The present software industry has come a long way. Generally, web developers have to create websites that will change its user interface depending on the browser or device that it is running on. This process ensures that the company can deliver optimal performance to its end-users. In this case, the primitive approach was to create individual applications for every device and Browser. However, this approach wasn’t effective in terms of the overall budget and time efficiency. Moreover, browser sniffing is prone to errors, and it is almost impossible to maintain multiple copies of a single website.
Thus, it is a wise option to create a single copy of a website that is independent of all platforms. The website’s source code has features that allow it to test out the browser support to adjust its application functions. This approach to website designing is known as Responsive Web Design. All the major companies prefer this approach as it is very maintainable, reliable and future proof. For instance, you don’t have to worry about bringing new versions of a website with the changing browser compatibility or new versions of the same Browser.
However, there are certain limitations of responsive web designing. It is not a wise option to change your application’s core aspects to adapt to various Browsers and devices. It is also a very complicated job to take an existing website and make it responsive. In this case, many companies prefer to create a new design altogether. In this article, we will discuss the various building blocks of creating the perfect responsive web design.
Various building blocks of creating the perfect responsive web design
The fluid measurement of application layout is one of the best areas to start discussing responsive web design basics. The term fluid grid means using a necessary combination of percentages to size the container and text. The process does not use any fixed-width or pixels. So, Fluid Grid helps the viewport dimensions to adapt to the layout of the website. This process benefits the user interface of the website. For instance, the developers can use this design to display different media contents in a side-by-side proportion. The developers can also apply this concept to various other Complex areas of website designing.
Fluid grid ensures that width and height are the primary parameters to set the dimensions of any element on a website. It means that any ‘padding’ and ‘border’ width set on the ‘function’ box will be automatically subtracted from the content. Thus, it is a beneficial concept to organise various visual aspects of the website correctly.
Flexible Replaced Elements
Now that you’ve finally added fluid grids to the website, various primary elements may be functioning properly. However, there are other issues still present on the core design that is just waiting to be detected. For instance, the testers can find visual errors when they apply the <video> and <img> elements inside the source code’s first two columns. This issue will be more prominent if you use the two codes in a non-formatted and unstyled manner. Now the media engine will detect a change in the size of the element, resulting in the explosion of the function box as the media should be of a fixed size. The developers can quickly fix this issue with the help of some simple CSS.
This command will tell the replaced elements to remain within the boundaries of the container width. Additionally, if the media elements are not wide enough, they will not stretch out to feel the container. So, the video will always resize dynamically to capture the indicated space on the display device. This process will help the developers to prevent a messy layout. You can also use the <max-width> command to set the appropriate size of the media content.
Fluid Grids are a great start to properly organising the visual elements of a website. However, the developers will notice that the layout of the website starts to break down at a certain point. So, you would want to change the layout of the website to fix these visual errors. Media queries are the perfect solution to this issue. Now, let us take a look at some of the prominent layouts of website designing:
Typical Desktop Layout
The typical desktop layout follows all the rules of the CSS stylesheet. The system will not encounter any form of media queries while rendering the typical desktop layout.
The mid-width layout is perfect for portable devices. It means that this layout has been primarily created for tablet and laptop screens. The mid-width layout follows the first media query of the CSS stylesheet. The system alters the column width and removes the 3rd column to fit the elements in this layout.
The Narrow Screen Layout is made to display the website on mobile devices and is a very heavy media query in the CSS grid layout. The first block sets various queries from the widescreen layout to properly fit the website on mobile browsers. The buttons also have to be appropriately resized to ensure the visual attractiveness of the layout. It means that the button’s dimensions will scale up and down according to the resolution of the mobile device. You also have to ensure that all the mobile layout elements are in perfect synchronization with the viewport dimensions. The integration of mobile layout with viewport dimension ensures that you can utilise your web application’s full potential.
Orientation fail is a situation when a website that is meant for landscape view is accessed in portrait view and vice versa. To fix this issue, the developers have to add specific commands to the media query that applies the content only when accessed in a particular orientation. The media query serves the following functions:
- It adjusts the navigation buttons and changes the direction of the flexbox layout. It also helps adjust the font sizes and borders to ensure that the text sits vertically instead of horizontally.
- This command removes the top margin from the main content not to have an unsightly gap at the screen’s top. These gaps are usually visible in the landscape mode of the website.
- Lastly, it helps to change the control buttons’ sizing so that they are not too big. This ensures that you can fit all the buttons properly on the mobile layout. Websites that require a lot of user interactions can benefit from this process.
There is another problem of a responsive web design that is related to mobile Browsers and media queries. In case, the user tries to view any image in a mobile browser; he wouldn’t be able to see the perfect image layout. The website’s source code will only show blank white boxes in the areas designated for the media. This process takes place due to a particular error in mobile browsers. These Browsers fail to render the web pages in the true port width. On the other hand, it uses this error to render the pages at a higher port width. Then, it automatically shrinks the image to fit the mobile screen.
It is a common defensive mechanism that the old school websites use due to the missing media queries. This process acts as a barrier for creating a responsive web design of small screen layouts in the CSS stylesheet. Thus, the developers have to use a mechanism to override the mobile rendering behaviour. There are many options available in the viewport meta tag that the developers can use to attach the images to the website properly. The viewport is the ultimate solution to utilise the layout on all mobile devices properly.
Responsive Images and Videos
Another prominent issue of responsive web designing is creating responsive images and videos. The developers also have to create flexible dimensions for this media content to display them on different layouts correctly. It is a wise option to contain the images within the app user interface. During this process, the developers must consider that mobile devices have smaller viewport dimensions than the desktop platform. It would be best if you kept mobile devices with smaller image downloads to bridge this gap. Moreover, most mobile devices run on slower data connections and have less memory than desktop platforms. So, it is crucial to organise the data on mobile layouts properly.
The high-resolution screens are a significant challenge in the path of responsive web designing. For instance, if you create faster graphics for low-resolution displays, it might appear tiny on the high-resolution counterpart. Mobile devices often deploy a default zoom factor to counter this rendering issue. Zooming the graphical units on the website will have its limitations. The low-quality media can look pixelated in this process. The developers have to utilise the CSS background images to counter various issues properly. You can also use the <video> and <img> commands to organise the website’s media elements.
LT Browser: A Platform to Test the Responsiveness of your Website
LT browser is a tool that allows the developers to view, test and debug their website on multiple devices simultaneously. You can test your website on various mobiles, tablets and desktop resolutions at the same time. LT browser offers various features like full-screen screenshot status recording and bug marking to property test your web application and ensures its responsiveness. It also allows you to create your custom device based on your project requirements. You can also compare the visual aesthetics of a website on the side-by-side view. LT browser also allows developers to monitor the activity log in real-time. In simple terms, LT Browser is the ultimate solution to check the website’s rendering on different viewports and resolutions.
In the present software industry, creating responsive websites is a primary factor in supporting any business’s growth. All major companies promote responsive web design to ensure that none of the users gets alienated from the services due to browser incompatibility. This article discussed the basic concepts and features that can help you create the perfect responsive website for your company. We also discussed the possible solutions to some of the prominent issues you might face during the development phase. Lastly, we would encourage our readers to check out LT Browser as the ultimate tool to check a website’s responsiveness.