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High Performance Responsive Design by Tom Barker

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Chapter 3. Start with a Plan

A Journey Down the Slippery Slope

I remember the first time I started a project that had aspirations of being responsive. Everyone on the team bought in: the product owner, the design group, engineering. We groomed and groomed, exploring together what our collective ideas of what being responsive meant. We were excited about the possibilities and giddy with the taste of something new.

Until that point, we maintained an mdot website with a separate developer dedicated to keeping it current and aligned with the main site. In engineering, we were looking forward to folding that developer back into the main team, and we were enjoying the collaboration we were experiencing with the design group.

We were a few weeks in and had nothing yet to demonstrate or even show to the executive team, but we nonetheless glowed about what a great learning experience we were having. Naturally, the executive team wasn’t glowing quite as brightly and wanted to have something concrete that they could talk about with their leadership team and their peers. A section of the design team was split off from the working team to mock up what the website would look like on the desktop, just as a talking point. Of course, after that mock-up was shown around, it was approved and suddenly became the final design from which we had to work and on which we had to base an end date.

Even though we conceptually knew that we should have started with the mobile view first and layered on from there, ...

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