If you haven’t heard about responsive design, you should have by now. Mobile web browsing is projected to surpass desktop browsing this year, and if you are not evolving with the online marketplace, your website or online marketing will be dramatically affected and left behind.
As our web surfing habits evolve, so must the ways in which we develop websites. In today’s increasingly mobile world, people are no longer limited to their desktop computers for web browsing. People now browse the web on tablets, mobile phones and even iPods, and this presents a problem: How do we create websites that are readable and user-friendly on screens of all different sizes and resolutions?
The answer: Responsive Design.
What is Responsive Design?
The responsive website is able to "respond" correctly depending of the visitor's screen resolution. The same content will be shown on all devices, but layout would be changed according to the screen resolution for the best user experience.
Wish111 describes responsive design as “the approach for 2013 and the future that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation…In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences.”
A responsive design website automatically adjusts itself to accommodate the device or browser on which it is being presented. For example, let’s say that you load the same website on your desktop and your smartphone. If the website uses responsive design, you will notice a different layout on each screen. For instance, you might notice four columns on your desktop and only two columns on your smartphone. The images and text are the same, but are arranged differently to accommodate the shape of the display.
How Does Responsive Design really Work?
To put it in the simplest terms possible, responsive design works by using proportion-based grids to best adapt the layout of the viewing environment. To get a bit more technical, a fluid grid is achieved by setting the width, margin and padding for all of the div tags (used to group sections or elements of a page) using percentages or ems. In order to avoid unattractive extremes like severe image stretching, minimum and maximum width limitations are set for each for each div.
Responsive design also makes use of scalable images. For instance, let’s say you have a large image in the center of a basic web page. If you shrink the size of your web browser, the image will remain the same size, but part of it will be covered by the smaller window. With responsive design, the image shrinks or “scales” with the browser, while maintaining its dimensions.
Why Responsive Design is a must have for the future.
Mobile devices are a must-have today. All of us are using them.and esp. the younger generation Depending of the situation, we are browsing the websites on big monitors in our offices, on smaller monitors on our home laptops or tablets, and even on our smartphones when we are away from home. Non-responsive websites usually look good and give the best user experience on bigger screens. On the other hand, there are websites optimized for mobile devices and they usually look bad on monitors. One approach is to create and maintain two websites, one for desktops and one for mobile devices. However, web masters of such websites need to spend more time in maintenance of two separate web sites.
In the past, all websites were basically viewed using the same medium: the home computer. As a result, websites were designed with the dimensions, resolutions and scripting abilities of PC browsers in mind. But the days of desktop supremacy are long gone. People are viewing websites on a wide range of media, and it’s absolutely crucial to design websites that make a good impression on all of these platforms.
The best solution is responsive design: One website, multiple platforms. Mobile-friendly design is no longer simply “a good idea.” It is absolutely essential. Are you prepared? Do you think your site is ready to serve them all?