Mobile Specific vs Responsive Design

Responsive Web Design

In: Web Design |
18/04/11 |

With the masses of iphones, android phones, tablets and other mobile devices on the market today and new models being released almost every other day – creating mobile-friendly sites should be at the top of every company’s agenda.

The online landscape is constantly changing. A variety of different screen resolutions is something we, as web designers, have had to contend with over the years. Let’s face it – most people use their iPhone (or equivalent) to look at a website these days. The current trend is to create a mobile-specific site on a sub domain, when a user visits a sites, Java script determines which device they’re using and directs them to the mobile optimsed version. However – designing and creating a different mobile site for each gadget just isn’t sustainable, definitely isn’t cost effective and is at constant risk of being outdated. Banishing your mobile layout to a sub-domain just isn’t a future-proof strategy.

Enter – responsive web design. This new and intuitive form of web design responds to, and changes page layout depending on which device it’s being viewed on. This fluid layout uses a combination of the latest new technologies such as JQuery, CSS3 and HTML 5.

In the same way that web standards enabled designers to build sites that were compatible across a variety of web browsers, over the next few years’ responsive web design will allow sites to be compatible across a variety of devices too without the need for a specific mobile version.

Learn more about responsive web design with the excellent article on A List apart.