What is Responsive website design

Responsive website design Sydney

What is a responsive website design?

The use of a mobile device is continuing to grow at a fast pace, people get used to searching for products and services by using mobile tablets. These devices often come with different screen sizes based on their brand and model, how content is laid out on the screen become crucial in web development.

Mobile website design history

Page built target particular screen, the small screen may have issue display a large banner or table – an unexpected result. A there are more mobile screen sizes become available, the concept of responsive web design (RWD) appears guideline and practices to the developer, responsive design based on width, height, resolution.

responsive website design

In the last decade, most of the Australian websites are built on fixed-width, it is acceptable when people not often use a mobile tablet for surfing the Internet. However, the use of mobile device becoming popular now, and people tend to complete the simple online payment and registration. Fixed width website sometimes hide content when the user’s device is too small, they need to zoom out the webpage and move the screen to view the content. Furthermore, this design leaves plenty of empty space and make the design looks bad.


responsive web design

Solution for mobile website design

The first solution is creating a different mobile version in other URLs, such as “m.sydney-responsive-website-design.com”, this means either version of the website must update and developed at the same time. It is ok for small business or display website, as not update frequently. But it frustrates the I.T support and maintenance team in the large organization while updating hundreds of products weekly and sometimes apply the promotion tag on some products. Another problem is it limited the website functionality in mobile, not convenience if people need to access those features urgently via mobile tablets. Even today, some Sydney government and business organization webpages are still using the non-mobile-friendly website, and it is quite hard to fill out the tiny form in it.

Flexible layout approach by Cameron Adam

In 2004 Cameron Adams wrote a post entitled Resolution dependent layout, introduce a concept for loading different CSS stylesheet, this requires JavaScript detects the different screen sizes before loading CSS. This is a similar concept too nowadays.

Sydney responsive website design

Featured of modern responsive website design

Media queries

Media queries are the core component that we can display different layout based on the user’s device. As the Media Queries Level 3 specification became a candidate recommendation in 2009, it is implemented for all browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and IE. It enables us to detect the user devices’ width and height and write the related styling code based on that criteria.

As CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, you can have multiple styling if all of them are match the criteria. For examples, you define two media queries, one is targeting the min-width of 800px, and another is targeting min-width of 500px. If the user device is 900px, then both styles will be applied. This makes the design process simpler, as the design for small devices eventually inherits the design for the medium device, this leads the less repetitive code and easy to maintain.

mobile friendly web design

On the other hand, some people argue that mobile design is the priority concern nowadays, as the percentage of mobile website users increased from 31.16% in 2015 to 50.81% in 2020. The mobile-first design concept appealed. The common practice is building a full-width single column in a mobile device, and multiple columns in tablets, include more content in the same row based on the device’s width.

Flexible grids

Rather than building a pixel’s perfect design for mobile users, flexible grids is another important approach in responsive web design. As there are enormous of mobile sizes available in the market, and it is possible that some of the current devices may change their resolution in the future, rather than create a single design based on a single mobile device model, fluid grids become practical, the basic idea is setting the breakpoint and align website element in the percentage of the total screen width and height, such as setting single columns to 10% of total width, rather than 150px, one of the advantages is that the column and shrink and expand based on the device, and it won’t look wired even the queries do not design in certain devices. And another benefit is it makes the image look nice if we combine the modern design methods called flexbox, which automatically shrink and expand the columns based on the with.

Responsive typography

Developer use to set the font size to a fixed value, and change it based on the design. However, this is hard to maintain. If you change the title font size, the paragraph has a large probability to change as well. By using rem can solve this problem, by using this method, all the font size is related to the root style if your client would like to enlarge the font-size for the whole website, the only thing you need to do is change the font-size value of the root element. In the advanced level, the root font size should be set as 62.5%, this is calculated by 10px/12px, the reason for this is making the style calculation easier in the rest of the design, 1rem is always equalled to 10px, and this is also considered about the default browser font size, in case some elder people set their browser font size to larger, then we can apply their browser settings.


Sydney web design

Why responsive design is important?

As people get used to using a mobile when they are on transport, lunch break or during leisure time. In Sydney, you can see people viewing the online shopping platform either on the train in the morning or after work. As commuter spends more than 1.5 hours average in traffic, building a responsive website impressive user when they are surfing on your site, show them what they are looking for, and eventually increase your conversion rates. Imaging that if you want to buy something online, and you need to enter the bank details in the checkout page which the input field is small, and hard to focus, and it is difficult the double-check the 16 digits card number. This must frustrate you and you may give up for the checkout process and want to try in PC later, then you may forget and website when you are at home and eventually complete the payment in other websites.

Responsive become crucial in SEO

Additionally, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would become a ranking factor in its search engine algorithms. This means you may lose your impression and explosion if your website is not mobile-friendly, and not rank in the first few pages. As one of the website development and maintenance companies in Sydney, we sometimes receive the mobile responsive recommendation from Google, and we believe, mobile-friendliness will become one of the most important factors for SEO.

In summary, there are few benefits if you have a responsive mobile website. Firstly, it helps you save the cost of building another mobile website based on different URL and paying extra hosting and make maintenance easier. Secondly, mobile responsive device highlights your company information, either in the product page or checkout page, and increase the conversion rates. Finally, this is essential for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and it can boost your website ranking in Google search result.