Responsive Design

If you have being following trends in recent times, you would have noticed that web application design and development has taken a turn for the best. With the push of mobile development taking the front seat, design and development of web applications will never be the same again. This is true because there are more users of mobile devices than there are of the traditional desktops (thanks to Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, Motorola, Sony Ericsson etc.). So the case today is, if you want to reach more people, you have to build applications that would scale across different platforms.

Now you may wonder, how could this be done effectively and painlessly without having to build different versions of the same web application for example for all available devices? The answer is, Responsive Web Design. If you have not heard about this, then you must be living under a rock somewhere in Nevrasla (fictitious). Its like the next buzz word in the web development and design world (I have a feeling it has been around for a while but it seems it just caught some fire, when iPhone and iPads began to cause a stare!). Responsive design has joined its buzz word contemporaries in the software development community–interaction design, reflective design, intuitive design etc. It is referred to as Adaptive design by some folks.

In my own words,

Responsive design is the ability for a system to be flexible enough to adjust itself to suit the behavior of actors and the space it occupies within the system, without sacrificing important information.

I hope that made sense. Okay, if it didn’t, then here is another definition that is more specific to the web design and development plethora. Not by me this time.

Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market. Coutersy of Kayla Knight

Well, that just about sums it up. I would not say anymore, why not read up the article by Kayla herself here. Let me know what you think about this interesting development in our evolving world of web design and development.


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