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I originally asked this question from http://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/28987/starting-responsive-web-design-from-desktop-planning-project-time-crunch, but was referred to here

Backstory:

Our product team has begun finalizing details for a user accounts project, which will be worked on in a fluid framework. But, responsive web design had just been brought up to the product directors, and now we're realizing it's important to start preparing for it.

Unfortunately, the high-fidelity layouts designed for desktops have just been created, and we haven't had enough resources and time to figure out if we can convert them to smaller layouts, so our directors are hoping we can develop the the whole project in the wide desktop layouts first, and then work backwards to smaller layouts. (Finish the project in the intended liquid/fluid layout, then do responsive web layout).

Question:

With the issue of us not being able to prepare this sooner, are there some best practices that we could do on this fluid layout so that, by the time we finish the fluid project, we can minimize the damages of doing responsive?

I understand that this is not ideal to be doing the responsive planning first, but we also had to get the core desktop webapp done first (slated to finish by Q1).

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Welcome to PMSE! Is this essentially a time management/scheduling question or a technical question regarding fluid layouts? –  Mark Phillips Nov 12 '12 at 21:08
    
I guess now it would be along the lines of scheduling. I wanted to know what resources we'd need to allocate to do the reverse engineering from a fluid desktop layout to a responsive web layout, and what technical best practices we can do now to minimize the resources post-release. I should update this question. –  Handonam Nov 12 '12 at 21:17
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An edit would be great. Make sure it includes the specific scheduling and resource utilization question. That should help clarify how our community can help. It would clarify how our community could contribute. –  Mark Phillips Nov 12 '12 at 21:42
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Although not specifically PM related, what you can do to minimize damage is to use a pre-built CSS fluid framework (there is a good list here, I'd recommend Bootstrap). Take a minumum time to learn how to use it properly, build your desktop design over it, and handle the fluid on smaller screens later. If you get the structure right with the desktop version, the fluid one will be a no pain.

On the PM side, consider outsourcing the fluid design. If you have good specs for the desktop version, you can build a fixed one to fit your schedule now at the same time someone else is building a complete, fluid solution for you to be used later, replacing the fixed one.

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We just worked with skeletonCSS (hacked to be fluid instead of the fixed 960px), and things are starting to fall into place. We noticed some things here and there where the components wouldn't scale down too well. However, components shifted around pretty well. Thanks for the answer! –  Handonam Jan 16 '13 at 17:21
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