For this assignment I utilized the 8 articles below. My original search sent me in the direction of Ethan Marcotte. I read an older but famous article by him in A List Apart. I also read about his book. His journal and blog had some great material but I could find no dates on the actual content, so I ended up utilizing these articles instead.        – This is a great guide for beginners like me, here I was introduced to fluid grids and media queries.        – I found this article to be quite complex, but even though I did not quite understand everything it gave me a general idea of how responsive web design impacts publishers and marketers. As a business person, this is of extreme importance to me. It shows some of the trends, problems that need to be solved, and issues advertisers run into.        – Has some examples of multi-device layouts solutions for RWD. I still haven’t fully seen layouts and grids in class, but I found these to provide a good idea of what is to come once I begin designing with RWD in mind.        – This article introduced me to something I had never heard of: RESS: Responsive Web Design with Server Side Components. It sounds like a very interesting and user oriented solution. It is probably expensive though.        – Here I learned a bit about how responsive images work.       – This was way more advanced, but I did learn something new: “When is a pixel not a pixel.” This article discussed media queries and introduced me to the concept of viewports.        – Something extra and fun: A few images that serve as examples of RWD sites on various devices. The first few are fun, because you can see the same site compared between various devices.        – Some interesting information in this presentation. It has quite a significant amount of slides. I plan on spending more time with it in the future.

Based on what I have learned through these articles I would define responsive web design as method of developing a website solution that strives to provide an optimal viewing experience regardless of the device being utilized; Be that a tablet, a mobile phone, a desktop computer, and so on. This is of extreme importance, to web developers, users, and customers alike. Clearly the mobile trend is already here and it is here to stay. Forecasting models point to less traditional computers and more tablets. Developers a clearly making the transition to these devices and in most cases they begin their designs with these tiny device in mind. It seems to be easier to scale up the ladder than to design from bigger devices to smaller devices. RWD is being utilized more and more, while data seems to suggest that having different landing page URLs for different devices and platforms is decreasing.

RWD tries to make reading and navigating easier across a wide range of devices; all this while keeping resizing, panning and scrolling to a minimum. Media queries in CSS3 seem to be the initiator key to most of this. Such queries can show the width of the browser being utilized and the resolution of a device. I also learned about a similar technique named adaptive design. It allows us to know the functionality of the device being utilized. To media queries, I would also add the use of flexible images, and a flexible grid. Another important tool is the use of relative sizing rather than absolute sizing. Instead of saying something is a size of x pixels, for RWD we can say the size is X%. A common theme I also found in these articles is developers recommend starting the design with the smallest version (320px wide).

RWD is clearly the future. With the plethora of devices out there, this seems to be a complete necessity and a cheaper solution than having many URLs and utilizing RESS.

One Response to “Responsive Web Design: What is it? Why is it increasingly more important?”
  1. andrew michs says:

    I suggest a ecommerce responsive design

    good interface, good navigation

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