You might have come across the term ‘responsive web design’ when talking to web designers while making enquiries for a new website project. Web designers may also have suggested to you to give your old website an overhaul and to make it ‘responsive’ or ‘mobile-friendly’. The term ‘responsive’ can be found everywhere these days. But what does it mean?
Responsive web design is an approach to designing websites that provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience which is device-independent. The times of being able to view websites just on desktop computer screens have changed. Today people are very used to browsing the web on a multitude of devices such as desktop or laptop computers as well as hand-held devices such as tablets and mobile phones. TV’s, fridges and even watches currently can be connected to the World Wide Web and act as information sources in our everyday lives.
With the multitude of devices being available the challenge to cater for them has become quite a challenge. In the past attempts to create websites that would perform well on mobile phones were made by creating various versions of a website, each optimised for a particular device. The downside to this was that it was very time-consuming maintaining multiple sites and the complexity grew with every new type of device that entered the consumer market.
What if we could just create one website that does it all? Well, we can now. Say ‘hello’ to responsive web design! A responsive website lets us keep all our website content in one place. There are no duplicate versions to keep track of and to maintain.
How can this be achieved? Essential is the separation of content & its layout.
Without getting too technical & going into too much detail, it can be said that a responsive website makes use of fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images (and other media) and CSS media queries to adapt the layout to the viewing environment.
In laymen’s terms, this means that we get the best result for every device that our customers use and we are making the most of the available ‘screen real estate’. If we can cater for virtually all devices, we can reach more people, give them the best possible website experience, and get our message across in a better way which leads to more leads, sales, etc.
An easy way to see whether a website is responsive is to view it on various devices or simply by making your browser window (on a desktop or laptop computer) narrower. Observe if the website’s layout plays along nicely with the change. If there is no horizontal scrolling (which is usually a bad thing) and a website looks & works well with various widths it is most likely a responsive website.
What we can take away from this: Insist on responsive website design if you are getting a new website or giving your existing online presence a re-vamp. It is definitely one of the most important web design trends that is worth following nowadays. Please take a look at our Website Packages to get started.