Responsive Web Design
What is responsive design? Web technology has had to leap forward in order to allow phone and tablet surfers a better experience when navigating websites, as standard a mobile or tablet will “fit” a standard website into its window, however this reduces the ability to see what’s on the page, the site is shrunk and some styles within the design overlap thus hiding some of the onsite content, users have to use their fingers to increase the screen size and then scroll. Mobiles and tablets have made life a little easier by introducing “readers” this takes the text from a site and allows you to read it without any of the site design as if reading from a printed book. The downside to readers is when users are on e-commerce stores or gaming sites, trying to buy or play is impossible forcing the user to go back to the standard view and continue to move the screen around in order to fully navigate the page.
Responsive design takes care of this, it simply shrinks dynamically depending on the resolution of the screen the site is being displayed in, effectively the site recognises what device you are using to surf and renders the page that’s optimal for the screen. The content is moved and placed from the side to above or below images, and the images themselves grow and shrink whilst remaining crisp and clear.
There are many other ways of delivering a website on various devices, including apps, these create a copy of your site but in a stripped down format that is best suited to mobile and tablet views, all very well but then you have double the work, when you change content on one platform you then need to make the same changes on the other. With responsive the site is one element, change the content only once and it displays across the range of devices automatically, you can try it with our site, just adjust the window size of your browser and watch the site adjust to fit the screen… magic!
There are some drawbacks with responsive and it can limit some information, you need to plan it very carefully in order for it to work properly and run fluid for the surfer, but with careful planning the end result can be well worth the extra time.
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