Responsive Web design is one of the latest technological trends which aims at designing and manipulating the screen size, platform and orientation to cope with a variety of electronic devices. The user’s convenience is emphasized regarding navigation and easy reading with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling. When the user starts using phone type devices instead of laptop or desktop, the website would automatically respond for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. The development of responsive website design has accelerated the advancement of web design technologies by diminishing the necessity of different designs and developments to adjust different devices.
Responsive web design is mainly based on the following three themes:
Media queries: Page styling is a very important thing dependent on the width of the browser and this can be done with CSS. CSS assists in styling displaying the site to cope with attributes of the device to be displayed on.
The fluid grid: the number of grid columns change depending on the width limits with the change in size of page elements in relative (%) units.
Flexible media: To suit the browser’s dimensions, contents, images and videos assume relevant scale.
For transforming content to smaller sizes, you might confront to various challenges. For overcoming those challenges the below discussed matters might be helpful for you to improve:
Make it easily browsable: Navigation problem need to be considered and it is really exasperating to scroll through a page to find the desired content. Huge amount of content gathered into 1 column makes pages very long and adds to the problem.
Design with more versions: It would be convenient for you if you develop your web design with at least 3 versions for different browser widths. These widths can be 320px-480px, 480px-768px, 768px+. Between those widths, your content can adjust quite easily. Designing and implementation with 3 (or more) fixed layouts and adding margins when necessary is generally simpler than fluid scaling.
Make it readable: You need to keep legible, rational typographic scales of content on every device by managing layouts to cope with the screen width of a particular device. If a line of text with a 14px height on 2000 px wide screen is scaled down to 2px on a 300 px wide screen — it becomes impossible to read the content. Again, resuming 10 px text up 7x would be irrationally too much large. You need to keep this into account while designing the layout.
Keep it tappable: Smartphone of present days are all touch screen and human fingers are used to direct them. The buttons need to be of convenient size for easy handling of the devices. The optimum size of tappable UI elements according to Apple is 44 x 44 px. This often varies according to different companies and the approximate estimate is more or less 25 px.
Use identical content and exact HTML for all resolutions: For all versions of your page you should use the alike graphical elements. It would be easier for you if you create the layout for the biggest screen first. If required, then plan for reduced elements for smaller resolutions.
Keep in mind the CSS limitations: Your Design should be such to incorporate as many page elements as possible in pure CSS. Use simple shadows and gradients and keep away from using Overlay Modes other than “normal” .Minimizing loading time, it offers more flexibility when resizing page elements.
If you can design your website considering the above factors, the design would be definitely attractive and flexible and would be appealing for users.
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Varun Bhagat is a technology geek and works in PixelCrayons as a Sr. Technology Consultant. He possesses in-depth knowledge of different web development technology and helps our clients to choose the best technology as per their needs.