The smart phone revolution is changing how people interact with the Internet. With instant Internet access and the ability to connect from almost anywhere in the world, the Internet is more ubiquitous than ever before. While this has made communication and finding information far easier, it has also placed a burden on web developers. Smart phones and tablets have smaller screens than laptops and desktops. In addition, they lack cursors and keyboards. As a result, those designing websites will need to find a way to make the process of accessing information easy on two classes of devices.
Shortly after the introduction of smart phones, many chose to make two separate types of websites. Unfortunately, this option is riddled with problems as it can be difficult to translate a website designed for desktops and laptops to one designed for mobile devices. In addition, this can increase the work required to build and maintain a website tremendously. Many smart phones and tablet users also choose to browse the Internet with a user agent that indicates that they are using a desktop or laptop. Because of this, the desktop version of website will be viewed by many smart phone and tablet users.
To deal with this, many developers have turned to the responsive web design paradigm. Responsive design is the practice of creating one website that can be accessed on all classes of devices. By detecting the capabilities of a specific browser and determining what device is being used to access the site, developers can add or remove certain features on the website. In addition, the size of the website can be scaled dynamically, which can lead to a more seamless experience.
Responsive design also entails clean, simple designs. These designs look great on desktops and laptops, and they make it possible to browse websites using mobile devices. Simple, uncluttered design has become popular even for those who do not use responsive web design, so those who choose this paradigm need not feel that they are presenting subpar websites.
Recently, responsive web design templates have become popular. While most templates are largely visual in nature, responsive design templates may be more useful for their programmatic elements than for their aesthetic attributes. By handling the more difficult aspects of programming a dynamic website, these templates can allow web designers to focus on high-quality, effective design.