2013 is the year of responsive website design
With sales of smartphones forever on the up and tablet sales expected to exceed 100 million this year, the amount of device screen sizes available for users to browse the internet is growing exponentially.
In the not so distant past, the majority of web browsing was done on a desktop or laptop computer and a minority on mobile phone. The solution was to detect the mobile device and redirect the user to a mobile website. These were styled and structured to suit the relatively limited screen sizes available and low in filesize / loading to accommodate the processor and data transfer speeds of the time.
Then comes the smartphone and the user embracing the use of Apps, everything is about Apps for fun, games, news, information, entertainment, the list is endless. But for some website owners the development and support implications to cover every OS platform is too much, you can’t build for everything? Where there are millions of good reasons to build an App, there is an equal amount of websites where their very nature does not lend itself to multiple App development.
So the challenge now facing website designers is to design websites required to work on desktop, laptop, smartphones, iphones, ipads, tablets and all of their respective variety of screen sizes & resolutions. The rapidly emerging solution is ‘responsive design’, where the website responds to the resolution and size of the device it is being served on.
Flexible images, text and fluid grids then size correctly to fit the screen. In support of this is ‘adaptive design’ which detects the type of device being used and in which case can activate/deactivate elements or functionality as required.
The benefits are you build a website that works seamlessly across thousands of different screens. This does not mean mobile websites are unnecessary, the purpose of the website will dictate the feasibility of setting up a mobile site to suit its needs and there are still many reasons to do this. However, if you wish to build a site that is accessible to the expanding device universe, responsive is the way forward.
Behind the scenes at design understood we are working away at responsive design, testing out methods, learning and honing our skills in the department of responsive website design. Over coming weeks and months you may notice changes to the design understood website but in saying that, when responsive design works well, you don’t notice it, it is seamless and just works! With projects on the horizon, we aim to be showcasing responsive website design along with our bespoke content management systems for our clients in the very near future.
If you would like to talk to us about responsive design for your website please contact us.
A good example of Responsive Design is the Google Science Fair Website: https://www.googlesciencefair.com/en/2013/competition
If you view this on a desktop computer and resize your browser you will see how the site changes to fit the content to the new size. Also try opening this on a smart phone and/or tablet and you can see how the altered content suits the device.