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Responsive Website Design
Responsive design aims to make website viewing easier. Displaying websites on different devices in forms that are easy to read and navigate. This avoids the user from having to resize, pan or scroll through the web page to read the website content. Essentially the website is easily viewable and usable on desktop computers, tablets, and even smartphones. Nowadays responsive website design is first priority. Designers do not need to design multiple website formats.
Websites created using responsive design are designed to display different content as the browser is expanded or reduced to predetermined sizes.
The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. The website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.
With more devices come varying screen resolutions, definitions and orientations. New devices with new screen sizes are being developed every day, and each of these devices may be able to handle variations in size, functionality and even color. Some are in landscape, others in portrait, still others even completely square. As we know from the rising popularity of the iPhone, iPad and advanced smartphones, many new devices are able to switch from portrait to landscape at the user’s whim. How is one to design for these situations?
Adjusting Screen Resolution
In addition to designing for both landscape and portrait (and enabling those orientations to possibly switch in an instant upon page load), we must consider the hundreds of different screen sizes. Yes, it is possible to group them into major categories, design for each of them, and make each design as flexible as necessary. But that can be overwhelming, and who knows what the usage figures will be in five years? Besides, many users do not maximize their browsers, which itself leaves far too much room for variety among screen sizes.
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