Posted on January 31, 2013
The web world has opened up a large number of opportunities for enterprises of different genres to market their brand before a large number of potential customers from all over the globe. The search engines have the precise answer to all the queries posted on it within a fraction of a second. The availability of such dynamic facilities has induced the users to Google about information on the move. The technicians have responded to such demands by providing the users with browsing capabilities on their phone as well.
I’ve read Oliver Reichenstein’s essay “The web is 95% typography” on the state of the web as it was back when he wrote it in 2006 several times and over the last year or two, I’ve been working on responsive sites for our clients at Offroadcode as well as spending a lot of time and effort following and keeping up to date as best I can with trends and techniques and I’m being drawn towards what feels an inevitable conclusion for web design.
Remember portal wars? Browser wars? 2013 is the bridge of device periods. It is a time where online PC-based screens become more unfamiliar, and those mobile devices and tablets will become more familiar. These changes will have the following consequences for consumers and marketers alike.
Designing websites for smartphones is easy compared to retrofitting those already in place. More than that, it’s embarrassing how, almost eight years after CSS gained practical acceptance, a lack of foresight haunts those of us who write HTML.
Responsive design refers to a websites ability to act as a chameleon, easily toggling between a traditional website and a mobile one. A responsive website uses media queries to understand the device its being loaded on. In a matter of milliseconds, the website decides how to display itself depending on screen size, pixilation, and format. Images shrink or expand, columns reduce or multiply, and text size increases or decreases — all on-the-fly.
It’s hard to believe I have been blogging for more than 7 years. Michael Wozniak, my hallmate during my freshman year at Georgia Tech, had gotten me into Gentoo Linux the year prior and told me he was playing with WordPress 1.2. Compared to the MediaWiki site I was running at the time that piqued my curiosity and I began blogging on WordPress on my G4 Mac Mini that summer. I immediately fell in love with it and began learning CSS and PHP to tweak the theme.
There’s a debate over which technique of creating mobile-ready websites is the best. Google advocates creating responsive web designs, while Jakob Nielsen, a renowned usability consultant, endorses the creation of dedicated mobile sites (but he was subsequently slammed by some web designers).