A RWD site “responds” on-the-fly to the screen size of the device viewing the website. So if you are on a phone, a 3 column website for instance will stack all content into 1 column, keeping the scale perfectly legible. It also will remake a menu for easier navigation, and do it all quickly and seamlessly right on the device. For developers, it requires designers and developers to rethink how certain things are done, and address new design and layout challenges previously not at issue.
A June 2012 Pew Internet poll noted that 31% of current mobile device owners say that they mostly go online using their cell phone and not their desk or laptops. The number of people who now read everything on a mobile device has sky rocketted. We’re talking about long articles, newsletters, emails– you name it.
A long time ago, a huge majority of us relied on desktop-based boxes to read email and surf content on the internet. It wasn’t until the iPhone was introduced, circa 2007, that people could surf the web their phone for reals. But web pages didn’t look the same on the phone and we’d only see a piece of the page at a time as if peering through a key hole. When the Amazing App Store was created, everyone started pouring their resources into mobile app development to make content specially viewable on the phone. But after Joe Art Gallery and Shelly Business realized that spending from $5 – $30K on an app wasn’t paying off — developers upgraded the way we view content on the phone via browser via auto-scaling or compressing the content to fit on the screen.
Below is an example of the Lightray BEFORE we converted it to be “responsive” on a mobile device. Note how it’s a compressed replica of how it would look on a desktop, forcing the user to pan and expand, a royal pain to read and navigate on a mobile device.
Now we have converted our site to be “Responsive”, a coding methodology called “Responsive Web Design” or RWD.
Just like Life imitates Art imitates Life, the proliferation of mobile surfing has revolutionized the way we experience content by seeing it as a narrative as opposed to one static image. Find out more about The Art of Parallax Scrolling and Long Scrolling Narrative in this article.
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