Responsive Web Design

This week That Vital Spark got a fresh coat of paint with a move onto a new WordPress theme – Skylark.

The change is another bit of learning-by-doing, prompted by some work on the use of ‘Responsive Web Design’.

(To see how Skylark adapts to different sized readers, try grabbing the right hand edge of your browser window and slowly dragging it to the left; as the window shrinks the content should be re-ordered to maintain readability.)

People are using mobile devices more and more to access on-line content. And the numbers, sizes and shapes of these devices seem to be growing by the day – ipads, mini-ipads, tablets, kindles smartphones etc. As a result, the ability of websites to adapt to their visitor’s device, and ensure that their content is both readable and relevant, is becoming more and more important.

As well as the obvious impact this will have on website design and development, these changes also provide challenges and opportunities for those involved in the planning and creation of content.

For example, lengthy thought-pieces may be interesting to users doing research from their desk’s, but mobile users might not find them so user-friendly or relevant, they might prefer instead product info or location and contact details which will help them now, whilst they are out and about.

Those websites that can adapt seamlessly to the different needs of their users depending on their device and location will become powerful and popular channels for connecting with audiences. It is going to be interesting to see how things develop…

To read more about Responsive Web Design and see some examples of how it is being developed check out this interesting article on trafficlive.com – 10 Beautiful Examples of Responsive Web Design

You might also find it interesting to revisit .net’s article from early in the year in which they predicted the rising importance of Responsive Design – 15 top web design and development trends for 2012

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