Responsive Website Design is a method of designing and coding a website so that when different devices view a site, it can adapt and change according to the appropriate specification of whichever device is viewing, whether it’s desktop PC, laptop,tablet or mobile phone.
Over the last few years the ways in which people access websites has changed from primarily desktop PC and laptops to now include a rapidly increasing number of mobile phones and tablets. While computer screens have increased in size website design didn’t need to concern itself with how much information they were putting across the internet for people to view. Now with the increase in mobile devices the browsing experience is on a much smaller screen.
In the beginning websites were customised so that they would look good on all types of screen and the original solution was to create separate interface designs of the website for the different devices.Websites can be programmed to recognise the device being used to access the site and provide the relevant interface. This is called Adaptive Web Design and guarantees a good user experience for people using devices that have been designed for.
Although still an effective option, AWD ‘s limitation was it is time consuming, costly and inflexible, requiring differing versions for each device /screen size. A problem created in trying to fully cover for every device on the market. Problems with the AWD led to the development of RWD, a new web design technique.
A site built with RWD can resize itself to fit to the screen of the device in use.
A web design that may be 3 columns wide and viewable on a desktop pc will re-arrange itself to one or two columns wide for a mobile phone. The content will still be on the page and in the right order but show only one or two columns, whichever is appropriate. The font size remains the same and content will be perfectly formatted for the screen size.
WordPress have developed a responsive theme called Modulo WordPress Theme. Have a look here and see how it compares . How has the programme re-arranged the website for the smaller screen? What does that mean to you when you build a website? I personally like how RWD neatens the site. Sometimes sites can have too much going on in them that you can’t find things you are looking for.