I just got done reading an article on responsive web design over at A List Apart, and to be honest, I feel behind the times on everything.
Responsive web design takes a website to a whole new level of interactivity, sort of. Where it doesn’t really make the website interactive for a user currently on a page, it makes the website interactive for the browsers accessing it. The design will respond to the size of the browser window by changing up the layout of the page via CSS. It uses the new CSS3 hooks and features to allow for detection of screen width and/or height and then allows the web designer to apply CSS rules after the detection. So, basically, the web designer can say, “If the browser window is only 400px wide, let’s strip off some of the fancy additional (and probably unnecessary) stuff, make images and text smaller, and tidy things up a bit more for what is most likely a phone.”
This type of design is <dramatic movie voice>the wave of the future!</dramatic movie voice> We web designers have been dealing with cross-browser (Internet Exploder, FireFox, Chrome, etc.), and screen resolution differences for years. Now we are entering in the era of web-enabled mobile devices, and with them comes hundreds to thousands more variables in the browser and screen resolution battle.This allows us to create a single website (rather than several websites) that will transform to fit into just about any screen, whether a laptop, a desktop, a phone, or a cheap Asian knock off media player.
Now it’s time to start cramming more knowledge into my cranium…I hope the MCP doesn’t crash and need a reboot.