure coding “best practices” one should employ. Many competitors also learned about the process professionals currently follow (and emerging trends) as they design websites for clients.

View of competitors and advisors in our training session on web accessibility, security, and design process "best practices" before our competition.

Training session on web accessibility, security, and design process “best practices” before our competition.

Best practices stressed

We believe it is critical to help set standards and confirm web design educational pathways include what is happening in the industry today. This is why we hold this national contest every year. It is also why we reach out to those running state competitions so we have a common approach. The fact that we are seeing improvement from year to year means our message is getting through (to students and those who teach these topics).
There was a palpable sense of excitement on the competition floor this year as everyone tested their knowledge and skills against other teams (each team had to win first place in their respective state to compete; we had first place winners from 29 states competing in either our contest for high school students or our contest for post-secondary students). It was inspiring to see how some approached the tasks laid out in the client work order. Some broke their time into segments and put together a project plan and measured their performance throughout the day. Others worked closely as a team. We observed some who finished each other’s sentences during the interview process. That was real teamwork in action.

Competitors trying to complete tasks outlined in a work order during the competition on July 22.

Competitors trying to complete tasks outlined in a work order during the competition on July 22.

What employers look for

Our efforts are also important to employers. We are helping competitors understand the knowledge, skills, and abilities employers look for in applicants these days. Those who conduct the onsite interviews of teams are the same individuals who hire web professionals. They asked many of the same questions one would anticipate in an actual interview. This means competitors had a chance to experience an actual interview (many for their first time). They should be better prepared when they are actually seeking employment in the field.
We are helping competitors better understand what is expected of them in the workforce, but we are also helping industry by raising the bar so those competing are better prepared when they enter the workforce in this dynamic and rapidly changing field. We are also helping them better understand what tools employers look for when hiring.


Gold, silver, bronze medals awarded

Winners were announced as part of the SkillsUSA National awards ceremony on Friday at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Roughly 18,000 people applauded those who earned gold, silver, and bronze medals in Web Design. First place winners received an annual subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Many thanks to Adobe for providing these. Winners also received a number of scholarships from various schools.

Riley Johnson (part of the team which won gold in our contest for secondary students) told us why he participated in the contest. “I participated in this competition to gain valuable web design and business skills from industry professionals. I also participated in it to meet and network with some of the other most talented web design students from around the country.”

Riley also offered this advice to those planning to compete next year. “To do well in this competition you have to focus on more than just web design. There were many skills being tested including interview ability as well as creating and presenting your development process. I think this competition is an excellent opportunity for aspiring web and software developers and I have been able to use the skills I gained here in other competitions as well as interviews.”

National web design contest champions on stage. June 24.

National web design contest champions on stage. June 24.

“Thank you” to those who helped

We also want to give a big shout out to all who helped with our competition. Jon, Steve, Chris, David, and Jonathan were onsite and did an amazing job of helping me coordinate the competitions. Shari, Brandy, Chandler, James and others spent hours analyzing the work of the competitors. We mention these 4 judging super stars as they have been judges for multiple years and always step up to the challenge (even though it means a couple of very long nights for them – and they all have day jobs). We appreciate your efforts immensely.

Every year, we ask members of the Web Professional community to help us review our competition rubric; serve as judges (we do all the judging remotely), and help in many related tasks. If you are reading this, what do you plan to do to help us next year? Sure, we are all busy, but we must make an effort to consistently train the next generation (and train them well). Otherwise, we are doomed to repeat past mistakes. We look forward to your involvement next year. You can always get in touch with us at:

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15th Annual Web Design Contest slated for Louisville in June

Prepares Students for both College and Career

By Tinka Davi

When seeking shops and services, hunting for health advice or pursuing potential clients most people turn to the Web. And those companies and individuals who are the most successful in gaining new business and finding clients have websites that are attractive and attention-getting and trustworthy.

Winning Gold, Silver and Bronze teams

Winning Gold, Silver and Bronze teams

That’s why Web design is so important and is a key class in many schools and colleges. The successful student creates sites that entice the viewer to hire someone, buy their services or product or pay attention to the news and views offered. They also incorporate components to ensure that Web sites are secure and privacy is protected. For the past 15 years, over 3,000 students have utilized their Web design skills and accepted a challenge offered by

They’ve participated in the National Web Design Contest, established and sponsored by the (aka World Organization of Webmasters). It challenges high school and college students to work in teams and build functional and secure Web sites for non-profit agencies.

This year’s contest will be held June 22-25 in Louisville, KY.

