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Is Responsive Web Design the future?
Research for studies on RWD

 12:01 pm on Nov 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi 'm a Uni student and i'm doing a research project on Responsive Web Design and the question i'm asking is

"Responsive Web Design: a stop gap technique or the future of building web sites? "

I intend on researching whether RWD will becoming an "industry standard" way of design or will it be developed and pave the way for a different method which hasn't been discovered?

I would just like to hear various opinions and beliefs of anyone who's work it influences.

Thanks in advance



 12:32 pm on Nov 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

people have been designing for years with 'flowing' designs that adjusted to the width of the browser.

RWD is just the next stage in this process.

in the future i should think screens will be very varied in size, especially when the merging of the tv and web industries happens ... thus some form of what is called RWD is here to stay.


 12:59 pm on Nov 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your imput, i've only been into web design for a year or so but it seems RWD is a hot topic at the moment.

Do you believe the prevalence of mobile devices has had a major influence on this or could it just be conveniently timed with web design evolving as a whole?


 1:31 pm on Nov 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Media queries are about as old as the original iPhone.
Ever since the introduction of that device, existing websites became usable on the modern generation of mobile devices as well.
So while there is technology (media queries, CSS, ...) that steadily becoming more available, so are the mobile devices also getting better at dealign with the content not made for them.

Established websites should all see a pretty sizeable amount of visits from iOS devices. For some reason (don't ask me - I'll qualify as a fanboy for just stating the statistics) while other brands of mobile devices (as a whole) outsell those from Apple, they don't lead to a proportional number of visits - far from it.

So testing how your website looks like in an iPhone/ iPad is important (due to the amount of visitors using it), as it is to test it in different version of IE (if not more so).

Not where does the "hot topic" come in ? Well you could try to deal better with a portrait screen, with a screen so small that the users need to zoom in to read too small fonts and hence get forced to scroll more than is warranted.
This gets worse if you design for ever wider screens on the desktop (and hence put more items next to one another).

So what can you do ?

You can keep more than one layout next to each-other and determine what to hand out based on the viewport size of the browser, that way the handheld device gets something that doesn't require sideways scrolling, while the idiot using a 27" screen in full screen mode gets multiple columns of information instead of text lines that are too long to read.

Alls the rest is hype IMHO.


 5:56 pm on Nov 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Personally I design for about 1000 pixels wide screens, however we're starting to get more and more visitors on cell phones so we're starting to lean towards HTML5 layout so that these devices can display our site better. It's still in it's infancy and hope that concrete standards for HTML5 are defined soon.


 5:39 am on Nov 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would love to hear your definition of a "HTML5 layout".

brotherhood of LAN

 5:42 am on Nov 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

For tech websites, use of twitter bootstrap is rampant. As a non-designer it seems like a 'safe bet' to use a framework like bootstrap to quickly knock together a website that'll display well on all screen resolutions.

I feel a wee bit sorry for designers, in the past having to deal with quirky browsers, and now having to deal with a huge range of screen resolutions.

I guess there is a balance between responsive design and choosing what elements of a page can be sacrificed depending on the device/resolution of the client.


 3:43 pm on Nov 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's definitely more work but the payoff is great. At times I felt a bit overwhelmed and thought we didn't have the time or personnel to handle all that but, the more you do, the more Aha! moments you have which makes the work easier, or at least more comprehensible.

The first thing you need to get rid of is the thought of "all those screen resolutions" and concentrate on design by content.


 1:22 am on Dec 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Responsive Web Design: a stop gap technique or the future of building web sites? "

That's extremely easy to answer, it's the present...

it's neither a "stop gap" nor is it "the future"..though technically I suppose it is the future as you see it... it is most definitely the "here and now" as I see it :)

I'm using sites that NEED to work on on PC, phone and tablet.. they need to be responsive

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