What’s Responsive Web Design?
R esponsive web sites are the latest thing and automatically resize for desktops, tablets and smart phones. Responsive web design is a way of making a single website that works effectively on both desktop browsers and the myriad of mobile devices on the market. Responsive architecture gives the best quality browsing experience – whether on a smartphone, tablet, netbook or e-reader, and regardless of the operating system.
How It Works?
The best way to see how Responsive Web Design works is to see it in action and the easiest place is right here because this site is designed responsively. Try viewing it on a smartphone or tablet and compare that to how it looks on your laptop or desktop computer. If you don’t have a smartphone but are using one of the modern browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 9) just grab the bottom right corner of your browser window and drag it backwards and forwards to see how the layout adapts.
Features of Responsive Web Design
By essentially giving a custom solution for each mobile platform, responsive website design makes for a better user experience on a wider range of devices.
The website automatically adjusts according to the device’s screen size, and orientation. Large or small – landscape or portrait; responsive sites switches between these on-the-fly.
What’s the difference between responsive web design and mobile web design?
Mobile websites are completely separate versions of your desktop website. Not only that, you will need a different mobile site for all of the different mobile screen sizes and couple that with the fact you’ve got the added extra cost of developing these separate versions, it starts getting messy really quickly. Your dedicated mobile website will look poor on tablets as well as having to update all versions of your sites when you add new content.
For a long time we accessed the web by sitting in front of computer screens at desks and web sites were designed to fit those screens. Life was simple. Those days are long gone though. Most of us now access the web through many devices; phones, iPads, laptops, TVs and over the next few years who knows what else.
Sites designed to fit desktop screens are often difficult to use on these new devices, particularly phones or smaller tablets. Pinching and zooming got us through for a while but it was never a good long term solution.