Once upon a time the big concern in designing and deploying your website was how would it look in all the different web browsers that were out there and how would it look when your users went to print out the page.
Times change and the concerns a web designer/producer faces continue to change too.
Today the primary concern for a web designer/producer may indeed be what kind of device or devices will the website be viewed on. In addition to laptop and desktop computers we also have BlackBerries, iPhones, iPads, netbooks, Kindles and undoubtedly there will be more to come.
Web designer/producers are now interested in what we know as “Responsive Web Design” which is where the: ”
…design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market. (Responsive Web Design: What It Is and How To Use It – SmashingMagazine.com)
A great article with some visual examples of just how this works can be found here: Responsive Web Design: 50 Examples and Best Practices -DesignModoAn excellent example of how this works is second example they have there in their article for ‘Andersson-Wise Architects‘ so anyone in the building and remodeling industry wondering how this would apply to them should have no problem seeing how important this can be.
Maintaining a web site’s personality and feel and as a result maintaining the brand identity of a company across all those platforms is the new challenge web designer/producers face today.
P.S. this is another good reason supporting Why We Generally Don’t Use Flash.
For some futher information and education regarding Repsonsive Web Design may I suggest a few books and web articles:
- A Book Apart, Responvive Web Design an excellent paperback and ebook combo from the folks at A List Apart
- Techniques in responsive web design | Webdesigner Depot
- Responsive Web Design Techniques, Tools and Design Strategies – Smashing Magazine
- Responsive web design – webdesignshock.com
- Responsive Web Design Templates and Frameworks | Resources
- Responsive web design is boring! | Opinion | .net magazine
- Beginner’s Guide to Responsive Web Design | Think Vitamin
- 10 Excellent Tools for Responsive Web Design