In the web development world you would want to have had your head stuck firmly in the sand if you had not heard the term ‘responsive web design’ mentioned recently. But to everyone else who is not an Internet-Geek, what is it?
Responsive web design is the approach used where a website design responds to the user’s environment based on the device they are using, screen size, platform and orientation.
It consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and cleaver use of CSS (cascading style sheets). As the user switches from their PC to laptop or iPad to Android, the website automatically switches to accommodate for resolution, image/text size and navigation layout among other things.
In other words, the website automatically responds to the user’s preference of device.
So, what’s all the buzz about?
Well, you can’t go anywhere these days without being asked “are you mobile?” or “is your site mobile optimised?” and “if not, why not?”
Well its a simple question with many answers . . . for example – do you build a website using WordPress and add a mobile plug-in? do you take your existing website and use jQuery to mobilize? do you build an App? and if so which platform? Apple? Android? Windows?
There is no ‘right or wrong’ answer . . . they are all viable options, but it comes down to budget, which platforms you want to be available on and how future proof you want to be.
Responsive web design is a serious contender for all these considerations – it is a cost effective approach to getting your web content available on multiple platforms and probably offers the best alternative for ‘future proofing’.
The reality is not every company needs an App (or can afford one) but everyone does need a presence on mobile . . . Responsive design could be your one stop solution.