What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design is a site development procedure that is based on the responding behaviors of the various website users. The factors considered by the procedure include the screen size, user orientation, environment, and the platform used for the site development. You can choose from several flexible layouts and grids combined with using CSS media queries and images.

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The diagram above shows 3 different screen layouts for devices you may use to browse the internet. The first one is a desktop computer, the second a tablet computer such as an iPad and the third a hand held device such as a mobile phone or iPhone.

Screen sizes, shapes, resolutions and orientation

With the development in technology, a larger number of intricate and intelligent devices are manufactured. All the different gadgets have their specific shapes, sizes, and screen resolutions. As more people choose these various devices to browse the Internet, webmasters across the world have to deal with the problems created by this usage. Hence, more number of designers is now adopting this new technique while designing the sites to ensure users can visit the site and acquire the necessary information from any type of Internet-enabled device.

When your site is designed with this procedure; the appearance of your website changes in accordance to the device used by the user. Therefore, webmasters do not have to design and develop different sites for the various types of gadgets used for Internet browsing. These basic components need to be considered while you are designing your website following this method.

To verify if the site is designed for responsiveness, you need to check that the same content is visible on the screen irrespective of whether the users are using a laptop, desktop, mobile, or a tablet PC. The only factor that would change is the structure and the format of the site content. When these automatic adjustments occur to your site, you can be assured that the website is responsive.

Although, responsive web design focuses on adjusting the screen resolution, it is not only focused on reshaping and resizing the content. Reducing the size of the entire content in a smaller one can create a negative experience for the users. Therefore, it is recommended you include only the important content while designing the site for the mobile devices. Hence, you should use lists and rows rather than using columns to create focused content.

An important aspect of this type of designing is the flexibility of the images. Generally, pages that use a large number of images take a longer time to load and require more bandwidth. Therefore, images that are scalable and modify their placements according to the flexibility of the grids enable quicker loading of the web pages. This requires reducing the images based on the HTML width and height features that enable creating more space. You can use cropping using CSS overflow features to reduce the size of the images to ensure fast page loading.

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The diagram above shows how this website changes when viewed in different devices. This web site is responsive, so on the left you can see its normal state when viewed in a computer browser, and then on the right the layout changes to fit a smaller browser layout such as the iPhone. The logo and header elements reposition to fit better on the screen and the menu changes into a drop down menu.

One website design for all devices

The biggest benefit of using this type of a site design is that webmasters do not need to have multiple designs that cater to the different devices. A single arrangement is adequate to enable users to view the sites from various devices with varying screen sizes to meet their requirements. Moreover, the designers are not required to fragment the site content and instead can deploy one arrangement using various points for added adaptability and responsiveness.

An excellent tool for this methodology is the CSS software that simplifies the development of inventive content adaptable for mobile phones, tablets, and other gadgets. The software allows the designer in planning, previewing, and testing the prototypes before delivering them to the various devices. Several features, such as advanced gadget input emulation and HTML supporting makes it popular and effective.

Web design grid system

A special grid system enables the experts to distribute the screen in eighteen columns with the extreme ends considered as the outer margin. The designers can then fold the remaining rows in eight and four columns useful for tablet and mobile devices, respectively. Some of the additional aspects include a baseline grid that can be zoomed and expandable gutters.

Several professionals choose a JQuery plug-in that enable scaling the headlines to fill the width of the parent component. This tool is especially useful in providing flexibility to the size of the fonts that is advantageous for the different screen sizes. Many designers choose the opinionated CSS and HTML boilerplate that provides adaptability across different web browsers offering high quality topography.

An excellent tool available for designing pages suitable for the seventeen-inch screen sizes is a collection of JS and CSS files. Using the above-mentioned tools, designing professionals can easily create responsive web designs to increase the adaptability of the sites to the improving technology. The numerous benefits and the versatility of this latest designing procedure are increasing its popularity among the webmasters and the designing experts.


If you are looking for responsive web design in Belfast, Derry or anywhere in Northern Ireland or the UK please get in touch today to see how Marty McColgan Graphic & Web Design Services can help you.