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Let the Device Do the Work With Responsive Design

The battle between adaptive and responsive designs have existed since long both the technologies made their way to prominence. But as days pass, and the penetration of internet through the mobile devices increases, the emphasis on responsive designs is higher. Responsive designs have become the need of the hour in the web designing world wherein designers are expected to learn the basic guidelines and principles of responsive design for making websites that are contemporary.

Earlier, when screen sizes were large, be it the laptop screen or computer monitor, having a website that would fit these screens would do the work for you. But with the evolution of mobile computing, things changed as screen sizes varied from a few inches to many, from smart watch to tablet. And thus to guarantee uniform user experience across all the devices, popular web design Dubai company like Mind Metricks started using designing principles wherein the device did the work of dynamic rendering, came into existence. This was the base for responsive design.

What is responsive design?

Responsive designing is a term used where the device determines the way the website will be displayed. The concept of ‘mobile first’ plays a vital role here as the experience is determined on mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablets, and then scaled up to larger screens.

So, when images are loaded, they are scaled as per the wrapper meant for the screen sizes of mobile devices. As the screen size increases, the wrapper size will increase, but the image will only expand till its maximum resolution, thereby avoiding image distortion on the large screen. The result of this is a uniform graphics rendering across all devices.

Unlike the traditional design, the responsive design will not be able to accommodate sidebars and adverts, that were common to typical websites meant for the desktop. However, their unavailability makes the layout simpler and cleaner, thereby enhancing appeal. Hence, the responsive designs have become popular these days.

Major principles of responsive design:

As responsive designs are rendered on the browser, rather than the server, the browser has to do the work using the CSS parameters precisely. And to get the rendering right, there are 3 responsive design principles to follow:

Fluid Grid System:

Print graphics are designed as per the size of display. The same ideology was followed on internet using pixels. But the responsive design principles shirk this as there is no room for machine rendering. Instead it uses the concept of relative sizes. This is best described by the formula:

Target Size/ Context = Relative Size

So, if a website wrapper is designed to display websites with maximum width of 960 pixels, while the maximum browser window width is 1280 pixels, then the relative size is calculated as 960/1280=75%

Thus, in your CSS script, you will have to use percentage for width instead of pixels, and the browser will do the work for you.

Fluid Images:

Responsive designs entail use of fluid images that occupy screens. This is best done by using CSS command:

img{ max-width: 100%;}

This simply tells the browser that the image width should be 100% of the pixel value. So even when the screen becomes larger, the image remains constant, and this avoid degradation. And for smaller screen size, the CSS command is place in a container, and shrinks as per its specifications. However, while shrinking, you may observe increase in pixel density. To prevent this, use of SVG format for images is recommended.

Media Queries:

This is smart use of CSS for altering the layout of the site whenever certain conditions are met. For instance, a 2-column approach will not look on big screen. So, based on the screen size, CSS rendering is planned, and each part is activated using a series of ‘breakpoints’. This way, your website is able to target different screens without you having to do anything.

So, these are the responsive design principles that make designing easy and smart, and leave it to the machine for rendering, thereby making the device do the designing work for you.

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