Responsive Line Height

Manually adjusting line-height with media queries for optimum readability across vast number of screen sizes can be very hard. What makes it even harder, is, that instead of the screen width, the line-height should be relative to its container’s width and its font settings in order to achieve proper readability and appropriate spacing.

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A Dive Into Plain JavaScript

While I’ve worked over a decade building various websites, it has only been the past 3 years that I’ve started learning more on how to work with plain JavaScript, instead of using jQuery always as the starting point. The fact that I’m learning a dozen new things every day now, has made working on our JavaScript SDK feel more like building an open source project than “actual work,” and I have to say I like that a lot.

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A New Path

Today, after over two years, I’ll be leaving my position at Kisko Labs. I’ve started working on a new responsive advertising solution for smartphones and tablets called Adtile. Another big news is, that we have just received a $2.7 million funding to bring this product to the market. There’s also a story about us on today’s TechCrunch, so check that out too.

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Responsive Nav Plugin

Responsive Nav is a tiny JavaScript plugin which weighs only 1.6 KB minified and Gzip’ed, and helps you to create a toggled navigation for small screens. It uses touch events and CSS3 transitions for the best possible performance. It also contains a “clever” workaround that makes it possible to transition to height: auto, which isn’t normally possible with CSS3 transitions. The plugin, along the site, was released today on Smashing Magazine.

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Prototyping Responsive Typography

Web typography, and digital typography in general, is a huge step forward in the history of typography. It has made setting type fast and easy compared with hand-setting metal type. Responsiveness, when added on top of this, makes this period of change we are living very fascinating. Not only is centuries old design theory being rewritten, but the process of how design happens is now changing too (as Mark Boulton states it).

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File Upload Support on Mobile

I were quite surprised few weeks ago when I found out with Matt, my colleague, that no one has tested thoroughly which mobile browsers support input type=file and how to reliably detect the support. After an hour of Googling we literally gave up and decided to find it out ourselves. The results are shared here to everyone for future reference.

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Remote Preview

Remote Preview is a tiny JavaScript based tool which I built for our test lab. It allows you to preview any URL on large number of mobile devices simultaneously. Just enter a URL, hit Cmd+S, and new URL gets automatically loaded on each device. Remote preview works on platforms like Android, Blackberry, iOS, Meego, Symbian, Windows Phone and WebOS.

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Not so long after the device lab was born I realized that we need a much better way to store and charge all the 40+ devices. There didn’t seem to be any existing solution available which you could just buy, so I started thinking what would be the easiest way to do something like that myself. After some research I ran into this device testing station by 64 Digital and thought it looked like a perfect solution.

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I wrote an article to Smashing Magazine. It’s an in-depth guide about how to establish an open device lab. The article gives practical tips about things like location, how to get devices, what devices to get and what software to use. It would not have been possible to write it without the help from Shaun Dunne, Jeremy Keith, David Blooman and Andre Jay Meissner. Thank you guys, I owe you one.

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Helsinki Open Device Lab

If you’ve been building websites during the past two years you must know that the web doesn’t live on a desk anymore. The reality is that we now need to test our work on multiple devices, instead of just few desktop browsers. All this is easier said than done. It's easy when you have a dozen devices laying on the desk in front of you, but what about the rest of us? Devices are expensive and the landscape is ever expanding.

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Responsive workflow

During the last week I was at the Webshaped conference listening Stephen Hay’s talk about responsive design workflow. This post isn’t going to be strictly about that, but as Stephen’s way reminded somewhat the way I work myself, it made me want to write down some thoughts about my workflow and how it has evolved during the past two or three years and how it might still evolve in the future.

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Modular Grids

Couple months ago while I were designing a website I remembered a technique I had long forgotten. I used to use this technique before I moved from print design to web design about eight years ago and it was, for me, an essential way to utilize modular grids better. Grids in design are kind of like the scales in music. They give you a way to anchor your layout elements and typography to a certain rhythm.

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CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of content from presentation, including elements such as the layout, colors, and fonts. This separation improves content accessibility and provides more flexibility and control over the presentation. CSS is quite flexible language on its own, but as websites become more and more complex we sometimes need to have more control.

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Recently I started testing how proportional scaling of bigger layouts would work in reality and if it makes any sense. It’s possible when using EM units and then changing body’s font-size when viewport’s height grows above certain point. Basically that means, that I have to change only one or two css properties between @media queries which are targeting larger screen sizes.

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There seems to be some confusion about these terms and what they mean, so here’s my thoughts on the subject and few links to back them up. I’m usually not very keen when it comes to debating over what something is called, but this time I wanted to make it clear, as I hear this question quite often.

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I have been intrigued by the idea of making a typographic scale out of a musical scale that would not only be very readable, but also aesthetically pleasing. This whole idea started after the launch of my new site. At first, I ignored to see it, but weeks later I started to notice that the textual content of the site is actually pretty harsh for the eyes and the reading experience isn’t that great.

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