Being the technology hungry monkeys that we are, we just couldn’t resist the opportunity to make our blog – this blog – fully responsive. From widescreen desktops to tablets and right down to mobile, the 8 Gram Gorilla now scales beautifully. It was also a complete bitch to do.
Not that implementing responsive design is particularly difficult, it’s just that it really needs to be considered from day one. After all, it pretty much boils down to creating an array of different stylesheets that get triggered at specific media query intervals – figuring out the logical of how best to collapse items down, and anticipating it from the get go, is the tricky bit. As much as we all love the design of 8 Gram Gorilla, it was never originally designed to be responsive and, as such, required a lot of a messing around to make it happen.
Typekit and traditional CSS didn’t help matters much either. This being WordPress, Sass wasn’t really an option (to rephrase: I should’ve looked harder) and that’s certainly something to lament – as we’ve recently being discovering, implementing responsive layouts are a lot easier when you can use Sass variables and maths calculations to determine different responsive sizes. Typekit also proved to be a pain in the ol’ backside as we had to swap out some of the fonts for Windows users which then later caused problems with the different fonts taking up different amounts of space. Even after a lot of fiddling, it’s still a tad buggy in places and the mobile view looks a bit messy on Windows desktops. We’ll get round to sorting it one day.
But still, regardless of all of these obstacles, we’re very pleased with the end result. There still some rough edges to smooth out but overall the blog looks wonderful on any size of monitor and is just an absolute joy to behold on iPads, iPhones and Android mobiles. We’ve also learnt a ton in the process and now know how to best tackle building responsive layouts and, more importantly, what the pitfalls are and how to overcome them. Plus, at the end of the day, the web industry is all about learning new things and having fun doing them and that’s exactly what happened here. Aside from all those moments of screaming at the monitor in utter frustration that is.
So go ahead, whip out that tablet or mobile and enjoy the fruits of our labour. And, if you do find any bugs, for God’s sake keep them to yourself.