Responsive web design – An Introduction

Many a times you find an awesome looking website on a PC looking quite ordinary when you browse it on your mobile phone or tablet. This is because the website has been designed and created especially for desktop. Such websites, when they are opened on any other smaller screen like that of a mobile phone or a tablet, wouldn’t look their best and often lose clarity, legibility and, on the whole, the quality. Responsive web design is a technique that you can use to put an end to such stories. This is a proactive movement taking place in the web design arena. Previously the cross browser issues were the challenges and now it is the device friendliness that is talked about.

Web design that is responsive makes the website looks good on all interfaces and screens, no matter of what sizes they are. It is a technique that results from going beyond the desktop and making the designers think of newer ways to engage the visitors who reach the site through their mobiles or tablets. The credit for coining the phrase ‘responsive web design’ goes to Ethan Marcotte, who has published an article on design principles and CSS techniques, who goes on to explain how you can retain the quality of a website no matter what the screen size is. Marcotte’s article talked about meeting the ever changing needs of internet use through newer devices for web browsing by including fluid grids, flexible images and media queries.

So far, history has proved that competition is one major source of inspiration to tackle newer challenges and come up with interesting solutions to problems that your competitor hasn’t even thought about. And the pace in which newer devices of different sizes make their appearance in the market, this has become even more important. In fact, even if you take mobile phones alone, there are so many various products such as iPhone, BlackBerry and other smart phones, each with its own type of screen and interface. Tablets and netbooks also tell another similar story. So how to you make your website look great on all these interfaces? And one answer to this is responsive web design.

Building different websites for each device is an option, of course, but, needless to say it consumes additional time, money and effort. In such a scenario, building a single website that can meet the performance requirements of all these devices is much more feasible, sensible and practical. Responsive web design makes this possible through an intelligent use of CSS media queries and flexible images and layouts. This enables the website to automatically adapt itself for image size, resolution and fonts while changing devices, like for example shifting from laptop to iPhone. In other words, when a user changes from desktop to iPad he shouldn’t be forced to change the settings so that he can browse the website comfortably.

Now that you know how responsive web design can help you in offering flexibility to your website you need a company that understand how the concept works and how it can help your site to be compatible with all interfaces. Well-researched knowledge on the concept and advanced web design techniques are two of the most important pre requisites for such projects. Experienced designers can help not only in creating such a website but also in foreseeing the needs of the future and coming up with suggestions accordingly.

Responsive web design is not the sole answer to the website needs of the future. However, it can definitely improve the website performance and make the user experience better and result-oriented. And as every website is meant for the user ultimately, responsive web design comes with a lot of scope to make your website a wonderful browsing experience for the user.

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