Tablets. Smart phones. Laptops. Netbooks. Desk top computers. Screens ranging from just 1 3/4 inches by 2 1/2 inches to nearly 19 inches by 27 inches. Then there’s the matter of high definition televisions. What do all these electronic devices have in common? Other than being electronic and having a display screen, the largest connection is an Internet connection. This means responsive web design is the newest tool in the arsenal of web developers.
Intuition in Design
Responsive web design or RWD is rapidly becoming a must-have for site design. Taking the above list, designers must take into account how new project builds will render on different sized screens. Resolutions are different, user preferences are set to individual protocols and screen size changes from device to device. That dictates each website a developer constructs must have the flexibility to “fit” over the widest array of Internet viewing portals.
As web developers approach a project, they must ask certain questions. The obvious queries are about the client’s wants and needs. Included are features usable to their customers. This can mean the integration of e-commerce and/or forums. It can include a blog or an image gallery. But equally important is how the site renders in different browsers. Now, it’s time to add another component, responsive web design.
Viewing and Functionality
Internet users can access the world wide web from so many different devices, it’s virtually impossible to predict which users will use a particular means. But responsive web design jumps the development/design hurdle. It eliminates the need for resizing, scrolling and panning. Users automatically see the site as it is intended, regardless of the size of the device being used to connect to the Internet. With the use of smart phones and tablets rising to higher and higher levels, this is no longer an eccentric feature but an absolute necessity.
Identifying a Trend
Some designers might ask about the fundamental necessity of responsive web design. Is responsive web design actually a must now or it is just a leap forward without a landing? Well, Ethan Marcotte, inventor of responsive web design notes this statistic writing in A List Apart in May of 2010:
“Mobile browsing is expected to outpace desktop-based access within three to five years. Two of the three dominant video game consoles have web browsers…”
Mr. Marcotte says that his concept of responsive web design went into gear when he repeatedly received client requests for “iPhone websites”–meaning his clients wanted their sites to render on a smart phone the same way as it would on a desktop computer. Hence, responsive web design was born. And, as Marcotte implies, three to five years isn’t a long time.
There’s little doubt that responsive web design isn’t going to be the last innovation in web development. But doing the math, three to five years relative to today puts a perspective on the use of responsive web design. With the constant update of technology and the ubiquity of Internet access, responsive web design is just another frontier in website development. But it is one that compels designers to think about real-world applications.
If you want your site designed to accommodate any Internet viewing portal, you can get a quality website with responsive web design by contacting us.