Responsive Web Design and What it Entails

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Web design refers to a design strategy that makes websites flexible. Responsive web design works to create one website that is suitable and workable on all devices, regardless of size. In responsive web design, we build websites to make web content adjust and adapt to different screen sizes.                              

What does a non-responsive website look like?

A website that is not responsive will not adjust its content to fit in when viewed with different devices having smaller screen size. Therefore, when a user views a non-responsive website with a smaller device, the website will cut off some of the content and it will not adjust to fit the screen size of the device. 

What lies behind responsive web design?

The technique that allows a website to adjust and adapt to any device of any choice.

CSS plays a huge role in making a website responsive. Responsive web design works through CSS styles applied at different viewport widths based on the user’s type of device.

Components of Responsive Web Design

 There are three core components of responsive web design and they are:

  1. Fluid grids
  2. Flexible images
  3. Media queries
Fluid Grids and Layouts

A fluid grid breaks down the width of a page into smaller and equally sized columns where it places the content. A fluid grid layout provides a way to create different layouts that match with different screen sizes to properly display the website.

Comparing a fluid layout with a fixed layout, a fluid layout uses relative measurements and responds to the width of a viewport, while a fixed layout uses static measurement and does not respond to the viewport width.

A fluid grid will define a maximum layout size for the design, and divide the grid into a specific number of columns to keep the layout clean and easy to handle. It also designs each of the elements with proportional widths and heights. This helps the elements to adjust their widths and heights whenever the screen size is changed.

Flexible Images

In responsive web design, flexible images are also called adaptive images. They provide image solutions with no fixed display size restrictions. This helps to resize images neatly and nicely.

Images are made to scale up to 100% of their containing elements using this example below:

/* lines of code*/
img{
    max-width:100%;
}

For images to scale to larger viewport sizes, they must be large enough in order to render well. If the width property is set to a percentage, and the height property is set to “auto”, the image will be responsive and scale up or down. For example:

img{
    width: 100%;
    height:auto
}
Media Queries

CSS media queries are one of the most important parts of responsive web design.

Media query is a feature of CSS3 that allows the content of a webpage to adapt to the type of media that the page is rendered in. The basic syntax for media query is:

@media not|only mediatype and (expressions) {
    CSS-Code;
  }

Media queries allow you to provide alternative CSS styles based on the width of the viewport or other parameters. They also allow you to specify several screen sizes and make the page responsive. Additionally, they aid in the definition of breakpoints. Let’s take a short example; let’s alter the background color to red, if the maximum width is 600px:

@media screen and (max-width:600px){
    body{
        background-color:red;
    }
}

It is also possible to define multiple conditions. For example, to make a style work for different screen widths ranging from 600px to 1024px, we could do the following:

@media screen (min-width:600px) and (max-width:1024px) {
    body{
        color:yellow;
    }
}

Technical Challenges of Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design, like every other type of web design, has its own set of obstacles. Among the most significant of these obstacles are:

  1. First and foremost, you should determine whether individuals seeing a website on a mobile device expect to see the same content as those viewing the entire site on a desktop. You should also know if the content presented will vary between devices.
  2. Large images and other media can normally be scaled down to fit smaller screens, but how will you deal with the resulting page blow up and slow site speed?
  3. You should also consider how you will develop content that looks just as good on a huge desktop display as it does on mobile devices with varying pixel densities.
  4. Finally, how can you test a responsive web design website on all of the numerous devices that a user might use to access it?

Benefits of Responsive Web Design

Some of the benefits of responsive web design include that it:

  • Improves the speed with which a website loads on multiple devices. A faster loading speed not only enhances the user experience, but it also has an impact on web positioning.
  • Increases website traffic by making the site accessible on all devices, drawing a larger audience.
  • Cuts down on the time it takes to create different web sites for different devices.
  • Gives users a unified experience across devices.

Conclusion

Finally, remember that the goal of responsive web design is writing code just once to make your website look good on every device without extra hassle. Happy coding!


Faith Njah is a front-end developer, with experience in building dynamic websites using web technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and A-frame VR. She is also passionate about learning.


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