Web Design students participate in training in design, development and Web security

Web Design students participate in training in design, development and Web security

Each participating team is required to meet a series of challenges that focus on several areas. They include layout, story board and design, team work, project management and Web site accessibility issues. There’s also an emphasis on creative aspects, CSS and coding and client side scripting.

The purpose of the Web Design Contest is to evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the field of Web design, Web development and Webmastering, said Bill Cullifer, who served as executive director of for 17 years before retiring in 2015.

The contest includes project management, interview and presentation and promotes professionalism.

“It’s not just about good looks and design; it’s also about user experience, functionality and security,” said Mark DuBois, the current Executive Director of

Winning teams compete for prizes and scholarships

Winning teams compete for prizes and scholarships

Teams invited to the Nationals in Louisville consist of individuals who fill the roles of Web Designer, Webmaster and Web Developer.

Past Winner from Nevada

Clark Milholland was a contest participant in 2006 and 2007. He won a “Spirit Award” his first year with a teammate he still is in contact with. In 2007, he and another teammate who were 11th graders at Carson High School in Nevada, won a Gold Medal.

“The national competition was timed, with rules limiting us to creating everything from scratch based off of a scope of work that we were provided on the day of the competition,” Milholland said. “I don’t remember the exact amount of time we were allowed to work but I imagine it was in the range of six hours or so.”

Clark Milholland, 2007 Gold Medal Winner

Clark Milholland, 2007 Gold Medal Winner

The first time Milholland saw a mouse move across a screen, he was hooked. That was when he had a Gateway 2000 running Windows 95.

“I built my very first website when I was 14 or so. Its purpose was to showcase prank calls that my friends and I had spent the summer making and recording. Probably not the best use of a summer but it laid the foundation to what turned into a career in Technology,” he said. Later, in high school, a class he wanted was dropped and he was randomly relocated into a Web Design class.

“I am not one for superstition or fate, but still to this date I look back on it as a very odd and specifically perfect occurrence,” he said. “I ended up taking all four Web Design classes through high school. These classes not only allowed me a facet to push myself to success but also provided me with an internship working in technology.” He currently works for a government agency in Carson City,  Nevada. as an IT Systems Technician. He also serves as a freelance Web designer in his spare time and supported the as a volunteer Web designer.

Winner at Vanderbilt

Derek Roberts, member of the class of 2016 at Vanderbilt University, was a participant in the 2012 contest just after he graduated from high school.

Derek Roberts, 2007 Participating Student

Derek Roberts, 2007 Participating Student

Here’s an excerpt from his conclusions about the contest:

“The preparation for the Web Design Contest definitely taught me what real practice, or studying, actually means. On the day before the contest, we spent eight hours in a hotel room creating a website from a prompt our faculty advisor had given us. And that wasn’t the first time we’d done a trial run! The actual competition was incredibly intense,” Roberts said.

“The most valuable thing I took away from the competition was definitely confidence. I had never been pushed with such an immediate deadline, but our team actually came through.

“Although we didn’t win the competition, we finished the project and never gave up out of frustration. The focus that required was immense, and I’m proud to know that I have that capability.”

He hopes to work for a major company as a consultant.

For Web design newbies, he recommends finding a fantastic teacher and learning everything from him or her.

“The work ethic and standard of excellence that my teacher/mentor instilled in me is what I still use for every project I do today,” he said.

“Web design competitions gave me intangible skills that I will use for the rest of my life. I would definitely not have gotten to where I am today if I had given up early or not participated at all.”

Contest benefits

Students and contest organizers cite several benefits to participating in the contest, including:

  • Preparation for Employment
  • Recognition and Personal Satisfaction
  • Professionalism and Skills
  • Demonstration of Industry Best Practices
  • Growing your Network and Linkages
  • To Have Fun

Who supports the Contest?

  • Leading Web and technology companies and those that hire
  • Hundreds of high schools and colleges across the U.S.
  • The not-for-profit membership supported, the contest’s biggest supporter.
  • The, a training resource for students and those that teach.
  • Dozens of volunteer Web professionals who serve as contest experts, coordinators and judges.

The Web Design Contests are designed to promote Web standards, industry best practices, professionalism and the elevation of profession, which Cullifer calls “one of the hottest career pathways in the world.”

The role of education

“The goal of Web design classes in schools and colleges is to meet the growing demand and the skills gap through education and delivering to industry and to those that hire Web professionals,” Cullifer said.

