April 2012

Responsive design at msnbc.com

screenshot of msnbc.com technology blogs
Click on image to see the live site

This is a test launch of the new format that we build on our new platform. It is also our first stab at making the site feels like a native application. By using responsive design techniques, we make the site work on different screen sizes and platforms. So far it has been a successful attempt.

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Msnbc.com new mobile site: design for modularity

msnbc new mobile front
Click on image to see full size

Last year I went offline for a few months to work on a couple of personal projects and an iPhone app for msnbc.com. About a year later and after the iPhone project fell through, I was asked to design a new msnbc.com mobile version. The target audience is people who own devices that have Webkit-based browsers such as iPhone and Google Android phones. The project was a huge undertaking especially for an inexperienced web designer like myself. For people who don’t know me, I am more of a data visualization person than a web design person. I have designed and launched a few successful brochure websites, but have never worked on a large scale one like msnbc.com. Given that most other large news organizations have released their websites for these devices, we wanted to challenge ourselves to do something better.

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Life since last post

I haven’t been very active lately mostly due to an incurable desease called laziness :) . I know I shouldn’t be making excuses, but I do have a few other reasons. I am happy to say that I now am a proud father to a super cute 3-month-old boy. His name is Adrian and I look forward to teaching him some mad programming skills.

Yep, it all happened rather quickly. When I stopped posting in late 2010, my girlfriend and I were planning our wedding. After the wedding she immediately got pregnant. I swear I didn’t do it on purpose ;) . Since then, life have been pretty hectic for me as I had to stop being a baby and grow up was preparing to be a father. In the mid of all that, I got promoted to lead the mobile and devices team at msnbc.com. Apparently if you are good enough to be a father, you are also good enough to tell other people what to do ;) .

So during the last 18 months, I learned a lot about designing for touch devices. We started using ASP.NET MVC for our new publishing platform at work, so I got to learn a lot of C# as well. In early 2011 with a friend and my wife, we built a prototype for our own web startup. It was a recommendation engine for people who enjoy good food. Although we never finished the project, I have grown a lot as a developer.

So, that’s pretty much it. As things are coming back to normal, I will try to stay more active. I will even try to write some tutorials again.