Responsive web design: what it is and what it means.

Responsive web design: what it is and what it means.

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Responsive Design

The control which designers knew in the print medium, and often desire in the web medium, is simply a function of the limitation of the printed page. The web doesn’t have the same constraints and we have started to design for this flexibility.

Responsive Design aims to produce the optimal user experience for different environments, all built into one website. It is a technique that insists that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.

Here are three main concepts around responsive design, and what it means for end users, marketers and producers.

Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors)

What it means

RWD makes a website adjustable (screen size) to the devices where it’ll be viewed at. It displays certain size and information when seen from a desktop computer, when seen from a tablet or when seen from a phone.
Usually, the smaller the screen/device, the less information it’ll display.

Search engines like RWD. You won’t automatically rank higher, but search engines have an easier time going over a responsive site because it’s all under one URL

What it means

Search engines like sites that make their job easier; if SEO is important (or an investment) to you, responsive design is a tool to use on the road to this goal.

RWD is tied tightly with analytics; analytics provide information on who’s visiting a site, including the visitor’s device. The more you know about the devices looking at your site, the more you can tell how much RWD is needed

What it means

If you’re unsure if RWD is needed, start without it but immediately keep track of visitors. A month and a half is a good length to determine trends and devices. Listen to the data and do your part.

By the way, responsive web design is not related to responsible web design (the web’s principles of accessibility, efficiency and safety, among others), but if that’s what your mind went to, the software development industry thanks you 🙂