Defining Responsive Design for Websites

Responsive-Web-Design by Salterra Web Development

Responsive web design (RWD) is a web development approach that produces dynamic changes to the look of a site, depending upon the screen size and orientation of the gadget being utilized to see it. RWD is one approach to the problem of designing for the multitude of devices available to customers, varying from tiny phones to substantial desktop screens.

RWD uses so-called breakpoints to figure out how the layout of a site will appear: one design is utilized above another design and a breakpoint is applied listed below that breakpoint. The breakpoints are frequently based upon the width of the web browser.

The exact same HTML is served to all gadgets, utilizing CSS (which identifies the layout of the web page) to change the appearance of the page. Instead of creating a different site and corresponding codebase for wide-screen screens, desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones of all sizes, a single codebase can support users with differently sized viewports.

In responsive design, page elements reshuffle as the viewport grows or shrinks. A three-column desktop design might reshuffle to 2 columns for a tablet and a single column for a smartphone. Responsive design depends on proportion-based grids to reorganize content and design elements.

While responsive design became a method to offer equal access to info despite gadgets, it is also possible to hide specific products– such as background images, as in the Transport for London example above, secondary content or supplementary navigation– on smaller-sized screens. Choices about hiding content and functionality or changing look for different device types ought to be based upon knowledge about your users and their needs.

RWD has potential benefits over establishing different sites for different device types. Using a single codebase can make advancement faster, compared to establishing 3 or 4 unique websites, and makes maintenance easier gradually, as one set of code and content requires to be updated instead of 3 or 4. RWD is also relatively “future-proof” in that it can support new breakpoints required at any time. The code can support the new devices if a 5-inch device or 15-inch device takes off in the market. RWD does not connect design to a particular gadget.

Due to the fact that elements require to be able to resize and shuffle, it is typically much easier to carry out a responsive design on a site that is concentrated on content, rather than performance. Complex information or interactions can be tough to suit modular pieces that are easy to shuffle around a page while preserving clarity and performance.

Creating Usable Experiences

Since responsive design relies on shuffling elements around the advancement, page and design require to work closely together to ensure a usable experience throughout devices. Responsive design typically turns into fixing a puzzle– how to rearrange elements on larger pages to fit skinnier, longer pages or vice versa. Nevertheless, ensuring that elements fit within a page is not enough. For a responsive design to be effective, the design must likewise be usable at all screen resolutions and sizes.

The user experience can be entirely different from one view of the site to the next when elements move around the page. It is very important that design and development teams interact not to just determine how the content ought to be shuffled around but to likewise see what the end result of that shift looks like and how it affects the user experience.

Many groups seek popular responsive-design frameworks, such as Bootstrap to assist create styles. Such frameworks can be a great aid in moving development along. Carefully consider how the structure will work with the content and performance of your website, rather than how it works in general.

We constantly recommend carrying out user testing on designs. For responsive designs, we advise testing across platforms. It’s tricky enough to design a site that is usable on a desktop. It is even harder to design a site that is usable in lots of rearrangements or configurations of its elements, throughout different screen sizes and orientations. The exact same design element that may work swimmingly on a desktop might work horribly on a smart device or vice versa.

Concentrating on Content

Content prioritization is one essential aspect of doing responsive design well. Far more content shows up without scrolling on a large desktop screen than on a small smart device screen. They can easily look around the page to find it if users don’t instantly see what they want on a desktop monitor. On a mobile phone, users may have to scroll endlessly to find the content of interest. Smart content prioritization assists users to find what they need more effectively.

Considering Efficiency

Performance can likewise be an issue with responsive design. RWD delivers the exact same code to all gadgets, regardless if the piece of code applies to that design or not. Modifications to the design happen on the client-side, suggesting each gadget– the tablet, phone, or computer– gets the full code for all gadgets and takes what it requires.

A 4-inch smart device gets the exact same code as a 24-inch desktop display. This can bog down efficiency on a smartphone, which may be depending on a slower, spottier information connection. (This is why some websites rely on adaptive design, where the server hosting the site identifies the gadget that makes the demand and delivers various batches of HTML code based on that device.).

To truly evaluate the user experience of a responsive design, do not evaluate your responsive styles only in the convenience of your own office, on your high-speed connection. Endeavor out into the wild with your smart device– in between tall buildings in a city, in an interior meeting room or basements, in remote locations with spotty connection, in understood trouble spots for your own cell phone’s network connection– and see how your site performs in diverse conditions. The goal of numerous responsive designs is to provide equivalent access to details despite device. If download times are intolerable, a smart device user does not have an equivalent experience to a desktop user.


Responsive design is a tool, not a cure-all. While utilizing responsive design has numerous perks when creating throughout gadgets, utilizing the technique does not ensure a usable experience (just as utilizing a gourmet recipe does not guarantee the creation of a splendid meal.) Teams should focus on the details of content, design, and efficiency in order to support users throughout all devices.

Responsive design relies on proportion-based grids to rearrange content and design elements.

Since responsive design relies on shuffling elements around the development, page and design require to work carefully together to guarantee a usable experience throughout gadgets. For a responsive design to be effective, the design should also be usable at all screen resolutions and sizes. (This is why some websites turn to adaptive design, where the server hosting the website discovers the gadget that makes the request and delivers various batches of HTML code based on that device.).

To really assess the user experience of a responsive design, do not evaluate your responsive designs just in the comfort of your own office, on your high-speed connection.

Introduction To Responsive Web Design – HTML & CSS Tutorial

About Salterra Web Design

Salterra is a collective of multi-diversified developers in web, search, and digital marketing. Founded in 2011, this growth-oriented agency is client-centric and data-driven. Starting from a web design and development background, it has evolved into a comprehensive digital marketing agency with a strong emphasis on technical SEO and analytics. Taking a giving approach to his work, Terry & Elisabeth Samuels has spoken at many conferences to share their knowledge and support others in their industry.

Our core values have always revolved around giving our best to our partners (“clients” sounds more reserved) and diligently working together to create the success they are striving for. The culture at Salterra has always been about positively moving forward, embracing our changing industry, and growing our skills and knowledge throughout the digital space. Let us create your next growth opportunity.

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