Responsive Design Explained
For a front end web developer, going from a desktop to mobile environment while seeking to streamline the amount of information and how it is presented is quite an experience.
For a long time, screens and minimum resolutions had been trending steadily larger and larger, but with the introduction of smartphones and mobile browsing, size considerations turned sharply back in the other direction. Now designers and developers are faced with the question of how to present the same content in both the very large and the very small.
At first, the common solution was to create a second website for smartphones, but one stripped down to the barest essentials and often had a completely different and incomplete experience. Content is critical to the user and as web standards quickly rushed to fill in the shortcomings in addressing the mobile experience, a better and more comprehensive field emerged: responsive design. With a responsive website, content is fluid and can be adapted to fit a multitude of screens and devices.
With this becoming a growing trend for developers, it is important to keep in mind the balance of the website content and how it is presented on screen. Since you want the viewing to resemble the design and, most importantly, the best user experience that you can make from it, you have to be flexible with it – be able to rearrange and tailor the website’s content to the devices made available now. In the past, websites resembled printed documents you could click on – everyone had the same design/layout experience. Now, the experience is as far away as it can get; you have to be able to rearrange the design and develop on the fly – think beyond the computer screen. In a way, web design and development has become even more of a critical task than ever before.