Buzzword of the Day: Responsive Design

If you’re involved in the wide world of web design (say that five times fast), all you’ve been hearing about lately is responsive design. For those non-technical visitors, this involves the practice of designing a website that responds well across all devices and screen sizes – that is, in essence, responsive to whatever machine the end-user is utilizing to browse the website.

In practice, responsive web design can take on a lot of different technical aspects. I found a great infographic from Templatemonster that can help walk you through steps to discover, understand, and employ responsive web design.

If you’ve ever browsed the web on your tiny mobile device, or on a slightly larger tablet or netbook, you’ve seen the limitations that some websites have. Some require you to zoom in closely to read the content, some you might have to flip one way or another, and some might not even display (like flash sites on iOS devices).

What responsive design accomplishes is taking all the squinting and flipping out of the picture. You navigate to the website, and some nifty CSS scripting pulls the appropriate scaling for your device. The term itself is only two years old, and the practice itself is just beginning to make wide inroads into the web design community. If this is something you’re interested in looking into for your website, contact me and we’ll discuss your needs.