The best thing about information technology is that it grows continuously and as a result of this we have received some of the most technically advanced products. Having said that, we have responsive web design which has emerged as one of the most promising web development technologies which prepares you for the most unanticipated advancement in this technical world.
In this blog we will discuss some of the key considerations while designing a responsive website.
We define website in terms of pixels and this idea was taken over by print media industry where newspaper and magazines were always going to be of the same fixed size. Wherein this is not similar to the websites as there is an assorted array of devices present there in the market and thus this is why the display of our website vary a lot. A website is displayed on a large screen such as a personal computer or a laptop and also on a tiny screen of iPhone 4s or a iwatch. This is the reason why responsive websites are created in ratios and percentages instead of fixed pixel units.
For those designers who have experience in designing in pixels, then there is a very simple mathematical formula which can make the transition easy via percentages.
target / context = result
For example, let us assume that there is a wrapper of a website which contains a site with a width of 960 pixels, and this website is displayed on a screen of width 1920 pixel. Here the width of the browser is the main context, wherein the target is the wrapper. To get the same look for the site you can divide the target by keeping context as the dividend to find out the value of the percentage.
960px / 1920px = 50%
Now you might be thinking about the child elements which are there inside the wrapper element. Then you can use the same rule as it is applicable to them as well.
The next example is of responsive websites with two column layout and the width of the website is 960 px. The width of the right column is 640 px and it is the main content area along with a 300 px wide sidebar which is the left column of the website. Here you also need a white space for about 15px between both the columns.
In order to get the pixel values you can make use of the very same formula:
Sidebar:: 300px / 960px = 31.25%
Margin:: 20px / 960px = 2.08334%
Main Content::640px / 960px = 66.66667%
You can use these values while designing your CSS by using them in the margin, padding properties and width.
Front-End Frameworks fostering Responsive Design
Responsive design has gained a lot of credence in the web development world, especially after the launch of the Mobilegeddon algorithm of Google. This has given rise to various responsive frameworks as these framework have grids which are designed keeping responsiveness in their mind from the very beginning. This is certainly a remarkable step towards revolutionizing the web world as most of the time you do not need to sit with a calculator scribble over decimal point calculations which consume a lot of time and resources. The responsive grid offered by these front-end framework can be used simply without any hassle.
We have frameworks such as Foundation, BootStrap and many others such.
Improved Device Capabilities
The competition in the web world is not something which is not visible to us. Companies are launching operating systems to render the best experience to their audience. This is why stalwarts like Google, Apple and Microsoft are in a race to enhance their user experience. As we know that smartphones are other handheld devices are much smarter traditional devices such as desktop computers. Therefore, while developing a responsive website you can make use of such features.
Almost all the modern devices are equipped with GPS sensors which the developers can wisely use as they help you to fetch the geolocation of a device only if the user allows to do so. This can be used to enhance your web services which need a location for interactions such as food web apps can use this functionality wisely in order to fetch the locations of eating joints in the vicinity of the users. Now this is much more accurate than manually entering the data into this continually progressive environment as it might result in giving inaccurate results to the users.
For those who think that shrinking an original two column layout is easy then I must say that they are highly mistaken. We know that smartphone users do not prefer to browse in the landscape mode generally, and this makes the website to be more in length when compared to width. Wherefore, web site with wider layout and column grids generally do not look good. On the contrary, we have laptops or desktops which function in a completely different way.
Now in order to deliver a good user experience on all the devices we have media queries and CSS which there in all the browsers which are there to nurture responsive web design. Media queries work as a filter for CSS and enable them only when certain conditions are fulfilled.
One can very ingeniously apply media queries to display CSS in a browser that shrinks to a particular width. Media queries work as one of the best tools to find out the site width and render the CSS that fits to the screen size aptly with all the content properly arranged irrespective of the fact that whether the website is very big or small.
Continuing with our two column layout website, now we need to relocate the sidebar on the top in order to fit well on mobile devices. In order to achieve a mobile tailored look you need to use the mobile first approach and apply styles for mobile first and then make use of media queries so as to apply styles for larger screens.