Design Your Website for Mobile & More with Responsive Web Design
As more computing moves to mobile devices such as Smart Phones and Tablets, we all need to adjust how our websites look on smaller screens. The opposite is also true; as more people connect their computers to their TV and large display screens, the website should scale to make use of the additional viewing space. So what’s the solution? Design your web site so it will dynamically adjust to any screen size. This is called Responsive Web Design.
The basic idea of responsive web design is that a website should “respond” to the device it’s being viewed on. In broad terms, this can mean things like:
Adapting the layout to suit different screen sizes, from widescreen desktops to tiny phones
Resizing images to suit the screen resolution
Serving up lower-bandwidth images to mobile devices
Simplifying page elements for mobile use
Hiding non-essential elements on smaller screens
Providing larger, finger-friendly links and buttons for mobile users, and
Detecting and responding to mobile features such as geolocation and device orientation.
Most of the time, though, when people talk about “responsive web design” they’re referring mainly to the first of these points: creating a responsive layout that can gracefully adapt to different screen sizes.[i]
Here a few examples of websites that utilize Responsive Web Design. You can test their responsiveness by adjusting the size of your browser window and seeing how the content changes.[ii]
To learn more about Responsive Web Design check these additional resources. I look forward to reading your thoughts and comment.
- Book: Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte
- Article: 60 Examples of Responsive Website Design from Inspiration Feed
- Blog: the Future of Web Design by Courtney Boyd Myers, The Next Web
[i] Matt Doyle, Responsive Web Design Demystified, Sept 30, 2011, http://www.elated.com/articles/responsive-web-design-demystified/ accessed December 17, 2011.
[ii] Chris Lee, Top Responsive Websites Part 1, July 12, 2011, http://globerunnerseo.com/top-responsive-websites-pt-1, accessed December 17, 2011.
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