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Responsive web design

Posted by Malcolm Iliff, on 12th October 2014

Responsive web design – what’s it all about?

Responsive design is a new technique used in developing websites to overcome the difficulty of displaying them appropriately on the wide variety of devices now being used to browse the web. Desktop screens are getting larger, whilst at the same time more people are using mobile devices such as iPads and tablets, iPhones and other smartphones as their chief method of browsing the web.

Consequently “one size fits all” no longer works well for your website; on smartphones the text on your site may be too small to read without a lot of scrolling and zooming and your site might look lost sitting in the middle of a window on a 30” display!

In the past, the solution has been to develop separate mobile sites, with a compromised design and/or cut down content. But this is not really a solution; visitors expect an amazing experience regardless of the device they use to access your site and will become frustrated if they can’t find what they are looking for.

A website which has been designed “responsively” reacts to the context in which it is being displayed, optimising the display of blocks of content on your site to the available width of the browser window and reorganising navigation, text, graphics and video accordingly.

How is it done? I won’t attempt to start on a technical explanation here, but google “responsive design” if you are interested, or visit some of the examples showcased at http://mediaqueri.es/ (yes, that is a website address) and resize your browser window to see how it all works.

Of course this approach is more expensive than building a standard website, but will almost always be cheaper and easier than designing and maintaining multiple websites for different devices. Trade this off against the reaction of the visitors to your site, who have an excellent experience regardless of where and how they view it... are they a potential customer?

CBJ Digital can help you to build a responsive website, give us a call on 01565 750222 or email us (questions_answered@cbjdigital.com) if you are interested in this dynamic new approach to web design.

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