Web design has transformed from only needing websites to be attractive and functional on computer monitors and laptops, to needing mobile-friendly websites on mobile phones, tablets, and even e-readers. In order to accomplish this, the screen resolution of the website and the overall design must be compatible with all different types of devices. This is exactly what responsive web design is.
What is Responsive Web Design?
When speaking about responsive web design, we’re talking about a certain approach to creating, designing and developing websites that work with different environments and devices. This means no matter who is viewing the website, the platform, screen size and even orientation help the user view the website just as easily as from a computer. The website needs to automatically shift and still be viewed if a cell phone is flipped on its side, or if they go from viewing it on their laptop, to switching over to a tablet, and back to a desktop computer.
Responsive Web Design Versus Mobile Design
Responsible web design is not the same thing as designing websites specifically for mobile use. Responsive web design sites can be viewed on anything, regardless. So it works on different screen resolutions, switching automatically from 1024 x 768 pixels to 800 x 600. It doesn’t require an additional website to be designed just for mobile use, because the one design works for every type of device and function.
One element every responsible web design will have is being flexible. This includes flexibility with everything on the website, including the layout, typeface, images, media and grids. You can set up the main website to hide some of the elements of the site when it is being viewed from a mobile device, such as some of the images, video feeds or parts of the content. This helps it become more visible in different screen resolutions. If the website has a large image for the header, hide it from mobile users, as it keeps them from getting to the important content.
Speaking of the images used, this is something you need to pay close attention to when designing for responsive web design. Image quality is one of the most important things about images used on a website, because this determines how long they take to load when the website comes up. You want high quality images, but they should be optimized in responsive web design so they have a good combination of quality and size for mobile devices.
The fonts and typeface should be just as responsive as the images and layout of the website. Sure, on a regular computer or laptop, a large font Verdana looks great, but does it work on mobile devices? This is a large font that takes up a lot of space and might not be great for mobile devices. Choose a font that is responsive and works with different types of devices.