The Fundamentals of Responsive Website Design
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The medium of viewing the content that is uploaded on different websites has been evolving gradually as the people now carry about smartphones through which they can access the content anywhere. They no longer have to open up a laptop or computer and look up for the content only through these devices. Majority of the people on the web have accesses it from their phones and this is why the content has to be laid out in a different manner. Responsive web design, therefore means that this web design responds to the requirements of the users such that the content and design are dependent on user needs. There are certain basics of this design that you must know about:

Viewport Tag

The content and design on the websites have been upgraded to be compatible on all types of devices without any troubles. These pages consist of a Meta viewport tag that is found right at the top of the document. This tag is there to assist the browser in figuring out the dimensions and layout of the page in accordance with the type of device it has been opened up on. Therefore, the tag in smartphones makes the browser provide the pages of different sites as wide as a desktop screen and then accordingly increase font and making it fit the screen for it to look better. This is why different users may see the font sizes differently and some may to have to zoom in to read the content.

Content Size

Irrespective of the device that the site has been opened up on, the viewers have been in the habit of scrolling vertically to read up more content on the site. Therefore, if they are forced to zoom in or out because of the inconvenient size of the content on these sites, they will certainly equate it to a mediocre experience, therefore affecting the site. The above problem occurs because while developing a site that has to have a Meta viewport tag, the developers can sometimes create the page with the font size more than the viewport, leading to the font not fitting on the phone or laptop screens. This needs to be fixed beforehand by sizing the content to fit in the viewport before creating the page. This would not force the users to scroll in a horizontal manner to have a look at all of the content.

Employing Media Queries

At certain points, it is quite difficult to adjust the size of the content according to the viewport and the developers have to make some major changes to the structure of the layout on the page instead of the different methods of layout employed to fit the content on the page. Therefore, media queries come into play in such a situation as these come as filters to the Cascading Style Sheets and these are convenient to the developers in changing the style of the content such that they fit the screens of different mobiles and laptops when they reach the users. For the purpose of the provision of different styles for output, the developer has to have in mind what they want and use CSS to do so. Media queries are the perfect example of responsive web design as they help shape the page in accordance with the device it is being opened up on.

The Selection of Breakpoints

The breakpoints should not be used in accordance with the device because doing so for different products, brands or different OS results in a high level of maintenance bound to prove a failure. The basic rule here should be to not adjust the layout or content depending on the device, but to make the content flexible so that the layout adjusts itself whenever it is opened up on a different device, needing no maintenance whatsoever. For this purpose, it is important to start out small and make the content adjust to a small screen in the initial stages and then proceed to increase the screen size till you have to necessarily provide a breakpoint. Therefore, responsive web design uses breakpoints according to the content and uses quite a small number. But these are major breakpoints and the insertion of minor ones is also important and helpful. The minor breakpoints are inserted to adjust the margins or increase the font.

View the Inserted Breakpoints to Get an Idea

After inserting both the minor and major breakpoints with the help of media queries, it is imperative to see how those look when the site opens up. For making the breakpoints noticeable, the window has to be resized. However with the assistance of ChromeDevTools, the developers can look at the page with the breakpoints to preview how the page looks like. ChromeDevTools has a responsive mode that assists the responsive web design, and this is a default feature provided by it. All you need to do is turn on the device mode to bring in the feature and then select the ‘Display’ option for breakpoints, which makes the breakpoints come up as colored lines on top of your page.

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Hermit Chawla is an MD at AIS Technolabs which is a Web design and Development Company, helping global businesses to grow by Web Services. I would love to share thoughts on Fashion Social Media Services and Game Design Development etc.

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