what is responsive design

Responsive Design used to be a term used only in mobile-friendly design circles. Something that only came up in conversations between the most sophisticated web developers. Now, it’s a term that should concern anyone that wants to build a dedicated following.

Welcome to this episode of the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander, Enterprise Architect at SubscriptionMaker.net. I help people navigate the confluence that forms where market fragmentation and technology acceleration come together.

In the last episode, we talked about the benefits of a mobile-first strategy. We discussed why said strategy is very important for those people who have gained little or no traction in the marketplace.

Today, our conversation will turn to the topic of responsive design. You could even make the case that responsive design is a classic example of the kind confluence successful people need to navigate every day. On the one hand, the world is getting cheaper and simpler. On the other, the technology trends that power this cheaper and simpler world are accelerating.

Who needs to know responsive design?

Every business person needs to know about responsive design if for no other reason than to be able to recognize it when it is not present. The lines are blurring between career paths. There was a time when you could say that knowing computer stuff is not a part of my job. No longer.

Now computers and marketing need to be a part of everyone’s skill set. And this means that you need to be able to determine if your solution will leave your audience with a positive impression.

What is responsive design?

Responsive design is a capability that allows software applications to adapt to any screen. You probably noticed that some applications will either resize or move components around on your phone when you shift from verticle to horizontal orientation.

Technically, this means that special care has been taken to ensure that the user experience will be pleasant no matter what kind of device is used. You might even remember a time when viewing websites on a mobile device required you to zoom in on the content then move it around manually on your screen.

What is a responsive design strategy?

A responsive design strategy implies that you are willing to support your customers wherever they are when they need your help. It means going the extra mile by delivering outstanding service that meets their device requirements.

It’s impossible to anticipate all of the potential situations where your application could be used. It’s also impossible to anticipate all the devices where your content could someday be consumed. The best that you can do is to make sure that application is responsive.

What’s the future of responsive design?

You could make the case that responsive design has become a standard design consideration. And that progressive web pages are waiting in the wing. For the record, progressive web pages take the responsive design strategy further by providing a positive experience on highly degraded or intermittent transmission channels.

Progressive Web Pages take the responsive design strategy into the offline world. They are developed to support users no matter where the users find themselves. Progressive Web Pages address situations when all you can get is one bar – isolated mode for all intents and purposes.

Conclusion

Responsive Design is a concept that has outgrown its mobile-friendly roots. Now it should be considered a generic business concept like security. One that everyone should be able to recognize when it’s missing.

Zachary Alexander

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