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Responsive Web Design in 2019: It's No Longer Just An Option

Prasanna Gopinath
June 4, 2019

Responsive web design is undoubtedly trending, and everyone slightly familiar with web design, in general, should probably be aware of this. But why has it become so important?

First off, it's important to note that responsive web design is an approach to web design where the different web pages render depending on the device and its screen size.

It's also true that we live in an increasingly mobile-centric world; hence mobile app design should also adhere to the same principles and high standards. If you have a mobile app or a website which isn't responsive, you might be losing out on a lot more than just traffic - your credibility as a provider is also at stake.

With this said, let's examine a few essential considerations which showcase why responsive web design in 2019 is no longer an option but rather an absolute must.

Fixed Web Design and Its Flaws  

Fixed web design, also known as static web design, is a rather traditional method which uses a preset page size which doesn't change based on the screen it's opened on. The main issue with this type of web design is that the page is going to look only on the screen size that it was designed for.

Fixed layouts are immovable within its containers which results in a rather cumbersome horizontal scroll for people who use devices with any other screen sizes. The layout isn't going to translate well for handheld devices or any other type of unique screen sizes which leads to nothing but confusion and frustration for the user who's trying to navigate through the page.

When it comes to UI/UX design, fixed websites are a thing left in the past. Back in 2017, global mobile website traffic peaked at 50.3 percent according to Statista, surpassing the traffic from desktop devices.

In other words, if your website or web application is not optimized for handheld devices, you are likely to be turning away the majority of where the traffic comes from. That's why responsive web design is also a particularly important principle for web application design as well.

Adaptive Web Design  

This is perhaps one of the major debacles among the web design community: adaptive or responsive web design?

It's true that both solutions meet the fairly new standards of Google for mobile-first indexing. However, Google has also endorsed responsive web design as a recommended pattern.

In any case, adaptive web design takes advantage of static layouts which are based on breakpoints. It will automatically detect the device screen size of the user and would lead to the appropriate layout for it.

With this said, there is a major drawback. The adaptive web design also comes with a very intensive design process. Development companies need to create layouts for at least six different widths in order to account for all the possible screen sizes.

Responsive Web Design  

This leads us to the main talking point - responsive web design. It first started to gain traction back in the early 2010s. It has since become the expected practice for almost every professional web application development company.

Responsive solutions adapt to the screen size of the user, regardless of the device that they use. They are designed in percentages rather than in fixed width, so it's also unnecessary to create a lot of different versions of your website - as it is in adaptive website design.

The drawbacks of this type of design are few. However, if it's not handled properly, it will most definitely create confusion and even frustrating user experience.
If you want to find out more and explore the benefits of responsive web design for your business, don't hesitate to get in touch and get a free consultation.

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Prasanna Gopinath