The Tameri Guide for Writers had fallen behind the times. In Internet time, we were a generation behind the latest design and feature trends. The site had been moved to a three-column “fluid” layout a few years ago, accommodating a variety of computer screen sizes from 800 to 1024 pixels wide. Today, however, people have huge screens on the desktop and little screens of 320 pixels in their pockets or purses thanks to smartphones. The Tameri site wasn’t working well for many visitors.
Writers and publishers once could assume words would appear on a page that didn’t change from reader to reader. If two people purchased copies of a book in the same format, the books were the same. Today, however, digital texts are unpredictable. My iPhone has one display, my wife’s iPad has another. Plus, both devices “auto-rotate” pages depending on how you hold them: portrait or landscape is up to the user, not the designer.
I am now testing a layout that seems to work well on my phone, okay on a tablet, and perfectly on a standard screen from 1024 to 2048 pixels wide. That’s the new design conundrum: each layout has to be at least good enough, if not perfect. I’m still designing with the assumption people will have a 1024-pixel or wider screen, with phone and tablet access for convenience. Design is a compromise.
When we do unveil the new template, we will be converting one page at a time. That will allow us to catch problems as we update the entire site. Once we are certain things are working well, we will bulk convert the remaining content. Expect a few glitches, though.
For the technically minded, the new site will be using a mix of fluid and responsive grid templates from Adobe Dreamweaver’s library [link http://www.adobe.com] and the 1140 Grid System by Andy Taylor [link: http://cssgrid.net]. Merging two basic template sets has resulted in a better overall design for website visitors.
As always, please let us know if you locate any design or content errors. We are dedicating more time to Tameri projects in coming months.