The Basics of Responsive Web Design


By David Adress
President, Bitochon Technologies

Responsive website design is all the rage these days. As the term implies, the design of the website allows it to be responsive to the screen size. This change was necessary, keeping in mind the fact that more people use handheld and mobile devices to access the internet than computers and laptops. Websites that are designed for the larger screens of desktop computers do not function effectively on the small screens of mobile devices. This hampers the user experience and hence, your potential customers are driven away.

Getting a responsive website design solves this problem for you. Regardless of the size of the screen, your website will adapt itself. This way, the visitor will get the best possible experience. It is important that your website’s visitors associate positive thoughts with your website. If they have a negative experience, they are unlikely to consider buying your products. The issue here is that most businesses are not familiar with the ins and outs of responsive web design. You don’t need to be an expert but understanding the basics of responsive website design is a good idea. Here is an overview.

A Fluid Grid

The web design will use a fluid grid design for the frames, images and tables. Percentage values will be assigned to the grids denoting their height and width. So, depending on the size of the screen, the grids will adjust automatically and users won’t miss out on any important information.

Mobile First

Most web designers focus on designing the website for mobile devices before they come up with the responsive design. The reason this is done is to ensure none of the content or information is lost in transition between screen sizes. They design the website for the smaller screens first. It is easier for the grids to adapt from small to big than the other way around. This way, nothing gets compressed.

Device Capabilities

One of the biggest challenges with responsive website designing is that different devices have different capabilities. For instance, a smartphone may not be able to read certain programming languages. This is why the designers keep progressive enhancement options in mind. This way, the options detect the device’s display capabilities. Regardless of the size of the screen, users can view them without hassle.
There is no doubt that the next generation of websites is all going to be responsive. If your website doesn’t have a responsive design, you are missing out on potential customers for sure.