Heydon Pickering and Andy Bell have created a terrific resource for CSS layout patterns following algorithmic design principles.
We make many of our biggest mistakes as visual designers for the web by insisting on hard coding designs. We break browsers’ layout algorithms by applying fixed positions and dimensions to our content.
Instead, we should be deferential to the underlying algorithms that power CSS, and we should think in terms of algorithms as we extrapolate layouts based on these foundations. We need to be leveraging selector logic, harnessing flow and wrapping behavior, and using calculations to adapt layout to context.
This approach is precisely what I’ve been striving for ever since Jen Simmons’s Intrinsic Web Design talk from last year.