Responsive Website Design

Website development just doesn’t stand still. It feels like there isn’t a day that goes by without some new method or working practice is announced. In reality there are very few major changes but each one is followed by lots of little changes as the new way of working settles down. In recent months there has been a major shift in website development and it’s called responsive design. Browsing the internet on a mobile device has become a culturally acceptable habit and the ease of connecting wirelessly has caused a few knock on effects. The most common one being that browsing a website on a tiny screen is actually very difficult and frustrating. Pushing a tiny version of a web page around a tiny screen or zooming in to be able to click on a link isn’t a great experience so a new method of displaying a website for these devices had to be found. This is where the responsive design idea was born. It’s actually a very simple concept to grasp, the page, as it loads, detects what type of device and screen size it is going to be shown on and loads a set of instructions that tells the items on the page how to organise themselves. If the screen size that’s detected is large, the instructions are loaded to show all elements in their full glory, if however a screen size for an ipad is detected (and yes it can even detect landscape or portrait orientation) a different set of instructions are used to describe how the page elements are to be displayed. Similarly if a phone sized screen is detected the instruction set goes into hyper drive and determines what elements move to where and even which things to leave out. The whole idea is to make the page the best fit for the device you are browsing with. The concept is almost obvious in it’s simplicity, the reality of coding such a site however is actually quite complex. It’s not impossible and the tools to help with the coding are getting more and more powerful, but it is more complex than developing a non responsive site.

Some web designers are secretly wishing this concept would just go away, but the reality is it won’t, someday responsive websites will be the norm and everyone will expect it. At the moment not everyone knows about it or even wants it, but that doesn’t stop us at Design Conscious forging ahead and getting to grips with it. We currently have two websites in production where either the client has requested it, or we have recommended it to them and we are having fun with the new challenge. Budgetary constraints mean that not all clients will want their site responsively designed and some sites have no need for it because their clients would probably never browse the site on a mobile device anyway. Responsive design is here to stay and Design Conscious is very happy to say yes to any client who asks ‘Can you develop my website using responsive design?’ Call us and speak to Ian Blackford on 01952 414 003 for a quick chat about your requirements, we are happy to chat and send a no obligation quote.


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