And the goal of the contest is to emphasize those skills by putting them into practice in a competition that recognizes the top students in the country.

Changing of the guard

Mark DuBois (left) and Bill Cullifer (right)

Mark DuBois (left) and Bill Cullifer (right)

Before his retirement, Bill Cullifer served Director of He established the Web Design Contest to support the Web professional community with the goal of leaving behind a legacy of something meaningful for both students and those that hire.

The all-volunteer, not- for-profit organization is now headed up by Mark DuBois, the current Executive Director and Community Evangelist. He also holds title as Professor, Business & Information Systems Department, Illinois Central College, East Peoria.

Example Challenge

If you are curious, this is an example of one of the challenges from a prior national web design contest.

Challenge Number 1 – Design Process and Communication

Purpose: Demonstrate your understanding of the design process and communicate what you are intending to create and develop with your team mate.


  • Create and design storyboard including wireframe based on input from the client as outlined by the work order.
  • Create your storyboard and wireframe on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.
  • Your storyboard should include your form of navigation, illustrations or images sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing your work.
  • You will bring and present your completed storyboard to your interview with the contest judges during the interview phase.
  • You will be asked to present your Web design and development company to the review team. In short, why should we hire your team.
  • You will share your scaffolding of process including storyboard and wireframe.
  • Present your resume.
  • You will be allowed to ask questions of the contest organizers and the client.

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Web Design Contest Reflections

Mark DuBois
Director of Education

I recently returned from the WorldSkills Web Design competition in São Paulo, Brazil and started thinking about web design contests in general. has been involved with these events for the past 15+ years. I have personally run the Illinois Web Design contest for 15 years. We just concluded the 14th year of our national web design contest and we have now been involved in the international web design contest since 2013.

web design contest winners

One should ask why we have devoted so many hours and resources to these contests. Yes, lots of time away from home and family and a lot of personal money has gone into making these endeavours successful. Are they really that important? The main reason we have devoted so much effort is that we are promoting professionalism in a nascent industry. Sure, the Web has been around for a couple of decades (I wrote my first HTML in 1992 – yes, that was 23 years ago) but it is still experiencing growing pains. From an educational perspective, we are all over the map in terms of what is being taught in schools (elementary, secondary, post-secondary, technical schools and universities). We need to focus on best practices and web standards. That seems obvious, but we have observed this not to be the case. Hence, the reason for our involvement with these contests. Competitors return from their experience with a clearer sense of what is important in the industry. They are provided with client work orders which encourage established best practices. They realize (those who plan to compete more than once) that they need to adopt these practices. This is what they need to demand they be taught. To help put this into perspective, we have literally touched the lives of thousands of competitors, their peers (they do talk about the contest), and their instructors. We have raised roughly $1.7 million in scholarships and prizes.

Having been highly involved for many years (I have just completed helping with my 30th web design competition at In Illinois, national and international levels), I have begun to realize we also need to focus on sustainability. Yes, this is important, but we have been relying on a handful of practicing professionals. It is time others step up and help. Our profession would benefit from your expertise. Overall the web continues to evolve in many facets. We need to focus on core technologies and have others help us align to emerging technologies as they become important.

If you have read this far, ask yourself what you have done to help the cause for the Web Profession in the area of promoting best practices to aspiring professionals. Our web design contests are a great opportunity for you to become involved in the I encourage you to do so now. Let’s help the next generation build on our accomplishments and make the web even better. Consider a renewing your membership as well as providing insights by becoming a volunteer and actual help in the next round of competitions. They start in just a few months.

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2015 Web Design Contest

Mark DuBois
Director of Education

As I look forward to another series of Web design contests as Director of Education for, I thought it might be appropriate to reflect on why our organization is heavily involved with helping aspiring web designers and developers.

It is 2015, yet, there are a number of issues still being resolved. I encounter practicing professionals who have a limited view of web design and development (perhaps overlooking areas like mobile, accessibility or security). We aim to reinforce “best practices” in the next generation of web professionals and to encourage continuous learning. This is why we focus on a number of areas.

These include:

• Industry best practices in coding and documentation (this includes HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and server side code and the inter-relationships between these technologies),
• Making web pages accessible for all visitors to the site,
• Understanding search engine optimization and why it is important,
• Understanding emerging technologies (and their impact on our current practices),
• Understanding security vulnerabilities and how to best defend against them,
• Understanding current trends in design, workflow and more.

