Almost every website has its mobile version these days. There are a variety of devices available in the market with various screen resolutions. Creating a website design for each screen resolution is quite tedious, labour-intensive and expensive. The possible solution is to create a web design such that the content of the website fits in every screen resolution. Responsive web design is one of such web designs which can optimize the website for being viewed in multiple devices.
What is a responsive web design?
Responsive web design is a web designing technique in which the website is designed such that it can provide an optimal view, regardless of the variety of devices in which it can be viewed (e.g., mobiles, desktop computers, laptops, tablets etc.,) This design eliminates unnecessary scrolling, panning and resizing. Responsive web design is a ‘dynamic’ approach in which the website changes automatically when the device changes and adjusts to the screen size, platform and orientation accordingly.
Why is responsive web design important?
There are numerous devices with varying screen resolutions, definitions and orientations. Some of them operate in landscape mode, some in portrait mode, some in completely square mode too. Some smart phones have been switching the mode from portrait to landscape mode or vice-versa according to the user’s whim. Designing a website for each of these screen resolutions can be an overwhelming task. So, we are in need of one flexible solution to adapt for every screen resolution.
A few years ago, flexible web design was considered as a luxury. The flexible design back in those times could only adjust the content and structural elements according to the change in screen resolution. The images couldn’t be adjusted. Therefore, images used to break the layout of the website. Responsive web design is a more flexible and versatile design which can adjust the images besides the content and structural parts in a website. Use of flexible layouts with fluid grids, fluid images and composite images enable the images to adjust according to the screen resolution.
Advantages of responsive web design
- A cost-effective and time-saving alternative for designing multiple versions of content for varying screen solutions.
- Responsive web design is recommended by Google as the best web design in the industry for mobile configurations.
- It is very easy to manage one site using responsive web design rather than managing different versions of the same content.
- It provides better user experience by being adaptive to any platform.
Disadvantages of responsive web design
- It is too expensive to redevelop the front-end codebase of the website for responsive web design.
- When it comes to retailer websites, statistics show that over 70% of the mobile users research about the product in mobile before purchasing it in the store. Therefore it is the responsibility of the retailer to make the view of the mobile content his first priority. But then, the view of the desktop content wouldn’t be optimal. Responsive website is suitable for those who want to have a single site optimized for different devices out there. But, for the people who want their website specialized for a particular platform, this won’t be the best option.