The myriad of mobile platforms has posed a significant hurdle for web developers and businesses. The iPhone, Blackberry, Android, netbook, and Kindle each come with their own screen resolutions and orientation; thus, websites need to be compatible with every new device. Yet not adapting to these new screen resolutions and interfaces loses customers and diminishes your business's visibility in the market.But making a new website for each new device is time-consuming, costly, and impractical.
Responsive web design adapts to the environment and user behavior. Using a range of flexible grids and layouts, a responsive web page adapts on account of screen size, platform, and device orientation.
For example, depending on the user's device, the website adapts automatically and adjusts screen resolution and scripting abilities. Websites are now automatically responding to a user's preferences, eliminating the cumbersome need of different designs, code scripting, and for the multitude of devices.
Adjusting Screen Resolutions
The majority of new smartphone devices come with different screen sizes, functionality, and color tones. For example, the iPad can switch sizes instantly from landscape to portrait, depending how a user holds their phone. This requires a web page to adapt instantly to each orientation. But hundreds of different sizes exist and more are coming, making it impossible to accommodate them all. Responsive Web Design makes everything more flexible - images adjust automatically, screen resolutions fit the device, and web layouts never break.
Grids, Images, and Queries
Creating responsive websites requires three aspects that fit together to make the whole of responsive design. They are:
- Fluid grids
- Fluid Images
- Media Queries
Traditionally, websites were measured in pixels, but these fixed units failed to adapt to different sized screens. Responsive websites, however, are built with relative units such as percentages, which effectively transitions the webpage size to adjust to hundreds of screen resolutions from a variety of devices.Images that don't shrink within the confines of the fluid grid, appear too large, small, or break entirely. In other words, the content should fit the form. Fluid images, therefore, are refitted automatically to every screen resolution and orientation such as the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android. Media queries function as filters for CSS Technology. CSS solutions change styles to match individual devices and their characteristics such as display type, width, height, orientation and screen resolution. For example, if a page design is either too small or large, a media query can detect the incompatibility and use a CSS script to rearrange the site's content. This is particular helpful when fluid grids start to 'break' and no longer look appealing. This point when websites no longer look good or function as they are built to is called a "breakpoint". Media queries are applied to define these 'breakpoints' which automatically adjusts or fixes the problem.
A study done by Google, called Think Insights on Mobile, found there is a 61 percent chance that users abandon sites difficult to use. As mobile usage explodes and the smartphone penetrates, customers want the same experience from their phones as they get on their computers. Businesses that fail to adapt risk losing out a huge market hold and being outpaced by their competitors.
Responsive web design requires you to respond to the growing demands of consumers and the multitude of mobile devices, with only one website coded to meet them all. It saves bandwidth, decrease loading time, and be accessed from every mobile device. If losing customers, revenue, and reputation are things you want your business to avoid, then contact us today and find out how responsive web design can help you.