Until a few years back, mobile phones were not in vogue and therefore the need to customize screen layouts for mobile phones was not a priority item for web designers. When mobile phones came into being, they were used as calling devices and their functions extended to internet access only in the past seven or eight years. This has changed the scenario in web designing completely. Now, when website or a screen is designed, it has to possess flexibility to adapt to both desktop and laptop screens as well as to androids and iphones. In short, this means a screen should be clear to the user irrespective of the size of his browser. This is what responsive web design is all about.
This the feature that is able to add flexibility to web page and screen layouts, so as to conform them to the right size to improve legibility. It is obvious a website, which have been designed by using responsive web design will be more popular as they will be accessible to both mobile phone as well as desk top users.
Anybody interested in reading up about this creative add-on feature can read Ethan Marcotte’s book called ‘responsive Web design’ which is a comprehensive book on this subject.
Main sides to Responsive web design
There are three main faces to responsive web design: The flexible grid, flexible images and the media queries option.
Flexible grid refers to page layout and design which is very important to the magazine and newspaper industries Old and fixed page layouts are now obsolete owing to their non-adaptability to new web browsers as well as to the mobile phone-internet interface. This feature uses percentage instead of the old pixel concept to add flexibility to its resizing of images and text. Photos and pictures which cannot be tiled cannot be accommodated for flexible grid options.
Horizontal gradients do not work well with such images as they reduce quality of border texture and do not scale down well. Scaling down is a major requirement for responsive web design. This feature every image and text smaller but still clearly legible. Grain and grunge form good scaling features to work with.
Information and text should be scaled down when the website is designed so that they content has no problem adapting to a smaller screen or different browser. Due to the ancient pixel format of sizing text and images, the web pages become fixed page sizes and cannot be accessed on smaller screens of mobile phones. You don’t have to be nervous about learning new CSS codes or new styling techniques.
The choice of platform
The issue emphasizes the fact that while designing a web page, it is vitally important to consider the platform for which you are designing the page.This where you can use media queries to edit modules to suit various browser screens.