Responsive web design means that rather than maintaining separate versions of your website for tablets, PC’s and mobile devices; you develop a single site that responds to the device being used to access it.
With more and more people accessing websites from mobile devices and tablets, and the challenges faced with maintaining separate versions of a website, responsive web design just makes sense. Here are 6 of the best resources for implementing responsive web design on your site.
Tools for Design and Prototyping
Whether you sketch it out, build prototypes or use a grid tool for planning your site; there are many options and resources available. A company called App Sketchbook offers responsive design sketchbooks for the more tactile planners. Jeremypalford.com offers free web-based responsive design sketch sheets that you can download in a zip file and the thismanslife.co.uk website provides free responsive design wire frames.
These, or other tools available with a simple web search on responsive web design and prototyping, will help you start your design planning.
Implementing CSS Media Queries and Transitions
Two great online articles can help you better understand and implement CSS Media Queries and Transitions tools on your website. These are the tools that help your site read the users source device and apply the appropriate styling to your site.
The articles are Emily Lewis’ “Respond to Different Devices with CSS3 Media Queries” and Aaron Gustafson’s article “Adaptive Layouts with Media Queries.” Both are a great place to start.
Using Fluid Images
If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of waiting for images to load on your Smartphone or tablet, then you know how important it is that images on a site are fluid and optimized for any device. Adaptive-images.com has some great resources available, and so does imageresizing.net.
Responsive Design Testing Tools
As with any website design, it’s imperative that you actually test the implementation of your design with the same tools that your users will be using. You want to be certain that the pages load fast, images and links work and the content is presented in the intended manner. Mattkersley.com/responsive/ has a great, easy to use tool for testing your site’s responsive design.
Responsive Web Design Templates
If you’d like to skip all of the steps previously outlined and go straight to plugging your content into an already responsively designed site, then responsive web design templates may be for you. Templatemonster.com/properties/features/responsive-design/ or getskeleton.com are great template resources.
A final resource that has a wealth of responsive design resources in one location is the website bradfrost.github.com/this-is-responsive/resources. This is an excellent one-stop-shopping experience for responsive design.
About the Author
Michael Wood has written many blogs on the topic of responsive design and regularly contributes to sites such as Web Design Dudes and Web Blogger.