Responsive Design - Progressive Enhancement example

Web development is a lot like the Fashion industry. No, I’m not crazy. There are always new technologies and trends. We have to think and work 6 months ahead of everyone else, instead of catching up with current thing.

What is a trend? The oxforddictionaries.com defined trend as:

A general trend in which something is developing or changing.

A current trend in web development is responsive design. George Chaney of SEOKing.com wrote that it was THE trend of the year [1]. Many creatives in our industry are currently creating responsive sites or want to do it. There is something about responsive design that sets it apart from other trends.

Take parallax scrolling effect as an example. This is something everyone wanted to replicate after nikebetterworld.com. It looks awesome and I’ve seen great application of this effect on many websites. What purpose does it serve? The parallax trend is less prominent now then it was last year.

Responsive design is a solution for developers and designers to accommodate a website for multiple devices. We all held on to the 960 standard for many years and just worried about how a website would look in each browser. Now we have to think differently. Responsive Design isn’t just a trend, because it is changing the way we design and develop websites. Designers must stop thinking of websites in pixels and the pixel perfect ideal. It’s about designing in terms of proportions and looking at all of the elements of the webpage in relation to one another. Web developers must focus on core functionality and take advantage of new technologies that comes with mobile like geolocation and touch events.

A lot of the responsive work has been done for us. Responsive frameworks are great building blocks for designers and developers to utilize. I’ve been experimenting with the Bootstrap framework. LESS framework and Foundation are very popular. If you haven’t played with one, then I suggest you start immediately. Present this to your agency or client and explain to them why they should develop responsive websites if they aren’t doing so already.

[1] Chaney, George. “Trend Of The Year – Responsive Design.” SEOKing. N.p., 03/024/2012. Web. 3 Apr 2012. .