For purposes of this article, I want to focus on the first area – best practices in coding and documentation. In my opinion, every page should either be self-documenting and include necessary comments so I know what the original purpose of the page was, when it was created and when it was modified, who made the changes, and what the specific changes were at a minimum. Whether tools are used in the creation of pages or they are hand coded, there should never be any title of “untitled document.” Where possible, modern semantic markup relying on HTML5 should be employed. It is 2015, yet I see so many pages created with XHTML or older versions in mind.

Once the pages have been developed, they should be tested across multiple browsers and multiple devices. Whether we develop for mobile first or not is debatable, but we should test our work on mobile devices. We should understand that an exact look to all pages across browsers and devices is not possible, but we can code in a manner that we understand the limitations of some screen resolutions. We should focus on providing the best user experience regardless of platform.

I intend to provide a series of articles covering many of these topics in depth (and recruit others to include their perspectives and contribute articles as well). While they will be aimed at aspiring web professionals, I am hoping practicing web professionals will also find value.

From my perspective, I have run the state of Illinois Web Design contest for the past 15 years; I have helped with the national web design contest for 12 years and am also now involved with the international web design contest later this year in Brazil. There is a lot to each of these (including creating materials, coordinating and recruiting many individuals to serve in a variety of roles and being actively engaged during these competitions). At a minimum, my efforts alone have amounted to months’ worth of preparation. I believe that it is important to have a solid foundation and to keep abreast of emerging trends. I hope you now know why we focus on these areas in our web design contests and why I think this is worthwhile.

For additional information about the Web Design Contest visit the contest website.

I look forward to your comments.


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Web Professional Trends for 2014 – Web Design with Maryam Taheri

In this 10 minute interview with Maryam Taheri Growth Marketing Manager @CreativeMarket we talk about Web Professional Trends for 2014 including Web design and Social Media Trends:

* What old is new again (flat design, simplicity and minimalism)
* Home page sliders are disappearing
* Single page scrolling
* User centered design
* Less can be more
* Long extensive contact forms are fading for simplistic design
* Making complex things simple
* Logo and banners ads are changing
* Typography is in with information looking beautiful
* Using less fonts ( 2-3) are the trend
* Less Flash
* Parallax design us still controversial among designers
* Social media jobs are the trend
* Social scheduling is a trend

More about Parallax

According to Wikipedia, Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines.[1][2] The term is derived from the Greek ?????????? (parallaxis), meaning “alteration”. Nearby objects have a larger parallax than more distant objects when observed from different positions, so parallax can be used to determine distances.

Astronomers use the principle of parallax to measure distances to celestial objects including to the Moon, the Sun, and to stars beyond the Solar System. For example, the Hipparcos satellite took measurements for over 100,000 nearby stars. This provides a basis for other distance measurements in astronomy, the cosmic distance ladder. Here, the term “parallax” is the angle or semi-angle of inclination between two sight-lines to the star.

Parallax also affects optical instruments such as rifle scopes, binoculars, microscopes, and twin-lens reflex cameras that view objects from slightly different angles. Many animals, including humans, have two eyes with overlapping visual fields that use parallax to gain depth perception; this process is known as stereopsis. In computer vision the effect is used for computer stereo vision, and there is a device called a parallax rangefinder that uses it to find range, and in some variations also altitude to a target.

A simple everyday example of parallax can be seen in the dashboard of motor vehicles that use a needle-style speedometer gauge. When viewed from directly in front, the speed may show exactly 60; but when viewed from the passenger seat the needle may appear to show a slightly different speed, due to the angle of viewing.

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Web Professional Trends for 2014 – Web and Interactive Design with Jason Cranford Teague

In this 10 minute interview with Jason Cranford Teague, Author, expert Rosenfeld Media and UX Lead at Gannett Digital we talk about Web Professional Trends for 2014 including Web and Interactive Design Trends and:

* New and emerging trends for developing and planning for the User Experience
* How the planning process for Web designers has evolved from complex wireframes, paper comps and Visio type resources that developed processes for building monumental structures are moving to more nimble and relevant Agile development processes
* Trends in Interactive prototyping
* How today’s Web designers need to go way beyond the visual and web publishing to more design and develop interactive Web experiences
* Relying more on the code and CSS
* How responsive design and mobile technology has moved the needle and demand for a broader set of skills
* We’ve moved beyond the “fatal five fonts” to more enhanced Typography
* An improved understanding and broader acceptance for a solid understanding of HTML and CSS for Web designers
* How Web and Interactive designers and the technology are pushing the capabilities of today’s browsers
* How the browsers and the technology are catching up

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