While a lot of tech developments come and go like hit songs, this concept appears to have enough legs to transform and upgrade web design in several major ways.
It's advantageous to at least learn about it and consider using responsive web design, especially if your business depends on mobile interactivity. The RWD concept subscribes to the use of simplification and minimal coding.
Ethan Marcotte came up with the idea of responsive web design, coining the phrase, in an article he wrote for tech website A List Apart.
He also wrote a book on the topic in 2011 called "Responsive Web Design." An underlying theme of the book suggests that the web designer must think beyond the desktop and consider the mobile world, which is quickly rising in popularity.
The root of Marcotte's solutions stems from cascading style sheets (CSS) with an emphasis on fluid as opposed to fixed or liquid layouts and flexible images designed for mobile users.
Fluid layouts are more based on proportions that resize according to screen size than a fixed number of pixels. Interactivity with user data is also key to improving the evolving internet experience and can be accomplished using a form of coding known as CSS3 media queries.
In 2012 responsive web design has clearly become a top emerging trend for the more savvy web designers looking to piece the internet puzzle together with the most effective coding that limits the need to duplicate the process for different forms of media.
Constantly changing trends in web design raise lots of questions about time constraints, such as: is it really worth it to learn a lot of different coding techniques that will be outdated in a few years? In the business world, such a fixation is called "diminishing returns." The best way around these time-burners with temporary utility is to learn processes that save time instead of consume valuable amounts of time.
Responsive web design appears to be a time-saving solution. It is certainly a completely new way of thinking that sharply contrasts the ethics of web design that began to form in the 1990s and subsequent decade.
Back then layouts were built on tables that took hours to construct just to display data that could be drawn on a chalkboard in five minutes. CSS changed that way of thinking, although CSS itself became a time-consuming process if it involved a robust website with hundreds of unique pages or displays.
People who are still confused why different browsers display a given image differently, especially on mobile devices, probably will regard RWD as just another cumbersome trend controlled by tech gurus who make the big bucks by staying ahead of the curve.
People who just want to upload content and not worry a thing about coding will likely enjoy cloud-based solutions and social networking as sufficient platforms. But webmasters who want to stay on the cutting edge certainly are embracing the power of RWD in favor of the old world of creating different coding for different devices for delivering the exact same content.
In many cases, creating separate code for the desktop and small screens isn't good enough anymore, as another trend has developed in which users enjoy viewing web content on large high-resolution screens. As always, adapting to internet trends helps your site stay fresh, modern and easy to use.
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