2013 is dubbed by Mashable as the year of Responsive Web Design. And what better way to end the year by creating a series of blog articles, looking into this design practice. The part I of the series focuses on its growth through the years.
Today, consumers are technologically adept; jumping from one device to the other when doing everyday transactions. Trip planning, financial managing, Internet browsing, and online shopping are some of the most common activities done across multiple devices. Plus the fact that people are always on the go, wanting to do things as quick as possible and receive needed stuff and information with just one click. This fast phase of life has given birth to a screen revolution, we now experience.
The Birth of Responsive Web Design It all began with the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). But it received a lot of negative criticisms because of its poor performance. Mobile devices then started offering internet access, but have limited browser capabilities. But developers were able to come up with a simple solution through HTML. By the time iPhone was out, mobile sites tend to have a separate and different code from their desktop counterpart. Developers had to maintain two different sites.
But people expect to experience the same look and feel on a website even if they use a desktop, a laptop, or a smartphone. This situation resulted to the idea of having a responsive website. The term “responsive web design (RWD)” was coined by Ethan Macrotte in May 2010. He was inspired how architects are able to plan and create a technology that enables it to interact and influence the elements in the surrounding area such as humans and its environment
Defining Responsive Web Design
RWD refers to the ability of a website to bend and adapt to different screen sizes and mobile devices. According to Macrotte, responsive design has three distinct parts:
Without all the technical jargons, a responsive design is about not being boxed and restricted into one size. A web design should always wear the idea of one size fits all, or in this case one look fits all.
Why Care About Website Responsiveness?
It is important for brands and companies to adapt to the changing times. This is why from the traditional media; they are now using the new media or the Internet in reaching out to their audience, industry, and the rest of the world. Things have gone global. The same idea applies to a website’s success and survival today.
A website that is able to adapt into different screen sizes and types of devices is meeting the global demand. In doing so, companies are able to increase their credibility and provide people good user experience when scrolling the site. But remember that not all website needs to have a responsive site. Web responsiveness has put the playing field of web marketing into a new whole level. Consumers are likely to engage more on a versatile site than a one that isn’t.