Jonathan Snook and Steve Smith – Learning Experiences with Sidebar Creative

Sean Carmichael

March 18th, 2011


Duration: 35m | 18 MB

Whether it’s on the design side or development side there are tricks and techniques you can benefit from. Often, these tips can save you time and frustration. You may not even be aware of them unless someone actually shows them to you. Being able to see someone else’s approach reveals knowledge that you can’t find anywhere else. And who better to learn from than experts?

The Sidebar Creative collective: Dan Rubin, Bryan Veloso, Jonathan Snook, and Steve Smith, build and design some of the best websites and applications out there. They have over 50 years of combined experience they want to share with you. This year, the guys at Sidebar Creative are conducting three separate, intensive one-day, hands-on workshops to fine tune your skills as a web designer. Those workshops are called the Web Design Masterclass.

In this podcast, Jonathan Snook and Steve Smith join Jared Spool to discuss some of their best tips and techniques they learned from each other.

Here’s an excerpt from the podcast.

“… the most difficult thing to figure out is not ‘What do I need to change?’ but ‘How do I go about targeting the individual things?’, ‘How do I get CSS that is only for these particular browsers, or these particular platforms, or this particular screen size?’ And there are lots of little tips and tricks out there to be able to handle those things.

It’s important to note, some people start to think about this again and think, ‘Oh, you’re doing browser detection, and you’re just testing for various browsers and you’re giving them specific things again, and that sounds really dirty and nasty.’ But I think the distinction here is that what we’re moving towards is not browser detection. It’s not asking, ‘Well, am I using mobile Safari?’ What we’re leaning towards now are things like feature detection, where we’re looking and saying, ‘Well, does this browser handle CSS transitions properly?’ And if so, then we can provide them with those adequately enough.

Oftentimes, for things like transitions, we don’t even need to detect for them. Sometimes we can just put them in our CSS, and if they happen, they happen; and if they don’t, they don’t. It’s fine, and it doesn’t even matter. But when you start talking about things like responsive web design, media queries, and basing your style sheet based off the browser space that’s there, these are things that are actually really simple and easy to implement. In minutes. To just change various things about your layout depending on the real estate that’s available to the user. So they oftentimes can be very, very simple…”

Tune in to the podcast to hear Jonathan and Steve address many points, including:

  • Are there any downsides to HTML5 and CSS3?
  • Are users on older browsers being left in the dust?
  • How much more work do you create for yourself when designing for multiple platforms?
  • How do you tweak things rather than doing a complete redesign using tools currently available?
  • Do you have any tips when it comes to accessibility?

Jonathan, Steve, and the rest of Sidebar Creative will be teaching their tricks and techniques at the Web Design Masterclass in Austin, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. For more information including dates, prices, and program, visit the Web Design Masterclass site.

Recorded: March, 2011
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