Most concepts take root slowly, especially when we are talking about web technology. Responsive design is an exception thou, it is a new concept but one that is growing rapidly all over the world. Responsive design has revolutionized the planning of development of websites that will be compatible for both PC and mobile users. The reason behind this rapid growth of this concept are the latest generation of tablets and smartphones. Till now it was a norm that one should develop separate websites dedicated for the mobiles or tablets with separate web addresses or use a script that can detect the target devices and then direct the user to the device specific site.
But there were issues with this technique that created problems for the web designers and developers. Firstly the device identification script that is used to detect the target devices can face issues in tracking the huge number of mobile devices that are continuously arriving in the market. Secondly the cost of developing and maintaining specific websites for each of the tablets and mobiles can be so high that it can be unbearable for most webmasters.
What Responsive Design Can Offer?
Due to these reasons responsive design is becoming famous with the web design community as it offers a better solution for the disintegration of the web devices. The use of scaling images and flexing grids is perhaps the biggest advantage that responsive design offers as it helps in creating a chain of scalable designs intended towards the particular group of devices. The media query is the CSS element with which’s help web browsers offer data on the maximum number of pixel width that they support. This value helps us to assume about the intended devices as the maximum width will be nearly the size of the screen of the device.
So instead of developing separate websites with different content, interfaces and elements, responsive design allows us to develop a website that adjust and scale the layers to offer the best feel within the screen space available.
The Issues Still Faced by Responsive Design
Although responsive design is growing rapidly there are still some hurdles in its path of universal acceptance. The issue is its compatibility with content management systems and other platforms. Responsive web design is related to front end development of a website but the degree to which a content management system allows us the grip over the presentation layers varies quite dramatically.
While most of the present websites can be moved to responsive design, the amount of effort and the cost related to it may not make it a viable option. A company that has strong technical expertise will have to decide the way through which it can align its website well with the responsive plan and also will have to define the upgrades and other changes that will required to be done.
Another issue faced by the responsive web design is the lack of support of its many features by most of the old browsers that are still in use by many users. Internet Explorer 6 and 7 being the most notorious for not acknowledging the new features. It does not mean that these browsers will not open a design but the design may not function and look the same as it does in the newer browsers. So if you are choosing to use responsive web design for your website you should first check web analytics date to check the percentage of your target audience that is using the older browsers.