Why Responsive Design Matters
The concept of responsive design first appeared in 2010, coined by Ethan Marcotte.
At the time, a lot of it was still theoretical. Shortly after its introduction, however, the technology developed rapidly—allowing the design to come to fruition.
The digital age also calls forth of web design that provides a number of SEO benefits to pull traffic and customers in.
Today, many of us enjoy the benefits of responsive web page design.
What is a Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design should always adhere to environmental and user behavior.
It uses a combination of grids, images, and layouts together with CSS media queries.
Depending on the platform used, the web page should shift in resolution and scripting. It’s the reason that we can view the same webpage from a computer and a smartphone, without any issues.
Many creators found it challenging to adjust to the increase in smart device users.
They would create mobile versions of their web pages, only to end up using double the resources and costs. It took grueling work to update websites as they existed in duplicates.
The growing amount of smart device users revealed the need for a solution.
Responsive web design became a necessity due to this increase in demand.
With this in place, developers no longer needed to create duplicates for mobile devices. The page could simply adjust to accommodate any platform, thanks to the foundation of its design.
Responsive designs have been a priority for existing and new web pages ever since.
Adaptive Vs. Responsive Design
The difference between adaptive and responsive design is that adaptive uses static layouts.
An adaptive design will detect the screen size and then load the appropriate layout.
It can accommodate the six most common screen widths, which are:
While an adaptive design would need more work to implement, responsive designs are actually more complex.
Issues can arise from a responsive design if there’s ever an improper use of its media queries.
An improper implementation can lead to slow performance and display issues. One of the main reasons that people prefer adaptive is that it gives you more control over your design.
The tradeoff is that adaptive designs are tedious to handle in both construction and maintenance.
Responsive layouts require less work as they consider all layout forms. It’s easier to make a responsive design and make small adjustments as needed.
The reason that many people view responsive as a better option is that technology is always evolving at a rapid pace.
New screen sizes and platforms are always arising.
Instead of creating a new adaptive design for these new devices, a responsive design requires fewer resources and fewer costs. They’re also easier to create.
The Three Main Components of a Responsive Design
There are three main components required to complete a responsive design.
A fluid grid relies on percentage-based calculations, making it flow within the dimensions of a parent container.
This method makes it so that the screen can adjust to small devices, no matter the size. It also anticipates the creation of larger screens as it uses the calculations to adjust.
CSS3 introduced media queries. This allows the rules of a design to occur once it meets certain conditions.
For example, you can set the background color to change if the browser window is at a small size, such as 600 pixels.
By sorting these queries, you can control how a design looks in different conditions.
Responsive designs use both CSS and HTML to create automatic sizing. If you break down a page into its code, you will see similarities within the HTML and CSS portions.
Flexible images are images that respond to different resolutions and viewports, be it infographics or photos.
Responsive design allows images to appear proportionate, making them visually appealing no matter the device. These images can scale up or down.
However, it’s important that the image is of the highest quality to avoid any pixel issues or blurring.
Mobile-First Responsive Design
A mobile-first design starts from the smallest screen first and works its way up.
The reason why some designs go with this approach is that mobile-oriented pages are harder to create.
Responsive design can better adjust if you work on the more difficult pages first.
This also means that certain elements need priority, and these designs typically focus on displaying content first.
Design Continues to Evolve
Web design continues its rapid evolution as the introduction of new technology creates new demands. Some believe that responsive design will soon be extinct.
Others believe that it will remain at the forefront for years to come. No matter what happens in the future, you cannot deny the benefits of responsive web page design today.
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