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Bootstrappers Meet Up at Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer founder Charley Moore (center) chats with Bootstrap creator Mark Otto (right).

Rocket Lawyer founder Charley Moore (center) chats with Bootstrap creator Mark Otto (right).

Rocket Lawyer Senior Designer Kevin Keiper stopped by Everyday Law to talk about the April meetup he organized for designers on the cutting edge. 

More than 250 designers, developers, product managers, engineers and other fun-loving nerds showed up at our offices April 25 to eat, drink, schmooze, and hear about the latest in responsive design from Twitter Bootstrap creator Mark Otto.

We invited them to Rocket Lawyer’s headquarters as part of my Responsive Web Design-San Francisco meetup group, a forum for techie types interested in the next frontier in web development: content that scales seamlessly from desktop to mobile devices.

Mark, a designer at San Francisco’s Github, created Bootstrap at Twitter with Jacob Thornton as a way to bring some consistency to web development. It’s free and open source.

Bootstrap—as it’s now called—was a breakthrough solution to a problem common to many startups. Designing and coding a site from the ground up is messy, and it often requires recurring elements and best practices. Collecting these common styles and code patterns into a tidy and downloadable toolbox of files can help get a site up and running quickly.

Mark held the crowd’s attention for more than an hour as he talked about the history of Bootstrap and reviewed many features of Bootstrap 3. A key part of the Bootstrap project is being able to configure this toolbox to work on mobile devices—a critical issue for any company with an online presence. Mark talked in detail about how he learned to design for mobile devices first, and then add incremental functionality in order to scale up to desktop experiences.

I started the Responsive Web Design-San Francisco meetup about a year ago out of my interest in responsive design—a relatively new design and development method that incorporates CSS, HTML, and some javascript to create easy navigation across a wide range of devices, from smartphones to tablets to desktops.

As Rocket Lawyer works to fulfill its mission of providing more people access to the law, it’s easy to see why using a solution like Bootstrap is a good strategy. It’s widely supported in the local development community, and it enables rapid prototyping and deployment of web applications for mobile and desktop experiences.

Interested in learning more about responsive web design? Check out this video of Mark Otto’s talk:

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