What is a Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design (RWD) is a still fairly young approach to web design. what used to be seen as a desktop webpage must now be viewed in response to the size of the device screen. – Wikipedia

Have you asked yourself, “What is a responsive Web Design?” Almost every new client these days wants a mobile version of their website. It must be practical for:

  • The BlackBerry.
  • The iPhone.
  • The iPad.
  • A netbook.
  • An oversized desktop computer monitor.
  • A laptop,
  • A 10-inch tablet,
  • 7-inch tablet,
  • 4-inch smartphone screen.
  • A Kindle, and on and on and on to all screen resolutions your website must be compatible to.

In the next five years, we’ll likely need to design for a number of additional inventions. When will the madness stop? It won’t, of course. Therefore, Responsive Web Designs is an approach whereby a designer:

  1. Creates a Web page that “responds to” or resizes itself.
  2. The software looks at the viewing device, therefore recalculating the size.

Parts of Responsive web design

Responsive website  design requires flexibility:

The framework is divided into relative units. This Relative Unit prevents displaying outside the screen border. You want your website to look good no matter the device you are using. Responsive web design has become more important as the amount of mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of the total internet traffic.

Therefore, Google announced Mobilegeddon (April 21, 2015) and started to boost the ratings of sites that are mobile-friendly. If the search was made from a mobile device, you get a higher rating. Bottom line, if your site is not responsive, you will be lowered in the search rankings therefore losing business.

Responsive Web design is not only about screen resolutions and images

Responsive Web design is not only about adjustable screen resolutions and automatically re-sizable images. Rather it is about a whole new way of thinking about design. Look at this as an example.

  • You have the perfect image for one of your pages.
  • The image optimization will need up to 10 times in 10 different formats.
  • The software must calculate the right image to use.
  • Therefore, the client will see exactly what you want them to see.

In conclusion, 7 images on your home page = 70 different files.

The next step is the website will need to know which image goes to which device. In conclusion, the website needs to be smart enough to readjust for tablets or mobile devices. Therefore it can be viewed either in portrait orientation or turned sideways for landscape view.

Different loading speeds is part of responsive web design.

The processors of each medium device operate at different speeds. Therefore, your web page must also learn to compensate for all these mediums. Finally, your home page must have 1,000 different flexible framework variables.

Mouse v. touch: Designing for mobile devices also brings up the issue of mouse versus touch.

On desktop computers, the user normally has a mouse to navigate and select items.  On a smartphone or tablet, the user mostly is using fingers and touching the screen.  What may seem easy to select with a mouse, may be hard to select with a finger on a tiny spot on a screen. The Web designer must take “touch” into consideration.

In order to accomplish Responsive web design, you need to be versed in JavaScript frameworks like Modernizr, jQuery, and jQuery Mobile that can directly test browser support for HTML/CSS features (or identify the device or user agent), PHP,  Ajax, and more and more programs that are becoming ever more popular.


We at Dbuggers employ programmers worldwide that specialize in all of the above software. We require that each of our employees also go through continuous training. Because of this, we are always able to be responsive to your needs as your web designer and developer. For more information, please feel free to contact us.

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