Responsive Website Design
Responsive sites use code to adjust the layout of the template to fit to the screen of that particular device. Adjustments may be made to the size of the text, images, menus and columns to fit the width of the device the website is being viewed on.
Some of our clients are requesting their website template to be built using responsive technology, this is because most of their customers are accessing their website through mobile devices such as iPads, tablets and Smartphones and as we have found out, most websites are not so user friendly on mobile devices as they are on PCs or laptops.
Many websites in the past have been built using a fixed width layout and this has changed throughout the years. It used to be that the website designer would work to 800 x 600 pixels, but this has changed to 960 pixels to allow a site to be viewed on a monitor that is 1024 pixels. We know that laptops, notebooks and Smartphones have different screen resolutions so designers have had the difficulty in catering for all of these.
A way in which designers would get around the different screen resolutions would be to build a mobile version of the website. An example of a company that has done this is Amazon; they have built a different version of their site for when users are browsing their site on mobile devices. The idea of the mobile version is to eliminate the never ending scrolling of the website to improve the user experience, so effectively two websites are being built. This works well but there are time and budgeting constraints when it comes to building two separate websites.
A way in which to overcome this is to build the website to that it can respond to different any screen size from a PC to a mobile phone. The way to do this is to create a set of sizes that adjust depending on what device the website is viewed on, this would provide the best experience possible in regards to navigation and usability, and this is where responsive technology would work well.
For more info on responsive designs, have a look at responsivewebdesign.co.uk
We can also raise the question, would the customer expect to see different content on desktop then they would on a mobile version? This is where two websites would have to be built.
It is also worth mentioning that Smartphone sales overtook PC sales last year so having a mobile version of a website is becoming more and more important.