The Era of Responsive Design Websites
Updated: May 13
Responsive websites are becoming the norm these days. Let’s analyze why they’re being preferred now. Responsive designing is to design a website so that it provides optimal viewing experience, is easy to read, and is easy to navigate. The design should be compatible across wide range of devices like mobile phones to desktop computer monitors without requiring resizing, panning, and scrolling.
This leads to the question that why do we need optimal viewing experience and what benefit do we get from it? Let’s answer this by considering evolution, client’s point of view, and development team viewpoint.
Evolution of Responsive Web Design
How can evolution be there when there are already millions of websites online that are evolving on their own due to their business point of view and logic? Well, evolution started when iPhone was launched in 2007. It was at that point Responsive Web Design started to shape up. Website owners started to realize that their website was not showing properly on mobiles. When tablets like iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tabs were introduced few years later, people, clients, and web designers were of the viewpoint that websites should be “responsive” to different devices and desktop monitors.
Up to 2011, the basic requirement was to have a website that was compatible with all the different browsers and iPhone or iPad devices with iPhone native App. New technologies were introduced in that year, and people started to express the need to have applications for these devices. Since Android devices have different screen sizes and dimensions than iPhone and iPad devices, the challenge faced by business owners and clients was to have the same website design appear on different devices. Since the screen sizes were different, should the slider on the homepage have different dimensions too? This was one of the few things clients started to ponder before they put up their idea and requirements to the technical department. The simple solution to these queries is how the client wants the world to see their message. The client should create a blueprint in their mind of what they want to achieve, create a rough sketch of website on paper, and make sticky notes of ideas they possess. This will help them come up with how they want to see their website on different devices.
Development Team/Technical Department
The development team faces the challenge when the requirements for the responsive design are not clear and the business owner or client is not clear with what he wants to achieve and what he wants in terms of Responsive Web Design. Though, there are many tools that help achieve Responsive design, the real problem appears when the fonts of website on desktop monitors look different than the fonts on device. This is because both the devices use different ways to render the optimal view of the website. When the client knows what he wants, things become very easy for the development team or the technical department since they know exactly what is required. There are many tools helping scripts available to deal and achieve the responsiveness of the website, but there is always the need to mold those scripts with the requirements.
Though there is still some trade-off in achieving responsive design websites, it is better to know how to turn things around and design responsive websites. The gamble is worth it for the long term for businesses. One important reason to call it “Era of Responsive Design Websites” is that in future the main focus will revolve around Mobile UI Interfaces. Though the Macs and desktop PCs will still be there in the market, large screen mobile devices and tablets will be popularly used by everyone.