Everything You Need To Know About Responsive Web Design

The story articulates information about responsive web design.

Chapter 1

Everything You Need To Know About Responsive Web Design

What is Responsive Web Design?

These days, websites that also function well on mobile phones are in high demand. Clients expect their designers to create sites that are compatible with all available devices so that everyone can have access to it. This is where the concept of responsive web design comes in. According to this approach, all design and development should function following the user's behaviour and environment and is based on the platform, screen size and orientation. Responsive web design is often a mix of flexible grids, images and layouts. It also makes use of CSS media queries. The websites created in this approach automatically accommodate different screen resolutions when the screen size of the device changes. Sometimes it also depends on the device settings as well. For instance, a VPN sometimes blocks access to a page, and the website fails to respond automatically. This, in turn, makes it redundant to create different designs for different devices. 

Features of Responsive Design

Responsive web design has three distinct features. These are media queries, fluid grids and flexible visuals. 

  • Media Queries: With media queries, developers can use condition checks to change web designs depending on the user's device. A developer can figure out the physical properties of a device before making a site. The method is superior to defining HTML/CSS breakpoints because the experience of the user is given top priority. 
  • Fluid Grids: Fluid grids are made using CSS. The user gets to control the design as it changes in different devices based on their size. Fluid grids ensure that the design is consistent across multiple devices. Designers can also update all the versions of the site at once, and the process helps to save both time and money. 
  • Flexible Visuals: Using flexible visuals ensures that the media files do not exceed the dimensions of the container in which they are contained. The container resizes itself along with the visual within it. Designers can then come up with designs that can adapt to devices of all shapes and sizes. 

What Should You Consider When Making Responsive Design? 

Mouse or Cursor Vs Touch: While larger devices like computers and laptops have a mouse for navigation purposes, smartphones or tablets have touchscreen options. Certain elements are easier to select with a mouse than by using your finger to touch the screen. As a web designer, you must keep this in mind while making a website. The good news is that making a design that is suitable for both cursor and touchscreen isn't all that difficult. 

Graphics and Download Speed: Graphics, advertisements and download speed are also crucial factors in a website. While a higher number of graphics and large ads are suitable for desktops and laptops, they are not ideal for smaller devices. This is because the device will slow down, and the website will take a longer time to load. Instead, you can choose fewer graphics and smaller ads for mobiles and tablets. 

Mobile Versions and Apps: These days, many websites have apps that are a mobile version of the site. Sometimes the sites are also made into mobile versions without creating a separate app for it. The process may seem complicated, but as a designer, you have to consider it. 

How to Create Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design is done in many ways. Here are some of them: 

  • Flexible Designing: Adding flexibility to web design is a common way of making it responsive. Images are now automatically adjusted, and this works well when switching from portrait to landscape mode in a device. It also works well when a user changes from a large computer screen to a smaller screen such as that of a tablet. The technique of creating fluid images can be done in many ways such as revealing or hiding portions of an image, using foreground images that scale according to the layout and by making use of sliding composite images. 
  • Customising Layout Structure: The layout structure is also often customised. Custom layouts can make a site responsive to different devices. A custom layout can be done through a CSS media query or a separate style sheet. For instance, there can be one central or default style sheet to define all the main structural elements. If a layout becomes too short, narrow, wide, and so on, then a new style sheet can be used. The new style sheet will have all the elements of the default sheet, but the structure of the layout will be redefined. 
  • Revealing Content or Hiding It: Elements on a page can also be proportionally shrunk or rearranged to make them fit in a smaller screen. However, doing this can be highly time-consuming. It is not always feasible to make every element of a large screen available for smaller screens. Therefore there are other options such as simpler navigation, lists and rows in place of multiple columns, focused content, and so on that are meant specifically for mobile environments. 

Examples of Responsive Design

Here are some examples of websites with responsive web design that you can check out: 

  • Dribble: Dribble has a flexible grid system. While the desktop site has five columns, the number changes to two in smaller devices. Several items of the desktop site are not there on the mobile website such as attributing shots to their maker, putting the view, comment and likes below one another, and so on. The menu is hidden, and there is no search bar. 
  • Dropbox: Dropbox uses a combination of fluid grid and flexible visuals. The font colour and the image size changes with the change in the device. There is a small arrow to guide users to scroll down for additional content in the desktop site. This arrow is absent in devices with touchscreens because users will automatically scroll down. The sign-up form is also hidden behind a call-to-action button to adjust with the limited space.
  • GitHub: In GitHub, the design is similar to that of Dribble and Dropbox. The two-column layout changes to a single-column layout in a smaller device. While the desktop site focuses more on the sign-up form, the smaller version has a call-to-action button in its place. There is no search bar, and the menu button is also hidden to make the site clutter-free. 

Why Choose Responsive Design? 

Responsive design is a proven method to keep your customers satisfied. Your customers may not want to view your company's site if it does not function properly on all their devices. Losing your customers can affect your sales and your company's status as well. Responsive design, then, is highly beneficial to small firms and startups as it ensures a large number of viewers to the site. It can be used as part of the marketing strategy and can help to grow your business. Visit Global Employees to hire web designers to make your website design responsive. Global Employees provides off-shore hiring solutions.


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