SharePoint 2013 has ushered in a number of changes in the manner in which developers tend to build as well as implement branding packages. The largest changes that have taken place incorporate the capabilities of CSS3, HTML5, as well as the Design Manager. With the help of these tools for development, SharePoint branding experts are able to come up with unique and dynamic designs for the environment.
The new features of HTML5 constitute the following:
- The < audio > and < video > elements in the default player of the browser for media browser.
- Support rendered to local storage (capability of reading content offline along with the potential for using web applications)
- Fresh content-oriented elements, such as < section >, < nav >, < header >, < footer > and < article >. These tags facilitate enhanced SEO content indexing, standardization and organization with respect to all designs.
One of the significant things is that HTML5 allows developers to focus on the greatest number of devices with considerably lesser amount of effort towards development. HTML5 comes up as a universal language for every device, whether it is a SmartPhone or a wide screen desktop monitor.
Along with HTML5, a greater number of branding options are opened up in CSS3. The options in CSS3 include the following:
- Font file references are allowed to render within a live environment with the help of @font-face property
- The capability of making rounded corners over a number of objects including boxes is enabled by the border-radius.
- Generation of a shadow over elements which are customizable as per the preferences of developers.
- Proportional sizing coupled with dynamic width facilitates adjustment to manifold screen sizes. This is of immense significance as it provides developers the capability of using responsive web design. Development of a responsive website involves the utilization of a number of components. These assist the developer in creating designs which possess dynamic widths and are also capable of re-sizing proportionally depending upon the resolution of the screen or the device size.
Responsive web design is in fact a flexible grid that helps in creation of a layout which expands as the page increases in size. The design of this flexible grid takes place in terms of proportions. In this case, as the re-sizing of a window takes place, every element within the layout undergoes re-sizing of their width with respect to one another. This is done with the help of CSS3 Media Queries that involve the rendering of a web page depending upon certain conditions like screen resolution.
One of the important feature concerning a responsive website is that fixed pixel size should not be given to anything, not even images or other media.
In fact, SharePoint 2013 offers branding developers a number of options while designing the SharePoint environment. However, there are some specific factors which can be questioned so far as responsive web design is concerned.
- Money and time: The question lies in the fact whether the required money and the time is available for building an intricate grid system with the help of HTML5 and CSS3. If the same is not available, the best option is going for something that is increasingly out of the box.
- Browser Support: It is to be understood whether the project needs a design which will only be used on a laptop or desktop, or a design compatible with mobile phones, tablets, and other devices is required. Another point in question is whether more web browsers like Safari, Firefox or Chrome are required instead of Internet Explorer.
- Performance: Is the project in need of a design that will be used for a long period of time, or the design would be changed by the organization every few years?
- Content: The amount of content that the site will incorporate should be decided.
- Web Application and Website: You need to consider whether the project requires a website for every device, or a totally distinct web application that can be used on Smart Phones and tablets with different functionality.
Getting the answers to all these questions will enable developers to efficiently determine how they can utilize the new tools offered by sharepoint 2013 mobile development platform, in short SP 2013.