Tag Archives: css

The Theory of Responsive Websites

Responsive Webdesign

Here at HolidayCheck responsive web design is a big challenge, although we’re all big fans.

I recently joined the company as a Frontend Developer and I have been a big fan of responsive web design for years. The latest article I wrote about the subject is called the Theory of Responsive Webdesign. (Currently only in German, sorry)

Here you have a small teaser…

There is a big difference between responsive websites and good responsive websites, and of course it takes much more than to only consider some CSS improvements. Principles like mobile first are pretty hyped these days, but the challenge is not only a technical one.

Consider loosing 80% of the available space of a desktop screen and try to put everything important inside the mobile version. Designers have to rethink their concepts to provide a good user experience on small devices. Then, step by step, details can be added (progressive enhancement). One of the main benefits of this principle is that adding details is much easier than removing them from an already blown site.

You don’t have to develop everything by yourself, because there are a lot of frameworks out there. Going from the small ones, which only provide a small set of CSS classes for a responsive grid, to the all-inclusive frameworks, which provide a full set of components like buttons, tables and forms.

One of the biggest and most discussed topics in RWD is performance. As there is only one website, the smallest device has to load the entire HTML code. Also images can become an annoying mess, because loading high resolution images on a slow device can be the overkill for loading time. There are some approaches as partial loading to resolve these problems, but as nearly everywhere, there is a lot of space for improvements.

You can read this and many other responsive things in the full article on heise. In the next few weeks I am going to write the practical part of RWD, stay tuned!