What is Responsive Web Design?

But, if you want it to be truly effective, an attractive design alone isn’t enough. Due to the rapid increase in mobile usage in recent years, responsive design has become somewhat of a necessity. Responsive design is the method of designing web pages that automatically appear in their optimized form on all devices.

You can find a lot more examples in our roundup of 25 best responsive web design examples. The main reason why you’d want a responsive website is the fact that the use of mobile devices to browse the Internet has continually been on the rise for a few years now and shows no signs of slowing down. You should now have a solid understanding of responsive web design, both what it takes to create and why.

what does responsive web design mean

If a style sheet made the layout too narrow, short, wide or tall, we could then detect that and switch to a new style sheet. This new child style sheet would adopt everything from the default style sheet and then just redefine the layout’s structure. The latest articles about interface usability, website design, and UX research from the Nielsen Norman Group. There are various applications for creating this grid system, such as “bootstrap” or “responsive grid system”. This refers to both the technical and the media tools such as images, videos or typography. That being said, there are some critical things to keep in mind when building the microstructure of your code.

Popular Features

This was around the time when smartphones and other mobile devices became widespread, and it was necessary to have web pages that could be easily viewed on small screens. In responsive web design, flexible images are also called adaptive images. They provide image solutions with no fixed display size restrictions.

Tutorials, references, and examples are constantly reviewed to avoid errors, but we cannot warrant full correctness of all content. While using W3Schools, you agree to have read and accepted our terms of use,cookie and privacy policy. On smaller screens, the Roboto font at 1em works perfectly giving 10 words per line, but larger screens require a breakpoint.

what does responsive web design mean

CSS3 has expanded query capabilities that allow style sheets to be targeted to a device’s display and serve a desktop, tablet or smartphone style sheet depending on the query response. Collapsible Web design example.As what does responsive web design mean one can see, the main navigation here is the simple layout of t-shirt designs, spanning both vertically and horizontally across the screen. As the browser or screen gets smaller, the columns collapse and move below.

Responsive Text Size

In this case, if the browser width is greater than 575px, the ideal content width is 550px. Defining breakpoints based on specific devices, products, brand names, or operating systems that are in use today can result in a maintenance nightmare. Instead, the content itself should determine how the layout adjusts to its container. For some types of layout you can use Multiple-column Layout , which can create responsive numbers of columns with the column-width property. In the demo below, you can see that columns are added if there is room for another 200px column. Since screen dimensions and width in CSS pixels vary widely between devices , content should not rely on a particular viewport width to render well.

This is especially important because mobile browsing continues to trend upward, and a significant portion of most website traffic is driven by social media links. Responsive design is also helpful for users who might be viewing a condensed desktop browser window or a split-screen https://globalcloudteam.com/ view. For example, desktops and mobile devices both have different viewports. As technology continued to evolve, new devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones entered the market. These new devices often displayed websites that were cumbersome to use.

  • Below are some steps given that one can follow to determine whether website is responsive or not.
  • WebFXs proprietary digital marketing platform makes it easier than ever to track digital marketing performance, conduct industry research, calculate ROI, and make strategic decisions.
  • For devices that do not switch orientation or for screens whose browser width cannot be changed manually, using a separate style sheet should be fine.
  • The same HTML is served to all devices, using CSS to change the appearance of the page.
  • A user frequents a favorite store, restaurant, gym, etc. — by checking in there, he/she creates a profile.

Responsive web design works to create one website that is suitable and workable on all devices, regardless of size. In responsive web design, we build websites to make web content adjust and adapt to different screen sizes. A strength of adaptive design is that it feels more relevant to the modern user experience, whereas responsive design shows a more desktop-centric approach . We like to feel that our devices are aware of what we’re going through. Let’s take a literal example; if you were driving through a long tunnel, wouldn’t you rather have a GPS screen that adapts to the environment and adjusts its brightness?

By using a flexible grid, you can change a feature or add in a breakpoint and change the design at the point where the content starts to look bad. For example, to ensure line lengths don’t become unreadably long as the screen size increases you can use columns; if a box becomes squashed with two words on each line as it narrows you can set a breakpoint. The main image is scaled proportionally via a flexible image method. Each “layout structure” is fully flexible until it reaches a breaking point, at which point the layout switches to something more usable with less horizontal space. The bottom four columns eventually collapse into two, the logo moves above the navigation, and the columns of navigation below are moved on top or below each other. At the design’s narrowest stage, the navigation is super-simplified, and some inessential content is cut out altogether.

