Responsive Design

Back when I fist started designing websites, we had it easy. Back then everybody pretty much had 640 pixels wide monitors. You know, the ones the size of a small TV set. Maybe if you had an advanced system you had a 1000 pixels wide monitor, but those were few and far between.

Nowadays web designers are faced with having to design for devices anywhere from 3000 pixels wide monitors all the way down to iPhones which are only 320 pixels wide. And we have to use the same graphics and text and retain at least a minimum of navigation. It can be a daunting task. You can see a website designed for larger monitors on a smaller device, but it will either be scaled down so small that your customers won’t be able to read it, or it will require them to scroll up and down and left and right to see it all. And basically, web users don’t like to scroll if they don’t have to.

Luckily, a few years ago designers took on the attitude of divorcing the content of the website from the design using CSS, a process called semantic design. And further advances in CSS known as CSS3 have allowed us to create a process called responsive design.

Responsive design is a process by which your website will render correctly on any size screen; all the way from wide desktop monitors down to the smallest cell phone screen while retaining the structural integrity of your site. It uses all of the same files – graphic and text – and automatically readjusts itself to the proper dimensions.

Want to see it in action? Our own site here is a responsive design. Try re-sizing your browser and you’ll see how the elements of the site adapt themselves to the size of the browser.

Why is this important? The alternative is trying to create a different website style for any size browser. Do you want to spend four to five times as much for a single website? And when you have to update the site, you’ll have to update it four or five times over. With responsive design, it’s update once and you’re done.

However the most important reason is this: it’s estimated that by the year 2014, more than half of all web traffic will be on mobile devices. Some forecasters seeing it happening even sooner.

Is your website ready for the coming explosion in mobile web traffic? Contact us at Marshmallow Fox and we’ll help make sure your site takes advantage of the new paradigm.



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