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Welcome Aboard

Today's post is by Arley McBlain (@ArleyM), a front end developer in Burlington Ontario, at Thrillworks. Arley recently redesigned his site and it has some pretty neat CSS effects on it. I asked him if he'd like to share some of them and this article is his kind oblige.Responsive Web Design is the big buzz topic of the industry right now, and with little wonder; serving your site to be visually optimized for different devices and contexts is a brilliant idea. Your site exists to be seen, so why leave anyone out?Weird RWD Side EffectOne bizarre trend emerging in this new RWD era is desktop-browsing web designers resizing their browsers to watch the break-points change the layout. The average user never sits at their desk repetitively shrinking and expanding the browser window like a mad scientist. Yup, we're all strange. The personal website of someone like you and I likely has this kind of strange browser-resizing user as the target demographic, and most frequent visitor, so why not play to that?Responsive Text is a relatively new sub-topic that is only just beginning to be explored (Frankie Roberto recently made this post on responsive text). Today I want to talk about changing a headline to create a striking effect using media queries. This effect is created by having many media queries that trigger in short succession. Using this approach there is no limit to the jaw dropping visuals your site can produce.It Starts With a Personal ProjectI recently refreshed my personal site ArleyM.com. There are some "old-school" responsive effects on my front page (loosely based on this responsive framework Chris Coyier tweeted about a few months back) in that the picture of me slides under my first name, but on top of my last name. This is done by having a percentage based position on the image. I figured I would be remiss to not have some other eye catching responsive feature on the site, so I dug back into my experiments. A personal project is the perfect place to do something crazy that you'll otherwise never get the chance to do on client work. I decided to add 'responsive adjectives' shown at the bottom of this image:"Be Shocking." vs. "Be Weird." - Changing text using an army of media queries.I call the use of countless media queries "Lark Queries" (The word 'lark' often refers to something done for fun, or playfully, but I also like to think of it as taking a simple concept to an extreme level). Quite simply the user will see different words based on the width of their browser. Many users will never realize that there is anything unusual going on - but when someone checks if the site is responsive, they may be surprised at this uncommon effect.Creating the effectThere are a couple ways to achieve this. I chose to use CSS for everything. I made a media query breakpoint every 10px from 300px to 1920px, and then a couple extra break points above that for dual-monitor, and 27" cinema display users. I then used the CSS Content attribute to place the text in the h2. The content attribute isn't supported by IE7, but for my site all versions of IE represent less than 4% of all traffic. The HTMLHere we have a simple h2 with a parent div to make the selector unique (this isn't something I want on every h2 on my site!).<div class="row"> <h2>Be <span></span></h2> </div>The empty span is there to allow the CSS to render the content after. If I had to deal with older versions of IE I would actually put a static default word within the span, and only display it as needed using conditional wrappers (as demonstrated in How to Create an IE only stylesheet).The CSS@media (max-width: 980px) { .row h2 span:after { content: 'Unusual.' } }Here's just one line of the many media queries I made (165 in total!). All that changes is the max-width value, and the content value. The media queries were the easy part, thinking of a different word and arranging in order of shortest to longest was really time consuming (Thanks thesaurus.com)!The result is striking - the text rapidly changes with the shrinking browser. Fun! The Content element automagically adds the new word after the span with every media query breakpoint. It just feels nice to use this handy content attribute for something other than ul bullet points for once!View Demo   Download FilesIt was fun to see the differences this rarely used property has in each browser! For example, only Opera will let you select the content text, or copy / paste it.Getting into SemanticsThey say it's a best practice to keep your content in HTML, your styles in CSS, and your behaviour in JavaScript. So am I breaking some rules by literally using a content property? I don't think so.You could put all of the content values in HTML and use the media queries to toggle display:none/inline, but if a screen reader or Google ever had the chance to read all of that, the result might not be what you're after! JavaScript could do this job just fine (and with less code if you put all of the content values into an array), but my CSS demo will work even if JS is turned off. I personally find the content property charming as well, not sure why.I would also argue that this effect does fall more into the style category than real content. It's a bit of a gimmick, so I'm not too worried about semantics for my own project.So What Next?Obviously a tiny part of me would die inside every time this code with exact text was used verbatim, so how else could this massive media query technique be used? That's where you come in! I would love to hear some ideas in the comments. Don't let the daunting realization of how much time these would take to do hamper your imagination.Here are a handful of other ideas I've thought of:Changing colors: The media queries could change color / background-color to shift through the color spectrum, saturation scale, or go through the tints / tones of a color (0to255.com is a good place to get some hex for this). This could happen for a small element like the color of a title, or more extreme: like a full site color scheme change.Faux-Animate an image:* If you could use a high quality DSLR that can rapidly take shots you could create a stunning faux animation effect (image preloading would become key, this RWD effect comes with a high bandwidth cost). There is so much potential here!Changing Focus: It would be amazing if changing the browser size shifted the depth-of-field focus of the images on the page!Go Crazy: With a little JavaScript it should be easy to tell that a browser is resizing, and no longer at the size it was on load. You can mess with those pesky browser resizing designers by having the site go insane on resize! I'm thinking Katamari Ball crazy.User hints: This could actually be used in a practical way to give users cues that they should rotate their phone into landscape. But 'practical' sounds kinda boring next to the other ideas.As I draw to a conclusion and reflect on this list of things that can be done without being shy of media queries I can't help but feel like we're just looking at the tip of an iceberg. A crazy resizing iceberg.I'm going to go practice resizing my browser in anticipation!How to Create Stunning Effects With 165 Media Queries or Less! is a post from CSS-TricksAuthors: Guest Author

