From laptops to smart phones to tablets, one thing's for sure: the website game is changing. The world wide web has gone from the desktop to the palm of the hand, and presenting your pages adequately means keeping up with the myriad of different devices that we now use to explore the Internet. Not long ago, this would have meant chaos for us, as we would have tried to maintain several different versions of the same site. Luckily for us (and for you), the cutting edge of technology has provided us a solution: Responsive Web Design.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
Glad you asked. Responsive Web Design is a collection of technologies and techniques that allows us to create a single site, viewable from any device. How is this possible? Using this design structure, the website actually adapts to the device, and changes depending on what you're using to look at it. Therefore, although the very same site will look different between a laptop and a smartphone, it remains one entity, with the same graphics and content.
Care for an example? Check out this blog post on your smart phone. Or better yet, just make this window smaller, and see how the page responds. You'll see that nothing is lost – everything remains intact. It's just a little... Adapted. Pretty cool, huh?
Why Should Anyone Care?
You might be surprised at just how many people in this day and age use smart phones and tablets as their primary tool for browsing the Internet. Furthermore, with such a wide variety of devices out there, it's imperative for anyone with a website to anticipate the diverse needs of the potential consumer market. We now have a beautiful resource in front of us: the ability to make universally viewable websites. To disregard this means to shut yourself off to many.
With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility
Change isn't always easy, and it's important to be aware that: while our websites are adapting to all these different gadgets, our content must adapt as well. A smaller screen requires a more urgent attempt at capturing attention. By thinking with a “mobile-first” mindset, we're forced to prioritize content over flashy graphics. This idea is called Progressive Enhancement.
Altogether, it encourages efficiency – we get the message out there faster to accommodate for smaller screens and smaller attention spans. With Responsive Web Design, we are forced to think about what the user will see first. Content strategy has never been more important as we enter into yet another new era for web design.
Technology is evolving, and though it certainly means shaking things up and rattling a few cages, the time to build a website has never been more exciting. Responsive Web Design seems to be the future, and implementing it in means becoming more receptive to the subconscious needs of the target market. Contact Us today to learn more about Responsive Web Design, and how we can make it work for you.