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Discussion on: Smallest-viewport first

patrickcole profile image
Patrick Cole

This has been one of my biggest discussions with designers in the past couple of years. The mentality of designing on their screen size is a natural one and a difficult habit to break. I like your approach to not labelling device types but viewport sizes.

I recall reading another article discussing how designing sites now should be thought of as designing a container to fill liquid ("content") on a page. Sure it's easy to fill that space when the screen is large, but what about when you have a small space to fill and it not spilling it over the top 😉

nimmo profile image
Nimmo Author

Absolutely, and that's precisely where the biggest benefit of "starting where you have the most constraints" comes in handy.

I mean, you might know full well that the beautiful solid oak desk you want to buy will fit in your spare bedroom perfectly, but that information doesn't help you if you fail to realise that you can't fit it up the stairs.

And yeah, regarding it being a hard habit to break, it truly is. That's the very reason that I like to make noise about not referring to device types; even though people might say "everyone knows that when we say 'mobile' we mean 'small screens'" or whatever, but the word "mobile" has so much contextual baggage that it's easy to infer information that you just can't truly rely on when you use that word.