Read more http://css-tricks.com/lark-queries/

People Say We're Awesome

  • Montano Designs really came through for me when I was desperate for a re-design of my website. My small business was really picking up and I was just about to do a big mailing when I realized my website needed immediate attention.....I found Montano Designs through another website I admired......my budget was small, but Montano Designs made it work and in less than 24 hours I had a new, beautiful website-I can't wait to show it off!
    Robyn Ruehl-Lippert
  • Again, the website is so beautiful. Thank you again for all the work you have put in so far; please know this will directly effect the lives of so many children. We are very excited to get it finalized and live.
    Megan Dean
  • I have worked with Montano Designs a few times now and their work is fantastic. Provides a quality product with various variations to help your brand stand out. I plan on working with Montano Designs again.
  • I want to thank you very much for your professional attitude and persistence in dealing with what must have been a very difficult job.
  • You are a pleasure to work with. You are a savvy lady and a good business woman. I had good vibes from day one! I appreciate your help.
  • Thank you Montano Designs for your patience & hard work making My Inspiration Lounge look the best it can be!
  • Looks great and more importantly runs like a champ. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK.

    Chip Traub
  • I love my website that Montano Designs did for me. It's fun, colorful and informative. In the first few weeks that my website was up I got a new annual customer for my magazines that more than paid for the website. I'm very happy with the excellent service that Montano Designs provides.
    Peg Casey
  • YOU ARE KICKING ASS!!! The website looks awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rhonda Thomas
  • Great designer, really easy to work with and right on the money with our brief. Thanks for making this process so much fun.
  • Montano Designs provided our company with an outstanding web site design and hosting. We are extremely pleased with every aspect of the process; from initial design, to implementation, to the final product. I would strongly recommend Montano Designs for anyone looking to build a better web site. Montano Designs wonderful websites.
  • Thanks again for all the hard work. I really love the site, it is beautiful. Now that it is running quickly, we are getting many compliments. THANK YOU!
    Devon Diaz
  • I was very happy working Montano Designs. They were very responsive to all my requests. Thank You.
  • I contacted Montano Designs with little understanding of web site design. I spoke with Montano Designs and asked her if she could construct a site that could serve as my graphic design portfolio. Montano Designs seems to have a gift of being able to hear and envision what you want. She was able to design a professional site that captured my style and personality. Montano Designs was able to accomplish everything quickly and smoothly. We worked over the phone and through e-mail with ease.
    Kimberly McCaskey
  • Montano Designs did a fantastic job with my website, at a great price and fast! She took the drab legal website I was using and gave it a far better look than any of the canned attempts that other big companies were trying to pawn off on me. Cindy Montano was also particularly helpful in helping with all ancillary computer issues that were involved. Great job, Montano Designs!
    Greg DiLeo
  • Oh my Goodness! Oh my Goodness! Oh my Goodness! That's exactly what I wanted.

    Rebekah E.W. Hoskins
  • I very much like the look of the new site.
    Isabelle Fabian
  • Thanks for all your hard work, it is a beautiful website and allows me  freedom to change things at will.  Let's stay in touch, you're a special lady.
    Anita Talbert
  • I worked with Montano Designs on one of those "rush-jobs" with a site that needed to be done 'yesterday' before appearing on TV. Luckily, Montano Designs and I had the time available at that moment and were able to shift other projects to meet the deadline. Her expertise with Joomla was essential to the project as we had to customize a template and get several components up and running quickly. Montano Designs is also extraordinary in optimizing her sites for search engines, using SEO to attain natural top listings in Google.
    Brian Shea
    Seven Sages - Website Management
  • The move that has been most productive is hiring Montano Designs , based in Charlotte, N.C. to revamp ShopAdorabella. Orders increased dramatically.
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