An Introduction to Responsive Web Design

With the recent explosion in the mobile landscapes, web designers have been faced with a new challenge. Traditionally, a single fixed size website was sufficient since most people used to access the internet from their desktop computers. However, more and more people are making use of mobile devices to access the internet hence the need to make websites more fluid in order to fit into the particular dimensions of whatever device a user is accessing the website from.

With responsive web design, the website fits to the size of the screen hence providing the user with a great user experience regardless of the device they are using. There are a number of advantages of this such as:-

1. Since only one site is built, it is easier to manage.

2. It increases the SEO value of your site.

3. You stay in business since you are properly serving the users who access your site from mobile devices.

4. Enables your business to stay ahead of those that haven’t invested in the technology.

Using responsive web design helps you to target the people who access the internet from mobile devices. This accounts for more than 48% of internet users who start researching for products on their mobile devices.

– There are more than 1.2 billion people who access the web from their mobile devices and this presents a huge market share.

– There is no single screen size with more than 20% of market share meaning that responsive design is becoming a necessity.

So, what is the process of creating a responsive website? Responsive design is composed of three main ingredients:-

1. Flexible layouts

2. Flexible media

3. Media queries

The process usually starts with creating an inventory of the content, designing the initial sketches then creating wireframes. Once the wireframes have been created, they are prototyped using html5, css3 and JavaScript then run on a number of different devices in order to determine whether the site is responsive enough. Once the tests have been run, the problematic areas are identified and the design team goes back to the sketching stage in order to make changes. The new sketches are then wire-framed, designed visually and then prototyped. This goes on for a number of times until the team is satisfied with the responsiveness of the site after which it can be placed into production stage where the content of the site is filled in together with all the other necessary resources such as images.

As you can see, responsive web design is the future of web design and getting on the bandwagon early can mean the difference between success and failure for your brand or business. Providing your users with a great experience regardless of the device they are using can mean a huge difference so it is always worth it to go the extra mile.