Industry News: CSS Media Queries and Call to Remove Share Buttons

What do you think about the recent call to remove share buttons from websites? Also, does your website utilize CSS Media Queries? If not, they may not be as difficult to incorporate as you might think.

Share Buttons: Should They Be Used?

Screenshot showing some example share buttonsEver since I began using those social media share buttons, I've questioned their necessity. With the great points mentioned in a recent article by .net ('Drop social media buttons' call) and on Information Architects blog (Sweep the Sleaze), I'm wondering even more.

One of the reason I started using share buttons was that some tools, like Twitter's iPhone app, open links in their app instead of Safari. This is fine until you want to copy the website URL to paste elsewhere. The Twitter app doesn't show the address bar. Instead, I need to go back to Twitter, copy the link which is probably using a link shortener, paste it into Safari, copy the real link, and paste it into Facebook. The share buttons can help avoid all those steps.

However, some visitors have been confused by the share buttons. They didn't have (or want) a Facebook account, but buttons were asking them to log in. The problem was that they weren't looking to share the content, they wanted our Facebook page.

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CSS Media Queries

For a while now, I've been hearing about media queries and how they can be used to modify the website based on a visitor's screen resolution. What I didn't realize was how simple they can be to implement and technically I've already used them for print stylesheets. Now thanks to some inspiration from the SitePoint podcast (SitePoint Podcast #156: Paywalls Revisited) and the Barak Obama website, I'm on my way to developing more user-friendly websites.

Screenshots from Barack Obama's website

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