In the past years we see a booming rise of internet access via mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are rapidly gaining a bigger and bigger share of the market, and within the next two years they are expected to supersede in absolute numbers desktop and laptop computers.
What makes websites that are adjustable to any screen so special? The main characteristic is that the design is responsive, which means it responses and transforms the websites’ dimensions in such a way so that it appears as intended in the first place on a phone or tablet.
A responsive designed website, adapts its elements accordingly to the device it’s being displayed on. For example a website may appear in three columns on a high resolution desktop computer screen, transform in to bi-column on a tablet, and single column on a smartphone. It goes without say that menu and fond are also adjustable … the smaller the screen the bigger they are.
The pictures also change sizes depending on where they’re being displayed. In fact, some secondary elements may be taken out completely from lower resolutions, bringing forth the content which is of primary interest to the websites’ visitor.
Google is greatly invested in searches through mobile phones as well as any other mobile devices, and has in fact started to favor websites that tend to be mobile device friendly.
The Responsive Design technique combines cutting edge technologies with a very specific graphic approach and information architecture. Surely, the complexity of designing a responsive website is high in comparison to the traditional interactive design, but is definitely is easier than having to create multiple websites.
The decision to go for a responsive website is pivotal as many of the techniques that work traditionally do not translate well (if at all) in to the new era of mobile devices.