What is Responsive Design?

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What is Responsive Design?

Responsive Design

Responsive Design or Adaptive Design is the technique that is currently used to have the same website adapted to the different platforms that technology offers us: computer, tablet, Smartphone, iPad, Kindle, and, in short, all screen resolutions existing.

At this point, it has become difficult for businesses to keep up with the endless new resolutions and devices that are emerging, making it highly impractical to create a version of the web for each one.

Knowing this, this context has driven the birth of Responsive Design, a term that is not new but is increasingly important in every sense. This technique suggests that the Design and development of a site must respond to the user’s behavior and environment in every way, both in screen size, platform, and orientation.

Even if the same page is used for all views of your website, it is important to be clear about what should be shown in each version and what should not since there will be information that will not be useful for some views and others.

How Responsive Web Design Works

Years ago, when few companies could afford to have responsive designs, the only things that were flexible were the structural elements and the text. Images, back then, could easily break designs. These could add or subtract a few hundred pixels but typically could not be adjusted from, for example, a large desktop computer screen to a small laptop computer.

Today, this has evolved a lot. Images can be adjusted automatically, and we have workarounds to keep them from breaking. Responsive Design consists of a series of style sheets in CSS3, which, using the “mediaquery” attribute, convert an ordinary website into a multiplatform website capable of adapting to all existing sizes, offering a much more enjoyable user experience and covering the needs of our public. Gone are the websites that, when viewed on a Smartphone, had to be enlarged to be able to read something.

This technique detects the width of the browser screen in question and automatically adapts all its elements, both images, and the different font sizes or the menu itself.

There is a single HTML code that is sent to all devices. This makes it possible to avoid the need to redirect users and thus maintain a single URL. Content and layout are adapted to the device through CSS code, typically with a CSS Grid structure. To do this, it is important to select the size of the elements, taking into account the view size, and use responsive themes.

Why your website should be Responsive

As you can imagine, the advantages of using Responsive Design are many, and by reading what they are, you will surely be convinced to convert your website into a multiplatform site:

1 Better user experience

This affects the opinion that users have of your website and the use they will give it. It will improve both your brand image and the time spent on the website and will increase the bounce rate between pages on your website.

2 No more duplicate content

If you used a mobile version so that users who accessed your website saw content adapted to the device, it was detrimental to your SEO since this created duplicate content and, therefore, Google penalized your website. A Responsive design avoids this problem since it is the same content that is organized differently depending on the device on which it is viewed.

3 Reduction of development costs

Website development and maintenance costs are reduced. By using the same template for all platforms, investment in maintenance and development is reduced since a single change affects all versions.

4 Increases virality

A recent study certifies that more than 92% of access to social networks is made through mobile devices, which means that if a user accesses our website through a Smartphone, they surely have the social applications open. If they want to share something, it is much faster and more natural.

Of course, not all are advantages; there are also drawbacks, such as, for example, the initial development cost being higher than that of a normal website since its technical difficulty is higher. Also, the loading time of the images is longer because it uses the same ones on the web as on a computer because it only scales the size and does not use specific ones.

Responsive Design is becoming widespread in leaps and bounds, and this has led to several developers creating frameworks (preconfigured applications) so that adaptive pages do not have to be created from scratch; they make our lives easier and make the entire creation process much easier for developers.

Among the most widespread are:

  • Bootstrap is an open-source framework created by the Twitter development team and widely used by freelance developers.
  • Foundation Framework is another very popular framework which they define as “the most advanced framework in the world.”
  • HTML5 Boilerplate is the framework used by most well-known brands such as Google, Microsoft, Nike, or Barack Obama’s development team.

What did you think of this article? Are you ready to make your site responsive?

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