Part of the Solution: Flexible Everything

By keeping these aspects of your CSS in mind, you will be able to make better-informed decisions on what direction to take your CSS. We’re talking about large images in the right format, making sure everything has the same title, filename and alt text. Design handoff tools like Zeplin, Sympli, Marvel, and InVision can help designers collaborate with developers on matters that are a joint responsibility.

what does responsive web design mean

Responsive typography describes changing font sizes within media queries or using viewport units to reflect lesser or greater amounts of screen real estate. Using along with max-width removes the need for sizing images with media queries. It enables targeting images with different aspect ratios to different viewport sizes. Responsive Images, using the element and the srcset and sizes attributes enables serving images targeted to the user’s viewport and the device’s resolution. For example, you can include a square image for mobile, but show the same scene as a landscape image on desktop. There was a time when people only accessed websites from a desktop computer.

How Responsive Web Design Works in the Real World

You can recognise this by the three horizontal strokes on top of each other. However, this also means that these latest designs and technologies could cause problems on smaller screens or even on older devices. Once again, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to font-sizes and it’s something developers can’t agree on. Check out this Stack Overflow post where two highly upvoted answers recommend px over rem and vice versa. Browser compatibility, user needs and external factors change so often that there is never a perfect solution.

The above code in this media query applies only to screen and browser widths between 800 and 1200 pixels. A good use of this technique is to show certain content or entire sidebars in a layout depending on how much horizontal space is available. The min-width and max-width properties do exactly what they suggest. The min-width property sets a minimum browser or screen width that a certain set of styles would apply to. If anything is below this limit, the style sheet link or styles will be ignored.

what does responsive web design mean

How can websites possibly keep up with the millions of screens out there? You can use the columns shorthand to provides a maximum number of columns and a minimum column width. This can ensure line lengths don’t become unreadably long as the screen size increases or too narrow as the screen size decreases.

“Responsive Websites” – What They Are and Why Your Business Needs One

The technique that allows a website to adjust and adapt to any device of any choice. Responsive web design and mobile-first design are often confused for one another, but they’re in fact two different concepts. Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License. Similarly, for the large screens it’s best to limit to maximum width of the forecast panel so it doesn’t consume the whole screen width.

The Concept Of Responsive Web Design

Designers officially can’t ignore the importance of mobile devices, not when there are over 3 billion of them in use out there. Responsive web design entails the process of designing websites that adapt to all devices, platforms, and screen sizes in terms of both form and function. We talked about specific responsive breakpoints earlier, but we also need to consider that those mobile viewports can be displayed in landscape orientation as well. While implementing a fluid layout will technically make the content adaptive, losing a fair chunk of the portrait viewport can be a hindrance to the usability and accessibility. Here are the most common screen resolutions across mobile, tablet, and desktop users worldwide.

The logo keeps its general look yet is modified for a more vertical orientation, with the tagline below the main icon. The white space around the content on larger screens is also more spacious and interesting, whereas it is simplified for practical purposes on smaller screens. Art Equals Work is a simple yet great example of responsive Web design.

If the browser can be manually resized, placing all variable media queries in one style sheet would be best. For extreme size changes, we may want to change the layout altogether, either through a separate style sheet or, more efficiently, through a CSS media query. This does not have to be troublesome; most of the styles can remain the same, while specific style sheets can inherit these styles and move elements around with floats, widths, heights and so on. One nice thing about the iPhone and iPod Touch is that Web designs automatically rescale to fit the tiny screen. A full-sized design, unless specified otherwise, would just shrink proportionally for the tiny browser, with no need for scrolling or a mobile version. Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.

A Showcase Of Responsive Web Design

All you’ve got to do is enter your site’s URL and the tool will analyze your site and tell you if it’s responsive or not. You’ll also get suggestions on what to do to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Field Notes serves as a nice example of an e-commerce website that looks great on both mobile and desktop devices. From a business standpoint, this means that if your website doesn’t respond well to smaller screens and is hard to read and navigate, your visitors will be more inclined to move on to a competitor’s site instead. When it comes to promoting and marketing your business, a well-designed website can be your most valuable asset.

Changes to the design occur on the client-side, meaning each device — the phone, tablet or computer — receives the full code for all devices and takes what it needs. Responsive web design means that the web design of a website adapts to any size of screen. Accordingly, the design of a page is made cross-device with Responsive Web Design.