We live in a world where there’s a new gadget on the market every week and where smartphones and tablets are reigning over desktop alternatives. This can make it incredibly difficult when it comes to web design, as creating web pages that fit all the different screen resolutions and sizes available would be practically impossible – especially considering that the options are only going to continue to grow. Keeping up would be exhausting and obsolete. However, responsive web design is a technique that can save time and improve user experience.
How does it work?
Responsive web design works by automatically responding to the user’s environment and the characteristics of the device being used, such as screen size, platform and orientation. Each web page visited should adapt to accommodate to these characteristics and then adjust automatically to enhance the user’s experience and ensure each visit to the site, regardless of the device being used, is the same.
In order to do this, there needs to be a flexibility of the layouts. This flexibility comes from using fluid, proportion-based grids – think of this like water and how it adapts to whatever shape container it is poured into. It’s also important to ensure that the image sizing is in relative units like percentages, rather than pixels, so that the images can also adjust according to various devices. Media queries also allow the page to use different CSS style rules based on the device used. Using these methods will create a fluidity between web pages, allowing them to be visible across all devices while not interfering with the quality or content of the site.