Being ‘Responsive’ in Today’s Evolving Web Environment

By Mike Lawson

Things used to be simpler online. It seemed everybody had a computer monitor that was essentially the same size and, as a result, websites could be designed with those parameters in mind.

Then along came those mind-blowing (at the time) touch screen mobile phones that everybody just had to have to access anything from anywhere. That movement resulted in traditional websites having to tow around a little brother – a.k.a. a mobile-friendly site – for folks surfing the Web as they were out and about.

Then the recent tablet tidal wave tempted consumers to try yet another gadget to manage their online life. But this is where the “tablet monkey wrench” gummed up the works for Web designers and their clients alike. Do you build a tablet-sized website to tag along with the regular website and mobile-friendly site? Or do you hope that one of them looks good on a tablet, too?

It’s like sticking Shaquille O’Neal in an Austin Mini Cooper. The Mini looks good, Shaq looks good, but does Shaq shoehorned into the Mini look good?

Quite a conundrum, indeed, because the growing number of screen sizes on computer monitors, mobile phones, and tablets seems to know no bounds – or boundaries. And managing myriad screen sizes in the design process can be super costly, super high maintenance, and a super big headache.

How does an organization cope? The answer is responsive Web design.