By Ryan Nicholas • 07/26/2012
For those of you who are not sure what responsive web design is, it basically means designing your website so it will be able to adapt to whatever platform its opened on. Whether it’s a computer, tablet, smartphone etc. the site will adapt and fit on whatever screen is being utilized.
Below we have some articles going more in depth explaining what responsive web design really is, and some great visuals of how sites adapt when used on different platforms. In the third article, NetMagazine will give you a good jump start on how to begin creating a responsive web design of your own.
What’s responsive Web design all about?
When you consider how many different tablets, laptops, Web browsers, and operating systems access the Internet on a day-to-day basis, it’s a small miracle that Web designers and developers manage to stay sane. There are, of course, Web standards and entire organizations that exist for the sole purpose of making sure the Internet you see is generally the same Internet that everyone else sees. But the sheer number of devices can pose a bit of a problem when you’re attempting to create a site or service that works well for the masses.
In the past, a developer or designer might code a different site for desktop and mobile users, often with some or all of the same functionality. For the most part, in fact, this is still how things are done today. But in some cases, that’s beginning to change. A relatively new technique called “responsive design” has been gaining traction over the past few years, and it’s promising to change the way we code and interact with the Internet on devices of all shapes and sizes.
Responsive Web design, as the name implies, is a style of Web development where content responds to the device on which it is being rendered. So, while a website viewed from within a traditional desktop browser might be rendered one way, a tablet or smartphone browser will be smart enough to render that same code in a different way—one that takes into account the size and resolution of a smaller screen. Text is reflowed, navigation is simplified, and images are shrunk, or even hidden entirely, and the code to do it all needs only be written once.
Best Mobile Websites – Responsive Web Design
The recent rise of mobile devices popularity and use had provoked a need of adapting websites for varying screen sizes and browsers. One of the main approaches to this problem is responsive web design.
Responsive websites are those that recognize their environment and adapt to the screen in which are being viewed. That includes the content, if you are showing exactly the same content, only adapted to be comfortably seen on a small screen that forces the viewer to scroll constantly, you are doing it wrong. This approach has its drawbacks too and many aspects such as budget for the project, client, etc. must be taken into account when deciding if it is the right choice for a particular project.
Anyhow, if you think about it, every mobile website must be partially responsive, or at least have a flexible layout so it can adapt to vertical and horizontal view in phones with orientation recognition, and to different screen sizes.
Let’s take a look at a selection of the best responsive design mobile websites you can find around the Internet and analyse what makes their designs great.
Build a responsive site in a week: designing responsively (part 1)
Interested in responsive web design but not sure how to get started? Don’t fret, help is at hand! As part of Responsive Week, we’ve asked Clearleft’s Paul Robert Lloyd to talk us through the responsive design process, soup to nuts
It seems everyone is talking about responsive web design these days, and with good reason; as the number of web-enabled devices continues to grow – each with differing capabilities and features – it’s no longer sensible to build fixed-width websites.
Truth is, it never was. Yet until now it was considered best practice to design experiences that made a number of assumptions, be they around screen resolution, bandwidth or input method. If you’ve ever designed a 960px-wide website, only to view it on a friend’s small screen netbook (and yes, I’m writing from painful experience here), you’ll understand why this wasn’t a particularly clever approach. Now, with smartphones and tablets thrown into the mix, it’s clear that our traditional methods are no longer fit for purpose.
Finally, we have an article from Chris Sturk at Mequoda on responsive website design:
3 Important Elements of Responsive Website Design
Is responsive website design the future for digital publishers?
As websites optimize for growing mobile demands, popularity turns towards responsive website design. Although not a new technique for designing, digital publishers are quick to consider the possibilities that come with responsive website design.
After researching the topic, I’ve come to find three important elements to responsive website design: flexible layouts, flexible images, and media queries.
Posted in Website Design Tools