You must have already noticed that when you shrink the browser, the content change its size to fit it. It’s all because of the innovations in the web design world. Technology is constantly developing and new gadgets appear from time to time: touchscreen tables, small computers, new models of telephones etc. And it’s not always small screen; high-resolution displays also start to gain popularity. In other words, there is a great variety of screen sizes and it is a problem which web designers have faced, as everyone wants the greater number of people apply to their web site. The solution is to create a web site that will work equally good on different devices. So, the era of responsive design started.
Recently, 2013 was titled as the year of responsive web design. And there are some valid reasons for it. First of all, I want to specify that responsive web design is not a single unit of technology, but a complex of techniques. The main idea is to use “media queries” to know what size should be on the device and then flexible images with fluid grids fit the screen. As for fluid grids they have some advantages in comparison with the liquid layouts. It is designed with more careful terms and proportions which help to solve the problem of the size.
What about media queries, they give you the opportunity to collect the information about the site visitors and make use of it according to CSS styles. They consist of two elements: the media type and query. So the main components of the responsive web design are: flexible images, fluid grid and media query, which allows finding the answer to the question of screen size and sites.
The term of responsive web design was coined two years ago by Ethan Marcotte. He stated all the essential moments concerning this web design, and mentioned that this technology is ever-changing and I can’t help but agree with him. The time is rushing and the progress makes a great step forward every day. So the old techniques will be substituted by the new ones and that is what the designers always deal with.
But you should take into consideration some disadvantages of the responsive web design. First of all it is obliged to download unnecessary HTML/ CSS code, and the images are mostly not re-sized, they just scale down, and it takes much time. The development of the responsive web design is also a time-taking process, so it is easier to create RWD from draft. You should also remember that this technique doesn’t adjoin every site.
So, this is the brief characteristic of one of the most popular techniques. It gains popularity nowadays and I think it will continue to do so.