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Category: web design

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Responsive web designs allow websites to stretch across multiple platforms: computers, smartphones, and the increasingly common tablet.


With a responsive design, websites will look great no matter the size of screen it’s shown on. As the screen (or window) size gets smaller, the elements on the page miniaturize, some elements disappear, and the site becomes streamlined. Here are some of the main features of responsive web designs.


Website Looks Beautiful No Matter the Device

Image via Flickr by Antoine Lefeuvre


By having your website created to be responsive, you know that it will work and function well for mobile devices of all sizes and shapes. In 2014, according to Canalys, 285 million tablets will be sold, making up 50 percent of the total number of PCs sold. With so many computer-buyers choosing tablets over desktop and laptop computers, knowing how to create and design responsive websites is crucial to keeping up with web design trends.


Updates Are Easier


With a responsive website, you don’t need a different version of the site for each size of screen or device. Edits suddenly become easier because when you change text, colors or images, you won’t have to make changes in multiple locations. The site is the same no matter what device it’s viewed on and there is no need for multiple versions of the site.


Design Focuses on Elements


Rather than showing a static web page and how it will look on the screen, designers can focus more on the elements of the website. As the website moves from desktop and laptop to tablet and smartphone, these elements will shift to fit the new screen size. To demonstrate how these elements will shift, designers can then label them (such as A, B, C, and D) and create basic wireframes that show where the elements will shift to—not only from desktop to mobile device by from vertical screens to horizontal screens.


Getting Information Across to a Wide Audience


According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), mobile web best practices state that “as far as is reasonable, the same information and services available to users irrespective of the device they are using. However, it does not mean that exactly the same information is available in exactly the same representation across all devices.” So whether they’re using  T-Mobile wireless phones, Android tablets or desktop computers, users should have a positive experience with websites you design.


No Wrong Links or Need for Redirects


Let’s say that Sally is trying to learn more about how to get her son to eat more green vegetables and so is researching what cruciferous vegetables are and why they’re considered “super foods.” Sally starts reading an article on her laptop and then needs to ride the train to work and so decides to pull up that article on her phone. Finally, once she’s at work, she wants to read more on her lunch break on her tablet.


According to Google, this is often done by saving the link to the site in some form. Some users email themselves the link while others will use Chrome, which allows synchronization from one device to the next, including browsing history and bookmarks. For responsive websites, this isn’t a problem, but for sites that are designed using different URLs depending on the device, this can cause issues for users and they may have issues bringing the page up.


Designing Websites for the Future


What does the future hold for websites? It’s hard to say. Smart TVs are becoming more and more popular, and without responsive websites, web designers may find the need to design websites specifically for these devices as well. Suddenly, there are four versions of the website—or is it six, seven or more? And what devices are in store for the future? By having a website that is adaptive, no matter the size of screen, it won’t matter what devices arrive on the scene in the coming years. Websites you design will be ready!


Embrace the future of web design. Learn the techniques of designing responsive websites and wow your clients with a streamlined design across devices.


Responsive Web Design or Native App: Which Would Suit You Better?

You have probably been hearing a lot about responsive web development lately, since it has become increasingly popular.


If your current website is not responsive, you might be wondering if you are missing out on mobile customers as a result. On the other hand, maybe you have been considering the addition of a native mobile app for years now. If you’re not sure what the right move for your business is, check out some ways to make this decision.


The Basic Differences


Before you choose between responsive web development and a native mobile app, you should make sure you know how they differ from each other. A responsive website adapts it capabilities and resolution depending on the device, which means it will look different on a smartphone than on a computer. In this way, the main benefit of responsive web development is its flexibility.


A native mobile application is developed for a particular platform, such as Android, iOS, or Windows. So if you get an iOS app, it will make use of the features found on the iPhone. This means the main benefit of native mobile apps is specialization.


Advantages of Responsive Web Development


The flexibility of responsive websites goes hand in hand with another major advantage, which is compatibility. If you want to be able to reach people on all types of devices, not just one, a responsive site may appeal to you.


In addition, it is easy for people to share websites, since they can simply send the link to friends or add it to their status updates on social media profiles. Not only that, but websites are easy for both people and search engines to find online. So if you have sharable content and want to rank with the search engines, you need a website, preferably a responsive one.


You should also know that websites make it easy for you to upload content, which is good news if you’re like most business owners who have frequent updates to share. And last, but not least, responsive web development is often less expensive than app development, partly because it takes less time.


Advantages of Native Apps


Of course, there are also some benefits of native app development. Otherwise, this decision wouldn’t be so hard! For one, app users do not need an internet connection to get full functionality of the application. So if you think users will be offline when they need your help, an app might be better than a responsive website.


There are some complex functions that websites are just not the best at. For example, if you want your web tool to be interactive or perform complicated tasks, an app could be advantageous. And if you plan to make a game, surely you will find that an app suits your needs more than a website would.


Even personalization is usually easier with an app. After all, the main appeal of the typical native app is its ability to work with a specific platform, so personalizing the content to a particular device is easy. Examples of the functions for which you might specialize your app include a camera or GPS.


If you still can’t decide between a native app and responsive web development, you might find that you benefit equally from the two of them. If you have the budget for it, you can always opt for both!