For graphic designers and web and software developers alike you will know that when i’m talking “responsive” I’m not just talking about poking someone sitting next to you on the train who looks like they may be slipping into a coma, in hope of a response. No, I am talking about something a little more complex, but in today’s technological age, very necessary.
So first thing’s first – what exactly does “responsive” mean when talking about it from a web design point of view? Very simply it means that a webpage will adjust to the screen size of the device you are viewing it on. Responsive web design is the future and if your website is not being designed on a responsive grid, smack your web design team up side the head…or alternatively find another company that offers this service, like the Webhouse group 🙂
If I had to get a little more technical I would tell you that most, if not all, websites today are being build with HTML 5, which in itself is designed to improve support of various multimedia platforms – ensuring websites are consistently understood by computers and the myriad of devices available today.
To be honest, if your website is not being build with HTML 5 capabilities, you are wasting your time. The world is moving forward far too quickly to not keep up with these kinds of technological advances and you will be left behind in the dust-bowl of Earth while the rest of us live it up on Elysium, sipping on anti-aging cocktails.
But this doesn’t mean that a responsive website will just happen on its own because it has been build with HTML 5. It’s up to your design and development team to make the magic happen and it all starts with a template made up of flexible grids and layouts that allow a webpage to adjust accordingly. Along with, responsive websites are designed with the intelligent use of CSS3 media queries. Now this might sound complex, but all it really means is that a “style sheet” is designed especially for different devices so that things like page orientation, page width and height font and colour are always consistent across all devices. Ultimately, these responsive grids eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget that comes out on the market thanks to a lot of “healthy” competition between major brands.
Admittedly, responsive web design can be a time consuming process, but it’s worth all the effort in the end. With a committed and innovative team you can make something extraordinary out of your website rather than something dated and dull.
We have Ethan Marcotte to thank as the father of responsive web design, see his top 20 picks on the most fabulously flexible responsive sites around, very interesting indeed!