What Is Responsive Design?
If you have been following web trends recently, you’ve certainly noticed that”reactive design” is all the rage. This report brings us back to the basics: what is reactive design, where does it come from, and what are its benefits for website owners?
What does responsive design mean?
Reactive design is a technique that allows the identical website’s design and design to adapt to the size of the screen used to view it. The objective is to provide an optimal viewing experience (no zooming, panning, or scrolling) for a wide range of devices.
How does it work?
Responsive web design sets”breakpoints” (specific widths) upon which the layout adapts, such as: the width of an iPad, the diameter of a horizontal Samsung Galaxy or the diameter of a vertical iPhone 5. When a breakpoint is detected, the design automatically changes.
What responsive design is NOT
If your website looks precisely the same as when you see it on your desktopcomputer, except really little and you have to zoom. You don’t have a responsive design.
If you have a mobile site, but it’s URL (web address) begins with”m.” (m.yoursite.com), then it’s not responsive design. In this case, it is a design that is displayed on mobile devices upon device detection. Responsive design doesn’t care about which device you use, it only needs to know the dimensions (width and height) of your display.
If you must download an application from an app store, you have a mobile app, not a responsive website.
Where does responsive design come from?
The term”Responsive design” was filmed in a 2010 post in”A List Apart”, an influential web design blog.
In this guide, the author laments the fact that web design is so uncontrollable. Websites change every couple of years and the new versions aren’t adaptable to future devices and technologies. His proposed solution: create a site which could adapt more flexibly to any display size by altering the design or hiding/showing interface components.
The concept stems from responsive architecture, a motion that asks how physical spaces can”respond”, or adjust, to the presence of people passing through them.
How did responsive design become popular?
Here are the top 4 reasons:
1. Mobile and tablet usage exploded
To start with, responsive design followed the tendency of tablets and smartphones as alternate devices for accessing the net.
This mobile device popularity also showed us that their owners weren’t only accessing internet content on mobile devices”on the move”, but in their homes or offices. They therefore expected to have the ability to view the same content in their mobile as on their desktop computer (not a different, or reduced, version).
2. The market was flooded with competing devices
Secondly, because there started to be so many types and models of devices, it became more challenging to”detect” specific devices. It therefore became easier to program based on width as opposed to on device detection (which covered several devices at once).
3. Responsive design is future-friendly
Thirdly, as mentioned in the original A List Apart article, if new devices reach the market but share similar widths as their peers, the web site will continue to be optimized for them.
And because breakpoints are getting more and more fluid, with graphics often slowly scaling in size from 1 breakpoint to the next, responsive design can become truly flexible, for almost any conceivable screen size.
4. It’s cheaper to build responsive websites
Creating separate websites for various devices can become tedious and time-consuming and therefore costly to create and maintain. A responsive site (which may be considered by computers as well as mobile devices equally ) uses exactly the same content, and just tweaks its appearance and design to optimize it for the best viewing and navigating conditions, no matter what screen size (or apparatus ).
Known issues with responsive design
While it does seem to be, responsive design isn’t perfect. Several issues still exist, such as:
• managing images (loading smaller image sizes for mobiles)
• working with text, tables and forms
• embedding external content
• mobile-specific functionality
• search engine optimization is not mobile-specific
• establishing coding standards