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What is Responsive Web Design?

Posted in Design written by Bright Pixel Studio

You may have heard about responsive web design, but if you haven't, chances are you have seen it in action while surfing the web. To see a good live example that really shows the benefits of this technique check out the following website - Response Design Website - Fork CMS. When viewing the website expand and shrink your browser to different widths. You will notice how the website reshapes and actually removers content based on the screens size. This works on all different device types such as tables, laptops and even screens as thin as mobile phones.


Simply put, responsive web design (RWD) is a way of describing the technique of designing and developing a site so that the layout changes depending on the device it is being viewed in. The device could be a mobile phone, laptop, tablet, or desktop.\


It is important to note, that responsive web design is not a replacement for a pure mobile website. Instead it's a way to dynamically change your main website to fit onto the large range of devices available today. Pure mobile sites are created specifically for mobile phones.



Do I need a responsive website?


If you have your own website or are looking to have one built the answer is easy - Absolutely! You have probably seen websites that don't look correctly or function as you would expect due to the device you are viewing it on - such as a mobile phone. A responsive web design addresses this problem and provides a solution for it. A knowledgeable and professional web design company should include this flexibility into the website they create for you.


Here are a couple questions you or your web design company should ask before creating your responsive website.


  1. How do users browse your website?

    Now-a-days it's estimated that more than 50% of web browsing is taking place on mobile and tablet devices. It's no doubt that this figure is going to continue to grow. Having a responsive site will position you to take advantage of this shift as more and more people browse the web on the go. Keep in mind, that your situation and product line may vary so this may not be as critical as others. However, it is good idea to think about it and formulate a plan for your future online.

  2. How would a responsive web design (RWD) fit into your strategy?

    Can your website goals be met with a responsive website design? Are your goals going to be easier to attain in a responsive design? Not every website needs or should be responsive. In fact some content won't translate very well to a responsive design and some functionality would be tougher to navigate using this technique.

    It's important to identify if a responsive design is going to cause more problems than it solves. It could be that a pure mobile site or an application is a better direction for your business. These questions can be answered by an experienced web design company.

  3. Can you wait for the extra development and testing time?

    Because a responsive design takes many different sizes starting from 320px (mobile phone) the design process can be somewhat different to what you may be used to. The process of a mock-up based on a specific width is or for multiple screen widths wouldn't be cost effective. Instead, the website content must be laid out in a way that it confirms to the different sized screens as the device change. To get this to work correctly, extra care and time must be devoted to the design, development and the testing phases of your website creation. Additional time may also be needed to identify how the content should re-shape and what areas can be removed as the screen becomes smaller.

What should I do?


If you have any questions regarding responsive web design (RWD) and whether this is something you should consider and implement please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

We would be happy to talk more about this process and determine if this is something that is good for your business. We look forward to speaking to you.

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