What is responsive web design and why is it important?


Posted On: Jan 25, 2023

What is responsive web design and why is it important?


Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design is an approach whereby a designer creates a web page that responds to or resizes itself depending on the type of device. That could be an oversized desktop computer monitor, a laptop, or devices with small screens such as smartphones and tablets. Responsive web design has become an essential tool for anyone with a digital presence. With the growth of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile computing devices, more people are using small screens to view web pages. The purpose of responsive design is to have one site, but with different elements that respond differently when viewed on devices of different sizes. When viewed on the desktop computer, for instance, the website might show three columns. But When you view that same layout on a smaller tablet, it might force you to scroll horizontally. Or elements might be hidden from view or look distorted. the impact is also complicated by the fact that many tablets can be viewed either in portrait orientation or turned sideways for landscape view. On a small smartphone screen, websites can be even more challenging to see. Large images may break the layout. Sites can be slow to load on smartphones if they are graphics-heavy. However, if a site uses the responsive design, the tablet version might automatically adjust to display just two columns. That way, they are perhaps stacked vertically. Or possibly the user would have the ability to swipe over to view other columns. Images will resize instead of distorting the layout or getting cut off.

The main components of responsive web design;

Responsive website design consists of the following three main components -

  • Flexible layouts - using a flexible grid to create the website layout that will dynamically resize to any width.
  • Media Queries -An extension to media types when targeting and including styles. It allows designers to specify different styles for the specific browser.                                                                 
  • Flexible Media - It makes media (images, video, and other formats) scalable, by changing the size of the media as the size of the viewport changes.

How Does Responsive web design work?

Responsive sites use liquid grids. All page elements are sized by proportion, rather than pixels. for example, if you have three columns, you would not say exactly how wide each should be in relation to the other columns. Column 1 should take up half the page, column 2 should take up 30%, and column 3 should take up 20%. Media such as images is also resized relatively. That way an image can stay within its column or relative design element. the goal of responsive design is to avoid the unnecessary resizing, scrolling, zooming, or panning that occurs with sites that have not been optimized for different devices. It is often very difficult to navigate these sites, and it may even cost you potential customers who become frustrated to figure out. It also needs to design a dedicated mobile website for smartphone users. Instead of designing multiple websites for different screen sizes, you can design just one website that scales up or down automatically to match the device it is being viewed on.

The benefits of choosing the responsive design for your website include:

  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Flexibility
  • Improved User Experience
  • Search Engine Optimization gains
  • Ease of management

Responsive Web Design vs Traditional Web Design

An example of a non-responsive web design page is one that reads well on desktop browsers but has very small, unreadable text on smartphones, often due to having too many columns or images that are too large to fit within a smartphone's limited viewport display width.

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