A few years ago, websites were sternly designed for use with desktop and laptop screen resolutions. This worked very well until smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices with different screen resolutions emerged. To keep up with the pace of increasing mobile devices, web designers approached the new challenge with numerous solutions that would allow websites to work flawlessly on these devices. One concept that stemmed out from this very consideration was that of responsive web design.
So, what is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is a technique that is employed in the design and development of a website to provide optimal viewing, navigation, panning, scrolling, and reading across a wide range of devices, from mobile to desktop. Simply put, responsive web design is an approach to web design intended for developing sites that look and work good on a user’s desktop or mobile device.
Responsive web design consists of a mix of three technical ingredients that include fluid grid-based layout, flexible images and media, and CSS3 media queries.
Fluid Grid-based Layout
The first key concept behind responsive web design is what is referred to as the fluid grid-based layout. Unlike the traditional liquid layouts that were based on inflexible pixels or points, fluid grids are carefully designed in proportions to allow columns to fit into any width. This allows web page layouts to be stretched across huge mobile screens and desktop monitors or squeeze onto a tiny mobile screen.
Flexible Images and Media
Flexible images and media are another core aspect of responsive website design. This element allows images, texts, and other media to shrink or expand varyingly based on the device, either by using the CSS overflow property or by scaling.
To scale both images and video in CSS is quite simple. All you have to do is set the media’s element maximum width to 100%. This will allow the browser to reduce or expand the size of the image depending on its containing element. However, it is vital that images are supplied in the best possible size and quality before CSS can adopt them.
Media queries form a very vital part of responsive website design. These queries allow the web page to employ varying CSS style regulations depending on the features of the device on which the site is displayed (most commonly the browsers width). The CSS3, which presently enjoys support across most browsers, allows you to collect data about the site visitor that is in turn used conditionally to apply CSS styles.
Well, with the rapid development of mobile technology, web design and development is entering a new age. This means that we should start creating websites that are ready for the future today. With responsive website design, business owners can create custom solutions for their clients on a wider range of devices.
As mentioned earlier, mobile browsing is rapidly rising and whether or not you choose to make your site responsive is your decision.