An Introduction to Responsive Design

In my opinion, the number of tablets, smart phones, laptops, etc that enter the market each week is a bit excessive. Don’t get my wrong, I love all the devices that I use in my daily life, but as a web developer, the more devices available, the more complex my job gets… but I’m up to the challenge!

The Challenge: Ensuring that client website content is easily viewable no matter what device it’s viewed on, while at the same time providing a great user-experience.

Responsive DesignResponsive Design

Back in the early years, this issue was solved by creating a desktop version and a mobile only version of website content. This solution worked for a few years because mobile devices, like the desktops in the early 2000’s, only had a couple of resolution types. Now, with more mobile devices being launched with larger resolution types being required, we needed a better answer.

The Solution: Responsive Web Design (RWD)
Defined as a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices.

“Day by day, the number of devices, platforms,
and browsers that need to work with your site grows.
Responsive web design represents a fundamental shift
in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.” – Jeffrey Veen

Responsive design allows web developers to create a great user experience for all users, no matter what device they’re accessing a website from. The idea behind responsive design is to display/hide different elements on the site depending on the visual space allotted. This means a user could view the site on three different devices and have a different, yet great experience on all three.

Unfortunately, some web developers have yet to implement this crucial technology, which results in people becoming frustrated with websites they’re trying to view on a mobile device or tablet.

Another Solution!
Responsive design isn’t the only answer. In addition to having a website built with mobile in mind, applications are another way to ensure your content is properly represented in mobile environments. Earlier this year we explored mobile applications and although expensive, could be an option for your business to explore.

Has your business already implemented responsive design or launched a mobile app? Share with me in the comments your experience…

Photo credit: http://blogs.forrester.com

Josh serves as a development team lead at TKG, so it’s his job to ensure web development projects get done on schedule, on budget, and working flawlessly. No pressure! On the blog, he talks general web dev – from HTML5 to responsive design.

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