I do not love its website. Whenever I try to pull up the full calendar on my phone, I have to “Click here for mobile calendar” which pops up a new tab and points me to an entirely separate site. After studying this week, I have language for what might be happening here, and questions to ask to start to fix both what’s annoyed me on their website for years, and also what’s missing from the projects I built last week. I’m building a vocabulary.
We started the week defining fixed, fluid, adaptive, and responsive website design. Responsive websites are the most accessible because they optimize for the largest number of device sizes and user preferences. We learned to build them with percentage based units, including units for font-sizing, and a bit of extra code (media queries) so our CSS says to the browser, “Hello! If you notice the user is on a certain screen size, please move the elements on the page around in this specific way to better fit a small screen.”
We explored all this in practice when we built portfolio websites from templates, learning to read, understand, and work around other developers’ code. I had to remove a very unresponsive line of code in my viewport tag “user-scalable=0” that would’ve prevented the website from scaling to a reader’s preferences, defeating the entire purpose of the project. My site is still far from perfect and there are loads of changes I need to make, but after a bit of a mysterious Github merge that erased all of my work just before our daily standup, I’m just thankful that it’s live, and also that my 6:00pm Tuesday fiction class was on spring break this week.
That’s easy to say now; I absolutely let myself get way too frustrated at the disappearance in the moment. I acknowledge that, and am also very aware that one of the muscles I’ll need to build as a software developer is keeping my cool when things break and I don’t immediately understand why or feel like I can control them. That skill will take different and likely more difficult work than learning my way around LESS and other CSS pre-processors that make the language so much more powerful, adding variables and functions. But I gave it a start when I accepted my next assignment, a horribly designed digital resume, as good enough for now and the limits I was allowed.