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Francesco Vitale
Bachelor’s Degree, Computer Science
University of Milan-Bicocca, July 2013
Supervisor: Prof. Roberto Poli...
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Summary of my Bachelor's thesis in English: “Responsive Web Design for non-profit organizations”.

Abstract
The thesis is about the use of responsive web design in non-profit websites: the analysis of relevant case studies is followed by the creation of an HTML prototype. The goal is to study the state of the art of responsive web design in order to identify common problems and critical pitfalls, pat- terns, best practices.

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Responsive Web Design for non-profit organizations (summary)

  1. 1. Francesco Vitale Bachelor’s Degree, Computer Science University of Milan-Bicocca, July 2013 Supervisor: Prof. Roberto Polillo Assistant supervisor: Prof. Flavio De Paoli Responsive Web Design for non-profit organizations Summary of the thesis (internship: 13 CFU, final report: 6 CFU, total: 19 CFU) The thesis is about the use of responsive web design in non-profit websites: the analysis of relevant case studies is followed by the creation of an HTML prototype. The goal is to study the state of the art of responsive web design in order to identify common problems and critical pitfalls, pat- terns, best practices. Responsive websites adapt to the characteristics of the device being used, and are developed with tools such as fluid grids and layouts, flexible media and images, media queries (logical expressions included in the CSS3 specification). In spite of some difficulties and unresolved problems—re- sponsive images being the most important among them—responsive web design offers a lot of advantages in comparison to alternative techniques (e.g. mobile websites or native applications): a consistent and unified user experience—based on the idea of the One Web; improved readability and accessibility; future-friendly code. Many non-profit organizations operate in countries where most of the users are mobile-only—that is, they mainly use mobile devices to access the Internet (e.g. Egypt, India, South Africa). Therefore, their websites need to be mobile-friendly. Relevant examples of non-profit websites (e.g. WWF, Organizing for Action, JDRF, Malaria No More, Boot Campaign, Unicef Swe- den) offer insights on patterns and best practices for responsive develop- ment. The results of the analysis include observations on responsive naviga- tion, fluid layouts, performance and code optimization, that are later ap- plied during the creation of the HTML prototype. The HTML prototype is powered by WordPress, an open-source CMS, and the Foundation framework. The development follows an experimental design workflow using HTML wireframes. New HTML5 features are used throughout the development: input types, the geolocation API, semantic code. Great attention is devoted to the problem of responsive images, with a comprehensive comparison of possible solutions. In conclusion, it is possible to assert that responsive web design can effectively be used to improve the web presence of non-profit organizations, enhancing and streamlining the user experience. New possibilities offered by CSS3 and HTML5 make it easier to create semantic and adaptive content, ready to become responsive. A flexible design workflow is the best way to create a responsive website that is robust and ready for the future. Keywords: CSS3, HTML5, media queries, user experience, WordPress

Summary of my Bachelor's thesis in English: “Responsive Web Design for non-profit organizations”. Abstract The thesis is about the use of responsive web design in non-profit websites: the analysis of relevant case studies is followed by the creation of an HTML prototype. The goal is to study the state of the art of responsive web design in order to identify common problems and critical pitfalls, pat- terns, best practices.

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