New Theme, New Ideas

Sometimes its fun to simply select someone else’s theme and focus on writing. At this stage I am more interested in designing information, than designing the theme. I like the bold look of this theme, the ease of reading and the simple navigation of categories. This has been an overwhelming quarter and its good that it is about done. This is a new beginning – with time to write and share experiences.

This is my last week as a full-time instructor, and even though I will teach a few classes in the winter quarter, I mostly look forward to the challenges ahead, and the new things I want to accomplish. I may even build a few websites along the way, and perhaps even make a difference in my community….

Web design & development has grown in leaps and bounds since I began teaching back in 1997. And it is easy to see that there were more major additions and changes to the focus of our industry this past year, than any I can remember. The dot com crash of 2000 was mild compared to the dramatic changes that are occurring because of the rapid expansion of internet capable devices. The impact of responsive web design is almost overwhelming as there are so many frameworks and practices in place, yet some areas that simply are not working effectively yet. The new year will surely find better solutions for images, and perhaps even browser adjustments. It should be an exciting year and a great time to be a web design learner and professional.

What really is difficult in our business is design thinking, how do you solve the new types of problems clients will come to us with – that have never been tackled before? Who dreamed that over 50% of the computer use in this country would be on a 320×480 viewport? And the number will probably increase more rapidly than we can say responsive design. How about designing a clients e-commerce solution for a mobile phone? There are not yet established patterns for Responsive Web Design yet; flex layout and grid layout specifications are coming soon, not to mention more focus on scripting and developing personal frameworks to speed our coding effort. We have to have great tools for learning, just to keep up with the changes! But we still have the challenges of the impact of the web on our global village as the major challenge.

The real learning experience available to all of us, is through collaboration with colleagues who are working to solve the current issues with RWD. It is an important time to realize how social networking will be important to our forward progress, as changes will still be rapid and confusing at time. We need to stay connected to the larger design community to keep up with the changes. We really need to focus on design thinking at this stage, and get to the essence of what we are working to accomplish.

It’s been a good run with great people – I’ll be around teaching part-time for a while, but the ebb and flow of this life is changing – I will be doing the things that matter to me – trying to make a difference….