Our Take on Responsive Web Design

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Our Take on Responsive Web Design

Build It Once, View It Everywhere
Are you reading this from your smart phone? Or perhaps you're on your iPad, netbook, or some
handheld gaming device? You may even simply be reading this from your good ole' desktop
computer. Today, there is an ever-increasing number of new devices you can use to get your
daily internet fix and with the use of responsive web design, it is possible to create a website
once and access it on all of these.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) allows designers to craft sites that provide users with the best
experience possible, regardless of the device they are using. In an age where sales of desktop
computers are dwindling and those of smart phones, tablets and other similar devices are rising,
it has become even more necessary to cater to the hundreds of types of screens out there. But
what exactly is RWD? Creator Ethan Marcotte based it off of "responsive architecture," which
uses techniques such as robotics, temperature control and ambient lighting to literally cause
physical spaces to respond to people walking through them.
Some examples of our Responsive Web Design Projects
Taking this as inspiration, RWD uses fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS3
media queries to create a similar experience. Fluid grids allow page sizing script to be written in
ranges, rather than absolute values. Flexible images work in a similar way -- instead of inputting
an absolute pixel value, images are sized in relative units to allow for resizing based on page
width. CSS3 media queries have the ability to recognize what type of device you are using so
that it can adjust the page to create a perfect fit.
The Takeaway
Simply put, as users access websites, RWD causes the page to respond to however large or small
the screen is. This way, there is no frivolous scrolling, resizing, or panning -- the page is
perfectly set up for you when you open it the first time. The beauty of RWD is that you can
literally create one website and access it on thousands of different screens. It eliminates the need
to design a completely different site for each available device.
Go ahead, try it out! Visit a web page such as www.mashable.com or www.time.com on a
desktop browser and resize the page. The content should change itself to fit the new size of your
window, regardless of how big or small. It allows designers to transform a web page on many
different platforms into one optimized experience for users. In a time with less and less use of
PCs and more use of everything else, responsive web design is definitely useful, less stressful,
and more time efficient.

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