What is Responsive Design?
Wikipedia defines it as “an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).” The main advantage of Responsive Design is that it allows for one URL and single content source. An Responsive Design website can serve any device or screen size, so you do not need to design separate websites for mobile, tablet, and desktop devices.
It’s almost incomprehensible in 2015 to build a website that isn’t responsive. The technique has developed to the point that most designers no longer say, ‘responsive web design,’ we say, ‘web design,’ and mean exactly the same thing.
Naturally, opinions differ on how to implement responsive techniques; many sites that claim to be responsive aren’t; most sites that intend to be responsive are only superficially so; there are even a few fixed-width devotees clinging on in the face of all reason. But broadly speaking a responsive approach is the default option for all websites.
Today, websites must be designed for any type of device rather than a specific platform. Long gone are the days of fixed-width layouts that behave the same way on every screen and device. The concept of responsive web design emerged just a few short years ago. The idea was simple, create a single HTML codebase and make use of CSS3 Media Queries to adapt the layout of the device so it could “respond” to any screen that it was loaded on. The idea has since become the foundation of every website we design for our clients. First impressions are important. Nearly 50% of people rank a website’s design as the number 1 factor for determining the credibility of an organization, and since 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, compelling design is one of the most important aspects of your business’s arsenal.
THE FUTURE OF RESPONSIVE DESIGN
As the tech industry continues to develop new devices, with new capabilities and limitations, the challenges we face as web designers will inevitably change.
Portions of the Web do work on wearables. Native apps connect to the Web (or to your phone, which connects to the Web) in order to retrieve data. They just can’t display full web pages.
One of the key areas for focus in any responsive design is navigation, and one of the key developments we’re likely to see in wearables is a change of input method: sensors in a wriststrap could detect the tightening of tendons in the wrist, tracking the movement of 5 digits, or at the very least detecting the clench of a fist as a replacement for click or tap actions.