In its purest form Responsive Web Design RWD is

In its purest form Responsive Web Design RWD is

first_imgIn its purest form, Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a client-side Web development technique that uses CSS, HTML and JavaScript to dynamically alter a website’s front end across different screen sizes optimized for each device. It’s one giant, all-purpose ball of code sent from the server that unpacks in the browser and renders itself to display on each device.But how the technique is used and what the word “responsive” means have morphed as quickly as the device landscape around it.RWD first caught on with Web and mobile developers as a solution for maintaining a single website across devices. Compared to building and managing separate mobile websites based on the different form factors, the idea of one codebase for one responsively designed site housed under one URL is an appealing one.(Related: Is Responsive Web Design overhyped?) Though, as with all new technology, developers soon ran into RWD’s limitations.“From a perception standpoint, people are more mature than they were in 2010,” said Forrester analyst Mark Grannan. “They greeted [RWD] as a silver bullet solution for all of your device needs. Everyone all of a sudden saw the tablet and the smartphone and didn’t know what to do about delivering experiences optimized for those devices. So the idea of not having to create new teams and new systems was welcomed with open arms, but people didn’t understand the full implications of the complexity it would bring.”That complexity came in the form of performance slowdowns for transactional or data-heavy sites, a lack of flexibility in design across different devices, and the time-consuming development process to completely rewrite an existing website’s code for RWD.To compensate, the term “responsive” has broadened over time to encompass differing techniques such as Adaptive Web Design, RESS (Responsive Design with Server-Side components), and responsive delivery. These techniques incorporate client-side code, multiple device templates, and cloud-based code transformations that stretch far beyond the scope of RWD. “Responsive” has simply come to describe techniques and technologies in which a unified set of website code produces Web pages optimized for multiple devices based on screen size and device capability. How a site achieves this unified state is becoming less and less important.last_img read more