meyerweb.com

Skip to: site navigation/presentation
Skip to: Thoughts From Eric

The Pivotal Ways

Five years ago yesterday, the suave and debonair Ethan Marcotte debuted a talk titled “A Dao of Flexibility” at An Event Apart Seattle.  I still remember the feeling in the room.  Those of us who were there realized that it was a pivotal moment for the web, even before Ethan had left the stage.  It was the moment that responsive web design burst forth into the world.

The title, and content, of Ethan’s talk explicitly paid homage to the rugged and handsome John Allsopp’s “A Dao of Web Design”, published fifteen years ago today at A List Apart.  It’s hard to overstate how much wisdom and prescience is distilled into that deceptively short piece.  As I said in the testimonial I contributed to ALA’s remembrance:

John’s insights are as sharp and relevant as ever, especially when we realize the web’s inherent flexibility isn’t just about layout—that, in fact, layout flexibility is one of the web’s least important features. I try to reread “A Dao of Web Design” at least once a year. You should, too.

There’s not much more I can add, and honestly, anything I tried to add to these seminal works of brilliance would only cheapen them.  Go, read; go, watch.  Remember where we’ve come from, and use that foundation to chart where we’re going.

One Response»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Tue 7 Apr 2015
    • 1614
    Roberta wrote in to say...

    Thank you for this! As an independent website developer, I’ve been doing my best to put your CSS teachings into practice for a long time, and recently Ethan’s responsive design as well. So it’s wonderful to see the original ideas presented before they were commonly used everywhere. I know AEA will be in Boston next month, but there’s no way I can afford to attend in person, despite not needing a hotel room. So being able to see these videos is a real treat! You, Ethan, the many writers who have shared their ideas on ALA, and so many others have inspired many more of us than you ever see sitting in front of you during your talks. Thanks for reminding us of how far we’ve come on the web, and also how open it is (and hopefully always will be) to new ideas.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address required but never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Remember to encode character entities if you're posting markup examples! Management reserves the right to edit or remove any comment—especially those that are abusive, irrelevant to the topic at hand, or made by anonymous posters—although honestly, most edits are a matter of fixing mangled markup. Thus the note about encoding your entities. If you're satisfied with what you've written, then go ahead...


April 2015
SMTWTFS
March May
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Sidestep

Feeds

Extras