Responsive Design – What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Responsive design is web design and development that responds to a user’s operating environment. Based onfactors such as browser size and screen orientation, the website’s structure and framework will adapt to be usable just as easily on an iPhone as it is on a 1600 x 1220 monitor sitting on your desk. In lieu of building a separate “mobile” website, the structure dynamically condenses or expands to a simpler or more complex layout, respectively.

How Does It Work?

Using a mix of flexible grids, images, and CSS media queries, responsive design is achieved. The CSS detects a visitor’s browser size and orientation, thenrearranges the layout appropriately. Orientation is important since mobile devices such as phones and tablets can be held in either portrait or landscape modes. The CSS also has the ability to hide content that may not be needed on a smart phone but makes sense to have on a monitor. For example, perhaps that large image slider you’ve got on your homepage needs to be removed when the site is viewed on a smart phone.

Why Do I Need This Now?

The number of people using smart phones and tablets is growing exponentially, and the user base is growing at an astounding rate (Smashing Magazine). Tablets in meetings and on the train are commonplace. The screen sizes of these devices vary from a couple ofinches to 8 x 10 inches.Monitor screen sizes and resolutions also come in all shapes and sizes.You’ll never know what screen sizesyour site visitors haveor what sizes you’ll be dealing with infive years.Responsive design helps solve these uncertainties.

Making your website responsive is so important that responsive design has now become the standard for web design. Starting from 2013, ATSwill be fullycommitted tomaking all of its webdesignsresponsive. You are responsive to the needs of your clients, customers, and members — shouldn’t your website be just as responsive?

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