Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a website and no matter what you say, or how many times you say it, or how loud you scream at it, that stupid website just never responds? That has nothing to do with responsive web design, but it makes me laugh ’cause we all yell at websites when they don’t do what we want…you know you’ve done it too!
In the Beginning, Websites Were Ugly
Anyway, all kidding aside, responsive web design has been the name of the game for awhile now and it’s way more than just a buzzword. I’m old enough to have actually lived and survived in a world before the internet, a world where this whole interweb thing started out with sites that looked like this.
Now take this as a subtle hint folks, if any part of your website resembles Microsoft’s very first website built in 1994, it may be time for a little reboot dontcha think?! Clearly there wasn’t a whole lot of design going into websites back then and it was also a time before cell phones, when humans still stood upright.
Along Came the Smartphone
When the smartphone came along, everything changed again. Beautifully crafted websites were hard to read, you had to do too much scrolling, or finger-pinching-zooming-nonsense, etc. You know what I’m talking about. In response (pun-intended) to that dilemma and the growing trend, web developers started designing mobile-only versions of websites. They were essentially stripped down versions with little personality that redirected users on mobile devices via a script in the website code. Some people hated them so much (ME!) that they would often just press that “Take me to full site” link that you’re now going…oooohhh about.
Fast Forward a Couple of Decades
I don’t have any hair left. Oh, and everything has changed again! Tablets in every dimension, gigantic smart phones, Chromebooks, and still trucking along, the good old computer monitor and laptop. What is a web designer to do? The responsive design revolution has been a game-changer in that you’re really not just conceptualizing and designing one website anymore, but rather as many as it takes to look amazing and get the job done in every device at every angle.
Technically, it’s essentially accomplished through the use of fluid grid layouts and CSS manipulation via media queries. Google loves it and they’ve even made some statements regarding their preference for responsive sites over the mobile versions of the past, in most cases. But in the end, seeing is believing and if a picture is worth a thousand words, this video should speak volumes so press play to dork out and enjoy!