I have finally abandoned the 380px-wide column that I chose arbitrarily for my first attempt at a blog design in 2002. That relatively narrow column became fixed when I began embedding photos in my posts, all scaled down to 380px-wide, shortly thereafter. To overcome this limitation, in 2009 I added the ability to enlarge photos using a Lightbox plugin. This meant that I had to manually generate a 380px-wide version and an 800px-wide version of every photo in a post, linking the former to the latter. I attempted a responsive redesign at the end of 2012, but it was really just a hack job. I got things into a place where they sort of worked, but stopped short because I had a new job to focus on. Finally in 2013, I abandoned the 380px-wide “thumbnails” altogether, and just started posting the 800px-wide versions—bandwidth be damned!—allowing the browser to scale the image down to my then-still, 380px-wide column. The benefit being that the newer high pixel density screens in smartphones and tablets showed much crisper images than they had previously.
Someone just let me know that samples of Chile’s new national identity cards, known locally as cédula de identidad (or documento nacional de identidad, DNI), feature a QR Code linking to justinsomnia.org. This is not the first time that Chile has taken a liking to my QR Code. ¡Hola chilenos curiosos!
The last time Justinsomnia went under the knife was 2007, and the web has changed a lot since then. Allow me to impress this upon you with a single image. The graph below represents the percentage of mobile browser traffic to my blog over those last 5 years. Hello iPhone and Android users!
In the span of a single year, mobile traffic jumped from almost nothing to nearly a third of my total traffic (before settling down around 15% this year). Given that there’s now a significant global audience of people browsing the web with smaller screens, I decided it was time to get up to speed on responsive web design. (If you’re in the same boat, I highly recommend checking out Apple’s developer docs on Configuring the Viewport. It was eye-opening.)