Recently, an emergent discipline called “responsive architecture” has begun asking how physical spaces can respond to the presence of people passing through them.
The above lines were quoted in an introduction to responsive design by Ethan Marcotte. With coming up of smartphones; tabloid culture has been growing at a faster rate. The number of small screen users has increased over the years. Earlier websites were only fixed to computer screens, but now coming up with responsive website design, the user finds easy to navigate and go through the website with ease. Let’s understand the concept of responsive web design.
Responsive web design
It consists of an amalgamation of flexible grids, layouts, images or graphics and screen resolution with an ingenious use of CSS media queries. The website is designed in such a way that it automatically accommodates to the smaller screens by adjusting its images, resolution and scripting abilities.
Need for Responsive web design
The traditional website design was only fixed to computer screens. Therefore, it had three columns which were not flexible. This website design compelled users to scroll horizontally, while it looked distorted as it hid the few icons, leaving the user confused by giving abrupt information to them. Responsive design enables the columns to be fluid and not rigid or fixed on one measurement, one column can occupy the entire space of the screen, and other ones may vary according to the available space. With coming up of responsive, the columns, images, resolution and layouts are adaptable to all the screens. In the beginning, responsive was only pertaining to flexible columns, which were bliss for the website designers and developers, but now by incorporating flexibility in other elements of websites, it has made things simple for the users too.
Current research has pointed towards a fact, that there’s a growth in smartphone users, which indicates the need to opt for responsive. In order to attract more traffic to the website, the organizations are creating a responsive website.
But there is few touch point that the designers must keep in mind, while opting for responsive design. In the traditional website the minute details were easy to hover, because of the accessibility to the mouse, but while designing it for the smartphone and other forms of the tabloid, the designer can’t afford to put minute details, which are not accessible through touch as the device nullifies the use of the mouse.
Screen resolution: Earlier the screen resolution was fixed for each website, but now in order to ease the user experience the revolution of the screen changes from landscape to portrait. The initial website design would only opt for landscape. But now with responsive designs, the screen resolution has also become adaptive depending on the preference of the user.
Graphics and images: Initially, the website used to take a lot of time in loading on the smaller screens, but responsive designs have made graphics and images flexible enough that they don’t make website heavy and less hassle-free of the user.
Responsive web pages are the example of how the digital world is moving towards user based experience.