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What is a responsive web design?

Responsive web design is creating a webpage that will resize itself or “responds” to the type of device it is being viewed on. For example, a desktop, a laptop, a tablet of various sizes, an IPad or a smartphone. Due to the popularity of mobile devices and apps, consumers are using smaller screens in which to view websites on. In response to this growing trend, a responsive website is important when attempting to stay relevant. Different types of screens are now available, so we need to make sure we can build user friendly sites for all of them.

So, the goal is to have one site that responds differently when read on different size devices.  On a fixed website, the layout changes from looking at it on a desktop compared to a tablet and it isn’t user friendly. Ever notice some sites when looking at them on a tablet make you scroll horizontally or some elements are hidden from view? A portrait orientation has to be turned sideways to be viewed in landscape view. For the most part, consumers don’t like this inconvenience. Graphic heavy sites can take longer to load onto a smart phone which is inconvenient when in a rush.

When responsive design is implemented, It means the tablet version will automatically adjust to display the information in a user friendly way. Therefore the content is easily accessible and easy to navigate through. Page elements are sized by proportion and media images are resized relatively so the impact and vision is not lost no matter what device it is viewed on.  Small details are considered, such as “touch”. On a phone or tablet, there is no mouse to navigate with so what is easy to select on a desktop, isn’t on a smaller device. Same goes for graphics, it makes more sense to not include lots of graphics for mobile devices. A responsive web design means you don’t have to create different pages for every device or operating platform. Instead it allows there to be flexibility so one can page can be viewed on many devices.

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