Responsive web design: The anti-layout platform
Web design has been evolving at a rapid pace lately, especially with the implement of responsive layouts. Responsive web design refers to sites that restructure themselves to fit the screen size and media platform that they are being viewed on.
New technology means new methods and platforms to design for.
With iPads, ipod touches, and millions of other tablets and mobile devices, the need has come to create a consistent look to your site for the massive array of different platforms. G Squared Studios is built with a responsive layout framework, which enables it to re-flow while keeping the layout fairly consistent. Everything is flexible, allowing even the slider to re-size to fit the screen that it is being viewed on. Essentially the featured image and the title and text of each article stack in sequential order, so that each block of content can be viewed together.
Does this mean that as designers, consistency is lost?
Absolutely not! It just means that your site has the same look and feel, while maintaining its flexibility. With responsive web design, your content restructures to benefit the viewer, making your site pleasant to browse for any visitor, whether they are on their android phone or and ipad, or even a 27 inch imac.
The problem that I have seen with normal websites is that they stay the same size, even on an ipod touch. This makes it difficult to browse on a small screen, because you have to zoom in, and do a lot of scrolling back and forth. It makes a content-heavy website difficult to read, and you get a high bounce rate on your site that way. No one wants to scroll back and forth constantly to read your articles. It also makes it easy to lose your place while you are reading, further frustration your visitors.
Does this mean as web designers, we can worry less about the overall layout of the sites we build?
I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion. A majority of visitors are still going to view your site on a desktop computer. The main goal of responsive web design is to make that a beautiful, intuitive experience. Using a responsive web design framework enables you to do that, while allowing the site to respond to the screen size, and fit its content accordingly. That way, every visitor receives the best viewing experience possible, while the integrity of your design isn’t heavily compromised.
Responsive web design may be a scary issue to some, but in the long run, your websites will be much more enjoyable, and your clients’ visitors will be much happier with their experience if their site looks its best on many different platforms. Accommodation is key here, so that no one comes to your site and becomes frustrated because they can’t read the content. A frustrated visitor is a lost visitor, and trust me, they will be gone for good.