Desktops, laptops, mobile phones, tablets… there are so many different screen resolutions out there today from all the devices available to us. How can we possibly accommodate for all these devices for the same content? Sure, we can create different templates for each and every resolution out there, but that wouldn’t be very efficient and would take a very long time to get a website up and running. One of the newly rising trends since the rise of mobile devices that tackles this issue is the concept of Responsive Web Design.
So what is Responsive Web Design? Well, first off, the word “responsive” is a big clue. In this case, it is the users experience on multiple devices and the contents adaption to the specific device. In a world with tablets, smartphones and desktop computers, it is imperative that your website has the proper response for all of the different devices out there. The structure and design of the website should be able to detect what device the user is using and switch over to the suitable resolution and script. For example, take call to action buttons. Normally on the desktop layout, they will be placed on a website in a zigzag pattern. However, this can’t be the case in a mobile design. Responsive Web Design places the call to action buttons at the top or side of the page, so that it is conveniently in the sight of the user.
Another useful function of Responsive Web Design is its ability to change the menu viewing style on mobile touch screen devices. It is impossible to hover over a menu on a touch screen device so how does Responsive Web Design compensate for this? An option for this is to have clickable main menu categories appear on the main screen and display the sub categories after the user selects the main category. A menu displayed on a desktop will appear extremely small and non-user friendly. Responsive Web Design will allow for the menu options to appear clearer and enlarged for a user-friendly interaction.
Why Is It Important?
Responsive Web Design is important in today’s web design world. This is simply because it allows us to target our websites to not just the desktop or laptop owners, but also the mobile devices for on the go. If you step outside into a busy area, it is really easy to see how important mobile devices are to society today. Nearly everyone is busy pressing buttons or sliding their fingers in all different directions on their phone and scurrying about at the same time. If you can accommodate for those users as well, the traffic to your website will increase greatly.
Responsive Web Design is also important because it helps speed up the process of loading the website. Back in the day of dial up connections, we were able to stand a whole minute of waiting to load a website. However, as data connections became more and more advanced, a delay of even 3 seconds can cause someone to become impatient and leave the website before it finishes loading. This will cause the website to lose potential traffic or customers, which is definitely not something that anyone wants. Responsive Web Design solves this problem by translating the website into something less image heavy and a suitable resolution to accommodate for this problem and eliminate, or heavily reduce the risk of having impatient viewers. This is also beneficial to mobile device users that have limited data plans. Responsive design allows for certain images to load onto the device, which greatly reduces the amount of data needed to view the website.
Is Responsive Web Design important to you as a visitor or would you wait and have access to the full desktop design on the go?
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