Responsive website design is aimed at designing a website that responds to the type of electronic device on which it’s viewed. This makes it easier and more user-friendly, no matter whether it is viewed on a laptop, desktop, or mobile device.
To create a responsive website, the designer has to include three main aspects in the coding for the website: using a fluid grid concept, sizing the images into relative, flexible units, and using media queries. This allows the website to actually get information from the device it will be viewed on and incorporate it into the layout design, before it is viewed – eliminating the need to scroll to the edges of a mobile phone’s screen to see the whole website, or resizing it completely before the viewer can see the content of the website. This also means that only one website is needed to be designed, eradicating the necessity for separate “mobile sites” in addition to the “regular” websites. Content can also be updated easier and quicker, without the need to redesign the entire website.
A fluid grid concept is the answer to not using a regular pixel-based layout. Basing your layout on pixels works, except that a pixel can be represented by one dot on one type of device, and by eight dots on another device. This makes it difficult to keep pictures clearly visible on a smaller device like a mobile phone, if the original website was designed for a desktop computer screen. Using a fluid grid means that you turn the fixed size of, for example, the font used, into a relative size, which can be applied to every part of the website design. So if the text becomes smaller for a mobile phone’s screen, the pictures will also become smaller, without losing the original clarity. You can either specify a ratio for the pictures, so it would be resized proportionally, or even specifying an alternative, smaller image should the screen size not be conductive to the original picture. Priorities can also be assigned to the information, in order to change the layout and make it more user-friendly.
Then there are media queries. Basically it is questions added into the background design of the website, gathering information about the device, the website will be viewed on and using it to adapt the website before viewing. Using the fluid grid and relative sizing of the text and pictures in your website-content, the website can be resized to display well on a small mobile phone screen, or on the largest television screen, without any loss of clarity or content. Media queries can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your website, the content, users, and of course the skill of the website designer.
Responsive website design is considered a great way to go for all user-friendly websites. It is a process that needs to be properly applied and considered every step of the way, in order to get better results for ultimate success.
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