RWD & JSON… Well Worth The Learning Curve

I’ve been sitting on the fence for some time when it comes to RWD (Responsive Web Design). For those that don’t understand, RWD means ONE design for a web site, which changes automatically as the size of the browser window changes. Here, the page you can see on a desktop machine, can automatically adjust itself so that it all “works” as we scale the window right down in size to be viewed on a mobile.

The idea is certainly sound, as it means there only needs to be ONE version of your website for both desktop and mobile, but until recently I haven’t really seen any examples that worked “properly” at all levels.

That is until I had to consider a revamp of my oldest site – Careers OnLine – to incorporate a new data feed for the Positions Vacant notices that are now being supplied by

This was an exciting time – learning some new skills (parsing JSON feeds to be precise) and wrapping them up in a nice new responsive design across the whole site – several THOUSAND pages in fact!!!

While my new design doesn’t quite tick all the boxes for mobile… it does go a lot closer than others I have seen.

Just keeping my fingers crossed that I managed to update all the pages affected 🙂

While it took a few days to work out how this Bootstrap CSS works (the key to RWD) I certainly think the results are well worth it… The new layout at Careers OnLine has well and truly brought my “evergreen” 1995 website into the 21st Century!

Please check the new design out here – Careers OnLine – just drag the right hand side of your browser window in and out to see how the page layout changes.

In particular, look at the job vacancies (you will need to drill down into a category to see the vacancy notices from JSON feeds in action).

JSON data feeds are fast becoming the way for sites to share data, especially in real time. It gives us a human-readable collection of data that we can access quickly, in a really logical manner. My barrier was working out how to read this data – it’s something that has eluded me for some time 🙂

But now, armed with the knowledge on HOW to parse these JSON data feeds relatively easily, I can now look at grabbing and sharing a LOT more data across my network for any customers who have that capability!

It also means I can easily expand on the current local search services I offer… so keep an eye out for some interesting changes with Come On Aussie in the next few months.

UPDATE March 2015: Here’s an item about the first of our new websites developed using the new Come On Aussie API and JSON feeds.

You’ve gotta love the Internet – exciting times ahead!

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