A perfect response Saturday, 11 April 2015
These days people tend to view the web on all manner of portable devices. Phones and tablets are pretty much ubiquitous, and the laptop or notebook appears to have taken the place of the lumbering desktop. Sure desktops are still available, but why bother having a space-hog when you can plonk it on your lap and end up with a nice helping of erythema ab igne.

For the site designer, this means ensuring your site is properly viewable on pretty much every device that is out there. I can remember my early days of being a web designer, and selfishly designing for the 1024x768 resolution, yet ensuring it was viewable on an 800x600 screen. Little did I know that some people were still using the earlier 640x480 resolution - because that's as great as their monitors would display. This saw me having to limit my page widths to a pathetic 600 pixels just for the sake of compatibility, which meant folk with larger screens would have plenty of space on either side of the page.

Things have changed. We now have people using smaller - even tinier screens. So it makes sense to cater for these folk, yet not forcing big screen perverts (like me) to adapt. In comes responsive web design - a fancy way of having the page adjust itself specifically for the screen it is being displayed on. An example is shown above, look! Whether it be iPad™, iPhone™ or Android™ tablet - it's got to fit the screen properly. And if it's a 19" monitor that is being used - then stretch it baby! "Fill dat screen bruv, ya git me?"

Responsive design is important, even. Recently Google has started ranking sites according to their accessibility credentials. This means that the responsive site can expect to achieve a higher position on a search page as opposed to the non-responsive one. So it makes sense to get on board and get responsive. It is highly annoying, and thoroughly alienating when you visit a site on your mobile device, only to find the content unreadable because it is trying to display a full-width, full-size page within that meagre screen. Double-tapping the screen to zoom in on the page, then having to swipe horizontally back and forth just to read the text. Not too helpful.

I will be honest, learning responsive design was daunting, but it is what is required in this age of wildly differing screen resolutions. You have to pull your finger out and get with the times. Netscape 4 is long gone. CRT monitors are pretty much done with. Apple have released a watch now. Expect people to be viewing web pages on their wrists! It's called progress.
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