An Active Element is a user interface element that can be interacted with. It’s something you do something on (like click, tap, type on). A very basic example is a text link like this:
Or a button like this:
Also a text input like this:
You know what I can’t stand for 4 minutes? Listening to classical music radio station while driving. We try it, Jaycelle and I, from time to time if we can stand it. At times, when we’re word-battling, we don’t notice the music in the background. But at times when you put your ears into it? Nah, next channel.
Imagine this ombre cake:
It looks yummy and it has layers.
It is similar with active elements – they must have three levels for the purpose of CSS.
The first level is the textual element itself. The second level holds the function of the active element (e.g., <a> or <button>). The third level is for positioning. Initially, it appears that the default way to put it is this way:
And since this is for the purpose of CSS, we must impement Framing for the textual element and for positioning. These frames will act as hooks for CSS. Look at this example:
<div> <!– Frame for positioning –>
<span> <!– Frame for textual element –>
Here’s a demo to show a floated button:
[codepen_embed height=”266″ theme_id=”1820″ slug_hash=”VvyxJJ” default_tab=”result” user=”BrianSahagun”]See the Pen 3 Layers of an Active Element Article Entry Admin Actions by Brian Dys Sahagun (@BrianSahagun) on CodePen.[/codepen_embed]
Oh and by the way, here’s an ombre potato:
Discussing more about Git. Personally I use GitHub Desktop when working mostly with WordPress.
Imagine a 16 x 16 px home icon that also has a 16 x 16 px active area. This little thing is prone to be missed upon activating (clicking or tapping) especially when laid out side by side with other active elements with similar dimensions.
Providing ample space around it away from other elements might lessen the chance of mistakenly activating something else but it won’t make it easier to hit. This is where Padding comes in.
Padding refers to increasing, at least to a minimum of 38 x 38 px the dimensions of the active area of an element. This technique prioritizes the usability of that active element in such a way that it is easily clicked by a pointing device or tapped by touch because of it’s big-enough area.
Padding: Responsive Wrap
A type of Padding wherein the active area, apart from having minimum dimensions, its size is being determined by its content. The active area at 38 px is wrapped around a content but if the content is bigger than the minimum of 38 px, the container will respond.
- initial fixed height
- width is determined by content and horizontal padding
- Active Area
- Active ELement
As front-end designers, we are using patterns over and over again – we are employing specific techniques to answer specific needs. But what we lack is a term, a name tag for those methods.
It’s simply like the Flying V of The Mighty Ducks!
So far, I’ve added Padding and Framing to my vocabulary.
Let’s try another one. Say for example, I need the following for my website’s header:
- Fixed-height header
- Responsive width
- The content of the header are all vertically-aligned in the middle
- If the content of the header exceeds the fixed height, then it will respond
What kind of solution does this need and what can we name the technique?