Before the use of mobile devices was as common as it is now, we would build a website either to be viewed on a desktop computer or to be visited via mobile devices. Yes, you can view the desktop site on your phone, but all of the content is tiny and it’s hard to navigate throughout the site, which leads to a frustrated user.
Solution: a responsive site! Some relatively simple code can be added to detect the size of the visitor’s screen and… Vavoom! A responsive site is created. Okay, no, it’s not that simple. First step is getting a streamlined, mobile-compatible design from our design team. They do a great job of keeping the layout simple and clean, without sacrificing the quality or the primary elements of the desktop version. Then we go in and add a bunch of code to make the site display properly on different screen sizes. (I won’t go into too much detail about that part.)
For a developer, the best part about building responsive sites is our ability to use the full extent of CSS3 code. We are able to use CSS3 because mobile phones have modern browsers that align with the current Web standards. We are able to use more “fancy” code throughout the site, which enables more elegant coding and creative freedom. For example, we can employ drop shadows, gradients, rounded corners, multiple background images, two-toned colored blocks, font styling, etc. – all without having to use images. This gives the site more flexibility and a quicker load time. This is neat stuff, trust me.
Overall, responsive sites are not only fun for developers to build, they are also vital to good user experience, due to the variety of mobile devices out there.