Element hierarchy & parenting.

Dive into the concept of hierarchy in web design. Learn how a site is structured, meet the parenting model and see how elements interact with eachother.

Dive into the concept of hierarchy in web design. Learn how a site is structured, meet the parenting model and see how elements interact with eachother.

Let’s take a look at hierarchy on Editor X. We’ll explore the parenting model and how to navigate between the layers of your site.


The hierarchy of elements is part of the HTML structure behind each site. This means that changes you make to the hierarchy are reflected across all breakpoints.


The hierarchy of elements can be explained through the parenting model.


For example, this section here is a “parent” and this container is its “child.”


This relationship defines how the elements interact with one another.


When elements are placed inside a section, they become the children of that section, and siblings to each other.


You can see this parenting model clearly in the layers panel.


At the top of the hierarchy, you have the site page, then sections, containers and elements like images and text.


Here you can also keep track of your hidden elements. So while each container is a child of its section, each section is a child of the page.


Now  let’s drag the button to this container. As soon as you drag an element into a container, it automatically docks to the nearest edges. This button is now a child of the container.


To control the vertical relationship between elements during resizing, use Stack.


The text and button are now placed inside a flex container, which acts as a parent.


You can see this clearly in the Layers panel on the left. To learn more about stack, watch the flexbox video in the series.


To navigate between the layers of your hierarchy and select an element, use these blue breadcrumbs.


For example, let’s grab this container. As you move it, notice how the parent element moves together with its children.


While the hierarchy remains the same across all breakpoints, you can style the elements differently for every screen size.


Let’s edit the color of this button on tablet. Any style changes you make to an element on your site cascade down to smaller breakpoints.


Here, you can see that the color change of the button carries over to mobile. But when you switch to desktop, notice how the style changes are not reflected.


Let’s go back to mobile, and drag the button outside of its parent container. Any change in hierarchy affects all viewports. You’ve changed the structure of this site, and the button is now a child of the section.


In the next section, we added a layouter, a smart layouting tool made up of responsive containers. In the Layers panel, you can see that this layouter is a parent container, with multiple items inside. To learn more about layouters, watch the flexbox video in this series.


Now let’s edit the image on the left. The hierarchy of an element is always visible at the top of the Inspector panel.


When using relative sizing units, elements are sized in relation to their parent.


For example, if you set the width of this image to 100%, it expands to 100% of the width of its parent container.


However, keep in mind that if you size an element using viewport height or width, it resizes in relation to the viewport, rather than its parent.


This social bar in the bottom left is a child of the container. But if you toggle on Fixed Position it becomes a child of the page. 


Now when you scroll the page, the social bar is always visible.


Editor X is an advanced creation platform. To master it, continue watching this series of video tutorials.

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Video tutorial about breakpoints on Editor X

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