So they say that size doesn’t count. Well in the world of web design and the interwebs size has become a big issue. Again. Gone are the days when you knew that folk would be sitting in front of their PCs with a 15” monitor. Well 17” one if they were lucky. No more. Enter responsive web design.
Of course size has always been an issue. But it’s been about the size of data rather than the size of the gadget the website is to be viewed on.
So the question that web designers are now facing is: – how do you design a website to look good on that 15” monitor, the iPhone screen or the iPad tablet? iPhone 5 with a 4” display or the Samsung Galaxy S3 which has a 4.8” screen. What about the Kindle at 8.9”, the iPad at 9.7”, the Samsung Slate at 11.6” and rumours have it that Apple is launching their new Mini in October 2012 all of a 7” size. Of course the BlackBerry Playbook came out in that size a while back. Groan!
Not only gadgets are sizing it up and down, computers are also showing off an even greater range with Netbooks coming in as small as 5” of monitor size to the MacBook Air sporting a 11.6” version up to massive sized TV monitors being used as computer screens. How to cope with all of this when designing a website?
Size counts as you can see. Introducing Responsive Web Design. A must for web designers in the future. So what does it mean? It means websites respond to their environment.
The real issue is that websites have to be a lot more user focused. What is the user doing and where is he doing it in terms of screen size, platform and orientation. As the user is switching from his smartphone, to his laptop and then to his tablet the website has to resize itself automatically to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities.
In other words the website has to adapt itself to the technology being used to view it. Rather than designing and building a website for each gadget, wouldn’t it be easier to design one website that adjusts itself or responds to whatever gadget is being used to view it. Makes a lot more sense.
Of course responsive web design is not only about adjustable screen resolutions and automatically resizable images, but about a whole new way of thinking about web design. For a great article on the technical issues read about it at A List Apart. Watch this space as Yeah Can builds its first website using responsive web design. Coming soon. We promise!