Basic aspects of responsive web design

Basic aspects of responsive web design

I am not going to write abstractly or philosophically about responsive web design; I will make sure I define it clearly and demonstrate some real-sense technical applications of responsive web design in this article. I will also discuss the advantages of responsive web design and it will be very clear if you take a moment to read through this article, to examine and understand the realities of modern web and mobile technologies, and I want you to know that implementing a responsive design is easier than you might have thought.

What do we mean by Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web design is the process that suggests that design and development should respond maximally to the user’s behavior and environment based which are based platform, screen size, and
orientation. It can also be define in a simple term as the maximum responsive performance/ behavior of each website and content designed performance necessary across all devices to ensure usability and satisfaction.

Why do we need to design a responsive Web?

A responsive web design should be considered when considering having a website because there is fast and inevitable shift from computer/ desktop to mobile this means that web designers will also have to plan their projects not just to fit computer environment (desktop, mouse and keyboard) but also fit in environments of smartphones, tablets and game consoles. There is a saying that “content is like water” you put water in a cup it takes the shape and becomes a cup if you put water in a kettle it becomes that kettle, if you put water in a bottle it becomes the bottle and if you put water in the teapot it becomes the teapot. So since there have been rapid increment in number of devices, browser specifications and screen resolutions, it is glaring and mandatory to design a new version of responsive web that will fit and operate maximally for every screen resolutions, definitions, orientations and variations (in functionality and even color).

Key Features of a Responsive Web Design

It is believed that for a web design to be considered “responsive,” it needs to have some features and this includes:

  • Responsive web must be built with flexible grids.
  • Responsive web must be built with flexible Images.
  • Responsive web must be built with Media Queries.

Flexible grids

It is important to design a website that will respond, adapt and can viewed on different screen sizes. It is also important to think outside the box of the normal screen sizes that will have already and the one to come yet. A responsive web must be able switch screens between smartphones, iPad, laptop, and desktop. It is assumed that a responsive web designed should have element sizing and it should be in relative units like percentages rather than units like pixel.

For example, you should consider how your web is going to be viewed on mobile phones, tablets and desktops. It is important to use flexible grid layouts to specify layouts for each of these devices.
Depending on whether the website is to be displayed on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone, the corresponding layout is used to display the website. You can define your own parameters i.e. spacing, columns, and containers when a designing a responsive web. Most responsive website restrictively uses CSS to determine the grid of your web.

Flexible Images

As the name implies “flexible images” a responsive web should contains images that move and scale i.e. shrink proportionally to fit within the context of the content on a web when visited on different screen sizes and resolutions (flexible grid). “Flexible images” is another important feature of a responsive web design.

In a responsive web design a flexible image is to set to follow two simple CSS rules: max-width, and height: auto, like this:

Img {
Max-width: 100%;
Height: auto;
}

The above CSS rule is to make sure that images will always remain in their container box without falling out; skipping the height and the width of the element; and relatively allowing the browser to resize image to device. The maximum width of the image is set to 100% of the screen width or the browser, so that when the overall viewing width decreases, the images will scale down proportionally.

Media Queries

“Media queries” is one of the most important features to be considered in responsive web design. It enables developers to create flexible designs which will adapt automatically without distortion or loss of quality on any devices been used to view the web.

It allows a responsive web design to build multiple layouts using the same HTML document and CSS file by optionally serving styles based on the user agent’s and device features, such as the browser window’s size, orientation, and screen size and resolutions. Media queries makes a responsive web catchy to the eye and as functional as the screen size will allow.

Here is an example:

@media (min-device-width: 320px) {
/* CSS rules for these viewports*/
}
@media (min-device-width: 320px) and (orientation: landscape) {
/* CSS rules for these viewports*/
}

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