What is “Responsive” Web Design?


This is a relatively new term, and refers to a site’s design “responding” to the “viewport” (or what the screen-size is of the device viewing the web page), and adjusting the layout/media to best fit in the screen it is delivered to (and even the orientation of that screen!).

In today’s Web World, one size does not always fit all, and many users find dedicated mobile sites to be boring & hard to navigate. Responsive Designs try to deliver an optimal user experience for each type/orientation of screen (Desktops, Tablets & Phones in various sizes, and for both landscape vs portrait). This is no small feat, and requires some careful planning from the start for best effect (especially for media/images).

But it is often a better look & feel for sites on smaller screens vs a full-sized site designed for Desktops, but then shrunk way down (Unreadable texts, anyone?), and requiring annoying expanding & side-scrolling to read the contents. It is not perfect, but I think this is the best approach for design these days. Sometimes, I can even deliver a site that you can switch back & forth from Responsive to Regular -mode, for times you aren’t sure you or your users are ready…

Pete Banta

Web Dude. Shredder. Jammer. Lover.